Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Andrew McAllister

Recent Posts by Andrew McAllister:

Tips for Combating Eating Out of Boredom

GettyImages-1131960080 (1)We are in the throws of quarantine and you’ve gone through yet another bag of Cheetos without paying much attention to them. Sound familiar? If so, you could be eating out of boredom. Now that most people are working from home, it can be challenging not to grab an extra snack during that conference call or while typing out an email. This kind of eating can add up quickly and cause a lot of detriment to your health and weight loss goals. Focusing on your nutrition is crucial during these times where it can be difficult to workout with most gyms being shut down.

Here are a few tips to help combat boredom eating:

  • Remove unhealthy snacks for your house. This one is simple, avoid the urge all together by getting rid of any unhealthy snacks that you might have. Try to replace them with the healthy options that are mentioned below.
  • Drink a glass of water instead. Oftentimes you are in need of hydration rather than food and the sensation can feel similar between the two. Drink some water and then decide if you are actually hungry or not. How many bottles of water have you drank today?
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Again, another simple solution, but it could help save you from a lot of empty calories. Chewing some gum can help sate some feelings of hunger and give you a little distraction from being bored. Opt for sugar-free options to avoid extra calories and sugar.
  • Distract yourself. Find a way to keep yourself busy to distract yourself from hunger or being bored. Do some bodyweight exercises, go for a walk, or skype a friend or loved one over the internet! Anything to help keep your attention and prevent unnecessary snacking.
  • Find a healthy replacement. If you have tried everything and need to have a snack; try to make it a healthy one! Eat something that is nutrient dense and that will provide satiety. Some examples could be an apple and peanut butter, low fat popcorn, or veggies and hummus. Fruits and vegetables are always a good option.

What ways have you found to be useful to combat boredom eating while at home? Share in the comments!

Topics: quarantine

Whole Grains as Part of a Balanced Diet

NIFS | Whole Grains Whole grains have been advertised as being part of balanced diet for as long as I can remember. Specifically, bread and cereal companies are careful to emphasize their importance as a quality source for whole grains in their marketing messages. So, why are they so special and why are they essential for a balanced diet? I will get to that in a second, but first, let’s start with what is considered a “whole grain.”

The processing that a grain goes through is what determines whether or not it can be considered whole. When a grain is processed it is stripped of most of its outer shell and other nutrient dense components, leaving just the starchy inner layer that does not have  significant nutritional value other than acting as a carbohydrate.

The anatomy of a whole grain has three important components to it, which include the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. All of these different parts have unique health benefits to them and they all need to be present for the grain to be considered whole. The outer layer of the grain is the called the bran and it is chewy and fibrous. It contains a large amount of fiber and other nutrients such as antioxidants, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. The next part of the grain is the germ, which is the base for growth for each whole grain kernel. Antioxidants, healthy fats, and B vitamins can all be found inside the germ. The last part of the grain is the endosperm. The endosperm is the soft and chewy middle part of the grain that is left over after the germ and bran have been stripped away through the refining process. This only has a small amount of minerals and B vitamins and mainly acts as a source of carbohydrates.

Grains that have all three components (bran, germ, and endosperm) can be considered a whole grain. If it’s missing one or more components, then it is considered a refined grain. An easy example would be brown rice and white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain because it is still covered by the bran and has the germ intact, making it more fibrous and tougher to chew. White rice is a refined grain because it has had the bran and germ removed leaving just endosperm which is soft and easy to chew. 

Now that you know more about whole grains and how they are classified, let’s look at some of the health benefits of grains and why they are an essential part of a balanced diet. One of the major benefits of whole grains is their ability to reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. The fiber in whole grains is essential for preventing cardiovascular disease, because fiber has been shown to lower triglycerides, cholesterol; it can also help regulate insulin levels. All of these different effects help to lower the chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Whole grains can also be protective against type 2 diabetes; because whole grains are low on the Glycemic Index they do not cause your body to release a surge of insulin when eaten, rather they cause a steady release of insulin. The nutrients and fiber in the whole grains also help with insulin sensitivity which greatly help to reduce blood sugar spikes. 

Health Bonus: Whole grains can also help with digestive health. All of the fiber and other nutrients in grains can help with healthy bowel movements and reduce the chances of constipation.

With all of these health benefits and disease fighting properties, whole grains should become a staple in your diet. Start to reduce your intake of refined grains and start looking for grains that labeled as being whole, such as: whole wheat bread, brown rice, and quinoa. Your body will thank you!

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Topics: nutrition diet and nutrition whole grains balanced diet