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Become a Healthy Entrepreneur

Become a Healthy Entrepreneur


Myth #6: It takes too much time to eat right and exercise
Reality Check: It doesn’t take as much time as you may think.

One of the biggest misconceptions about physical activity is that it has to come all at once—the reality is that you can accumulate activity with short bouts throughout the day. In 2001, researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that either two bouts of 15 minutes or three bouts of 10 minutes result in similar aerobic benefits to 30 minutes of continuous activity. Also, another 2001 study, published in the journal Health Psychology, concluded that exercising for just 10 minutes improved mood, boosted vigor, and decreased fatigue.

And keep in mind that you don’t have to make changes overnight—in fact, it’s better if you make small incremental changes that will last. That means if you’re sedentary now, you don’t have to be jogging 30 minutes a day next week. Actually, you shouldn’t be doing this. By approaching exercise in small chunks in the beginning, you can start stacking up successful workouts—building your confidence along the way and making it more likely that you’ll stick with your new habit.

As for good nutrition, eating a healthy diet often just takes the split second required to make better food choices at the supermarket or a restaurant. For example, it takes no more time to pick up a few apples and oranges rather than grab a carton of cookie dough ice cream. It’s no more trouble to throw a box of whole-grain cereal into your shopping cart instead of a box of Froot Loops.® The same goes for ordering the low-fat vinaigrette dressing at lunch rather than the full-fat blue cheese. Little choices like these throughout the week don’t take any time but make big differences in the amount of calories you end up eating.

You don’t even have to give up going to fast-food restaurants altogether. They shouldn’t be a habit, but as with the grocery store and restaurants, it just takes making better choices—don’t super size; instead of soda, drink nonfat milk; go for salads with light dressing and grilled chicken instead of the burger with cheese and bacon.

Myth #7: I won’t be able to enjoy my favorite foods
Reality Check: As long as you have a generally healthy diet, occasional indulgences are OK, and there are ways to make your favorite dishes healthier and just as tasty.

If you believe this myth, you’re not alone. In a national survey conducted by the American Dietetic Association in 1999, not wanting to forego favorite foods was the most frequent reason given by people who said they weren’t doing anything more now than they were two years ago to eat a healthy diet. That’s too bad, because this “all or nothing” attitude toward nutrition is self-defeating. You are not a machine, immune from the temptations of the chocolate mousse as the waiter wheels the dessert cart to your table.

But as long as you eat an overall healthy diet, there’s nothing wrong with indulging occasionally. “There’s no reason you have to give up hot fudge sundaes or French fries,” registered dietitian Diane Quagliani said in a press release when announcing the American Dietetic Association survey results. “All foods can be a part of a healthful eating plan—it’s all a matter of minding how often and how much you eat of some foods.”

It’s also possible that eliminating all those enticing foods from your menu will make them all the more alluring, and you just may end up gorging if you can’t stand it anymore. But by allowing yourself periodic “cheat” foods, you’ll satisfy a craving in a controlled way. Aside from treating yourself on occasion, there also are ways to make your favorite foods healthier-without sacrificing flavor.