A Healthier Entrepreneur

Do you pay more attention to your business than you do your body? There are a few ways you can eat healthier without investing a lot of time or thought.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian in New York City and author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear has worked with some of the city’s busiest people. Since launching her line of F-Factor high-fiber bars in partnership with Hain Celestial Group in 2011, Zuckerbrot is also an entrepreneur. Our very own Daria Meoli recently spoke with Zuckerbrot about some easy ways that entrepreneurs can adopt better eating habits on their hectic schedules. 

Daria Meoli: You have worked with some very successful entrepreneurs and executives. What is the number one reason they were not eating healthy?

Tanya Zuckerbrot: Busy entrepreneurs and executives who are constantly on the go may not feel in control of when and what they eat. If they travel often, entertain a lot, or keep long hours, consistently making healthy food choices can be a real challenge. 

DM: What are some simple ways busy business owners can improve their health?

TZ: Always eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it fuels your mind and body and gets you in gear for the day. Skip breakfast, and you’ll drag into your day and probably overeat come lunchtime.

Eat more foods that are high in fiber. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber because we consume so many processed foods that strip fiber away during manufacturing. I call fiber the ‘miracle carb’ because it promotes good health in a variety of ways. Foods high in fiber satisfy hunger quickly and for longer period so you are less apt to overeat during the day. Fiber slows digestion and this stabilizes blood sugar levels so you have sustained energy rather than the peaks and lows you get after eating processed foods that digest fast. Fiber has zero calories and soaks up excess fat, calories, and toxins in the stomach and intestines and quickly removes them through the digestive tract. These benefits are helpful for weight control, overall wellness, and preventing illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Drink more water. Staying well hydrated helps keep our organs functioning, and water facilitates the absorption and transport of nutrients—key for optimal health. Also, it’s easy to misinterpret dehydration as hunger. Drinking plenty of water during the day helps control appetite, which helps keep snacking in check.

DM: How can business owners change their attitude about food—whether they suffer from stress eating or don’t put enough focus on what they are eating?

TZ: Stop thinking of food as a problem and see it as a solution. Make it a point to discover healthier foods you’ve not had, and if you enjoy cooking there are countless new recipes out there for you to try. Dining out is fine, too. When navigating a menu, just steer clear of things that are deep fried or smothered in butter or cream, or loaded with sugar. Opt for items that are steamed, broiled, and baked, as these are apt to be lower in fat and calories. You can always ask your waiter to prepare a lighter version of a dish. In Manhattan, the restaurants BiCE and Philippe have menu items marked with my F-Factor seal, which means they are healthy choices.