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All Foods Can Fit

performance enhancers

By Sheila Tucker, MA, RD, LDN
Administrative Dietitian, B.C. Dining


Healthful eating does not mean giving up the foods that you like best. With a balanced approach between food choices and physical activity, all foods can fit into a healthful eating style. Even fast-food choices at Lyons Hall can be part of a balanced eating plan!

 

Be Adventurous

Many foods offered at Lower Live already fit the profile of healthful choices. Be adventurous and occasionally break away from the double cheeseburger and french fry habit to try their leaner cousins:

  Gardenburger
  Grilled Chicken on a Salad
  Grilled Chicken Breast
  Hamburger
  Garden Salad
  Turkeyburger

By venturing into leaner territory, you could save yourself from a fat hangover: switching from a cheeseburger to a hamburger five days a week will save you from eating the equivalent of 30 sticks of butter over a year's time! Switching to Gardenburger will save you from the fat-equivalent of 48 sticks of butter. Picture that! And that's not messing with your jumbo fries!

 

Be Active

How far would you walk for your fries? Balance what you eat with your physical activity over several days. No need to get hung up on one food or one meal. After all, there is no such thing as a "good food" or a "bad food".

Got an urge for an order of fries. Go ahead and enjoy them. When you head back to your car or dorm room, just take the long route around; a 150 lb adult would burn off those fries with 28 minutes of walking- and it doesn't have to be all at once. Throw in 10 minutes on the Higgins stairs and you only need to walk 14 minutes. Got the idea? Here are some others: take the stirs instead of the elevator in the parking garage, get off the bus a stop early and walk. Find a physical activity that you enjoy and balance away.

Use the chart below to see how to fine-tune your activity when making fast-food choices.

Minutes of activity to balance food calories for 150 lb adult:

 

dance

walk

swim

aerobics

stairs

jog

run

bike
20 mph

Chicken fingers, Reg

71

59

59

40

40

27

26

20

Chickwich

85

70

70

48

48

32

31

24

Cheeseburger

99

82

82

56

56

37

36

28

Fries, Lg

107

88

88

60

60

41

39

30

Double Burger

140

116

116

79

79

53

51

39



Be Flexible

Eating is meant to be pleasurable. Balance higher fat or higher calorie choices with lighter choices.

Free the Fat

So you ate: Free the fat by having:
Double cheeseburger 8 oz Skim vs. whole milk for 4 days
Large chicken fingers 1 oz pretzels vs. chips for 4 days
Large fries A cheeseburger vs. double cheeseburger one day
Chickwich Lite vs. Reg French dressing on side salad one day



Be Sensible

When enjoying higher fat foods, keep portions sensible.

Order regular fries, not large
Split the large fries with a friend
Have a single cheeseburger, not a double
Use only half a packet of full-fat dressing on your salad
Have one pat of butter, not two, on your bagel
Have a large order of chicken fingers, not extra-large

 

 

Be Realistic

Make small changes over time. It can add up to healthful savings in the long run.

If you order a bacon double cheeseburger everyday, order it every other day.
If you wait for the closest parking spot to your destination, park a little farther away and burn a few calories walking.
During inclement weather, instead of sitting around waiting for your next class, walk a few loops around Conte concourse. In good weather, head outdoors.
Try one new low-fat food a month. The Cutting Edge menu at Lower, McElroy and Stuart can point you towards some wise and delicious choices.

Healthful eating does not mean giving up the foods you like best.
Become a balancing expert; all foods can fit!