It's surprising how many executives who are successful and well-organized in their business lives are disorganized and unsuccessful in managing their dietary habits. One day they skip a meal or gulp down a hamburger or candy bar at their desk. The next day, they'll take an important client out for a huge business lunch prefaced by several very dry martinis.
As for physical activity, they drive to work, sit behind a desk all day, drive home at night and sit in front of the TV all evening. ON Saturday morning, they ride around the golf course, and on Sunday, they nap all afternoon. No wonder they wind up overweight, underexercised, overfed, perhaps overlubricated and with an almost certainly shortened lifespan. Yet it's quite possible, with a little of that business like organization and dedication, for the average office person to build good health and eating habits into the busiest schedule.
A study several years ago involving several hundred business executives showed that those who controlled their weight, ate regular meals and rarely snaked, drank moderately or not at all, went without tobacco and exercised daily (including really vigorous physical activity) did better at coping with jobrelated stress than those who did not.
How do the do it? The key is to incorporate these habits into a daily routine.
Take eating and weight control, for example. It's a mistake to go to work on an empty stomach, even when you're dieting. The midmorning temptation to have a doughnut or danish - both high in calories and low in nutrition - is great. Moreover, nibbling at your desk instead of stopping for a break or for lunch is apt to be another high-calorie pitfall. Most managerial jobs involve sitting. And while brain work can be tiring, it requires little energy. Thus, the foods you consume should be light and low-calorie. We would suggest items like soup, crakers, a salad and a piece of fresh fruit for dessert. (You might want to skip the butter, margarine or mayonnaise on the sandwich.) Cottage cheese or plain low-fat yogurt would be wise choices.
Low-fat milk, tomato, vegetable or fruit juices, black coffee or tea with lemon are far better beverage choices (even when you're entertaning a client) than a highball or martini, which not only make for a sleepy afternoon, but add unnecessary and empty calories.
If you want a snack, make it a piece of fruit, a glass of juice or cheese and cracker. If the lunchroom does not provide such choices or the building's vending machines are stocked with candy and soft drinks, you might suggest a change in company policy.
Finally, we have two other workday eating suggestions. First, don't skip meals, no matter how busy you are. And if you feel you've overindulged, don't fast to make up for it.
The second suggestion is to keep a close watch on meals while you're travelling on business. The expense account, distrupted routines, time on one's hands, occasional boredom and isolation and the temptations of new restaurants all can prove a devastating combination for the unwary dieter. Don't succumb. In general, airplane meals tend to be lower in calories than restaurant meals, particularly if you eschew the salad dressing, the bun and butter, and the highly sugared dessert. BUt if you travel a lot, you should know that some airlines, if notified ahead, will provide a special, low-calorie meal.