Our bodies need food for energy. However, what we eat influences the way we feel day to day, and it can drastically affect our health in the long run. For the past two weeks, Kate and Kayla from Healthy Food Now decided to test this idea. Could changing just one meal a day make a noticeable difference in satiety, energy levels, and productivity? There was only one way to find out: compare a week of fast food lunches to a week of healthy lunches made with Healthy Food Now recipes.
Now that the experiment is over, here is their conclusion:
There was a very noticeable difference in how we felt for those two weeks. During the fast food week, we felt sick and tired after we ate, but our week of healthy lunches left us satisfied and ready to tackle the “afternoon slump.”
While the first week of fast food was convenient and filled with fatty, salty foods our taste buds used to crave, it was very tough to get through. The food tasted good while we were eating it, but we often felt nauseous soon after. The food felt heavy in our stomachs. By the time we got back to our desks to continue the workday, we felt sluggish and very unmotivated. And the effects continued after we left the office. After leaving the office, all we wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV.
Our week of Healthy Food Now lunches was the complete opposite experience. We think this is because of a couple different reasons, the most obvious being the food itself. With undeniably good-for-you ingredients like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds, everything we ate was an energy booster. But we also think shopping for the ingredients and making the meals played a huge role in how good we felt after our lunches. Neither of us have much experience in the kitchen, and we definitely don’t have much experience in the grocery store. Exploring the aisles in search of healthy ingredients was like a scavenger hunt. And combining all of those ingredients into something delicious felt like such an accomplishment—we were so excited to eat what we made, the anticipation made our meals taste even more amazing. We felt full, energized, and productive every day that week.
From this experiment, we learned that while it may be easier to grab something from a nearby fast food restaurant, the toll greasy, processed food takes on your body isn’t worth it. We only ate fast food for a week and felt pretty awful, but it can also have debilitating long term effects like increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. During our experiment, eating healthy meals made us feel satisfied and alert. And in the long run, a healthy diet can naturally strengthen your immune system to prevent chronic disease and promote health and longevity.
Plus, making healthy meals is fun!
Have questions about how your eating habits can affect your long-term health outlook? Schedule a call with a nutrition coach today!