Employee wellness chairwoman gives healthy eating tips

The road to better health can be made simple with helpful ideas that can be life-changing, said Lisa Vaughan, Employee Wellness Task Force chairwoman, in a Nov. 2 luncheon speech that focused on nutrition.

About 20 students attended the event.

Vaughan, an aerobics instructor, believes diets are only a temporary solution to losing weight.

“It has to be a lifestyle change,” she said.

Oklahoma is the 49th unhealthiest state in the country, Vaughan said, with 60 percent of the population being overweight.

One leading cause of the epidemic is families not taking part in enough physical leisure activities.

“Weight gain is caused when we take in more calories that we use,” Vaughan said.

One study found that Oklahomans eat fewer fruits and vegetables than any other state in the nation. Although fresh fruit isn’t as accessible in Oklahoma as Taco Bell, Vaughan said, you can substitute frozen or canned produce as a replacement.

She said being overweight can lead to many diseases, including: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke.

“Even small steps to eat better and move more will benefit your health,” Vaughan said.

She offered five eating tips to jump start a healthier lifestyle:

  • Choose a variety of colors on your plate.
  • Keep healthy snacks instead of sweets.
  • Buy fewer processed foods.
  • Don’t eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting.
  • Eat slowly, take smaller bites and enjoy the food before swallowing.

Remember, Vaughan said, weight loss can’t happen without personal commitment.

By exercising, watching portion sizes, and relieving stress, she said, you can add years to your life.

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