When you think about productivity hacks, you rarely consider the food that you put in your mouth. However, what you eat can have a huge impact on how productive you are throughout your day.
Let's consider an extreme example. On Thanksgiving we eat a ton of rich foods followed by a sampling of several delicious desserts. By the time dinner is done, all you want to do is sit down and relax or take a nap. Could you imagine trying to get things done after that?
Now while I am not proposing that you start a full house cleaning on Thanksgiving night, it's important to realize that what we eat determines how we feel which in turn controls how productive we are.
Let's break it down a bit. You start your day with a certain amount of energy. In order to process the food that you eat, your digestive system uses different amounts of energy. So, over-eating or eating the wrong types of food means that the energy that should be going into your work, ends up going into digestion.
Research conducted by scientists at Brigham Young University showed that employees with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to report a productivity loss than healthy eaters. That's a huge impact just from diet alone. Below are some tips on how you can eat to increase your energy and therefore your productivity with healthy eating.
Eat Less Carbs
Carbs are not the enemy, in fact, carbs are an important part of our diet. They should not however be the focus of our meals. Foods rich in carbs tend to cause the body to produce a ton of insulin, which in turn floods the brain with sleep hormones like serotonin and tryptophan.
Eating too many carbs during the day can make us sleepy and therefore far less productive. The types of carbs that we eat matters too. Eating complex carbohydrates and whole grains will have a much better impact on our productivity than simple carbs and sugar.
Don't Let Your Blood Sugar Drop
When you have a low blood sugar, you body starts to crave energy. It reduces your self-control and your will power. This doesn't just mean you start grabbing the closest sugary snack. It also means you lack the will power to stay focused on a task.
Eating more healthy fats and higher protein foods actually allows your body to maintain its blood sugar level for longer. This means you will stay satiated and motivated. Meals that include foods like eggs or avocado can help you stay fuller longer and therefore more concentrated on what you have to get done.
Eats Foods For Mental Clarity
If you feel like you have been dragging or your brain is not working as quick as it should be, food can be the answer. Consuming the right nutrients can help your brain function more efficiently. The following nutrients can improve brain health and overall productivity:
- folate, found in beans and greens
- omega-3, fatty acids found in walnuts and flaxseeds
- vitamin C, found in berries and citrus fruits
- vitamin E, found in nuts and vegetable oils
Basically, the foods that we eat don't just influence our weight and our health. They influence all aspects of our life: our physical well-being, mental health and work performance. If you practice good nutrition eating nutrient rich, healthy foods, it will help you to stay healthy and improve your productivity both at home and at work.
How can you change your eating to become more productive? let me know in the comments.