If you didn’t know, I made some radical changes to my diet a few months ago. It has resulted in me loosing 20 pounds. Not only has those diet changes caused me to drop weight, it has allowed me to be healthier. What you eat directly affects how you feel.
I brought Brenda Martin on to share with us her insights into eating healthy. Here’s what she has to say-
A lot of us worrying about our levels of productivity. Whether we work in an office, are self-employed at home (high levels of productivity are essential for bloggers!), or are trying to complete tasks in our spare time, we’re always looking for ways to get more done. Well, at least, we should be. In fact, many people don’t really take that many steps towards really harnessing the potential of their productivity.
Those who do tend to make several mistakes. Sure, they might succeed in some of the more obvious areas, like making sure they cut down on time-wasting activities and ensure that they take occasional breaks. But they tend to ignore a few things outside those activities that have a direct effect on their ability to be productive. More sleep is one. More exercise is another. But there’s something else that few people consider: their diet.
Most of us know, on some level, that aspects of our diet will affect our mood and energy levels. But rarely do people stop and consider this to be something that affects us when we’re trying to get more work done, or do some writing, or have to brainstorm ideas. Ignore the effect of your diet on your productivity at your peril!
We’re going to take a quick look at some of the ways in which what you eat and drink can make or break your productivity levels.
So when people think about diet – in terms of food and drink in general – and productivity, the chances are that one thing immediately springs to mind: caffeine. More specifically, coffee. About 90% of North American adults drink the stuff, and it’s hard to imagine someone working at a desk for eight hours without imbibing at least three or fours cups of the stuff a day.
As you probably have first-hand experience of, coffee can indeed boost productivity. If you have a fast way of getting your coffee fix, like a coffee machine, then this can help a lot with saving time.
However, you should be careful with how much you drink. Too much coffee can make you more anxious, stressed, jittery, and unable to concentrate. It might take less than you think for it to affect you like this!
Newsflash: whatever you eat or drink has to be processed by your body in several ways. And if you’ve given your body a tough job, then it’s actually going to feel more fatigued throughout the day. That’s why a diet consisting primarily of meat, fries, shakes, ice cream, pies, and the like will make you feel groggy and unproductive!
You’ll have noticed something about that list there, I’m sure: everything I just mentioned is loaded with fat. Fat isn’t always the demonic element that you must avoid at all costs that many people make it out to be, but eating lighter, fresher, more balanced and nutritional food won’t tire out your body during the processing phases. If you do need to eat some fatty foods (it’s an essential part of many good diets, after all), then make sure you’re eating the right ones!
Energy and Sleep Disruption
Getting a good amount of sleep is essential for good productivity. If you’ve not been putting a focus on getting more sleep, and getting that sleep consistently (assuming you’re currently not sleeping enough), then you’re making a mistake! Even if you don’t feel particularly fatigued by a lack of sleep, your brain simply isn’t going to work at full capacity if you haven’t slept enough. And if you’re trying to get more sleep without putting a focus on your diet, then there’s another mistake – because your diet affects your sleep in big ways.
I probably don’t need to tell you that coffee is going to disturb your sleep if you’re drinking too much. It’s recommended that you avoid the stuff after 4pm or so if you want to ensure your brain and body settle down enough by bedtime (though this can very from person to person). But eating large meals before bed will disrupt your sleep (due to your body working too hard to process it all – see above!). Too many sugary snacks, too, will cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels that will be most unwelcome when you’re trying to sleep!
Something else to consider about the links between your diet and productivity levels: what you eat and drink can also affect your mood. If you suffer from depression and stress, you risk exacerbating those things if you’re not eating healthily. And, consider many of us have had bouts of these problems in the past even if we don’t suffer from them chronically, they can be the biggest enemies of productivity of them all.
Keelie is a mother of three amazing boys and married to her high school sweetheart, Austin. She spends her days running R5 Website Management, taking care of the home, and investing in her children. In her spare time, she loves to encourage married couples to grow deeper in their relationship and find joy in their marriage.