We all know that eating healthy is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that eating healthy also affects how productive you are at work?
What we eat throughout the day has a direct impact on the amount and quality of work that we produce. According to a study done by Brigham Young University, employees with unhealthy diets were 66 percent more likely to report having a loss in productivity.
Studies have found that counting calories is distracting and can even impact your short-term memory. Instead of counting calories, focus on eating high-quality, nutritious foods throughout the day.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats will provide a steady stream of energy and offer the nutrition you need for long-term health. Most fast foods and take out lunches contain high amounts of sugar, salt, white flour, and low-quality fats and proteins. Eating too much of these can cause you to feel bloated and lethargic.
Have you noticed eating too much makes you start to feel sluggish or tired? Your brain wants an ideal portion of energy: not too much, not too little.
It is important to listen to your hunger signals and stop when you feel comfortably full. By eating too much, you put your digestive system into overdrive, causing it to work too hard.
Additionally, eating too much can cause our bodies to produce large amounts of insulin.
According to nutrition specialist Robbie Clark, “Excessive secretion of insulin causes the essential amino acid tryptophan to move into the brain. Once in the brain, it leads to increased production of serotonin and melatonin, which are two neurotransmitters that have a calming effect and help regulate sleep. Interestingly, around 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut, where it regulates intestinal movements.”
Like hunger signals, it is important to listen to your thirst signals. Being dehydrated can cause headaches, hampers concentration, and can result in fatigue. It is important to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day and even more on days you exercise.
Work environments can be stressful, and stress can make you want to eat. When you don’t plan ahead for your lunch break, you may be more apt to fall to unhealthy food temptations. Set yourself up for success by packing healthy snacks or placing your lunch order ahead of time with health conscious restaurants like Rivers Edge. It’s easier to make healthier choices ahead of time instead of waiting until you are already hungry.
Take your Lunch Break
Fewer Americans are taking time to leave their desks for lunch. In fact, only 1 in 5 five people get outside of the office for their lunch break. Disconnecting from work in the middle of your day boosts your creativity and energy.
Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California who studies workplace psychology, says, “We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment.”
Today when you take your lunch break, try to be more mindful about what you eat, drink lots of water, and step outside the office to take a walk to River’s Edge Cafe. We offer a variety of nutritious meals to give you that midday boost of energy and productivity.