There is no doubt about the positive or negative effects that nutrition can have on your productivity and general wellbeing.
Proper nutrition is one of the hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle, and while working out is important as well, you should prioritize healthy eating if you want to achieve your goals. After all, you can work out at home as much as you want, but that won’t make up for the fact that you’re fueling your body with junk food and empty calories. When you do that, all you get is mental haze, fatigue, and subpar performance at school and at work.
What we eat has a big impact on our productivity and general wellbeing, and you don’t need to study nutrition and dietary science per se to know that eating well means feeling well and performing at your best. So, are you shooting yourself in the foot with poor diet choices? Let’s break down this question and give you a clear roadmap to improve your productivity, zeal, and long-term wellbeing through healthy eating.
Eliminate junk food from your diet
First things first, you have to be aware of the negative effects that junk food can have on your body and mind. According to research, junk food can have significant negative effects on cognitive abilities and reward processing on the adolescent brain, but the results extend and can be extrapolated to any demographic and gender. In other words, junk food is changing the chemistry in your brain which impairs cognition, leads to mental fog, and diminishes your work capacity and energy levels.
The obvious course of action here is to eliminate junk food from your lifestyle. This should be a process and not a single action, because if you get rid of all the junk food at once you might experience withdrawal symptoms that will hamper your ability to work and follow classes. Instead, you want to wean junk food out of your routine over several weeks to make a seamless transition to healthy, wholesome foods and homecooked meals.
Choose sustained energy instead of sugar highs
Carbohydrates play a vital role in regulating our energy levels and ensuring we are able to perform both physically and mentally. Everything you eat serves to fuel the brain and its processes, as the brain is the biggest consumer of glucose in your body, which can be produced from any food you ingest. Now, there are two paths you can take: you can supply your brain with sustained energy, or you can choose to consume fast-acting sugars that will hinder your mental performance later on.
Obviously, the latter choice will be detrimental to your productivity and zeal on a daily basis. The consumption of fast foods among students has been a pervasive problem for a long time, for example, and if you want to perform at your best, you need to choose slow-releasing carbohydrates instead. Opt for quality carbs like leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, and the like instead of sugary sweets, candy, or even certain fruits.
Are you focusing enough on your protein consumption?
You might not have thought about it before, but protein can have a major role to play in your overall wellbeing, and especially physical and mental performance on a daily basis. Eating a diet that is relatively high in quality proteins is essential for mental clarity and acuity, as amino acids help with the secretion of noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain.
You can choose to eat proteins but also to supplement with premium isolate (here’s my personal fave) in order to meet your daily requirements without consuming any unhealthy fillers or sugars, and to keep your energy levels topped off. Remember that protein keeps you feeling sated for longer, which will prevent you from reaching for unhealthy alternatives.
Choose your protein sources wisely, use only quality supplements instead of sugary blends, and be sure to combine lean meats, eggs, fish and dairy along with proteins from plants to get all the amino acids you need.
Eliminate any allergens that might be affecting your health
Allergic reactions to foods can go by unnoticed for years, because different people will react differently to allergens — not all allergic reactions are extreme like a peanut allergy, for example. Sometimes, the foods that don’t sit well with your immune system are simply going to cause some redness on the skin, maybe an upset stomach, or in many cases, they will make you feel drowsy and create mental haze.
You should get yourself tested for different food allergies, and grab some lunchbox ideas or try making some smoothies that will boost your immunity and prevent you from ever having an allergic reaction to food again.
Spacing your meals instead of eating everything at once
Last but not least, don’t sabotage yourself by eating too much in one sitting. You probably know by now that eating too much food to save time can cause you to feel drowsy and sleepy, and that it can cause various discomforts such as bloating that can hinder your ability to focus in class or at work.
Instead, make sure to space out your meals properly, eat at regular intervals, and plan your meals in advance. The best thing you can do is to learn how to meal prep and prepare the majority of your meals for the upcoming workweek so that your nutrition is always on point.
There is no doubt about the positive or negative effects that nutrition can have on your productivity and general wellbeing. With these tips and insights in mind, go ahead and build a healthier lifestyle on the foundation of healthy eating and while you’re at it, sprinkle some exercise in for good measure.
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