Dr. Eva Selhub uses an excellent analogy and compares your brain to a luxury car; practicing good habits such as only putting high-quality gasoline in the car leads to peak performance on the road, while eating healthy food and practicing positive dietary habits stimulate brain function. This goes to show how eating habits impact all facets of your physical and mental performance in life, such as workplace productivity. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, some people are practicing eating habits that are detrimental to their production at the office. Read below to learn more!
Many find themselves skipping meals for a variety of reasons. Some skip breakfast because they are hustling to get to work on time, while others skip lunch because they are “too busy” at work to stop and eat. In fact, The New York Times reports that only 35% of surveyed American employees consistently take a lunch break, while 60% either eat while working at their desk or skip lunch entirely. Regardless of the reason why the meal is skipped, it has a very negative impact on your workplace productivity.
Skipping a meal causes a sharp drop in blood sugar, which has a very negative impact on brain functions and makes you very sluggish and lethargic. It goes without saying, but an inefficiently functioning brain is detrimental to workplace productivity. Skipping a meal also leads to overeating at the next meal or over-snacking throughout the day to compensate for the lost calories.
Excessively Snacking While Distracted
Whether because of a skipped meal or any other number of reasons, many find themselves excessively snacking at work. It’s pretty easy to sit at your desk and lose track of how much you’ve eaten. In what seems like the blink of an eye, half the bag is gone! This excessive snacking is the cause of distraction and actually hampers your productivity throughout the day.
Studies have shown that distracted eating leads to overeating. When distracted with another task such as work, the brain will take longer to signal that the body is full. While waiting for this signal, the body will keep eating and consume more calories than necessary. This leads to feeling sluggish, bloated, and unable to think clearly throughout the rest of the day.
While excessively snacking has a negative impact on workplace productivity, periodic and healthy snacking at the office is shown to increase productivity and employee morale. Some snacks such as fruits, vegetables, popcorn, and nuts help stimulate brain power and are chock-full of nutrients.
Many offices also use subscription box services as a way to keep the office stocked with healthy snacks. For a flat rate, a box full of delicious snacks will arrive right at the office’s doorstep! Using subscription snack services has many benefits for employees. The box’s contents will change each month, so employees will appreciate the variety and get to try new healthy snacks!
It also saves employees the trouble of going out and shopping for office snacks. Finally, even distribution of the box’s contents among employees helps prevent over-snacking. By opting to snack on healthy foods in moderation, workplace productivity will skyrocket!
Eating Too Many Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an essential component of any healthy diet, but too many can have a negative impact on workplace productivity. Carbohydrates are found in many different foods such as most grains, yogurt, certain fruits, sugary snacks, and beans.
Eating too many carbohydrates triggers a chemical reaction within the body. After carbohydrate consumption, the pancreas releases insulin. Too much insulin triggers the production of the amino acid tryptophan, which produces serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter with a calming effect, and melatonin tells the body to go to sleep. This calming and drowsy feeling after eating too many carbohydrates makes it very hard to function at work.
Limiting carbohydrate consumption while at work keeps you focused and attentive throughout the day. Foods such as lean meats, eggs, leafy greens, and nuts are all low in carbohydrates and will help keep you attentive and productive at work.
Not drinking enough water is another habit that can negatively affect production throughout the workday. Many struggle to drink enough water over the course of the day anyway, but the distraction of work and other factors help contribute to dehydration. It’s easy to get lost in the routine and daily grind before realizing you’re parched!
The recommended amount of water in a day differs, depending on who you ask, but a general rule of thumb says that eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day is adequate hydration. Others say to divide your weight in half and drink that number of fluid ounces per day. Regardless, consistently drinking water throughout the workday to help positively affect your productivity.
Drinking water has health benefits such as clearing up skin and helping with weight loss. It can also prevent and cure headaches while stimulating brain function and improving memory, which improves your productivity at work.
Too Much Caffeine
While many assume that drinking cup after cup of coffee to load up on caffeine at work will increase workday productivity, this is not the case. Many offices provide free coffee for employees, and some find themselves drinking an excessive amount simply because it is available.
Caffeine is very healthy and beneficial when consumed in moderation, as it can provide a boost in energy and mood. Too much caffeine can negatively affect your workday productivity by causing fatigue, anxiety, and other negative side effects. Alternatives such as green tea or kombucha will provide a similar energetic effect without the negative side effects.
In conclusion, some of your eating habits may be detrimental to your workplace productivity. You’ll notice an immediate boost in how you feel at the office after practicing positive and healthy eating habits, and it will show in your work!