You wake up to the beep of an email notification; ponder over the schedule for the day while getting dressed; rarely have time to eat breakfast; consume endless cups of tea & coffee during the day to keep sluggishness at bay; have regular lunch meetings; suffer from exhaustion, aches & pains; are desperate to get the zing back in your life. Sounds familiar?
What you need is a ‘productivity diet’ to boost your energy and increase your output.
What is a ‘Productivity Diet’?
Your productivity is directly impacted by what you eat. A ‘Productivity Diet’ ensures that you get good nutrition and that both your mind and body perform at optimal levels. If you’re serious about performing your best at work, then making intelligent decisions about the food you eat is critical.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Start the day with a wholesome breakfast
There is an old adage that goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
Indeed, most nutritionists agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it helps to kick-start the system and provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast. Dr Smita Chauhan, dietician & the founder of Cell U Loss opines, “Even if you are extremely busy, breakfast is a must.” She adds, “There are many simple options for breakfast like fruit, juice and a bowl of cornflakes or oats.” Carol Singh, cofounder of Antidote Cold-pressed Organic Juice shares, “It is essential to start the day well. You can have a breakfast smoothie that contains yogurt, fruits and nuts.”
- Carry home-cooked lunch
The food you cook at home is far healthier than anything you can get at any restaurant or canteen. Dr Chauhan says, “Carry homemade food as far as possible. If you do eat out, then be prudent in your food selection. Eat food with lower calories.”
- Snack healthy
Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals and ensure that your energy levels do not dip. “Keep healthy snack options at hand. You can keep a pack of nuts in your desk drawer”, suggests Carol. Dr Chauhan suggests that khakra, roasted channas and high fibre biscuits are healthy snacks to eat. "Munch on fruits, roasted nuts and seeds like flaxseed, sunflower seeds, instead of biscuits. These will keep you more alert through the day," suggests Dr Vandana Sethi
- Eat fresh, seasonal produce
Processed foods make you fat and sluggish. Each meal should include some fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Carol makes a strong case for eating fresh food. She says, “We should eat fresh, seasonal and local produce. In packaged food, you don’t end up getting the entire variety of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. As a result, your organ function is not optimal because you are not getting essential vitamins and minerals.”
- Follow a regular eating, sleeping & waking regime
When it comes to nourishing our bodies and brains, it turns out that good nutrition involves both what we eat and when we eat it. Dr Chauhan shares, “Sleeping, waking & eating timings should be proper and consistent. Some regular activity in a fresh environment is also recommended. Your eating regime should be such that the gap between meals is not too large.”
- Keep yourself hydrated
Drink at least 8 – 10 litres of water per day. Reduce your tea and coffee to just a couple of cups daily. As far as possible, avoid alcohol. Carol believes that cold-pressed organic juices are especially beneficial for busy professionals. She shares, “Entrepreneurs need more energy, mental clarity and better focus. They have long work hours and tend to feel drained out. Fresh cold-pressed juices are a great source of energy and are packed with essential nutrients. She adds, “A human body needs about 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, whereas on an average an individual only gets about 4 servings. With one bottle of juice, a person gets about 2-3 kgs of produce and that’s about 3 servings of vegetables and greens.”
- Remember, ‘balance is wisdom’
Carol shares some pearls of wisdom. “When it comes to your well-being, balance is essential. A lot of people tend to have an irregular and unhealthy diet during the week and over the weekend try to make amends, and eat healthy. But extremes don’t work – they don’t help the body, because the body is confused and doesn’t understand this eating pattern. It is better to follow a consistent and healthy diet throughout the week.” She adds, “Busy professionals must include some super-foods in their diet that help to detoxify. It could be a tablespoon of amla extract or aloe-vera in the morning. These are things that help to improve the body’s metabolism and increase its efficiency to flush out toxins.”
Entrepreneurs rise and shine! Just as your business thrives when you take care of it, the same way your body will function properly only if you give it the right nutrition. Embrace the productivity diet and your body will thank you and perform better!
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