Why what you eat at work is so important
We spend at least a third of our lives there and sometimes consume more than 2/3 of our meals there. Our nutrition impacts our concentration, energy levels, focus and attention and yet more often than not it takes a back seat when our goal is to improve performance. So here are a few of the reasons paying a little more attention to your food and lifestyle choices at work will benefit both your body and your career long term.
1. Our carb / protein balance impacts energy
Our blood glucose control is the number one factor that will impact how efficiently your body is producing energy on an hour by hour basis. Skipping breakfast, or relying only on coffee to get you through the morning will inevitably lead to flailing energy levels come mid-morning, while a low carb lunch is likely to leave you feeling tired and lethargic by mid-afternoon. For this reason, eating the right carbs and protein mix every 3-4 hours is a crucial aspect of optimal physical and cognitive performance.
2. Weight gain is inevitable
With many hours each day spent sitting, in addition with being exceptionally easy to eat more calories than we need, in many cases weight gain is an inevitable part of aging unless we are on top of it, especially at work. Not only does our metabolism work inefficiently when we sit for long periods of time, but the hormones that regulate appetite and fat loss do not work as well. As such making a concerted effort to get up regularly, clock up our steps each day, eat a calorie controlled diet and even investing in a standing desk are all ways to help stop the inevitable weight gain cycle.
3. We become like those around us
If you work in one of those super healthy office environments where everyone runs at lunchtime and there is not a vending machine in sight, lucky you. On the other hand, if you are surrounded by feeders, there is a birthday cake every second day and it is normal to order pizza for lunch regularly, good luck in keeping your weight under control because unfortunately the research shows we become like those we spend our time with. This means that if your office is not overly healthy, research would suggest you over time will also adopt these less than ideal habits. For this reason, developing your own food and exercise regime and focus to help stick to it is crucial when you are working in a less than healthy work environment.
4. The food environment is tough
Unless you are focused on your nutrition at work, the types of foods readily available at food courts and cafes are unlikely to be ticking the boxes of what we need for weight control. In general we eat far too much carbohydrate and nowhere near as much protein or salad that you need for energy regulation and weight control. For this reason, developing your own food platform so you know exactly what to choose when you are eating away from home, or taking control of your nutrition and prepping a lot more of your food is crucial for nutrition success.
5. Habits build quickly
Spending so much of our time in a work environment, in turn means we also develop food habits that correspond to what is going on in the office – multiple coffee breaks, celebratory feasting, high calorie catering and office foods just some of the areas that can become bad habits in our daily life. On the other hand, working on building stronger nutrition habits is ultimately the key to building a strong nutrition platform to support optimal physical and cognitive performance.
If your workplace could use some more tips and advice on healthy eating, Susie is available for corporate talks. Learn the easy ways you can take control of your nutrition and your health with one of Susie’s inspiring talks including ‘Building your nutrition platform’, ‘The Office Diet Solution’ and ‘Good food for busy women’. To get in touch with us regarding Susie’s availability, get in touch here.