Today there is a lot of talk about healthy eating and lifestyle. The articles are full of recommendations on how to become successful at work, stay focused for a long time, increase productivity and simultaneously improve your body shape. You just need to sleep more, eat less, give up sweets, coffee, cigarettes and alcohol.
Simple, isn’t it? Yes, just does not mean easy.
Surely you will agree that in conditions of rush jobs and deadlines, sometimes there is no possibility even to run to the cafe, let alone prepare yourself a healthy lunch with you. Is it possible in such conditions to find a healthy substitute for another cup of coffee with chocolate in the bite to maintain vigor and productivity?
Yes you can. And that’s how it is.
No matter how hard the work, be sure to find time for breakfast. At home or at work.
This leads to an additional release of cortisol, in order to somehow maintain the level of sugar in the blood, sufficient for life. It all turns out to be “bad” stress, a decrease in mental abilities, memory and attention, as well as a deterioration in neurogenesis.
According to some reports, when we skip breakfast, our productivity drops by as much as 50-75%. Therefore, breakfast is necessary.
What is better to eat for breakfast? Here everyone chooses himself:
- Protein breakfast (30-39 g of protein) will retain a feeling of satiety longer and reduce the likelihood of unhealthy snacks. It is also suitable for those who need a lot and actively move or work hard in the morning.
What is: a pair of eggs in any form, meat or fish cutting, cheese, cottage cheese, beans, avocados or nuts. To all this, you can add vegetables or a couple of fruits.
- Breakfast rich in complex carbohydrates will allow you to maintain a stable blood sugar level longer. Suitable for those who are engaged in intellectual work, who need a high concentration of attention or those who try not to eat meat.
What is: fresh fruits, cereals (boiled or sprouted), whole wheat bread, boiled potatoes, cereals (not boiled), cottage cheese casserole. It is advisable to add a portion of fresh or slightly steamed vegetables or bran to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and maintain satiety for longer.
What to avoid: Try not to eat sweet breakfast yoghurts, juices, buns, donuts, muffins and
If you really want sweet for breakfast, do not torture yourself. Eat a little – it will be better than to endure all day, and then eat at night. But just before eating a sweet, eat a serving of fresh or slightly steamed vegetables or bran to fill the volume of the stomach and reduce the harmful effects of high doses of sweets.
To begin with, I will immediately say, I am not against coffee. Especially freshly brewed coffee.According to the latest research (2017), regular consumption of coffee reduces the risk of death from all causes among people of any race.
Healthy people can drink up to 4-5 servings of coffee per day to maintain their intellectual and physical health. In the case of a chronic disease, it is worth consulting with a doctor and reducing the amount of consumed coffee to a comfortable level.
Moreover, as many studies in the field of HR and quality of life, including those conducted by the Gallup Institute, show, short coffee breaks improve the socialization of employees, reduce stress, and facilitate the perception of the work process. And this indirectly improves productivity.
For some of us, the day does not begin with breakfast, but with coffee. It can also continue with a succession of cups of coffee to maintain vigor. This is a big mistake.
First, caffeine does increase energy levels. But when it is oversupplied, unproductive overexcitation is quickly occurring, which can cause additional stress, a feeling of defocus and increase the desire to eat something sweet.
To avoid this, be sure to have breakfast before drinking coffee. At home or at work. Eating will slow down the flow of caffeine into the bloodstream, which means that you will maintain vigor for a longer time without harm to health.
What to drink instead of coffee?
For those who want to reduce daily doses of coffee, green tea or mate is well suited.They contain theine – a type of caffeine, which acts on the body more gently, longer and at the same time well supports working capacity, vigor, physical and mental activity.
Why do you want a sweet day?
If we are busy with work that requires frequent attention switching, a large number of solutions, or multitasking in general (the scourge of our time), dopamine reserves are quickly depleted in our brain.
Dopamine is a hormone that is responsible for switching attention, learning and cognitive abilities, motivation to achieve a goal, curiosity and research.
He actively stands out when we complete tasks of any importance, learn something new or learn something.At the same time, dopamine is also a hormone of instantaneous reward and pleasure, as well as a “fee” for switching attention.
Thus, under stress and multitasking, we very quickly “lose” the stocks of dopamine. And one of the fastest ways to replenish its reserves is, just, sweet.
Unfortunately, the effect of the effects of sweets does not last long, but the harm to the figure and health is quite long-term.
What to do: arrange at work a stock of useful snacks. Fruit, carrot sticks, bran bread, some nuts, peanut butter or hummus. All this will not only restore the level of sugar and dopamine in the body, but also provide the body with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamins.
In moments of fatigue during the day, I really want to drink another cup of coffee or an energy drink in order to somehow cheer up. Fine! This is a reason to get up from the workplace and walk up to … a water cooler.
Intellectual work, stress and dry indoor air increase our body’s need for water.
Try to drink at least 1-1.5 liters of water during the working day. This will allow longer preserve vigor, improve the absorption of new information and reduce the risk of dehydration and overwork.
Dine or not, everyone decides for himself.
In general, you can do without a full meal. No one has canceled the short-fasting technique. The main thing after that is not to break into dinner.
However, from the point of view of the active work of the brain, it is better to keep the blood sugar level at a constant level. For this, I repeat, suitable complex carbohydrates in combination with fiber.
Whole grain bread, bran bread, vegetables with cereals or pasta, will allow you to maintain a stable blood sugar level for longer.
If it’s okay to have dinner, then take with you nuts (preferably no more than a handful, so as not to overeat), fruits, chopped vegetables, avocados or simple cottage cheese. They do not require special storage conditions (except cottage cheese), fill the energy deficit and will be an excellent choice at lunch.
- dried fruits – they have a lot of sugar, and deceptive utility removes all limitations in the brain. Simply put, they are easy to eat and get a loading dose of calories and sugar;
- peanuts – very calorie;
- large portions of fruit and nut mixes – very high in calories;
- sweets, chocolate bars, buns, chips and other “colorful” packaged snacks – very high in calories, cause jumps in blood sugar levels, do not carry nutritional value;
- a regular cup of coffee with a bunch of cream and sugar (see above);
- fast food and fatty foods – they significantly increase the level of triglycerides in the blood after eating. This, in turn, causes drowsiness and significantly reduces performance after lunch.
- A short 10-20 minute walk invigorates better than a cup of coffee, sweet or cigarettes.
- Periodic breaks 1 time in an hour and a half increase concentration of attention and reduce a stress level. In such breaks it is better to go away from the computer and not to use social networks. Instead, take a walk, look out the window, chat with colleagues or call your loved ones.
- 10-minute workout during the work day increases productivity.
- Lack of sleep increases stress, weight and cravings for sweets.
Perhaps, these recommendations are quite enough to maintain vigor and concentration without harm to health and figure. Successes!
Used sources:1. Anacker C., Cattaneo A., Luoni A. et al. Glucocorticoid-Related Molecular Signaling Pathways Regulating Hippocampal Neurogenesis / Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Apr; 38 (5): 872–883.2. Saaltink
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