How dieting impacts your productivity
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Focus, concentration and a cluttered mind affect our productivity.
Your diet could be to blame.
Dieting is a focus on external rules to control our food intake, our activity or our body size. We are not born with a set of societal rules telling us how to eat, or what body shape to desire. These external rules come from our culture.
The problem is these cultural ideations clash with our body's natural shape while external rules contradict our body’s internal eating cues. We are born with innate messages that guide us to eat and move in a way that is healthiest for our body. External rules from our culture can create confusion and distrust with our body’s natural shape and eating behaviours, essentially leading us into a war with our bodies.
Dieting leads us into a war with our bodies
Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to survive food shortages through mechanisms that drive our desire to seek and eat food. In times of food shortage, we are drawn towards food to keep us alive. Rarely will your mind win this war, and if it is managing to hold the power for any length of time, it will feel like a constant ongoing fight.
What side effects of dieting impact productivity?
Restricting our food forces our body to simply survive, rather than providing the nutrients and satisfaction it deserves to thrive. Let's consider some of the side effects of dieting that impact on our productivity.
Skipping meals or simply not eating enough at a meal leads to a lack of energy for our brain. Our food and nutritious drinks provide energy in the form of calories (this is a good thing). Trying to eat low calorie or restrict how much we eat, means less energy for our brain to function. We won’t think as clearly and are less able to achieve complex tasks.
Just as our brain needs energy to function, our body needs energy too. There’s so many life dependent processes for our body to carry out, such as keeping our heart beating, these take priority. So if we are short on energy we will likely feel it in our daily tasks. We may feel sluggish, tired and lazy. We are less likely to want to be active outside of work which in turn affects our mental capacity at work.
Constant food thoughts
If we are trying to restrict certain foods from our diet, we think about them more (and end up eating more of them). Likewise, if we are eating less calories than our body needs, our biological drive to eat is increased. This means that our desire toward food increases and food thoughts can become consuming, leaving us unable to focus on other aspects of our day.
Being in a war with our body is stressful. The constant battle against our body’s strong biological drive to eat invokes chronic stress. When we are chronically stressed, we are less productive and more likely to pick up viruses, causing us to take days off work.
Eating in a way we feel we *should* eat rather than finding true satisfaction in our meals causes ongoing thoughts of food, even in the absence of hunger. Finding foods that satisfy our hunger means less ongoing food thoughts. However, satisfaction is also affected by many other factors such as our environment while eating and how the food makes us feel after.
Having an insufficient amount of calories for brain function, constant thoughts of food and experiencing stress related to our eating behaviours affects our ability to concentrate to our full potential.
Does this sound familiar?
Do you feel your diet could be impacting on your productivity at work? It may be time to give up the battle with your body caused by dieting and find peace, freedom and enjoyment in eating; all while improving your physical and psychological health.
Moving away from the external rules of dieting can take time, especially when we have been using external rules of dieting for many years but it will offer you a lifetime of rewards. To get started towards food freedom, I have created a FREE 5-day audio course ‘Free yourself from dieting’. I explore the science behind dieting and weight and help you begin to move from “dieter” to clear-headed, productive and energetic.
Or for more personalised advice, you can book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how I can help you find food freedom and increased productivity at work.