Productivity Diet: Eating Habits Defines Your Performance

In a world where every minute matters and the most expensive currency is time, we strive to make the most of each day without feeling frustrated, tired, and stressed. But unfortunately, not everyone knows how to stay energized during the working week without losing precious time and being exhausted on a Friday evening.

Maintaining a high energy level is crucial for holding out until the end of those business meetings, effectively solving problems, and saving time for your family or hobby after work. And you'd be surprised, but what you eat plays a significant role in managing these tasks.

Have you ever felt sleepy and sluggish after a filling meal or struggled not to think about the sandwich when hungry during an urgent meeting? Then you have already experienced how strongly the foods we eat affect your stamina and productivity. Still, do you need to worry about it?

Nutrition is a "fuel" for all your vital body systems. The quality of this "fuel" defines your brain's performance, immunity strength, and energy level to manage daily tasks, and that's just the beginning. But food isn't just something we consume to go through the day. It may help you fight excessive stresses or increase your focus, not even mentioning the health benefits nourishing foods can bring.

green salad on the plate

The fact-based link between your diet and productivity

The International Labour Office report states wholesome nutrition can boost our productivity by 20%. So the solution to increasing your daily stamina was always one step away from you. Besides, maintaining a balanced diet sounds like a more accessible option than daily workouts or 9-hour daily sleep.

A healthy diet also influences your job performance. Nevertheless, most people choose to take productivity-boosting courses than fix their diet. That's a crucial mistake because no energy-giving techniques will help if you eat junk food three times a day and drink sugary beverages instead of water.

Research has shown that professionals who consume nutritious food are 25% more likely to deliver better work results. So eating the right foods will benefit your health by boosting energy and promoting your career development and growth as a professional.

According to the research, 66% of employees with unhealthy diets reported they'd faced productivity loss. Simultaneously, people who rarely consume low-fat foods like fruits and vegetables are 93% more likely to be less productive. And that statistics could be frightening when you're aware of another fact — CEOs say they terminate 30% of employees because of poor cognitive performance. That means it's time to reconsider your diet, so it brings you more energy and makes you more efficient at work.

plate with oatmeal and bananas

At the same time, pursuing career heights can harm your personal life. Because when you strive to get enough energy for work, you have no time for your hobbies or family. You can even end up depressed due to the lack of free time. But what would you do if you got extra energy after finishing your work? Maybe you'd like to spend time with your beloved ones or remember old guitar chords? You'll never know if you don't begin improving your stamina level.

And nutrition is the first thing to reconsider for getting an energy boost. The survey shows more than 50% of Americans want to change their eating patterns to feel better and get more energy. But, then, how can you manage your diet when you're always busy?

Eating healthy is possible even if you're always busy

Sometimes things that make you productive can be not so wholesome for your health. That refers to energy drinks, quick unhealthy snacks when you're snowed under working tasks, or staying up late to complete a big project.

Right mindset toward a healthy diet

The first thing we recommend you is to change your mindset towards food. Even if you start eating healthy foods that give you energy, how long will you last? So you must build the groundwork for sustainable eating habits and keep following them even during holidays or vacations. To manage this task, try to change your attitude toward choosing meals.


For some of us, healthy food equals boring and unsavory meals that don't satisfy hunger. A wholesome diet can associate with strict prohibitions and a fixed eating schedule. However, that has little in common with how healthy dieting works.

Healthy food contains fewer fats, salt, and sugar, making it less appealing, states A. Langeveld, a researcher from the Netherlands. Though you can always make it more delicious by adding some seasonings or herbs or making it more salty or sugary - remember, we're not idealists.

Try to think about food not only as a hunger-satisfying "fuel" but also as a remedy to make you more energized and give you time to live fully. It's also worth considering how a particular food will help you become healthier or more energetic. Then it will be easier to find a balance between your body and mind and become a happier person with more time for activities you enjoy.

As they are now that we put on our plates, foods have made a long way through the centuries. During the earliest century, food was a means to survive. Then, with the cuisines' development, people learned it could also be an exquisite pleasure and art. And now, in the age of rush, foods have become an innovative instrument to boost your stamina and wellness.

It's up to us how to use this instrument; still, many people choose to ignore the possible benefits wholesome nutrition can give us. Unfortunately, such an approach makes you less energized and can cause severe health disorders and diseases.

smoothie and strawberry on the table

So we suggest beginning our journey into the world of energizing foods and healthy nutrition by discovering why the balanced macronutrient diet is crucial for your wellbeing and stamina.

Eating habits that can damage your productivity

Aside from causing tiredness and giving you less energy than you need, an unhealthy diet is a dangerous state. It may affect your job performance and cause severe health disorders like stroke or diabetes. According to the World Heart Federation, an unhealthy diet links to four leading risk factors that cause death. But how can you know your diet is unhealthy? Several signs can tell your diet is poor:

Too much fast-food

Let's begin with the #1 balanced diet enemy - fast foods. They're easy to get, and some of us are even addicted to them. But eating fried or fat-rich foods too often may lead to increased levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. Thus, it can cause severe heart disorders like a heart attack or stroke, metabolic syndrome, and even increase the risk of vision loss.

Fast foods like burgers, fries, donuts, and chips are rich in trans fats. Eating them will eventually cause inflammation and insulin resistance in your body, making you more vulnerable to such diseases as diabetes or heart disorders. A study has shown people who eat fast foods have a 50% higher risk of getting depressed.

Eating fast foods can also lower your energy and overall productivity. Added sugars and refined carbs in burgers and donuts cause an instant insulin surge and drop in your blood sugar level. Thus, you feel sleepy, tired, and crave more food.

fast food

Make healthy fast foods alternatives part of your balanced diet

Let's be realistic, fast foods have become a part of our lives, and it's hard to restrict ourselves from eating them. But you can hack your brain by eating visually similar but way healthier foods.

Replace a regular royal cheeseburger with a homemade one packed with greens and a low-fat patty. Instead of getting an enormous pepperoni pizza, choose one with veggies and cheese. Even such small steps can make a difference in your health.

High-calorie diet

Each of us has our basal metabolic rate (BMR) - the minimal amount of calories our body needs to function at rest. We burn more calories than we can add to the BMR during our daily activities. Dieticians suggest 2000 calories as a daily calorie intake for women and 2500 for men.

But we also have different regimens. Some of us spend much time being physically active. In contrast, others may do a lot of office work without any activities. Then, when you consume more calories than your body burns, your diet may lead to obesity and diabetes.

A high-calorie diet may also lead to an increase in visceral fat in your body. Fat deposits near the essential organs like the stomach or liver, slowing their work. You can count your daily calorie intake norm in numerous online calculators by adding your activity and eating preferences, then stick to it.

pizza on white plate

Overeating at some point will expand your stomach, and you'll need more food to satisfy your hunger. Plus, consuming too many calories will slow your metabolism, as the number of enzymes responsible for digesting food is limited. Thus, you'll always feel heaviness, slackness, and sleepiness.

How can you eat more without side effects?

If you get used to more calories, changing your eating routine wouldn't be easy. But some life hacks will help you eat more without getting obsessed or facing energy drops.

Our hint is to eat more low-calorie but filling products. By eating chips, you get less energy but more calories. But if you choose legumes with turkey and some greens, you'll be full for a long time without consuming extra calories.

Diet too high in carbs

Dietary guidelines suggest that daily carbs intake should be around 40-60%. But usually, you'll have no time to measure what and how much you eat. If you eat more carbs than your body needs, you may end up with metabolic disorders. Excessive carbs intake leads to constant higher blood sugar levels, which, in turn, can cause inflammation, obesity, and a higher risk of heart diseases.

Eating too many carbs rich in sugar increases your risk of getting diabetes 2. What also matters is the type of carbs you eat. Suppose you prefer simple carbs like white bread, jams, sweetened milk, or cereals. In that case, you only boost your blood sugar level without getting enough energy.

cinnamon pancakes

Your body digests simple carbs quickly, so you'll consume more of them and overeat. Besides, a diet high in carbs causes sugar blood spikes, which results in constant headaches and migraines. As a result, you'll have less energy during the day, be dizzy, and be stressed.

How can you meet your daily carb norm?

If you're eating too many carbs, the first thing you can do is manage your carb portions. Then you can define the type of carbs you consume and make complex carbs preferable. They should make up half of your plate.

For instance, white bread, pasta (except the whole grain one), cakes, and waffles are simple carbs. You can replace them with sweet potatoes, legumes, grains, and oats.

Low-carb diet

As carbs are the powerful energy source our body needs, eating too few of them has adverse effects on your physical and mental stamina. Although a low-carb diet can help you lose weight, it may lead to severe heart diseases like arrhythmias.

A low-carb diet increases your risk of osteoporosis, kidney disorders, and cancer. A low-carb diet lowers your energy, causing chronic tiredness and weakness. If you suddenly and significantly limit your carb intake, it may lead to constipation, muscle cramps, and headaches. And what about frightening statistics? People with low-carb diets have a 32% higher risk of dying prematurely.

salad on the plate

A diet low in carbs increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases by up to 50%. Eating few carbs also impairs your brain performance - a low-carb diet causes ketosis. It's a process when your body runs out of carbs and starts breaking down stored fats. During ketosis, you may find it hard to focus, make decisions, or even face a "brain fog."

Meet your daily carbs norm

No weight-loss programs equal your health, so meeting a daily carb norm is crucial in a balanced diet. However, consuming enough carbs during the day may be challenging.

Then you can try to meet your norm by eating carb-rich fruits like mangoes or bananas. Consider oats as an excellent choice for getting enough carbs without stomach heaviness.

Too many sugars in the diet

Eating too many foods rich in sugar is one of the top reasons why people become obese around the world. According to the survey, an average U.S. resident consumes 77g of sugar daily, which is twice the norm recommended by dieticians.

Survey has proved sugar consumption can make you sleepy and less alert, leading to an energy slump. At the same time, sugary foods aren't giving you energy, as you may have heard before. What's more terrific, people with a high sugar intake have a 38% increased risk of dying from a heart attack.

How to add healthy sugar to your diet?

Many of the foods you consume may include more sugar than you think. Just 375 ml or 13 oz cola contains ten sugar teaspoons. You can significantly lower your daily sugar intake by removing soft drinks from your diet. Also, you can consume less sugar by eating more fruits containing healthy glucose.

sugar pancakes

Too "salty" diet

Your body needs nearly 500 mg of salt per day. Nevertheless, an average person consumes 1,5 teaspoons of salt, two times higher than the daily norm. Consuming extra salt makes your body hold to liquids, which overloads your blood vessels. And when you overload your blood vessels for a long time, they become stiff, causing heart diseases like heart attack, high blood pressure, or stroke.

Salt makes you thirsty, so you're drinking more soft-drinks high in calories. High salt intake has a long-term property of causing kidney stones and increasing the amount of calcium in your urine. By consuming too salty foods, you also increase the risk of becoming obese.

How to eat less salt in your diet?

Avoiding fast foods and refined foods may sound too trite. Thus, follow various tips like replacing the salt cellar from your dining table or choosing sauces with less salt. Another hint is to choose healthy salad dressing like lemon juice instead of mayonnaise.