How a bad lunch can wreck your afternoon productivity

Healthy Food Options for Business Meeting

Making smart snacking choices and healthy lunchtime decisions can dramatically improve your afternoon productivity at work. See if you’re guilty of these bad food decisions.

Can eating a bad lunch really tank my afternoon productivity?

You know the situation well: It’s looking like it’s going to be a late lunch because you’ve been “just wrapping something up” for an hour and a half. It doesn’t really feel like you’re making progress, and yet the clock says it’s been an hour since you told your coworker you’d be just a minute and would join them for a proper (healthy even!) lunch break. You’ve got a big client meeting in 20 minutes, so you need to wolf something down quickly if you’re going to eat at all.

Your energy and self-control are bottoming out, so it’s very easy to say yes to the burger shop down the street, even though you know that such high fat meals provide sustained energy, but require your “digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us groggy.” And it makes sense, according to Harvard Business Review:

“Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper and faster than healthy alternatives, making them all the more alluring in the middle of a busy workday. They feel efficient. Which is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day.”

Keep that in mind next time you know your morning and afternoon are going to be slammed and make wise food decisions before you’re too hungry and swamped to give in to the fast food devil on your shoulder.

Is grazing on small food portions throughout the day a good idea?

While feasts are often festive and fun, when was the last time you walked out of one and didn’t feel like an extended nap? Making a habit of a large lunchtime feast may not be the answer to your hunger pangs. In a study on the physiology of willpower, researchers from Florida State University point out that, “Glucose enables cerebral functioning by providing the fuel for neurons to fire impulses. The brain must receive an adequate supply of glucose in order to function effectively.”

Since nearly all the food we eat is converted to glucose, keeping the brain supplied with adequate levels of energy and glucose throughout the day, rather than big spikes and drops throughout the day, our productivity will certainly benefit and our minds will stay more consistently sharp and alert.

Carting in fruits and vegetables to the office is hard – why are they one of my best productivity options?

Although strictly correlational, a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology showed that, “Young adults who ate more [fruits and vegetables] reported higher average…well-being, more intense feelings of curiosity, and greater creativity compared with young adults who ate less [fruits and vegetables].”

One of the theories posited was that “Fruits and vegetables contain vital nutrients that foster the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the experience of curiosity, motivation, and engagement. They also provide antioxidants that minimize bodily inflammation, improve memory, and enhance mood.”

So there you have it. It can be a hassle to haul in your sack of fruits, veggies, almonds and protein bars to the office every week, but if you’re looking to achieve peak workplace performance, are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen?

Interested in hosting a healthy meeting full of snack and beverage options that will fuel you and your team to a productive new level? Contact the event planners at Vue today to get your healthy meeting started.

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