When speaking about productivity, food is rarely taken into account as an influencing factor.

Personal food selections have many factors because of variables such as geographical location, culture, societal pressures, personal habits, personal taste, health factors, etc. All variables considered, there are still important guidelines to consider to develop healthy and lasting eating habits over time.

1 Get in the habit of eating breakfast

Generally, the day starts with low energy since the body utilizes reserves available during sleeping hours. This factor makes breakfast very important since it helps replenish the body’s nutritional needs. For some people, the desire to eat isn’t present in the mornings, which is okay. The important lesson here is to make wise choices with nutrition with the first meal of the day and to not overeat with heavy selections later in the day because of the absence of breakfast. For those who crave sweets in the morning, fresh fruits may be ideal for breakfast selections, as they have natural sugars.

2 Respect meal times

Maintaining a routine in relation to the times at which we eat our main meals of the day will allow our body to sustain good metabolism and influence the efficient use of nutrients that we ingest through food. Dedicate consistent meal times for each meal; eat slowly, chewing well and without distractions. This is the time to forget about the stresses of work.

3 Put together a weekly menu

Creating a weekly meal plan promotes healthy eating and time organization.

It’s not only important to respect meal times but to manage the quality of food we eat.

Also, identifying the busiest days of our week is essential for meal planning options such as meal prep or identifying a place where you can buy nutritional, ready-to-eat food.

4 Include a variety of foods

The variety of foods ingested is essential to ensure a proper supply of all the nutrients our body needs on a daily basis, (meat, dairy products, eggs, cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and vegetables oils). This is all with respect to individual needs and goals.

5 Respect portions

For the general population, the ideal nutrition plate is made up of 50% vegetables (raw and/or cooked), 25% protein source foods (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and derivatives, legumes, nuts), and 25% carbohydrate source foods (flour, pasta, polenta, rice, oatmeal, potato, sweet potato, corn, among others). These percentages also need to be accompanied by quality fats derived from vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, and oily fruits (avocado, olives).

All distributions listed need adaptations depending on personal needs and objectives.

6 Things to keep in mind when cooking

Whenever possible, choose natural foods over processed ones.

When cooking, try to opt for cooking methods that best preserve the food’s nutrients while not increasing caloric intake. Healthy methods of cooking for maximum nutrition are baking, grilling, boiling, and steaming. Frying is a method of cooking that kills nutritional value while increasing caloric intake. Consume raw oils as condiments, in seeds and nuts.

Be mindful of the intake of salt in your meals.

7 Hydration

Our body is 60% water, and many of our vital functions depend on it.

Proper hydration has a direct impact on concentration and mental agility. In other words, there is a close relationship between proper hydration and productivity.

In general, it is recommended to drink between 2-2.5 liters of water per day.

You don’t have to wait until you’re thirsty to drink water; it is important to always have water available to drink, and, if necessary, set alarms so hydration isn’t forgotten.

There is no other liquid or beverage that 100% substitutes water. The best alternatives to pure water are homemade flavored waters with fruits and spices. It is important to moderate the consumption of alcohol, soft drinks, and industrial games since they increase the risk of dehydration.

Written by Agustina Taglioli, BD in nutrition.

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