You have career goals that require your full attention throughout the day, and worrying about your next meal doesn’t help, nor does an empty stomach. If you’re like most people in the workforce today, you live day-to-day with tight deadlines and fast-paced work requirements. To stay on top of it all, you need healthy, nutritious, appealing meals and snacks to get you through the sometimes-daunting list of to-dos. One of the most effective ways to get the foods you need consistently from day-to-day is to prepare food ahead of time.
We’ve compiled four of the most important ways meal prep will help you feel better and do better at work.
4 Ways Food Prep Makes You More Productive at Work
Once you start, you’ll be able to:
1. Focus Less on Food
Without food prep or a general understanding of where you’ll get your next snack or meal, you’ll spend a large portion of your day thinking about it. You’ve been there, right? You’re supposed to be working on a report or making a business call, but your mind is at least in part stuck on how much snacks from the vending machine cost and which restaurants will deliver to your workplace. When you plan your meals, you can rest assured knowing you have food waiting for you each day.
It’s not just about your thoughts, either. It may not seem like much at the moment, but digging change out of your wallet and standing in front of the vending machine trying to make a decision takes large chunks of time out of your day. You could instead use that time to complete more work and get closer to your accomplishments. As a meal prepper, when you get hungry, you’ll simply walk into the break room, grab your pre-planned snack and get right back to work.
2. Stay Awake and Energized
“You are what you eat” is a cliché for a reason. The foods you eat for each snack and meal directly affect the way your body feels and functions. Maybe you’re tempted by the vending machines filled with nothing but processed, salty and sugary foods. Perhaps somebody at the office is having a birthday and brought cake. It’s okay to eat unhealthy foods sometimes, but it should be because you want them and not because you were caught in a moment of weakness without a better option.
When you plan your meals and pack foods you actually want to eat, you’re more likely to get the nutrition you need from fruits, vegetables, and protein-packed options. After all, you prepared the food during a time when you weren’t stressed or hungry, which means you were likely to make healthy decisions for your future self. If you eat what you have with you instead of reaching for a candy bar and soda, you’re more likely to feel awake, refreshed and full of energy to meet your work goals.
3. Feel Better Emotionally
The effects of food don’t stop at your physical body. What you eat also changes your emotions throughout the day. Your gastrointestinal tract produces about 95 percent of your serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your moods among several other vital functions.
In today’s communication-heavy work world, you’ll interact with people on a regular basis and constantly take in new information and opinions. You won’t be able to get much done if you have difficulty controlling your emotions.
4. Think More Clearly
Proper nutrition directly affects your ability to think clearly and concentrate, which impacts your chance of excelling at work. Your brain is just as much a part of your physical body as the rest of you, so it needs the right nutrition to stay fit and deliver impressive results.
You have to know your portions to meal prep correctly, which means you understand what foods are best for your body and health. Having the right amount of fats, proteins, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fruits each day will help you think on your feet and stay on top of even the toughest tasks.
Prepare Your Meals for the Above Benefits and More
Food prepping involves more than many people realize. You get to form the relationship with food you want instead of waiting for the whims of each day. You can have fun along the way, too. Keep it simple, plan meals with the exact foods you want, turn on your favorite album or television show in the kitchen and make a day of it — you’ll thank yourself later.
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