Last week we talked about the best foods to include in your breakfast ( and after) if you want to have an amazingly positive and productive day. Now, let’s discuss what you should avoid. These are foods that will zap your energy, distract your mind, and make you crash just when you need your focus and concentration the most. Don’t fall victim to these!
1) Candy. This one’s pretty obvious. Candy will give you a sugar high and may make you feel good for about 20 minutes, but the crash you will feel afterwards is just not worth it especially if it’s important for you to be “on” all day. You will feel quickly feel lethargic, down, and may even get a headache. Skip candy if you want to have a productive day.
2) Energy drinks. I know they are marketed as giving you energy, but the short burst of energy that these drinks provide comes at a big expense. These drinks have loads of unnatural ingredients that are terrible for your health. There’s also high amounts of caffeine which may give you a boost, but you will experience a crash shortly after. Also, if you consume this later in the day, you probably won’t be able to fall asleep and will definitely not have a productive day tomorrow. The only way to keep going if you choose this route is to continue consuming coffee and energy drinks until you’re done with your task. However, your brain probably won’t be functioning very well—- and eventually neither will the rest of your body. This is simply not a sustainable or long term solution.
3) Energy bars. Energy bars are marketed as healthy meal replacements but to be honest you might as well just eat a cookie and enjoy yourself! The ingredients in most of these bars aren’t much healthier than their taboo alternatives. With added sugars, syrups, oils, and other ingredients you can’t pronounce — energy bars are the health food marketers version of a candy bar. That means they will give you a quick sugar high but then leave you tired and hungry. Choose a healthier snack instead.
4) Cheeseburger – Eating a cheeseburger at lunch will make you feel heavy and lethargic— the very opposite of productive. A cheeseburger has tons and tons of saturated fat plus refined carbohydrates (the bad kind.) So a cheeseburger has a lot of calories, but it doesn’t give you the right kind of energy for the activities that you will want to complete afterwards. Eating so much meat and cheese is also not doing anything positive for your digestive system so you will likely be dealing with the aftermath of consuming these products instead of focusing on being productive.
5)French Fries – Just like the cheeseburger, eating a lot of french fries in the middle of the day is likely to make you feel lazy and sleepy. Anything deep fried and greasy has a similar effect. You certainly won’t want to go for a 2 mile jog after eating a portion, not to mention think deeply and analytically about anything. French fries won’t add any nutrition to your body — just empty calories. Skip these if you want to have a productive day.
6) Muffins– These little treats are a fixture at offices everywhere… but beware if you want to have a productive day. Muffins are loaded with sugar—and even though some have a reputation for being a healthy alternative to something like a cupcake, they’re not. Your basic, medium sized, plain blueberry muffin has around 37g of sugar and 61 total grams of carbs. Muffins with even more sweet ingredients like chocolate have even more sugar. Like candy, these will give you a sugar high and crash while adding hundreds of empty calories without truly energizing you. Avoid these earlier in the day and if you absolutely must, take one home as a treat for dessert.