Fuel = energy. This is not a new fact nor one that should surprise anyone who took an elementary level biology class. We eat in order to fuel our bodies to do the incredible things we do every single day. However, is the way we eat doing the absolute most for our bodies? And I’m not talking about the food we’re consuming (although healthy choices are ALWAYS encouraged and ALWAYS ideal) but rather the times throughout the day that we choose to consume.
Intermittent fasting is a wild trend within the health-driven community and is also making waves in reverence to the entrepreneurial crowd. Its health benefits are quite hard to ignore when it comes to weight loss, heart health, and diabetes prevention/reversal. However, what isn’t so widely talked about is the way it can improve our productivity while at work.
Here are some hard facts that may turn your entrepreneurial heads towards the magic of intermittent fasting.
Food coma no more!; We all know about that post-meal work slump. Whether it’s the deliciously massive breakfast burrito from across the street or a quick bowl of cereal that’s eaten behind the wheel en route to the office- it doesn’t matter what or when; digestion takes ENERGY. This is that extra bit of energy that we may need to push us through that meeting that went a half hour over. The energy to meet that deadline that came up all too fast. The energy to simply keep a smile on our faces and stay alert during some of our most brain stifling moments of the day. According Pique's "The Flow" website, intermittent fasting causes us to use stored calories instead of the calories we are currently digesting. This means we aren’t losing any of that energy to digestion, giving us the ultimate caloric energy boost. Say goodbye to the food coma and hello to productivity!
Promotes brain health; Fasting is linked to brain health in various ways. From stroke and Alzheimer’s prevention to lengthening the life of cognitive functions- I could write an entire thesis on the benefits this trend has on the brain. However, to keep it within our entrepreneurial interests, I’ll talk about BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). As Mark Sisson mentions in his post, BDNF is a protein within the brain that helps existing neurons survive, specifically within the parts of the brain that regulate memory, learning, and cognitive function. AKA; the parts of our brain we need for WORK. Intermittent fasting increases the number of these proteins, ultimately making us more cognitively functional workers. Your welcome BOSS.
No more food distractions; Ever find yourself mid-workflow only to stop in the middle for a snack break? Or perhaps you have a specific time everyday where you get up for a handful of your favorite treats and before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole bag. The majority of intermittent fasters choose to do their fasting overnight and into the morning. This means not eating until closer to the lunch hours of the day. To parallel this, the majority of entrepreneurs find they are most productive in the hours before lunch. Intermittent fasting eliminates the distraction of snacking through the work hours, which takes up more time than you may even realize. Once your body is comfortable with the routine of the fast, you’ll no longer crave those snacks and you’ll be able to use your most productive time of the day even more productively.
Intermittent fasting can be an intimidating lifestyle change to tackle at first. However, with the proper research and preparation, it can give you sustainable results that go beyond losing belly fat and hunger pangs. And while it may not be for everyone, it’s certainly worth the research.
Check out our post on food prep to kickstart your intermittent fasting journey with healthy meal options to boost your productivity even further.