Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Low energy levels lead to high-calorie intake...and low productivity

Having just proven my previous research correct, I just finished a bunch of cake. Late at night. When my will power was (is) low.

Studies and personal experience confirm how much easier it is to resist processed and high-calorie foods in the supermarket than in your fridge.

I pretend that putting desserts in the freezer will hide them from me and I won't remember to go for them. Except late at night, when I just KNOW they are there and sometimes give in.

While I'm not the only person that does this, it's still frustrating to feel full with no real benefits from the intake.

The key to these lapses may be our pre-snack energy levels because self-control requires energy (this downloads a PDF).



We tend to be lower on self-control when we are also low on energy.  And we tend to like energy-dense (high-calorie) foods when we can get them. This can explain why we tend to choose chocolate cake over fruit salad when we are tired or otherwise lack the energy resources for our brains to process information well.


Moreover, while that quick snack is, in fact, quick, it lacks the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we actually need to function properly, so after the initial energy burst, eating the cake tends to make us less productive afterwards.

Eating more vegetables and fruits during the day tends to make us feel better and more curious, creative, and engaged with our surroundings. Given the far higher nutritional benefits from fruits and veggies, these findings really shouldn't surprise us.

Productivity research, as depicted in the infographic in this article, tells the same story.  If/when you read over this one (it's a long one!), you might enjoy the others in the article as well!

The data keep coming back to the importance of diet in our functioning: eat well and we'll feel better, look better, sleep better, work better, etc. So someone please explain all that cake I just ate?



4 comments:

  1. What a post this is for eye surgery!I pretend that putting desserts in the freezer will hide them from me and I won't remember to go for them. Except late at night, when I just KNOW they are there and sometimes give in.Business Related Information

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    1. Yes! MooreT -- the freezer works only sometimes... and of course ice cream always lives in the freezer! I just can't buy it...

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  3. Great information. Thanks for providing us such a useful information. Keep up the good work and continue providing us more quality information from time to time. Richard K. Acevedo

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