The most common reason I am given for not following a healthy lifestyle is “I haven’t got time”. This includes either lack of exercise/activity and/or unhealthy diet (poor nutrition). This excuse was also the most common when researching weight loss programmes and why they fail.
Nutrition = Productivity
The irony here is that leading a healthy lifestyle will actually make you more productive and in the long-term save you time. Your brain is an obligate user of glucose. What I mean by this is that it is optimally designed to use glucose as a fuel. It can use ketone bodies, and these are produced when following a low carbohydrate or high protein diet. The thing about this is that it does not function anywhere near optimally when using these ketones. Something like 20% of your total basal metabolic rate (BMR) (this is the kcal you need to survive at rest) is used by the brain. This means that if you have a poor diet your brain cannot possibly be functioning optimally. Let’s take a scenario where you get up early, grab a quick cup of coffee as you run out the door. You now get stuck in traffic on your commute in to the office. Traffic jams are stressful so your body sends out stress hormones these in turn up-regulate your metabolic rate as a flight/fight response. You are now burning more kcal’s as you sit there. You’ve skipped breakfast so your liver glycogen (the body’s backup energy reserve) is depleted because you use this when sleeping. You now get into the office and you have to make some key decisions in a morning meeting. Often when glucose levels are low it affects people’s mood so perhaps you’re a bit irritable as well. This rubs off on your colleagues so they’re not that co-operative either. You make the decision but it is ill judged and not a very good move for the business. You will now spend the next six months living with the consequences of this and firefighting the damage it has caused.
Had you had breakfast that day you would have been properly fuelled, made a better decision and reaped the rewards. Compare this to the previous scenario where you are in damage limitation mode for months. Exactly how much time has this wasted? Let’s say for the sake of argument its five hours a week (different staff members time as well). Can you now see why I am saying you have got time for a healthy lifestyle; in fact your business can’t afford anything else? What is more this scenario takes no account of time lost through illness caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. From this point on spend a bit of time each week planning your meals and working out how you will get active each day. This could be the best hours brainstorming you have ever done, both for the business and your quality of life.
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