Hardly surprising, because stress can make us crave sugar and unhealthy fats, and Debbie from marketing takes it upon herself to provide a constant supply of biscuits. Beat the ticking timebomb of temptation with this productivity menu…
Five minutes cooking pays off: yolks are a great source of choline, a B vitamin that charges your memory. Eat them on rye toast and the complex carbs will power you through to lunch.
If you can’t face breakfast first thing, cook a big batch of steel-cut oats with whey protein at the beginning of the week and take a portion with you to work every day.
Caffeine is most effective now as it promotes the production of more wakey-wakey cortisol (1). When you order your coffee, remember it’s the caffeine you’re after, not sugary milk or hazelnut syrup. A black Americano or straight espresso will give you a lift.
Red meat is one of the best sources of iron, the mineral used to produce red blood cells, which help store and carry energising oxygen around your body. Meanwhile, broccoli is rich in vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron better. There’s a light at the end of your afternoon, after all.
Salmon salad with red peppers, spinach and quinoa is the top vegetarian option: omega 3 from the oily fish boosts brain power, quinoa and spinach are good sources of iron, and red peppers pack more vitamin C than oranges, so you can be sure you’re getting the most nutrients from your nosh.
As the energy from lunch wears off, you may experience an urge to snack that makes you restless and unable to concentrate. Some people, like good old Debbie, get a kick out of feeding others. That’s her issue; don’t get involved. Be polite as you refuse, saying, ‘This is so tempting, but I had a big lunch’, but stick to what you know is right for your body. Eating at your desk doesn’t satisfy cravings anyway: snacking at your computer doesn’t make you feel that full, which inevitably puts you at risk of overeating (2). Make a cup of green tea: each soothing sip delivers L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve frustration.
Flying out of the office will boost your energy so much you’ll forget the cravings that have haunted you all day.