How to eat your way to happiness at work

Some things are just going to put you in a bad mood, like not getting enough sleep or getting a parking ticket. Same applies to your diet when you are not eating what your body needs to sustain its energy levels.

Your diet directly affects your output and productivity at work. It also directly affects your mood. The word hangry, a portmanteau of hungry and angry is a perfect describer for what happens if you don’t eat right. You become irritable and short tempered. It’s your body’s way of telling you it’s unbalanced and needs food.

What you eat affects your happiness. Research has shown time and time again that what you eat affects your mood. We also know that the food we eat is converted into glucose (energy) by our bodies and that’s what we need to make it through the day.

Don’t skip breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your breakfast should have a base carbohydrate as its main energy source. Wholegrain bread and low sugar cereals (such as corn flakes) are your allies here. It’s also a good idea to throw some protein into the mix.

Peanut butter and almond butter are good sources of protein in the morning, as are eggs. You can have any of these with a slice of toast.

East small but frequently

To avoid feeling bloated, avoid huge meals. Aim to eat 5 meals a day, spread out over the course of the day. Breakfast – snack – lunch – snack – dinner. If you stick to that, you’ll keep your energy levels up.

Cut down on the sugar and caffeine

If you constantly consume sugary foods and caffeine heavy drinks, your body can become dependent on them. You can get cravings which make you irritable and lower your mood, a bad combination for the workplace, so if you’re feeling tired have a banana and drink plenty of water – if your body is short of fluids one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue.

Some sugars are okay in small quantities, such as fructose (which you get from fruit), however you should avoid eating glucose which is what you’ll find in sweets and chocolate.

Meal prep for the week

Prepping your work lunches is a great way to ensure you are getting everything you need to avoid the afternoon slump and stops you over spending. Spending a few hours on a Sunday prepping your lunches for the week really pays off.

Include your snacks as part of your meal prep to help you avoid the heading to the vending machine for some crisps at 4pm.

You need healthy fats

Healthy fats are a good mood food. Your body produces the neurotransmitters and hormones that make you feel happy after eating them.

Some foods are very fatty, but not all fats are bad for you. You want to avoid saturated fats and go for unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are proven to improve blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart attack.

Choose wholesome foods like nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados and fatty fish and don’t worry about fat making you fat either – that doesn’t happen. You put on weight if you consume more calories than you burn.