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Why what you eat matters even more if you’re self employed

If you work for a company and don’t feel well, you either don’t go in, or go in and don’t do much. When you’re self employed, that isn’t a luxury you have. It can mean rearranging clients or getting behind on work which may have a huge financial impact on you and increase your stress. What you eat and the lifestyle you lead can have a huge impact on your immune system and productivity throughout the day.

Typically, UK diets are high in sugar and carbohydrate which are not great for a whole host of reasons but this week I want to focus on what they do to your productivity and immunity. As entrepreneurs, time is also pressured so grabbing something like a sandwich, chocolate bar/ cakes and biscuits or a ready meal is the quick option.

When you eat carbohydrates whether it’s sugar or bread, pasta, rice etc, your blood sugar rises. The amount it rises by and the amount of insulin released by the pancreas to combat it depends on what you’re eating. A bar of chocolate will have a much bigger impact than a slice of cooked chicken. When you’re constantly eating carbs, you’re body constantly goes through this process which not only raises your risk of type 2 diabetes but sends your energy levels all over the place. You know that mid afternoon slump? That’s because your energy levels from lunch have dipped too low.

Eating a high sugar diet can also impact your immune system for between 5 and 24 hours after eating so if you regularly eat lots of sugar, your immune system will be functioning much lower. This means you’re at a higher risk of picking up germs and that can mean downtime from work.

So what can you do? Well, the first thing to do is reduce the actual sugar (cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks etc) you eat. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine so you have to change your mindset too. Willpower alone won’t help as it makes up just 5% of your brain. Here are my top tips for beating the sugar addiction:

  1. Cut down gradually if your consumption is high. Pick 1 thing to start with e.g. fizzy drinks rather than cutting it all out.
  2. Change your mindset and avoid saying things like “sugar is banned” and “I can’t have that” because you will crave it more. Instead choose positive affirmations like “It is easy for me to be healthy” and “I choose to eat foods that nourish me”.
  3. Get yourself some accountability. It’s really easy to sneak things in when no one else is holding you accountable. Make sure you’re 100% honest with them too so they know if you have slipped up.
  4. Get rid of all the sugar in the house. Out of sight out of mind is definitely true here. If you have children, they really don’t need sugar either and encourage your partner to get on board too.
  5. Reward yourself with something other than food or drink. Put money in a jar and use it for some pampering, new clothes etc but not food or drink!

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