It's February. It's cold, it's gloomy and it's (usually) raining - so it's easy to succumb to the winter blues. But if you want to be a high-performer, you need to stay on top of your game - and according to Tim Bean, a corporate wellness expert from www.thehardedge.com, this will only happen if you look after your body properly, allowing you to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Here are his top tips:
1. Eat little and often
To keep performing at a top level all day you need to eat nutritious small meals or snacks throughout the day (around 5 in total, every 3 hours) - and not snacks, grained foods or junk food. If you are losing energy by 3pm, you’ve blown it! All the best negotiators negotiate at the end of the day. Why? Because they know they will get the best deal while others have their guard down.
2. Watch your alcohol consumption
One glass of wine usually contains 2 units of alcohol, and has the same amount of sugar calories as a can of cola (8 teaspoons, or 120 calories). To stay sharp in the office, don't drink during the week, and to stay in shape at the weekends don't have more than 2 drinks per night. What happens? You get tired, irritable and moody. What happens then? You reach for a nice, fatty, sugary, instant 'comfort' snack.
3. Eat what you need, not what you feel like
Next time you’re eating out, just change one little word in the question you ask yourself. Instead of saying, 'What do I feel like', switch to, 'What do I need?' To perform at our best we need to start thinking nutrition instead of feelings. Your physical requirements are the reason you eat, and changing the framework of your thinking is the first step towards freeing yourself from the plethora of emotional excuses!
4. Care about your health
Regular injuries, sickness, poor immune systems and psychological disorders are now at the highest they have ever been within the business sector. The greatest threat to the corporate bottom line is men who simply aren’t bothered and think health is predestined.
5. If your competitors are in better shape than you, start worrying!
Take two identical people who live similar lives and are about the same age, and put them in decision-making mode. One has an optimal diet and balanced hormone levels; the other is carrying a big belly and a strong belief that he operates from the neck up. It will be the one in the best physical health who will make better decisions more consistently and for longer. If that's your competitor, you will be outpaced.
6. Eat colourful, natural unprocessed foods
The secret to keeping a flat belly and a sharp mind is to eat only brightly-coloured unprocessed foods and eliminate man-made beige coloured foods. Dairy and wheat have a disruptive effect on your hormones, suppressing testosterone, energy, focus and drive and elevating oestrogen, promoting fat storage.
7. Lift weights and lose weight
The key to getting in great shape and keeping a healthy hormonal balance is to lift weights. Because of the sedentary nature of most corporate jobs, over 50% of men over 40 years of age are now overweight.
8. Don't try and cheat
There can be no compromise or sneaking habits when dealing with your body, because it will reflect immediately on your clothes size, how you feel and your body composition results.
9. Don't destroy your testosterone levels
Drinking alcohol also suppresses the main alpha male and female drive hormone testosterone. What you eat and drink today is how you will feel, think and look tomorrow - in the boardroom and the bedroom.
10. Don't try and run a Ferrari on lawnmower fuel!
Don't expect your body to run at its best on junk food - even if you do exercise regularly. If you have a high-performance career and a high-performance lifestyle, you need to understand what your body needs to keep running at optimum levels.
Tim Bean is a corporate wellness expert from www.thehardedge.com.
Tim is presenting a new One Day Masterclass on 27th February, London:
Hunter-Gatherers in the Corporate Jungle - for top execs
Book via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 870 4557.