I believe there’s a direct relationship between the food you eat, the diet you follow and how successful you become in life. Your attitude towards food, the quality and amount of food you consume (diet), the ability to cook and prepare meals in advance, and your activity level at work all play a big part in your career success. Let me define what I mean by food, diet and success before I explain the correlation between the three.

What is food?

Food is an essential source of energy for the human body. Food contains nutrients and vitamins that enable your muscles and organs to function properly and carry out everyday tasks that may be voluntary or involuntary and require physical and mental effort. Food also enables the body to heal itself by repairing old or damaged cells, and strengthen the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. In essence, food is life-giving energy because you will die in less than 30 days without eating food, and much sooner if you don’t drink water. Due to the abundance of food in our modern world, most people seem to view food as pleasure for the tongue, and dining out purely as a pastime.

What is diet?

Diet means controlled eating habits, not restricted consumption of food. Too little or too much of food intake will prevent the human body from functioning properly which may in some cases lead to death. Diet means consuming an adequate amount of nutrient-rich foods based on a person’s weight, height and daily activity levels.

What is success?

Success has many definition but here it means making a lot of money in a legitimate way by providing outstanding services or selling quality products as a self-employed professional, business owner or aspiring employee.

The relation between food, diet and success.

When you are at work doing your job, the body converts food into energy for both physical and mental tasks. Even writing on a computer in a seated position from 9am to 5pm requires energy. Therefore, if you don’t eat enough quality food:

  • you may feel tired and unmotivated at work
  • you may struggle to concentrate on important tasks
  • you may fail to come up with creative solutions to difficult problems
  • you are more likely to get an injury from doing manual work
  • you may experience short-term memory loss which in turn decreases your performance
  • you may be unable to analyse information quickly and make bad decisions

Long-term consequences of poor diet.

Fast forward a few months of not eating enough carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals and you will have lost a significant amount of weight, your bones will have become fragile and your immune system too weak to defend you from getting ill, especially when you are cold or under stress. A year later you might need to take time off work so frequently that you lose too many customers and opportunities that your business fails or you’re made redundant. You must be well-nourished to reach lasting success.

How to remain healthy while chasing success?

Once you realise the importance of food and diet in regards to staying healthy and successful, especially between your 30s and 60s, you must put that knowledge into practice.

(1) Get in the habit of going food shopping every week. Buy whole foods only, not ready-made meals. My personal shopping list usually includes rice, lentils, beans, chick peas, frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, sweet corn), broccoli, sweet potatoes, oats, soy milk, nuts and spices.

(2) Learn to cook a few basic but healthy meals. My favourite work meal is boiled pilau rice with lentils, peas, sweet corn, sweet potatoes and Quorn meat-free pieces. It takes less than an hour to make and it’s very nutritious.

(3) Cook your meals in bulk. Preparing your work meals in bulk is a tremendous time saver. You only need to cook for 1 or 2 hours and organise your food in tubs. On your lunch break at work, pull out a tub box, warm up your food in a microwave and enjoy a quick but healthy pre-made meal. Perfect for busy days packed with meetings!

(4) Snack on healthy foods only. It’s normal to feel the need to snack on something little in the afternoon. Nuts, seeds and fruit is the healthiest you could have. I personally bring a small pot of peanuts and raisins. Bananas and oranges are also an option.