Ah the life of a solopreneur! Freedom from work routine and the daily commute and office politics. Finally able to pursue your passion, without being held back by a team or boss who don’t share your vision. This is something of a romantic notion that is not the reality for most small business owners.
Life on the road, living out of a suitcase and networking events at the crack of dawn are the reality for most of us. Perhaps the most difficult aspect to keep on top of is the food we are consuming. A lifestyle of eating away from home, breakfast fry-ups, networking coffees and evening drinks can have its downsides. Inadvertently, we may stepping onto the energy roller coaster. Up one minute, down the next; experiencing weight gain, feeling ‘spaced out’ and general lethargy. Not great when you need to write a blog post, deliver a marketing presentation or meet with a potential client.
Most of my clients are business owners, who travel extensively and often don’t have full control over the food they are eating. Working with them, I have discovered three steps that will allow you to eat out, and still ensure you’re super focused when it’s time to get to work.
Step 1. Discover your Metabolic Type
This is the equivalent of knowing what fuel to put in your car. You wouldn’t put diesel into a petrol car and expect it to drive. So why do that with your body?
We all have a Metabolic Type; there are three types: Carbohydrate, Protein and Mixed. For example, as a Protein Type, I need to be aware of eating excessive ‘naked carbs.’ That is a carb source without a fat and protein to slow the rate at which I burn through the energy and keep me on my game for longer. No Metabolic Type is better than any other, and discovering yours will literally change the way you look at food forever!
Step 2. Learn what constitutes a fat, protein and carbohydrate
For clear thinking and even, all-day energy we need the right balance of all three macronutrients, eating the right proportions for our Metabolic Type. The only way we can proportion our plate properly is if we can quickly tell the difference between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. With this quick guide, you’ll never be unsure again.
Proteins are foods that had a pair of eyes, or came from of something with a pair
of eyes. Eg. Cows, chickens and fish have a pair of eyes; their products are milk, eggs and caviar respectively. ‘Eyes-foods’ are high in protein.
Fats I always picture the ‘fat aisle’ in the supermarket. Think about where the olive oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil live. These are all fats. Some fats may also be found in the fridge, such as dripping or lard. Some exceptions are nuts and avocados; both very high in good fat. Yum!
Carbohydrates are everything else not covered in the first two categories. Carbs are not just bread, rice, pasta or grains as you may have been led to believe; they include vegetables, fruits, wine, chocolate and most common snack foods and breakfast cereals.
3. Keep a food log (The acid test)
It takes between 1 and 2 hours for your body to give you feedback on what you just ate. Food logging is the best way to actively listen to your body. Best of all, it’s free, and can also help to identify allergies or foods that simply don’t agree with you.
You don’t have to get fancy with tracking apps or complex programs. Your phone is a great tool to log what you’re eating and if you’re anything like me it’s always within reach. Just take a before and after picture of your food (giving you the time and the amount consumed). Then an hour or two after you finish, make a 30 second video to record your responses. Speak about your energy levels, how full you feel and your emotional state. Say a few words about each and give the meal an overall rating out of 10, based on how you feel. Keep it simple, but do it consistently for at least a week.
The real power comes from reviewing your food diary after a week and asking yourself:
Adjust your diet based on what you discover from food logging for a week. Repeat for another week to fine-tune your diet.
Lawrence is a qualified Psychologist and Holistic Lifestyle Coach, helping clients ‘Hardwire a Healthier Lifestyle’. For health tips and to ask any questions you may have, follow him on Instagram (www.instagram.com/iam2awrence) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/2awrence)
How do you deal with the networking food and energy rollercoaster? Let me know in the comments below.
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