BEWARE: The Food you Eat Affects Your Productivity

Think back to your most productive workday in the past week. Now ask yourself: On that afternoon, what did you have for lunch?

When we think about the factors that contribute to workplace performance, we rarely give much consideration to food. For those of us battling to stay on top of emails, meetings, and deadlines, food is simply fuel, but food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.

Here’s a brief rundown of why this happens. Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.

So far, so obvious. Now here’s the part we rarely consider: Not all foods are processed by our bodies at the same rate. Some foods, like pasta, bread, cereal and soda, release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. Others, like high fat meals (think cheeseburgers and BLTs) provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us groggy.

Most of us know much of this intuitively, yet we don’t always make smart decisions about our diet. In part, it’s because we’re at our lowest point in both energy and self-control when deciding what to eat. French fries and mozzarella sticks are a lot more appetizing when you’re mentally drained.

Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper and faster than healthy alternatives, making them all the more alluring in the middle of a busy workday. They feel efficient. Which is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day.

Read on at

Health Screening Clinic – Saturday, Oct. 18

Curious about your current health status? Check in with a Dalplex personal trainer, along with senior Dal kinesiology students, for an assessment of your present health status using variables such as body fat percentage, body mass index, waste to hip ratio, resting heart rate, etc.

When: Saturday, October 18
Time: 9:30am-3pm
Where: Dalplex Room 206
Cost: $5/person

Space is limited and the clinic is for Dalplex members and Dal students only.

Pre-register online or at the Dalplex Customer Service Desk

Connecting mental and physical health

Mental health issues, such as depression, can increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Similarly, a person suffering from a chronic physical condition is more likely to experience depression, either because of the stress related to living with their condition or because of the medications used to treat it.

Learn more and get help at


Weight Watchers at Dal – a healthier you awaits…

More options, offered to more people.

Two Weight Watchers options now available:
Joining as a MEETINGS member gets you 26 weekly meetings, led by a trained Leader, and the proven advantage of group support from fellow members. At-Work members also have the flexibility to attend meetings in their community free of charge on weeks that they cannot attend on site and receive access information to FREE Weight Watchers “eTools” for the series duration.  Cost: $373.45, tax included, with the option of payroll deduction.

Want more flexibility or anonymity?  The ONLINE membership option includes:
-The tools to follow the plan online, at your own pace
-Over 16,000 food listings, 1,800 delicious recipes and eating out guides
-Interactive tools to help you manage daily food choices and activities
-Snapshots of your progress with our Weight Tracker and Progress Charts
-Workouts for all fitness levels and video exercise demos
Cost: 3 months for $65.85

Joining the Dalhousie group means you save the $25.00 registration fee and have the convenience of a weekly meeting at your workplace.

Who can join?
Dalhousie employees, associated and grant-paid employees, post-doctoral fellows, students, and retirees.

For more details and payment options, visit:

Inquiries:, (902) 494-4568