Chasing the entrepreneurship dream is a grind. You stay up late. You’re up early. You’re often heavily caffeinated, and you can’t stop fantasizing about your next product, launch, or partnership.
And although you love every second of it, the startup roller coaster can push good habits, like healthy eating, way down the priority list.
A packed schedule plus the pressure of running a business is a surefire recipe for falling prey to poor diet choices (not to mention stress and emotional eating).
But here’s the thing busy entrepreneurs may not realize.
You can’t outwork a poor diet
By sacrificing their food choices on the altar of success, they are sabotaging their productivity and discipline when it comes to their beloved business. They say abs are made in the kitchen and that you can’t out-exercise a poor diet. Well, the same goes for your business. You can’t outwork a poor diet. Your brain functions at a much higher level when you feed it wholesome, nutritious food.
Research shows that people who consistently eat healthily (fruits and veggies, whole grains, good fats, appropriate portions, etc.) are 25% more likely to have higher work-related performance, and 20% more likely to be more productive.
How much more efficient and effective could you be in your business if post-binge brain fog and sugar crashes were a thing of the past?
Show up, stay sharp and grow your business
In order to show up, stay sharp, and grow your business, you need to be able to think quickly and strategically, make decisions under pressure, and persevere through rough patches, all of which require a clear mind and generous reserves of willpower and discipline.
Which leads to another reason why eating well is great for your bottom line.
Willpower is a key ingredient in withstanding the inevitable ups and downs that come with entrepreneurship. Any successful business owner will tell you that it didn’t happen overnight. They got to where they are through diligence and consistency.
There’s all sorts of research out there about how much willpower and self-control humans have, and how it gets used up. Early studies claimed that willpower is a limited resource and that it depletes over time. (If you’ve turned down donuts all morning, it will be more difficult for you to say no to pizza in the afternoon.) But more recent studies are showing that willpower also works like a muscle. If you work on strengthening it, willpower is transferrable to other areas of your life.
The more disciplined your eating habits are, the more likely you are to have staying power when it comes to your business.
According to award-winning psychologist Susan Bartell, your willpower is at it’s best when you’re feeling good about your health and body image. And getting a handle on your diet is one of the best ways to start flexing that willpower muscle.
So, ditch your sugar-laden treats, dump the gallons of coffee, and stop with the consecutive nights of takeout. Because if you’re feeling sluggish, self-loathing, and overweight, it will slow you down, affect your decision making, and make it harder to push through when you hit a roadblock.
Eating well doesn’t just affect your body. Choose your food wisely, and you’ll start to reap the rewards in your business too.
This article has been edited.
Mikayla Colthirst-Reid is a marketer and health coach for busy professionals and entrepreneurs. She is on a mission to help world-changing women overcome burnout, quit stress-eating and make a lasting impact in all areas of their lives. Get exclusive resources, actionable advice, and support from like-minded women in her free Facebook group, The Unapologetic Balance Community. Connect with @mikaylavee on Twitter.