Why developers need to change their diet
I am targeting this article towards my dear developers because being a software developer myself, I spend major percentage of time of the week with them, eating with them, discussing ideas with them, talking to them and learning with them. Everything I write in this article is through my professional experience in the IT industry.
Our daily routine comprises of programming, designing, reasoning, developing, meetings and our lunch breaks. Being a developer would mean usually sitting for 8 hours, with an exception of few hours if you have one of those fancy standing desks. Being a developer is surely more of a sitting/standing job and does not involve much movement. However, there is heavy amount of brain power being used, constantly thinking while programming, thinking while reviewing, thinking while eating. This leads to a lot of mental exhaustion which most of the times will feel like physical exhaustion.
There a lot of foods one can eat to feel a burst of energy. Often one would grab a bottle of sugary drink, bar of chocolate, box of sweets to overcome this mental tiredness and give themselves a sudden boost of energy. And of course, because you are not going to go running home and probably miss the evening gym because of this mental exhaustion, the sugar from the drink and the bar of chocolate can potentially find permanent home in your body.
Symptoms that you are not eating right
- Constant urge to grab a soft drink during meals
- Need for constant coffee to keep yourself awake
- Feeling more and more exhausted as you go through your week
- Waking up more and more late as you go from Monday to Friday
- No energy left to do anything by the end of the day
- Craving sugar and chocolates constantly
- Feeling dull during afternoons right after lunch
- You don’t feel great physically — feeling fatigue is a part of your daily routine.
There could be many reasons to have any of the above symptoms, but one strong reason could be your diet.
I was in the same cycle until I realized that these sudden boost of energy from junk food is not giving me any real strength but only putting me in more trouble. Soft drinks and chocolate bars were only giving me few moments of high energy before I lost it all and felt tired again. Yoga truly made me realize we become what we eat. Below are the few things that I do to keep myself healthy and not be a victim of a bad sugary diet.
Drinking hot water to combat coffee addiction
I drank 4–5 cups of coffee every single day, because it made me think that with coffee I am more awake and can program better. Whom was I kidding? I programmed well because I worked hard, slept well and remained focused at work. Overtime, I realized there is no point of such heavy doses of caffeine. However, I wanted to take a break and drink something hot. I started drinking hot water when ever felt I felt like I want coffee. Slowly my coffee intake reduce to 1 cup of coffee and 4 cups of hot water. And my performance and productivity at work remained unaffected. No green tea, no herbs, just whole glass of hot water and you are good to go.
Picking a fruit instead of a sugar drink
That fizzy drink on a hot summer day must feel like heaven in a bottle. Forget summer, it tastes good even in winter. It is so common to see developers grabbing a fizzy drink for a long meeting or during a meal. I do it too sometimes. Life is hard and that bottle of cold carbonated sugar water does bring some instant relief. But lately, I drink a glass of cold water before I pick up a soft drink, and most of the times the urge to drink the cold drink vanishes. If I still feel the need of some sugar, I usually keep some sweet fruits (grapes, oranges, kiwis, etc) with me which I can readily peal and have. My mind and body, both feels great not only because fruits have anti-oxidants to keep you refreshed and natural sugars to keep you energized but because I could say no to those artificial sugars.
Munching on dry fruits
Tasty dry fruits are the way to go when you are extremely hungry or want to munch on something. Just a few dry fruits will give you the energy you need for the next couple of hours and keep you satiated. You can even opt for a saltier or roasted version if you feel like having something more tastier. They are one of the best sources of all kinds of nutrients and keeps your brain active.
Wednesdays + Weekends = Cheat Days
Wednesdays are scientifically proven to be one of the most tiring days. You are on the lowest of your energy on this day because you are in the middle of the week and the excitement of the weekend has not kicked in yet.
Personally, this is the day I need everything I can to keep myself happy by eating what I want without caring too much about its nutritional value.
When you are consciously taking care of what you eat, it becomes absolutely okay to eat something sugary from on one of the days and that can be Wednesday. Eating what you want on such days will then actually feel good because if you have been living a healthy lifestyle and some sugar will not diminish your health.
Some weekends, I eat fries at 11 in the night. Does it make me feel bad? No. It makes me feel the best sometimes. Because I definitely deserve it after passing a whole week of conscious eating.
These were my few pro tips to start with. Speaking out of my experience these are super easy to follow and can help you live a healthy lifestyle without putting in much extra effort or changing your eating habits drastically. We do important work and it is important to have a healthy lifestyle. And being a hot developer is anyway more fun than just being a developer. So keep trying to stay on the healthy side and see the difference.
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