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Here’s Why Your Fasting Habit Might Be Negatively Affecting Your Decision-Making Abilities When It Comes to Work & Finances

Fasting offers a lot of health benefits when done right. In fact, one particular method of the practice called intermittent fasting has actually become popular during the past years. It has been used by people to enjoy a variety of benefits from weight loss to better concentration. But this way of eating, or not eating, also comes with some downsides as experts say.

Link to Productivity

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On weekdays, Dorsey only has a limited eating window spanning from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m

Further proof of intermittent fasting’s wide appeal is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey‘s choice to follow a variation of it. The billionaire has previously shared how he only eats one meal on weekdays and chooses to fast all throughout the weekend.

This means that he only consumes water when he is in his long fasting periods. Meanwhile, his meal, which is usually eaten every 6:30 p.m., consists of vegetables, some protein and a dessert of either dark chocolate or mixed berries.

According to Dorsey, following this regimen made him more driven, productive and focused during the day. Hearing these positive results from his experience and knowing the fact that the CEO’s net worth remains in the billions, people may be more encouraged to follow suit and reap the same benefits. They may rethink though after reading the following.

The Consequences of Hunger

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Working on an empty stomach might also result in a decrease in one’s performance

As a group of researchers from the University of Dundee found, hunger during a fasted state can actually impair one’s ability to make decisions about a variety of things. This was determined after the study observed 50 participants and the way they made decisions during two states: two hours after they’ve last eaten and then 10 hours into their fast.

The people were asked whether they’d want to receive a small gift (music downloads, money or food) immediately or wait for something bigger at a later time.

In the end, Benjamin Vincent, Ph.D., the study’s lead author, concluded that people tended to choose ‘present-focused’ rewards when they were hungry. This could produce negative outcomes when switched to other non-food related contexts.

One example Vincent gave is a situation when one is discussing finances with their mortgage or pension adviser. Going into the talk while hungry might lead one to settle on a decision that would give them some form of gratification instantly instead of choosing the better option. The same might happen when one is mulling over important work or business decisions on an empty stomach.

The Importance of Proper Snacking

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Foods rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber are deemed the best to keep one energized and alert

To avoid running into such situations, people are recommended to at least curb their hunger pangs by snacking. This might be the best route especially for busy people, who might not have the time to sit down for a proper meal in between meetings or while at work. Remember that depriving oneself of food also means denying the brain the fuel it needs to perform well.

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