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Workplace Calories Add Up

business lunch

Much of the time I work from home. With an internet connection and a quiet house when the children are out at school, it’s the perfect work environment. I do have the best of both worlds – I can throw a load of laundry in the machine, and be writing about croissants within 30 seconds, and I can whip up supper for the whole family while testing out a recipe. Many people have said to me that their huge downfall if they would work from home would be the fridge and pantry. They feel that they would be tempted to eat all day long.

But working in an office with other people doesn’t necessarily keep your waistline trim. How many of you have colleagues that bring in the baked goods that their spouse who just started a diet doesn’t want in the house, or cookies that you just have to try? Someone has a birthday? They bring in donuts or cake, or you all go out to the café round the corner for lunch. These calories can all add up. Try saying no or refusing – sometimes there is tremendous pressure to join in. Team playing is not just about meetings and project collaboration.

According to a survey of 325 women (currently dieting or have dieted in the past) conducted by Survey Sampling International for Medi-Weightloss Clinics 35% found that other people around them made fun of their diet. Of those that felt pressured to break their diet, 56% did so because they didn’t want to insult the host, boss, client or family member. 29% of the dieters surveyed said that their work mates have pressured them to break their diets.

Business lunches also bring diet breaking to the fore. Potential clients can also sabotage any healthy eating plan you have – 1 in 5 participants have reported that business lunches are where they felt the most pressure to overeat and break their diets.

Last month the Obesity journal reported on a study (3,330 participants in a team based weight loss challenge) that found that those people who had positive influence from their teams lost more weight than others.

So what can be done to counteract diet sabotage in the workplace? Kick-start a healthy eating campaign. Or for the next potluck or birthday, have everyone bring in healthy treats, or even alternatives – no need for everyone to forego the birthday cake, but have some healthier options too. Educate your coworkers, or even better, have management implement some new guidelines for healthy eating in the workplace.

What’s your biggest downfall when you are dieting? How do you combat this?

Wall Street Journal