Serious Diet Pitfalls in Workplaces

May 20, 2012 Comments Off

Individuals spend long hours at work where they are constantly munching on something. It’s common to have snacks, meals and celebratory food in your office with colleagues. However, the constant eating is not a healthy thing for your waistline as reported in The Wall Street Journal’s Work and Family column.

But how can you resist? Individuals who are on a diet are sometimes tempted by their coworkers to eat forbidden foods. Then there are colleagues who pass irresistible home-baked goodies desk-to-desk. Some colleagues in spite of tease individuals who are on diet and go as far as ordering food for them in the restaurant that dieters are not even supposed to look at. A recent survey conducted for Medi-Weight loss Clinics by Survey Sampling International stated that 29% dieters are forced by their fellow workers to eat more. This survey studied 325 dieters.

To top that an ongoing poll on SparkPeople (weight-loss website), where thousands of dieters participated, stated that co-workers are the second biggest source of negative pressure. This makes it difficult for dieters because peer’s attitudes can make a immense difference. Last month, the journal Obesity published a study that mentioned how teammates can motivate dieters to greater weight loss. So it’s no wonder when a dieter is surrounded by negative peers that he or she has a breakdown in their diet.

Out of Concern

Colleagues often mean no harm. According to Becky Handy, SparkPeople’s registered dietician stated that individuals were offered scrumptious snacks from their co-workers as a sign of friendship. It is hard to turn down such food. Furthermore, individuals who have never been on a diet don’t realize how difficult it is for some people to lose weight. Such individuals also don’t feel guilty that they are not sticking to a healthier diet themselves. Lastly, some individuals are even afraid of losing their friends who might have sudden weight loss.

No matter what their motivations – good or bad, prying co-workers can make life miserable for dieters. A business analyst who was interviewed about her diet stated whenever she opened her containers of salad ingredients for lunch, co-workers never failed to pass comments. Co-workers often stopped by and passed comments like “Wow! That is one big salad!” alternatively, “Are you having three lunches?” or “Aren’t you tired of eating a salad every day?” The business analyst said on many occasions she just laughed or shrugged it off, but there were days she wished she would eat her lunch in peace.

Then there are situations where colleagues worry about dieters who suddenly drop a lot of weight fast. A college professor in Ohio lost a lot of weight during the summer break in 2009. When she returned to her campus, her co-workers complimented her and then asked if she had cancer. The professor would understand her colleagues’ concerns because that year, three co-workers had died of cancer. Still the questions shocked her and that day, she broke her diet by eating brownies.

So dear readers do you face the same situation? Do your co-workers influence your diet? Do they push you to eat more or something that isn’t healthy? How do you respond to such a situation? Or are you on the other end pushing individuals to break their precious diets? Think about it carefully.

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