Importance of colleague support when trying to follow a more healthy diet

by | Mar 6, 2021 | Work Wellbeing | 0 comments

Have you ever felt pressured at work to eat something that goes against your diet? According to a survey of 325 dieters in Tampa, Florida, some 29% of people on diets say colleagues make fun of their diet or order them restaurant food they know isn’t on their diet (Shellenbarger, 2012). Everyone deals with weight gain and weight loss differently; some people may live freely, while others might be conscious of what people think. It is always important to be mindful of your peers. In an article by Gold (2010), a female participant was so conscious of eating around her colleagues that she ended up eating almost nothing at work. Often times the stress of the job took over and she ended up eating unhealthily when she got home. Many people have similar experiences.

Just because your colleagues are ordering the more unhealthy options at lunch doesn’t mean you can’t order a healthy alternative such as a salad. Finding other colleagues who are interested in healthy eating can be beneficial, and make you feel that you’re not alone. According to a study published in Obesity, of the 3,330 participants in a team-based weight loss competition, those who experienced positive influences from teammates lost a larger percentage of weight (Shellenbarger, 2012). An article by Hein (2012), states in addition that one’s own diligence to eat healthy and lose weight could be positively affecting others in their work and social related networks to be healthy and lose weight as well. Could you be that healthy influence?

Tips to maintain healthy eating habits in the workplace:

Ask colleagues to allow you to order your own meals/review the menu in advance and ask specifically for what suits you


Seek out others who practice healthy eating for moral support


Politely decline treats if colleagues offer them on a regular basis


Discipline yourself, have confidence in your diet and overall health goals


Don’t be afraid to suggest healthy options like fruit baskets for company potlucks

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