By Paul Scicluna
As a personal trainer and health coach, I've heard people say so many times that their health kick is going well until they get back into work on Monday mornings.
So I guess we have to ask the question... Is your job or workplace making you fat? I would say for a lot of people, yes it is, even though a majority of people would think otherwise. It's not until we dig deeper and analyze what happens in the office.
It's probably worse for the office worker as there are vending machines full of junk foods as well as sodas and the like. Not to mention your work colleagues that purchase junk food or bring bad foods into the workplace and offer them to you. The hard part is saying "no" and sticking to your plan.
I've actually even seen it in gymnasiums where the sales staff or gym floor staff are eating foods like KFC, pizza or sweet treats in front of people while they do their workout routines.
So it even happens in the fitness industry.
This is where you have to strengthen your willpower so you can stay strong and focused and stick to your plan. You'll be the one smiling in the end - not the one standing on the scales complaining that your weight hasn't gone down.
I've had clients tell me how bad, unhealthy foods are served to staff is in the corporate world; they've said that it's a daily occurrence. There are meetings they have to attend, and the foods supplied in those meetings are items like muffins, danishes and other sugar ladened sweets.
What surprises me is that the management want more productivity from their staff. Yet, what they don't understand is that feeding them with these sorts of unhealthy, processed foods doesn't help. It actually gives them a quick energy boost due to the high sugar content, but then they have a big energy crash not too long after, which lowers productivity.
Another thing I hear from people on a weight loss plan is that their colleagues constantly offer them sweets, candy and junk foods even though they know the person is trying to refrain from bad foods to try to lose fat and reduce weight.
This one comes down to jealously - simple as that. They don't want you to achieve your weight loss goals as then they'll be seen as the overweight one, and will have to try to lose weight as well. These people who are stuck in their comfort zone on the weight gain roller coaster, will try to sabotage you in your efforts to lose weight. So stay strong and don't allow them to win.
Don't think that by saying "no" to someone who is offering you junk food is rude, because it's not. If you have a goal and you want to get there, then saying "no" is just another step towards you achieving your weight loss goals.
A 100 meter sprinter doesn't stop practicing his sprints and sit on the sidelines eating junk food because some of his friends were telling him to. So neither should you. They have their goals of winning the race, the same as you have your goal of winning your weight loss challenge.
Here are 4 tips to help keep those temptations away whilst at the workplace.
This is a great one that I personally use all the time when someone offers me junk foods. It's simple, and once you get use to saying it you'll see that it is quite empowering. Say it with conviction and certainty so once you've said it, that's it.
You just say "No, I'm fine thanks." And go on with what you were doing. If they say... Oh go on, it's only one. Just shut it down. "No seriously, I'm fine thanks."
You don't have to go into a full on conversation about why you don't want it or that you are trying to be healthy, and are watching what you're eating. You know why you are saying no. Don't enter into a debate. The more you talk to them the more likely you will succumb to temptation. Just say "No, I'm fine thanks." And go on enjoying the rest of your day knowing that you empowered yourself to say "no", and you won.
Always take your own healthy packed food into work with you. The reason I suggest this is that the people who buy their food are the ones that often end up snacking on bad unhealthy foods. Some of them end up eating bad foods right throughout the whole day. Studies have shown that people trying to lose weight, who take their own healthy food in with them to work were able to lose far more weight than those who purchased their meals from cafes or restaurants.
This is due to the fact that if you have a healthy packed lunch that consists of a morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack you pretty much have all your meals covered so you don't need to buy any additional food. Plus, at least you can knowingly control what goes into your foods. For example, just because you have a salad doesn't mean that it's healthy. Many salads contain processed dressings that contain bad fats, food additives and much more.
So plan out what you will take with you for your lunches and snacks, and prepare it the night before so it's ready when you leave in the morning. Also mix it up a bit. Don't have the same old boring meals as that's when you get tempted to have something bad. Variety is the spice of life. So mix up your healthy meals and you'll have plenty of people at work saying they wish they had what you are eating.
Stay away from the lunch room, kitchen or areas where junk foods are on offer. You don't want temptation to get the better of you. Maybe in a few weeks when your willpower is stronger and you can laugh in the face of temptation.
Go outside and sit in the sun and eat your lunch. Get some fresh air instead of sitting inside the office breathing in that unhealthy stale air. Or if it's raining, try sitting near a window so you can eat your healthy lunch while looking out the window, instead of looking at your computer, work cubicle or the lunch room.
And if you are a social butterfly and need to have lunch with friends or work colleagues, make sure you have Tip 1 ready to use if you need it!
Find support. You'll be surprised at just how many people are trying to lose weight these days. I'm sure that there are plenty of people at your workplace who are trying to drop a few pounds.
So instead of being surrounded by those who are trying to sabotage you, go out of your way to find others who are aligned with what you are trying to achieve.
You can eat lunch together and discuss or swap some of your best recipes to help each other achieve your weight loss goals. You could also go for a walk after you've finished lunch. Even if it's only ten minutes, it's going to benefit you on your weight loss journey.
One Thing To Remember...
Just remember that your job or workplace doesn't have to make you fat. You can achieve your weight loss goals. Just take it one step at a time. Don't let others tempt you into eating things that will only sabotage your goals.
Be strong, stay focused and learn to say "NO," and you will get to your weight loss goals.
You can do it... I know you can.
To great health,