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The Coworker Conspiracy

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss at 9:23 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Breakfast MeetingRight about now, at the height of cold and flu season, you are probably well aware of how your coworkers are influencing your health.  After all, you’ve been giving Bob, two cubicles down, the evil eye ever since he sneezed on your favorite pen during the morning meeting. Cheryl has been hacking since November, and your boss seems to have mistaken his left AND right hand for tissues. A bubble-encased desk is sounding better by the minute. Then, at least, you would be safe until spring.

Or not, for even when all of your officemates are well, they can still wreak havoc on your health, via the office-wide offerings.

Each week sees a mountain of baked goods, sweets and fatty foods, all presented for various reasons. Monday was Marcy’s birthday. How could you dishonor her by turning down a slice of cake? Tuesday was a breakfast meeting. Was it your fault doughnuts and muffins were the only option? Wednesday was, as always, order-out lunch day, and the full-fat, fried selection was too good to pass up.  Thursday was stressful; you needed that cookie. And Friday was Friday. All in all you had five, consecutive days of little indulgences, not counting the usual snacks and diet indiscretions. You fell, thanks to the coaxing of your coworkers, victim to office overeating.  And if you’re not careful, next week will be the same.

To avoid the evils of the daily office banquet, you have to start at home, in the grocery store. Pick up snacks that you can store in your desk, to serve as a replacement for the leftover cake currently serenading you.  Try power bars, granola bars, mixed nuts, trail mix, dried fruits, Fig Newtons, single-serving boxes of cereal, ginger snaps, graham crackers or applesauce cups, anything but candy. Sweets will give you a temporary high that will fade before the aftertaste does. You’ll go from a minor indulgence to a diet disaster. In between snacks, make sure that you are consuming well-balanced meals and not relying on the bakery baskets to sustain you. A healthy breakfast, nutritious lunch and hearty dinner (you workaholics) will make the temptations much less tempting. If you are ordering out instead of brown-bagging, make healthier selections. And when you do indulge (you know you will), do so moderately. Have half the muffin or opt out of the cream cheese. You can enjoy office offerings without ruining your health

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