Weight Loss at Work: Tips for Staying on Track
By Staci Amend
October 30, 2014
Sticking to your weight loss program can be difficult, even if you’re preparing every single meal at home. But what happens when you’re trying to stay on track at the office? There’s a whole new set of challenges to deal with, from client lunches and birthday cakes to holiday gift baskets and those tempting “meeting munchies.” Jenny Craig’s meals, snacks and extras get rid of most of the guesswork by giving you perfectly portioned individual meals you can take and make almost anywhere. Here are a few tips to help you cope with the rest.
Sign ‘em up!
Sure, it would be ultra-easy to stay motivated if your entire company joined Jenny Craig. But in the event that a massive group sign-up doesn’t happen, ask your HR department about a company weight loss competition. You’ll be surprised at how easily a little bit of healthy competition can keep you and your co-workers in line when temptations arise… and you’ll always have a partner or two for your lunchtime walk.
Can’t get the whole team on board with a weight loss competition? Then start a bit smaller, with a lunchtime or after-work exercise group. You can even try walking meetings for one-on-one conversations. Something as simple as taking a 20-minute walk during your day can not only contribute to your weight loss efforts—it will also help you maintain energy and focus throughout your day. Be creative! If your building has a gym, ask about a group discount… if they don’t, start your own “stairwell masters” or bike-to-work program. It may become your favorite part of the day.
Some offices have snacks on every desk, a giant popcorn tin in the kitchen—and a coffee cart in the building! If you work in one of these “treat traps,” make sure you stock up on healthy snacks to bring with you every day, whether it’s a handful of almonds or grapes or a bag of Cheese Curls. Keep a few non-perishable items, like Turkey Chili or Cheese Ravioli for those nights when you may have to work through dinner. If you work with a coffee-loving crew, choose one day a week to join them on their afternoon jaunt. Just make sure to make smart choices when you reach the counter: non-fat milk and sugar-free syrup, or better yet, unsweetened iced tea.
Heading off on a business trip? Now’s the time to call in the experts! Ask your consultant to help you create a special travel menu. Many business hotels have a small microwave in every room, so you may be able to prepare many of your own meals. Not only can you brainstorm about what to bring along, you can plan ahead by finding healthy choices near your hotel… or even on your room service menu!
For the most part, we’ve found that co-workers are supportive of our members’ weight loss efforts. But weight loss is an emotional issue—so if somebody has a negative reaction to your journey, it’s probably because your commitment is triggering some guilt around his or her eating habits or weight. In these cases, take the high road and spend time with other co-workers who are on board with your goals.