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MCASKEY6 SparkPoints: (28,444)
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4/9/14 6:49 P

It's been my experience that even when they ask, co-workers usually don't want your opinion.

The majority of people who have approached me about my weight loss, are just looking for a segway into a rant about how tough it is for them to lose weight.

So when pressed I just say, "You know, working out, eating right." Then I provide a sympathetic ear.

But I never bring up the subject and I try not to judge other people's eating habits. It's their life, their choices, their consequences, and they will change if and when they want to. All my picking will do is make them resent me.

TALA9431 SparkPoints: (271)
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4/9/14 4:02 P

Great advice!

JMOUSE99 SparkPoints: (194,548)
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4/9/14 4:01 P

A couple of people at work asked me how I lost weight and I emailed them the link to the Spark site. I occasionally comment on something one of my co-workers is eating but it's always in a teasing sort of manor - "oh, cheese puffs for lunch again?" (my colleague who has a drawer full of cheese puffs and nachos is a very attractive slim man).

I think the OP has probably got the point - don't give advice unless it is asked for, especially to people you work with every day! However if someone told me squishy white bread was good for you I think I'd have a hard time keeping my mouth shut too.

ACHANSO Posts: 1,073
4/9/14 4:00 P

Yeah saying something isn't a good idea because we have no idea what they eat at home or what we don't see. It's kind of a personal thing.

BHENDRICK2 Posts: 1,207
4/9/14 3:03 P

i think its kind of tricky you want to help and its hard not too sometimes you just gotta let them keep their strange beliefs

ALIHIKES Posts: 4,299
4/9/14 2:54 P

I do not recommend saying anything about co-worker food choices. I do say something if a meal is being catered (i.e., staff meeting or other event, which happens a couple times a month) but I simply ask, could we add a healthy option such as salad or fruit plate?

Edited by: ALIHIKES at: 4/9/2014 (14:55)
GRETA242 Posts: 1,374
4/9/14 11:16 A

Wait until someone asks for your opinion before giving it.

ANGELARAYE1 SparkPoints: (2,919)
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Posts: 7
4/9/14 7:14 A

My co-workers have some pretty deplorable eating habits, but I don't say anything to them unless they specifically ask for my opinion. It's their life and they can live it how they please.

What I've found works best is living by example. I show up every day with my healthy paleo-lunch and they've seen me drop from 215 to 160 and they ask me how. I'm only too happy to share.

Most of them look at me like I'm insane (what do you mean... no grains or dairy? Why aren't you dead? Are you sure you don't want this grilled cheese sandwich?). But I've converted two and now there's a few of us that share paleo recipes and success stories.

VUKELK Posts: 623
4/8/14 7:26 P

I'm really noticing how healthy everyone is eating at my work environment and we all are helping one another. Recipes and healthier food options. Seeing what someone else is eating may spark a different healthier avenue for you.

LKG9999 Posts: 1,747
4/8/14 5:09 P

This week I started coming into the office after being home for 7 weeks with a broken foot and ankle. Probably because I was gone for such a long stretch, I'm getting a lot of comments/compliments on my weight loss and questions about how I did it. I am honest and answer that I've been following a low-carb eating plan, but also add that it likely works well for me because I've never been a huge fan of rice, pasta, carbs, etc. I'm fully aware that what's worked for me isn't a one-size-fits-all solution and that goes both ways. Today at lunchtime I saw the lunch that my ultra-slim coworker was heating up, and while I would not classify it as unhealthy I would not do well eating that way.

PTREE15 SparkPoints: (8,292)
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4/8/14 4:05 P

"Stay out of their business unless they ask for your opinion. How would YOU feel if your coworkers intruded into your personal business without an invitation?

If they see you losing weight, looking great, and being healthy ... they might ask how you are doing it. At that time, you could share some information and refer them to a reliable source of information while warning them about fad diets and sources of misinformation. But until they ask for your advice ... stay out of it."

Couldn't agree more.

SEPTEMBERGRL70 SparkPoints: (1,619)
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4/8/14 3:12 P

Yes, been in the same situation many times with co workers and friends..most are out for "bragging rights" and Not Advice. So Don't give any advice unless you are asked. Of course you could always suggest Spark and let them know it is a Free Site and it may be helpful to them. I would not go any further than that.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/8/14 1:09 P

Good call Carrie. I always thought of salad as healthy, and used to load it up with ranch, eggs, and cheese. I felt like I was taking charge of my health, and felt good about myself. Someone saying " Um? That's like 2000 calories! " would have made me feel like poo, as well as probably made me skip lunch altogether.

Sadly, it was not much better than my normal 2000 calorie BK lunch, except for the veggies.

I learned that on my own over time, and a few years ago, when my doctor asked me why I didn't eat more salad, I told her.. I found out I really hate salad.. love ranch dressing though.

Some things can't be taught. You have to learn them on your own. By simply looking at the bottle one can tell the dressing isn't healthy. What they want is the illusion of health, and you just messed that up, or they are making a small step towards a better diet, and feel proud of this small accomplishment, and you destroyed that accomplishment.

I often find it amusing that people think Subway is so healthy compared to burger King. Yet, it IS better, even if it is loaded with sodium. Whenever you see someone with an " unhealthy " dish, you have no idea what they are eating that instead of. They may be eating that instead of a KFC bowl. OR they may be eating it instead of their steamed fish, and cauliflower, and this is a rare treat.

Most of us know our diet is bad, but don't care, and the rest don't know, or are trying to fix it.. The only thing that unites them all, is that NO ONE wants someone else commenting on what they eat.

IVYLASS SparkPoints: (220,640)
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Posts: 7,169
4/8/14 11:13 A

I agree with the others. MYOB. If they ask, tell them. Who knows, by setting a good example and showing results, you may turn them around.

Edited by: IVYLASS at: 4/8/2014 (11:16)
ACHANSO Posts: 1,073
4/8/14 10:31 A

Yes! Co-workers can create stressful eating situations by being food pushers or by normalizing unhealthy eating like carry ins!

4/8/14 8:27 A

I have a co-worker who is short and weighs about 300 pounds. One day for lunch she brought in an iceberg lettuce salad, covered it with Thousand Island dressing, and had 3 little 1-oz packets of cheddar cheese and about 15 crackers with it, plus a sweetened tea and a Yoplait yogurt for dessert (not the Lite or low-fat kind.) She said the crackers were healthy because they were "wheat." She was proud of herself and estimated she had had a 300 calorie lunch. It was really tempting for me to point out that she'd eaten 300 calories on the salad dressing alone, plus 300 on the cheddar, about 150 on the tea, and Lord knows how many on the "healthy" crackers, and another 160 or so on the yogurt. But for her, that was a good day. She didn't eat a cheeseburger and fries, and to shoot her down and point out the problems with her lunch would have been mean. And it would have made her resentful and ashamed.

4/8/14 7:21 A

OMgoodness, Where do I start?

But first I would like to point out that, I TOO have had a history of "group grazing", and I am a teacher.

I recently just renewed my commitment of healthy eating after gaining weight back, NEVER AGAIN.

There is always some teacher, custodian, secretary or even myself, willing to jump in there car, even during a Chicago Blizzard, to drive to get:

Fried Chicken, stuffed pizza, Mcdonalds, BK, KFC even take from a restaurant. And yes most women on or staff are obese, or at least overweight.

They even have group challenges, every 4 months "The Biggest Loser" and such...

Well, as of yesterday...I'm out of that garbage" I pack fruit, protein bars, grilled chicken salad" And I am committed to working out 3-4 days a week"!

DEANNA0725 SparkPoints: (22,611)
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Posts: 2,072
4/8/14 7:09 A

I usually say "that smells good" if it does, but other then that I leave myself out of other peoples food choices and decisions. What might work for one person does not mean it works for all people.

4/8/14 2:59 A

I totally feel your pain! I have a couple of coworkers who are obsessed with losing weight but seem completely incapable of actually doing it. They go between bizarre crash diets ("I'm going to stop eating these five foods for the next five days" or "I'm not going to eat carbohydrates for the next 17 days") and getting dessert after every meal, thinking that getting a side salad instead of fries will offset the 600 calorie cheesecake they are about to consume. It is profoundly frustrating to watch, but I'll only talk about it if they ask me.

BETTERME8913 SparkPoints: (5,341)
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Posts: 824
4/7/14 11:57 P

Oh, yes. I can relate. They eat out all the time, bring in cookies, donuts, pretzels, ice cream, you name it. The best thing you can do is be an example. They see I have changed my ways and lost 20+ pounds. Let them ask you questions if they want to know how you did it. Otherwise, just say no thanks! emoticon You are not alone in dealing with that, believe me.

Edited by: BETTERME8913 at: 4/7/2014 (23:59)
BIBIANAB SparkPoints: (10,576)
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Posts: 74
4/7/14 11:30 P

No, nope, nada, never!

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,458
4/7/14 3:52 P

It was quite appalling. He definitely lacked class. I stay as far away from him as possible. He is a Donald Downer in other areas of life as well

Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 4/7/2014 (15:53)
MARTHA324 Posts: 5,819
4/7/14 3:38 P

From my own experience the last thing I wanted to hear was that I needed to change my eating habits. Now that I have I bite my tongue when the owner of our firm (very heavy and has a heart condition) eats terribly unhealthy food and shovels it in without taking a breath.

what is odd is that he often asks me why he isn't losing weight and what I do that I've not only lost it but maintained it. No interest in what he could do differently.

Edited by: MARTHA324 at: 4/7/2014 (15:39)
4/7/14 3:11 P

HOTCHAMAMA and MANDIETERRIER - that's appalling. Any man with class will not make snide comments like that. But I guess you already know that.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,458
4/7/14 2:41 P

HotChaMama, I knew a guy like that. He is on Southbeach and has never lost a pound. (nothing against SB, I know it works for some people) And he will comment on carb choices. Especially if there is a woman that is over weight and she is eating something that he doesn't approve of. He doesn't have the nerve to do that to the guys. At least not out loud

Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 4/7/2014 (14:41)
PEEJMA SparkPoints: (41,317)
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4/7/14 2:36 P

My coworkers and I understand each other and have been together 11 years, so (a group)of us feel pretty free to joke about food choices. We know what restaurants are common ground (places where I can get a Greek salad with chicken and they can get a gyro and fries), and places that PJ Does Not Eat (Zaxby's, McD's, other fast food). They do tease me about eating kale and such, but then often ask for tips to prepare vegetables so that they will like them better. I only comment if they ask me and I really don't judge them for what they're eating. I have learned to like eating healthy things, but it isn't my job to force anyone else.

JOCOLADY SparkPoints: (98)
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Posts: 1
4/7/14 2:19 P

I don't think it's a priority for them since you pointed out they are not overweight. I would just keep to myself and let them carry on with their fru-fru food ideas. (I think you're entitled to a private chuckle over these crazy statements.) Now if they ask your opinion....then fair game!

4/7/14 1:58 P


IT is having a 15 minute power walk at 10:30, everyone welcome! We meet at the flagpole. :)

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,750
4/7/14 1:07 P

Unless you're asked for input, keep your mouth shut.

4/7/14 12:49 P

Things that are acceptable to say about a coworker's or friends food: "That smells delicious!" "That looks delicious!" "Can I have the recipe?" or nothing. Giving out unsolicited advice will never endear you to your coworkers. I have one coworker who seems to think he's helping us but really, it's just more shamey and really, I'm an adult, he is not my parent, and his commentary is completely unwelcome. I specifically try to avoid ever being in the kitchen with him.

Actual commentary from him:
"Wow. Starches." (which was somewhat misplaced since it was parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas)
"Do you know how many calories are in that?" (in regards to a treat that I had budgeted the calories for and was really looking forward to until he made me feel bad)
A bizarre group shaming email regarding some treats people brought in for Valentine's day

And on and on and on. His comments do not change our behavior at all. They just contribute to us not liking him.

If they specifically say something absurd, ask your advice, or are otherwise the ones to bring it up, you may at that time be able to tactfully say, "Eating a candy bar is eating a candy bar. But if you like it and really want to eat it, just eat it and enjoy it." Other than that, for the love, do not comment on their food choices. They have family to take care of them and the internet at their fingertips. If they ask you specifically what you're doing, I would just send a few links and let them know that if they want to talk more, you'd be glad to but that you're not going to shove it down their throats.

MMFAREJ13 Posts: 256
4/7/14 11:29 A

I guess you could say I'm in a Semi-Similar situation I work with a lot of people who are always talking about how they are going to lose X-Pounds... But are eating whatever they feel like whenever they feel like it.

With that said NO do NOT offer unsolicited advice to people you will come off as judgemental and that is NOT what anyone who knows they need to lose weight but is doing something wrong needs. If someone ASKS you I would tell them about the resources you used to get where you are before giving specific advice, again people interpret things differently and may not take your advice as constructive...

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 25,991
4/7/14 11:08 A

"Should you give advises on you co-workers' food choices? "

No, unless you are asked.
Their choices are none of your business.

Edited by: LUANN_IN_PA at: 4/7/2014 (11:08)
4/7/14 10:43 A

Russell, well-said.

I remember a poster that was popular in the 70's that showed a massive silver-back gorilla staring coldly at the camera. The caption said, "When I want your opinion I'll beat it out of you." Probably best to assume people feel this way regarding dietary advice.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
4/7/14 9:40 A

No. If you think they are eating poorly, you might bring some fruit to leave in a communal eating area. That would be seen as a nice gesture, and maybe some people are eating a candy bar from the vending machine, because an apple isn't available.

Don't try to make other people healthy though. You had to make this decision on your own, and think about if someone had told you how to fix your " problem " back then. Personally, I would have told them to $&#@ off, and to make myself feel better, probably stopped at the fast food place on the way home from work. Muttering how I would want to kill them ( in detail ), I would probably devour 6-10 soft tacos. That would show them!!

Health is a personal choice, and all that happens is that you look judgmental. Focus on your own health, and let them worry about their own. Unless asked, I wouldn't say anything. Even if asked, I wouldn't say anything other than what you did to lose weight, or talk about diet in general. If they need you to motivate them to lose weight/ be healthier.. they have already failed. At some point they will have to do it on their own, and until then, nothing will do so.

4/7/14 8:38 A

Since I lost weight, my office is full of chat about diets and food, and I hear the craziest stuff you can imagine. We have a Dr. Oz addict in our office and she insists on recapping every show, and she actually orders all that crap online and has never lost an ounce from it. It's tempting to try to set people straight, but the way I look at it, there is just way too much misinformation out there to make it my mission to correct it. Besides that, it leads to long discussions that I don't have time for at work. If someone asks my how I lost weight I'll gladly tell them, but they always look disappointed. Exercise and consistent healthy eating? That's so boring. Where's the green tea extract? Where's the acai pill?

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,458
4/6/14 10:16 P

Only if you are asked. And even then, tread lightly.

I don't even give my family advice on the food they eat.

I remembered one of my jobs. They would get carry out from a pizza place or from a greasy spoon. I would just eat my lunch I packed while they ate that other stuff. And not say a thing.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (246,873)
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Posts: 26,780
4/6/14 9:56 P

Just as you are free to choose to eat what and how much YOU want, so to are they free to make those choices for themselves.

I would zip my lips and not comment, unless they asked, and even then, you certainly wouldn't be wanting to put it across like a lecture.


LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
4/6/14 9:50 P

"believe in some crazy food myths (e.g. you HAVE to eat white bread because it gives you strength, it's ok to it extra candy bar at 4p.m. because you still have 7 hours before bedtime etc). "

I would not tell them what to eat. If they didn't ask for advice I wouldn't give it.
However, I would have a hard time not letting them know that I think those things are absolutely stupid to believe. I'm sure it would show.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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Posts: 2,545
4/6/14 9:21 P

We earn PTO based on hours worked and years employed. I have almost 500 hours after 8 years. Like you, when I was eating an unhealthy diet and was overweight I was rarely sick. I use my time off for vacations!
Reading what I posted, I realized it sounded a lot more judgmental then I meant it to be, I get frustrated because we are evaluated mostly on what our division does, not as much on an individual basis. So when they are out sick with "gastric distress" the other 4 of us have to do their share of the work as well as our own share.
And one of them was out sick most of last week....

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
4/6/14 9:11 P

"and are out sick for at least one week out of every 6"

Really? That's some mighty generous sick-time policy your company must have.

I too was once, and recently, (quite a bit more than) 50# overweight and prone to shovelling nasty greasy food into my face at every opportunity (poison of choice being A&W pressure fried "Chubby Chicken" and fries... and then of course there were all the lunch room "treats" provided endlessly and free of charge, in my face, every day, in the company lunch room). Somehow, though, despite my terrible eating habits and excess body fat I managed to have amongst the BEST attendance records in my organization. "Fat" does not by definition equal "poor attendance."

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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4/6/14 7:44 P

It's really hard not to share what you know but I have found that it's not worth the effort. They will continue eating what they want and you will never get them to believe that the 4 pm candy bar is not a good choice.

In the long run you are better off being a healthy example and only offering suggestions of asked.

I work with 2 people who are 50+ pounds overweight and are out sick for at least one week out of every 6 and eat the nastiest greasiest food you can find . I listen to their comments about how hard it is to lose weight, how hard it is to work out and how hard it is to eat healthy while they shovel bacon cheeseburgers and fries in their mouths.

They know what to do, they just aren't ready to do it yet.

QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 12,472
4/6/14 3:10 P

Don't do it. Be the good example of glowing good health, that'll speak louder than words.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (194,154)
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Posts: 15,816
4/6/14 3:06 P

absolutely NONE of your business. Keep your mouth shut!

DAGNY99 Posts: 1,302
4/6/14 2:27 P

Many of my coworkers know about my weight loss, but I only mentioned it after I worked there a long time. Apparently according to most of them, I look normal and they could never imagine me bigger.
They know I am a picky eater and know I tend to eat healthy although I sometimes splurge with them. I do not lecture them on food or anything. There is one coworker who is trying to lose weight now and I have referred her to this site, and we talk about it but not with any of my other coworkers. I think that she brought it up, but since others don't bring it up I wouldn't mention it.
Also, if I decide to order ice cream I wouldn't want them to go all food police on me and lecture me, so I don't do that to them. I think that things in moderation are ok

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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Posts: 2,744
4/6/14 1:30 P

Three things I never, ever bring up at work: politics, religion, and nutrition/fitness. There be dragons!

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
4/6/14 1:22 P

You have to see these people every week day and work with them. Reason enough to tread carefully!

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 4/6/2014 (13:22)
4/6/14 1:07 P

I would never, ever say anything to my coworkers about their food choices. Ever.

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
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Posts: 4,787
4/6/14 12:42 P

Stay out of their business unless they ask for your opinion. How would YOU feel if your coworkers intruded into your personal business without an invitation?

If they see you losing weight, looking great, and being healthy ... they might ask how you are doing it. At that time, you could share some information and refer them to a reliable source of information while warning them about fad diets and sources of misinformation. But until they ask for your advice ... stay out of it.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
4/6/14 12:35 P

Unless they ASK for your opinion, it's best to keep it to yourself. You will become very unpopular very quickly if you insist on "educating" your workplace peers on their personal habits. Food/eating/weight is way too hot a topic to force upon unwilling coworkers.

MARFLPV SparkPoints: (1,371)
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Posts: 9
4/6/14 11:57 A

Should you give advises on you co-workers' food choices?

My co-workers are far from eating healthy. They are not overweight. But usually want to lose a few pounds. The problem is that they don't know any better and believe in some crazy food myths (e.g. you HAVE to eat white bread because it gives you strength, it's ok to it extra candy bar at 4p.m. because you still have 7 hours before bedtime etc).
I've managed to tell them some things already. But every time something like this comes up I'm not sure they want to hear it. People usually don't like to be corrected. It's easier with a family or close friends. But co-workers are a different story.

So, has anybody been in the same situation?

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