Group of tables with coworkers eating at lunch

How To Avoid Peer Pressure At Work While Trying To Lose Weight

When was your first experience with a group of ten or more individuals your own age? For the majority of us it was at some sort of school function. Whether it was pre-K, Kindergarten or even Sunday school. It’s amazing how quickly kids start to group themselves after this first encounter.

You get labeled as:

  • Cool
  • Weird
  • Smart
  • A Jock
  • or Loser

Throughout the remainder of our school years we allow ourselves to be socially categorized.  Those groupings place us into uncomfortable situations growing up. You can either be like everyone else or be the odd one.

Unfortunately, that same school mentality carries with us as we enter the working world.  It becomes the first day of school all over again. No matter the age, it’s the same social structure.

What happens when you’re a grown up stuck at a job in which everyone does the same thing?

Have you ever had a desire to become more healthy but felt that it was impossible due to peer pressure at the workplace?

This article is for you!

Our society tends to have a herd mentality. Let me be the first to commend you for wanting to be different. The only way to break free from years of mediocrity is to accept that you will have to be different than your average coworker.

Here’s some good advice on avoiding peer pressure at work.

LEAD The Pack, Don’t BE The Pack

Seriously think about that.

What does the average co-worker look like at your job?

Outside of working in the fitness industry, the average co-worker most likely will not have the eating habits or physique that you want to emulate. You may feel that you are doomed to have the same physique but i’m here to tell you that you can have the body of your dreams if you truly desire change.

What others will see as a threat, you can use as your own inner motivation. It won’t be easy but if you stick with a solid plan, you will not give a second thought to your coworkers’ negative comments.

Be Responsible For Yourself First

At the end of the day you can only live your life for yourself. It sounds selfish but that’s the reality you have to face when going to work. You are all brought together to work on a job.

You are being paid for your skills to get the job done in a timely and cost efficient manner. No matter how healthy or unhealthy you are, that’s your job!

Sure you may have health insurance from your company but the reality is that you’re just hired help. There’s no emotional involvement there. Use that as a reminder that you need to constantly take care of yourself first.

Your health matters. You’re not a robot. You need the right nutrients and exercise to maintain a healthy life. You will get that life if you put yourself first.

You Don’t Have To Be Best Friends

It’s true that we spend about a third of our day surrounded by co-workers. Due to being around them so much we feel an obligation to be their best friends. The truth is that you don’t have to be best friends with anyone you work with.

Yes, its cruel to read but it’s the truth. You’re paid to do a job not be BFFs. If they are going to criticize you for your healthy fitness choices, they are not really your friends. A true friend would encourage you. Sure they might joke every now and then but they would not force you to be (or eat) exactly like them if they were truly your best friend.

Think about this following question:

How often do you truly stay in touch with the folks at your old jobs over the years?

Out of the hundreds you’ve probably came in contact with, the truth is that you only probably keep in touch with less than a dozen after switching jobs or getting promoted.

What happened to those who use to peer pressure you at work?

Those people were not your true friends. Look at your current co-workers and honestly ask yourself if they are worth the torment you feel in your soul?

Learn To Say No

In our desire to please we like to give in more than we like to resist. With every potluck lunch or office party, it becomes harder to not confirm into the peer pressure. You feel obligated to eat other people’s unhealthy dishes. Remember that you don’t always have to say yes. It will not hurt someones feelings the moment you say no to something.

If you truly want to change your fitness, you need to accept that you will have to start rejecting certain foods from entering your body. If one of those foods happen to be in your office environment, avoid it now rather than later.

The peer pressure to eat other’s unhealthy food is only self inflicted. Your imagination is making it a bigger issue than it truly is. Sure a person may ask for you to try their dish, but that’s because they are trying to be friendly.

If you say no, the world is not going to end! Nine times out of ten that person will ask you a follow-up “Why not?”.

All you have to say is that you have a goal to meet, and unfortunately that dish isn’t part of the plan. If that person asks anymore questions, that follow up question has nothing to do with the fact that you said no. It’s just them wanting to know what you are doing so they could start being healthy as well.

Peer pressure remember?

You’ve just reversed it!

Bring Your Own Lunch

The biggest peer pressure you’re going to experience in the workplace is food. Make lunch an easy decision for yourself by just bringing it in. Be known as the person who always has the tasty healthy lunches.

That’s a better reputation than being known as the overweight coworker who knows the best take out restaurants. If you keep eating out all the time, not only will you be giving into peer pressure but you will be on your way to having financial problems!