All my colleagues are on holiday – how can I stick to my diet?

by Ali on July 28, 2008

Sometimes it seems like everyone is off on their annual holiday – except you. Whether you’ve used up all your annual leave already, or whether you’re waiting till mid-September to avoid the hiked prices during the school break, you’ve ended up stuck in the office while your colleagues are off enjoying themselves. And, of course, you’re coping with three people’s workload in addition to your own, trying to manage without a couple of crucial team members, and struggling to deal with the emergencies which crop up. To add insult to injury, your absent workmates have sent postcards to say how much they’re enjoying their two weeks in the sun…

No wonder the summer is a tricky time for office dieters. Here’s how to cope with the empty desks, and even use this time to your diet’s advantage.

Don’t take on too much work

Many of us find it hard to say “no”, especially when someone’s asking for a favour. But you don’t need to agree to check everyone’s email while they’re away – nor should you let them dump all their outstanding tasks on you when they dash off to the airport. Be realistic about how much you can take on – and remember you have your own work to deal with.

If you find yourself swamped with work, figure out what’s really urgent and what can wait until colleagues return. Don’t be afraid to approach your manager and ask for some support or advice: it’s not in anyone’s interests if you run yourself into the ground. You might want to read how to stop workplace boredom and stress from ruining your diet, if you’re regularly finding yourself stressed and overwhelmed.

Carry on good dieting and exercising habits despite the lack of colleagues

If you’ve formed a diet group with colleagues, or meet them weekly after work for a game of badminton or basketball, it can be difficult to suddenly lose that support network. Instead of heading to the leisure centre with your workmates on Wednesday evening, you might find yourself replacing the gap in your week with a less-than-healthy alternative like a pub trip or a takeaway pizza.

Make sure you have an alternative in place before hand: sign up for a gym class to fill your regular exercise slot, or replace your diet group with a magazine or book. Don’t use the fact that your colleagues are away as an excuse for a “week off”: having to slave away in the office while they’re all away and putting on weight won’t put you in the best of moods for their return…

Make the most of having a quiet office

If your office is empty, now is the time to break out those smelly and loud foods that you’ve been too embarrassed to bring into work until now. It’s also a good chance to give the office fridge a good clean-out . . .

Some workplaces tend to have a lot of snacks around, brought in by well-meaning colleagues, and the absence of these workmates can provide a welcome respite from temptation. While they’re all away, be extra-good … don’t bring in your own chocolate cookies. No doubt many of your colleagues will return from their holidays laden with exotic treats, and you want to be able to enjoy one or two without feeling at all guilty.

(Image above by Aim and shoot)

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