It is one o’clock and your colleagues are egging you to join them for lunch. It is this new Japanese tempura place that they have discovered on Google and are going to join the queue to sample some of these deep-fried savoury treats. In your head, you know that this is going to derail your weight loss plan and yet, deep down, your heart murmurs and tells you not to be anti-social and miss out on all the fun lunchtime conversations topics.

Did you know that according to a general poll done on a news site, what our colleagues have for lunch actually has an influence on what we eat as well? That has seen many large corporations making the big decision to provide healthy and nutritious meals and snacks for their employees to ensure their well-being is cared for. If you do not work at such a company and your colleagues do not lean towards eating mindfully, there is a strong possibility that you are going to choose a burger over salad when given both options. This is such because of our mind’s tendency to mimic others. Even though we might see ourselves as self-aware grown-ups who make standalone decisions, these small influences actually affect us. As tempting it is to concede to their suggestions, how then can you navigate through lunch hour while keeping to your diet plan each day?


Nudge Your Friends To Make Healthier Food Choices

If you have to be that first person in the office who starts bringing their packed lunch to work, just do it! Encourage your colleagues to do the same by sharing with them the nutritional benefits you can reap from preparing your meals at home. The meals that you often get from the food courts are usually prepared hastily and some of the nutritional benefits could be lost in the process of boiling and deep frying. Not to mention, they might include more sodium like monosodium glutamate (MSG) into their dish to make it a touch tastier. Similarly, this should also translate to the times before and after our meals. It is the snacks at the common pantry that might encourage us to go on our unhealthy ways after we are knee-deep in empty boxes of biscuit and sweet wrappers.


Introduce Your Colleagues To Easy Lunch Recipes

A reason why most people opt to eat out is due to the amount of effort it takes to pack their own meals from home, but it really is anything but that since there are many delicious recipes that you can whip up in less than 15 minutes. A great way to get them onto your side in eating healthy would be to start making your co-workers jealous when you bring in your perfectly nutritious meal that looks as good as it tastes. If anyone asks, share with them the different recipes and process in the kitchen before you arrive at your masterpiece of a meal. Always vary and rotate your different recipes. Mondays can be a salad, Tuesday chicken with rice and the rest of the week could be a mix of pasta and vegetable wraps. At the same time, there is no better nudge than you as a walking testimonial. If you are seeing some changes on the weighing scale, slip it nonchalantly into your conversation and let them know how much switching to packed lunches helps with weight loss. Soon, you will discover the entire office comparing their meals from home and that would be a job well done.


Suggest Places Which Have Healthy Options

Absolutely have to eat out to get away from the stressful atmosphere of the office? We know how selfish it may look on you if you were to pick out a place that only serves healthy or vegetarian food. Instead of enforcing your limitations on others, how about choosing outlets that have healthy alternatives alongside the usual unhealthy offerings like fish and chips or lasagne. The trick here is to look for a place which serves up a fine balance, the restaurant could be a steakhouse but with the right choices like roasted vegetables instead of mashed potatoes and sticking to the right portions, you can still stick to your healthy resolution of eating within your calorie count.


Final Note

Lunchtime can be tricky since it takes into consideration the different likes and dislikes of an entire group of people. While you may prefer to eat in moderation, others might like it in excess. The same goes for those who regularly down large servings of meat for their lunch and it is not going to be easy trying to turn them around with your light nudges. If it is still not going your way, know that saying no to your colleagues every once in a while is perfectly ok if the choice of lunch venue is not to your liking or if you know you might derail your diet. On the occasions that you do join and bond with your colleagues over pizzas and rumps of steak, look past that slight tinge of guilt and make amends by choosing salads and whole grains the next day.