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Cookie Diet

Weigh In: Co-Worker's Weight Loss Plan — Eating Cookies For Lunch

This FitSugar reader is worried about her co-worker's unhealthy slimming technique. Can you offer any suggestions?

I just started a new job and have become friends with a co-worker who sits next to me. Many of us eat lunch at our desks, and I've noticed something really odd about her eating habits. Never do I see her munching on a sandwich, salad, soup, or leftovers. Nope, instead she devours cookies, brownies, chocolate bars, doughnuts, or anything else sweet. I thought that she must eat lunch before and I just didn't notice, but last week I invited her out to grab a bite with me. She said she was "all set," and pulled out a rice krispie treat from her purse. I had to ask, "Is that all you're eating for lunch?" And she causally said, "Yes. I'm addicted to sugar. I don't eat lunch so my calories can be spent on the stuff that tastes good." I felt like her mother when I said, "That's not exactly healthy." And she replied, "I don't care. It's the only way I can enjoy treats without gaining a pound."

Something in me just can't let this be. I know she's an adult who's entitled to make her own decisions, but it really bugs me that she's blatantly making the wrong ones. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this without ruining our friendship?
—Concerned About My Co-Worker

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Image Source: Thinkstock
turtleshell turtleshell 7 years
"So we should all just ignore it when people close to us have eating disorders?" She's not binging on sugar, she's not purging it either... We have no reason to assume that she has an eating disorder. So she likes sugar! Let her be happy. Her food choices are HER business. You don't know what she eats for breakfast or dinner, so drop it. There is nothing more annoying than people poking their noses where they are unwanted.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I agree with a lot of the above really is none of your business. Maybe she eats cookies for lunch, but how do you know that she doesn't eat a healthy breakfast and dinner? I have a coworker who eats an entire box of breakfast cereal with whole milk during her morning break...she's overweight, but I'd never say "Hey, you might want to consider cutting back on the cereal and milk". It's just plain rude.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
As a former fat girl, I have to tell you to mind your own business. The fastest way to ruin a friendship is to tell someone else why their diet plan is wrong. Frankly, its none of your business. We all have to make our own, adult, decisions about how we're going to live, eat, etc., and just as it would piss you off to have a vegetarian making snarky remarks about your hamburger, doing the same thing to your friend will rightfully piss her off. You can find me at Life: Forward ( talking about women, the wage gender gap, and body image.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I don't mean to be rude but MYOB. You didn't need to say anything in the first place and now you already have so let it be. She's not exactly going to thank you for commenting on her eating habits so you should try to avoid creating a more acrimonious atmosphere.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
"If you're really that concerned, maybe one day if you bring in a healthy sweet, offer some to her. Maybe she'll like it and be inspired! " becky0125, I completely agree! Maybe bring a little bit of something healthier but sweet (there are a lot of great recipes here in fitsugar meant to battle a sweet tooth) with which to finish off your meal and offer her a bit. Maybe she'll at least switch to sweets that aren't as bad for you. Otherwise, I agree with everyone else - try to not let it bother you and just be a good example. Also, as sneaky as this may sound, if she ever comes by your desk you can always keep some health-related reading on your desk somewhere visible but not obvious (on your desk but under or sticking out of your purse, on a nearby bookshelf, etc.). Sooner or later, somebody (whether it's her or another coworker struggling with eating habits) will comment on it at which point you can offer to lend it to them and you can feel good for helping. ;) I did this with "The End of Overeating," which is a great read. Nobody has borrowed my own personal copy yet but I have been able to recommend it to people when they've spotted it peeking out of my purse or noted me reading it during break. Even though she may not technically be overeating, the book does discuss our addictions to sugars and fats and the food industry's part in making us crave more.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
First of all, I agree with the other commenters--not your business, not your problem, so let it be and don't speak up unless she asks for your opinion. Also, this stock photo is hilarious.
ticamorena ticamorena 7 years
even with my sweet tooth I couldn't do this because sugar gives me migraines in a flash! and i actually enjoy healthy food more than sweets. I'd say lead by example, but don't lecture or judge. Everybody has a personal relationship with food, and you can't presume to know what is best for your friend.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
i am really surprised that others (besides the op's friend) also do this. i have a total sweet tooth but the idea has never occured to me. at this point, i am too concerned with my health to do it though
JessicaM25 JessicaM25 7 years
I understand that you have a concern for your friend/co-worker but realize that you approaching her on the subject might interfere with the friendship. If she is really happy eating her cookies and sugar treats then let her be. You can't really force anyone to change their eating habits and if you do mention something...she might not care for what you think. Just leave it alone, and let it be. To each her own :)
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
Not to be rude, but who cares? It's their calories consumed not you. If she gains weight she is going to realize something needs to change, but until then she probably won't change a thing. I agree with tlsgirl, and elledub completely.
Bridey123 Bridey123 7 years
Even though her choices are pretty sad, the reality is It's really not your concern. It's her choice to eat crap for lunch, it's your choice to eat a healthier diet. I watch my co-workers regularly eat donuts at 8:00 am and I sit back and smile on the inside and remind myself that's why I am a size 2 and they aren't! I'd never say anything, it's their choice, they're the one's left with the consequences. I'd never judge anyone on what they choose to eat, I'm only ever concerned about myself.
unspokenthoughts unspokenthoughts 7 years
this was like my diet before and that was not fun at all! but I had lots of emotional issues back then. I hate it when others comment about my eating habits. I dramatically lose weight but always feeling tired and depressed. (sick) but now I eat meals and eat sweets as a treat or snack. Just let her cope with it by herself. :)
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
It is really none of your business what she eats. She is only hurting herself by not getting proper nutrition. She isn't binging and purging, nor is she starving herself. I think it is a bigger problem that you are going to let a junk food addiction spoil your friendship. She isn't shooting heroin on her coffee break or cooking up meth at home. Let it be.
finzup finzup 7 years
"Something in me just can't let this be. I know she's an adult who's entitled to make her own decisions, but it really bugs me that she's blatantly making the wrong ones. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this without ruining our friendship?" OK so what she eats has the potential to RUIN your "friendship" ?? If that's the case, you are not really friends. It's her business what she does or does not eat. Period.
becky0125 becky0125 7 years
If you're really that concerned, maybe one day if you bring in a healthy sweet, offer some to her. Maybe she'll like it and be inspired! Just don't force it on her, but I don't see anything wrong with seeing if she wants to try something you're eating. It's way different than just lecturing her about what SHOULD be entering her mouth.
Dbaby Dbaby 7 years
In principle, your coworker is right. It is the actual number of calories we eat every day, in comparison to the number of calories we work off, that contributes to weight loss/gain. It's simple math, and it doesn't matter the quality of those calories, just the quantity. On the other hand, it's not healthy, but either are most "diets". If your coworker's prime concern is weight gain, then it doesn't matter if she gets her 500 calorie (for example) lunch from a healthy salad with lean meat or two candy bars.
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