Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to Eat Paleo at Work

If I hear "why are you on a diet, you're not fat?" one more time...

They mean well, but my co-workers don't understand me.  Every once in a while a manager or team member will bring in doughnuts or bagels to celebrate a project closing, or some other work related milestone.  Sometimes it's cake, or cookies, or pizza, or candy.  Now-a-days, I am easily able to dismiss these offerings, but early on in my paleo journey it was a struggle.  I mean, I used to be the guy who came back in the early afternoon and clean up (read: eat) whatever was leftover.  Plus, you don't want to be rude do you?  Of course not.  Here's a few simple strategies I found successful:

If there's food at someone's desk...
  • Tell them "I'm sorry, I just ate, and am super full!  I'll try to stop by later."
  • Don't stop by later, unless you know the temptation is gone.
If your team is having lunch together...
  • Politely inform them that you brought your lunch and don't want it to go to waste.  It is a leftover, and might be expiring soon.
  • Or you can try "I just ate."
If your team is eating cake together to celebrate something...
  • This one's tough.  Try "I just ate, I'm too full" might work, but depending on the team, they might peer pressure you to eat more.
  • If you're a planner, plan to bring a paleo sweet to enjoy while others eat their diabetes.  Often people just feel uncomfortable eating/drinking around somebody who's not.
Fail-proof, strategies for tough times...
  • Tell them you're allergic, celiac, lactose-intolerant, etc.
  • Tell them you're doing a paleo challenge and have to stay paleo for just 'X' more days.
  • Tell them, I can't eat that, I have a big workout this afternoon.
  • Tell them, you're not feeling well.
  • Tell yourself that it's not REAL food.  It's sugar, corn, and soy.  Sugar = diabetes. They use petroleum to grow corn (read Omnivore's Dilemma).  Soy leads to erectile dysfunction in men, decreased libido across both sexes.
Again, withstanding temptation at first can be tough, but after awhile it's easy.  Your co-workers will become privy to your healthy ways, and won't be offended if you choose not to eat bad foods.  For a few months, you'll still hear "why are you on a diet? You're skinny," but eventually you'll hear silence as they'll realize you're not on a diet - your living the paleo lifestyle dream!


  1. The really sad part is that, in all these cases, a simple "No, thank you" should suffice, but some people are so insecure about their own eating that they get offended at something that's totally not personal.

  2. Wild Runner, that is so true!

  3. great article! just found your blog... thank you!

  4. Thanks Kerri! We're pretty new to blogging, but are really enjoying it. Glad you liked the post!