desserts3I’ve heard variations on the same weight management theme four or five times already this holiday season. The concept goes something like this, “…Look at all these treats I still have left at home: (fill in the blank with one or more of the following)

  • Pies
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Candy

“I’m so proud of myself, I had small portions of only my favorites. I really ate mindfully. To remove all temptation, I’m going to: (fill in the blank with all that apply)

  • Take them into my office to share with my coworkers
  • Give them to my husband/wife to take to work to share with his or her coworkers

Folks, when did the office become the dumping ground for the excess calories someone else wishes to avoid at home?

If you are an office manager, small business owner, HR Administrator or corporate executive, is there anything you can do to impact this caloric transfer system without seeming like Scrooge? With health insurance premiums rising and waistlines expanding, I present Trainer Joe’s Top Seven strategies to reign in this (almost) illegal calorie dumping:

  1. Offer healthy snacks, such as fresh veggies and dip, fruit, hummus and sliced flatbreads.
  2. Establish informal walking groups during lunchtime. Allow the participants an extra fifteen minutes.
  3. Provide good hydration. Water, coffee and unsweetened tea are good options.
  4. Designate only one or two days, perhaps Mondays and/or Fridays as the only days outside food can be “shared” with fellow employees.
  5. Urge employees to eat a healthy breakfast each day.
  6. Inform everyone that anything left in the fridge or on the break room table will be thrown out each 5 PM.
  7. Insist that outside treats can only be shared in the break room. Do not allow food brought in by others to be eaten at desks or work areas.

Yes, some of these ideas will cost you and your company money, but it’s worth it in terms of a healthier workforce, reduced health care costs, increased productivity and less absenteeism.  If you lay down the new law imperiously, you will be sniped at. Handled deftly, you will be perceived as a caring parent laying down some rules for the kids to go easy on their Halloween candy.

What are you doing to help the folks who work for you stay healthy this Holiday Season?