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It’s crunch time in the office, and everyone is feeling the stress. When lunch hour hits, your colleagues decide that the best way to deal with the stress is to hit up the nearby fast food outlet to chow down on some fried chicken and fries. The only problem is that you’re actually trying to lose some weight, and you’re afraid that this meal will derail your plans. However, you don’t want to come across anti-social.

For the lot of you who are trying hard to lose weight, this probably doesn’t happen once in a blue moon. It might be happening more often than you like, and you’re (rightfully) feeling a little frustrated about it. So, how are you going to solve this? Here are some work arounds for you to try!

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1. Share the love

Find ways to share your endeavour. Pack healthy snacks and meals on regular days to share with your colleagues, find gym buddies in your office and start living your life the way you need to, in order to lose the weight. Pretty soon, people will realise that indulging during lunches aren’t the only way to connect with each other, and you’ll have the side benefit of picking up a few new workout buddies.

2. Skip your cheat days

Sometimes, it’s about being flexible. If you notice that the group indulges in a high-calorie lunch once a week, then make that your cheat meal day. We’ve noticed that people tend to go out and indulge on Fridays, so you might want to plan your meals for such an occasion!

3. Plan your portions

So there might be some temptation to get a large rack of ribs or just grab an extra piece of fried chicken. After all, it’s your cheat day, right?

Wrong! The right way is always to control portion sizes. If you know you’re going for a calorie dense, fat-laden meal, then make sure you limit your intake of simple carbohydrates like fries or mashed potatoes, and lower the amount of high fat proteins like burgers or ribeye steaks.

4. Always know all your options

Can you swop out the fries for something else? Is there a lighter sauce option? Is there a side salad? Are soft drinks the only choice? Whenever there’s a chance to ask, don’t be afraid to do so! Food places usually have plenty of options, because they know that there are more and more people who are increasingly aware that their food choices can make or break their health. Take advantage of that, and choose the healthier options.

5. Find weight-loss friends

You’re probably not the only one who’s trying to drop some weight in your office. Suss out people who are on the same mission as you and start connecting with them. The more people you find, the better. Share tips, spend time talking to each other and start seeking out healthy lunch hour alternatives for one another. It’s easier when you have like-minded individuals who are looking out for you!

6. Switch up that workout schedule

Indulging in a high-calorie meal with your colleagues isn’t the death knell for your diet because your workouts can be switched around to fit any indulgent meals. How? Well, an example would be if you had a protein-heavy meal for lunch, then put the extra protein to good use during you evening workout by hitting the gym for some resistance and weight training. Had a very heavy Carbonara pasta meal? Go get some HIIT and intervals done to shred through all the extra carbs and fat. Adapt, and overcome!

7. Parts of protein are important too

Let’s say all else fails and you’re really stuck with no way out; there are no lighter side options, most items are oily or fried, and the menu lacks a clean side salad. This is the moment to focus on the proteins. Before you go any further, look for chicken or fish options, which will generally have lower fat content. If you picked fish, you don’t have to worry about the parts. For chicken, aim for chicken breast, or take the thigh but remove the skin yourself.

If chicken or fish are not on the menu, then limit your beef options to Sirloin or Eye of Round steak cuts. Try to steer clear of Ribeye, Porterhouse or Filet Mignon cuts!

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