Dear Lifehacker, I’ve been employed as a fly in-fly out (FIFO) worker for a year. In that time I have gained over 10 kilograms and with little time to exercise due to the schedule, I’m worried for my future health.
It is a small camp where everyone knows everyone else and it has reached the point where people put beers in my hand or the chefs load my plate up before I even ask – and people seem insulted when I refuse. How can I pass up everyone’s offerings without insulting them so I can stick to a regular diet? Thanks, Pot Belly
Given my unique line of work, I’m probably not the best person to solicit advice from in this area. That said, the most obvious solution is to be honest and declare you’re on a diet. Most reasonable people will accept this and stop pestering you to overindulge.
You might get the occasional person who attempts to guilt-trip you into participating or blithely insists you don’t need to lose weight. In these situations, politely explain that you’re following strict orders from your doctor. (If you don’t like telling fibs, actually book an appointment with your GP. If you’re currently overweight he will strongly advise you to eat less, which could be construed as an order.)
Alternatively, instead of refusing food outright, just be clever about what you accept on your plate. Get into the habit of calorie counting, avoid fatty/sugary condiments, choose smaller meal portions and ask for light beers. Nobody is going to care if your plate has more salad than meat on it, so just use common sense.
At the end of the day, your health is more important than a few seconds of temporary embarrassment. As long as you stick to your guns and remain consistent with your meal portions, everyone will support your decision in time. In your quest to lose weight, you can also take inspiration from Rae Johnston’s Couch Potato To Wonder Woman Challenge. Good luck!
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