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Making Weight Wise Choices at Work

Can your company do anything to battle the nation’s costly rise in obesity? According to Zachary Meyer, a senior vice president for Ceridian LifeWorks, employers can promote weight loss by offering things like healthy snack selections in the vending machines and kitchens, fitness center discounts and incentives for participating in wellness activities.

Obesity costs companies in the United States more than $13 billion annually in medical fees and lost productivity, and is associated with 39 million lost workdays, according to the National Business Group on Health. Ceridian, a provider of employee assistance programs and other human resource services, offers a weight management program that takes a non-diet approach to weight loss and maintenance. Ceridian said 89 percent of the participants in its weight management program achieved weight loss or weight stabilization.

If your employees are looking for help to shed a few pounds, Ceridian’s Meyer offers the following tips:

  • Bring healthy snacks from home. This helps hungry employees pass up treats brought by a coworkers or less-healthy vending machine choices.
  • Plan ahead and pack your lunch. Taking a healthy salad, sandwich or thermos of soup to work can fill you up, is ready to eat and costs less than ordering in.
  • Eat when you’re hungry. If you get mid-morning hunger pangs, eat a healthy snack.
  • Find time to walk. Park far away and walk, take the stairs or add a walk around the building to your lunch hour routine. Try taking a “walking meeting” with coworkers.
  • Avoid stress snacking. Instead of grabbing a candy bar or muffin to calm you down, do some deep breathing, stretching or talk to that coworker who makes you smile.
  • Choose low-calorie foods. Diet sodas, artificial sweeteners and low-calorie foods can readily substitute for higher calorie snacks. Avoiding one extra teaspoon of sugar a day can prevent a 12-pound weight gain over a year.
  • Control your intake. Controlling the amount of calories you eat can be more effective in controlling weight than just exercise alone. Also, try drinking a large glass of water before a meal to make you feel fuller.
  • Track your habits. Keep a food diary to see what, when and why you eat. It can help you create a plan to improve your eating.
  • Stay inspired. What will help you remember to stick to your weight management goals? It could be a photo on your computer screen, a reminder of an upcoming event or vacation, or a clipping of a reward you will give yourself for your success.

For more information:
Ceridian Corp.

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