It’s a new year. All around the world, HR professionals are overseeing new wellness plans and weight loss initiatives, which is a truly aspirational role for people who also monitor work conditions with low wages, toxic open-space office models, and long commutes.

As an HR lady, I’ve seen a ton of sketchy office weight loss schemes in my life. Worse than Biggest Loser. Dumber than an office-wide embrace of Atkins where everything but bacon gets tossed out of the cupboards. At this point in my career, I know a bad diet when I see one. So here are the worst diets for 2017.

“The Divorce Diet”

I know you’re separated before you tell anyone at work. It’s because you’ve lost twenty pounds and you’re packing a salad for lunch. Divorce is great for short-term weight loss, but it’s tough on the heart. Avoid it if you can.

“The Trauma Diet”

A friend of mine just lost a ton of weight by nearly getting killed in a car accident. Sure, he looks good. Might be better if he didn’t spend a couple of months in a hospital. So if you have to choose between being chubby and a major tragedy, choose chubbiness.

“The Virus Diet”

A few years ago, my local school district was overrun by the norovirus. Soon it spread to daycare facilities and gyms. Then it spread to my gut. I like your kids, and I needed to lose weight, but coming into contact with contaminated feces is a terrible way to lose ten pounds.

“The Dental Diet”

A girlfriend of mine just had a ton of dental work done, and she’s been on painkillers for a few weeks. She looks fabulous now that the bruises have healed. I just hope she still likes food, and not Tylenol #3, when this is all over.

“The Reunion Diet”

This is the worst adult diet of them all. It’s your high school reunion, and you want everybody thinking you’re an adult rockstar. So you join a local gym and starve yourself for six months. You look okay on the night of the event, but this weight comes back with wild abandon on the day after the reunion. My advice? Don’t go to the reunion in the first place. Be happy with where you are today.

There are pretty fantastic weight loss plans out there. The most successful one is the “don’t eat it and you won’t need to lose weight” plan. I also like the “stop stepping on the scale” diet. Measure other things besides weight and you probably have a better indication of your overall health.

But the best diet is the one where you abstain from self-criticism and negative thinking. Don’t just avoid toxic food; avoid toxic thinking. And, if worse comes to worse, go on a diet from scales and full-length mirrors.

And avoid the HR weight loss schemes. Nothing good comes from company-mandated wellness.

1 Comment

  1. Weird. When I was in the hospital for a while as an 11 year old I gained 20lbs from eating two twix bars a day. I guess I was doing the Trauma Diet wrong 😉

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