Running with scissors is fun until you fall.
So is corporate wellness: it sounds like a tonne of fun, with stretch breaks on the clock, healthy snacks in the break room, employer-sponsored massages, health coaching, exercise classes…
And then, you have to lose weight, a certain percentage of your body mass within a certain time period. And walk 10,000 steps a day. And track your water and veggie intake.
So you might crash diet. You might cheat and beat the system. You will most likely weight-cycle and engage in some behaviour reminiscent of eating disorders (which are no freaking joke). Weight cycling is documented as harmful and damaging to one’s physiology.
I, for one, would love to know what happened after these Vail businesses ended their weight loss challenge. I would bet money that without maintaining a similar pattern of “clean” eating, everyone regained the weight lost and then some. The article reports that participants felt “healthier” after an elimination diet and a two out of three liquid meal a day diet for two weeks. Weight is just one measurement among many to describe the state of the human body, so what is “healthier” without a blood test? I’m not disparaging these people for paying serious attention to what they eat, but food is just a part of the health puzzle. Did the companies consult a registered dietician before embarking on the clean eating challenge, to make sure people weren’t starving themselves or eating a bunch of diuretic foods for water weight loss?
For that matter, weight loss isn’t an all-the-time positive indicator of health!
Maybe I’m concern-trolling, but it gets under my skin that people think “clean eating” and elimination diets are a magic bullet-train to well-being. How you eat and how you move, where you live, what you do with your life, what stresses you out, and with whom you spend your time have just as much influence on your health as your fuel of choice.
Wait, wait, this is a corporate wellness blog post; the featured image has to be a white woman with an apple, preferably Granny Smith!