Are you the victim of the office feeder?

We all know how difficult it is to lose weight and we’re constantly bombarded by fad diets: grapefruits are in one week, out the next, the carbs move in and out before you’re in the second week of the diet. The omnipotent media tells us it’s in our genes so don’t bother, or it’s your age so not a lot you can do there either, or it’s all in your head, so you’d better get some help blah, blah, blah. We’re heard it all before.

You may have tried every diet going and yet those pounds are still hanging around. Pause for a moment, there may well be other insidious mechanisms at play. Step forward the office feeder.

“Yeah right, tell me another”. “They don’t exist it’s just me being greedy” - wrong! Or they “love cooking and want to cheer us up at work with their homemade goodies” - wrong! “They are just such nice people who, give, give, give” - wrong!

Over the last few years people have become aware of the office feeder, which has risen like a leviathan from the depths of the deep. People have blogged, written into weight loss magazines, describing how they’ve fallen victim to this calorie-pusher whose modus operandi is the cakes, chocolates, sweets and the dreaded biscuit tin. They are armoured and dangerous!

The office feeder gets a rush from over-feeding as they themselves refrain from eating their own goodies. They often tell you “One won’t hurt, go on”. Often this is said in front of your work colleagues. Embarrassed, and not wanting to appear rude, you oblige. 

You are piling on the pounds despite exercising and going to the weekly weight loss classes. You tell people you are on a diet and yet the office feeder keeps coming in with those goodies, like Dr Who’s Tardis the cakes and biscuits materialise on your desk or near the coffee machine. It hovers in every convenient location - there’s no escaping.

Research at Cornell University has shown that female secretaries ate 5.6 times more chocolates if they were placed by their desk. Moreover, if goodies are placed in a glass dish you are more likely to eat 71% more than if they were hidden in a tin or opaque dish. That is 77 calories of mindless eating, and over the course of a year that is a 5lb weight gain. Do you have 5lb hanging around? 

Research has also found we eat a third more when we are in company of others and women, are more likely to be influenced by the diet patterns of their work colleagues even eating at the same speed.

Psychologists have found ‘feeders’ are trying to gain control in relationships. They may be jealous of you because you are popular or you’re more successful at your work. Of course, there could be completely innocent reason for those goodies appearing at work. 

Dr McCullough of Roehampton University has commented, “Food is often used as a competitive tool and slimness seen as the ultimate sign of self-control and perfection." Still think the office feeder is a myth?

Hypnosis can help you fend off the office feeder and gain control. A hypnotherapist will help you tackle those self-defeating behaviours, control those habits and cravings and bolster your self-esteem, confidence and motivation to lose weight.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN2
Written by James Tiley, BA (Hons), MSc, PGCE, Dip Hyp CS
Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN2

James Tiley is a hypnotherapist based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire who originally he trained in Psychology, and was a researcher at both Cardiff and Bristol Universities.

He specialises in hypnosis for IBS, pain management especially for hypermobility syndrome, weight-loss and quit smoking. He also runs group weight-loss programmes.

Show comments

Find a hypnotherapist dealing with Weight loss

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals