A bunch of my coworkers started a diet as part of their New Year's resolutions. I don't have much in common with most of them, and often have trouble finding topics for small talk. Since dieting is all the rage around my office, I figure that would be an easy thing to bring up, but I'm unsure how to go about it, as it might be a sensitive subject.

What is the best way to ask someone how they are doing with their diet(s)?

I have both male and female coworkers I could talk to about this, and some of them have started the same diet. Not sure if they're a team or if it's coincidence.


2 Answers 2


Instead of asking how their diet is going (because this can imply you mean 'How much weight have you lost?), I'd recommend saying something like the following:

"I heard you guys were trying out the ketogenic (replace with whatever fad diet name it is) diet. Do you like it?"

This way, you're only asking for an opinion from someone and giving them the option of how much to share with you. Additionally, asking for someones opinion on a topic is a great way to make small talk.

As another note, try to think of a generic comment you can make from your own point of view to show that you're not trying to pry. For example, the ketogenic diet involves minimal carb intake, so I would say something like:

"I heard you guys were trying out the ketogenic diet. Do you like it? It sounds interesting but I might love pasta too much for that!"

This puts the interest of the topic into them talking about the diet and not explicitly about their personal weight goals/achievements that they might not feel comfortable sharing with you.


I'd be careful here. If it's someone you don't know well, and they aren't talking about it, I'd steer clear of this topic of conversation. Put yourself in their position: out of the blue, someone you don't know very well asks "How's the diet going?" Especially if you don't have a lot of other things to talk about, that can hurt interactions.

A better way to start a conversation would be to talk about New Year's resolutions. People talk freely about them, and then you can ask (if they say something about a diet) how that is going. Even asking "So, did you make any New Year's resolutions? How are those going?" would be a less risky move than talking about a diet.

  • What if we're decent work friends? Or if they told me personally about their new diets? Jan 4, 2018 at 18:21
  • 1
    If you're in a friendly relationship with that person, the chances for offense go down quite a bit (although they never disappear). If they've told you about it, the occasional question is possible. Keep in mind that NY resolutions last about a week or two, so this topic has a pretty short shelf life. Additionally, I find any conversation involving someone else's age, weight, or measurement to not be worth the risk. Jan 4, 2018 at 18:32

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