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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

11 Nice Ways to say "NO to FOOD PUSHERS"



With Thanksgiving tomorrow and the holiday season upon us, I thought it appropriate to bring up the notorious "food pusher".  You know the ones right?  The ones who tempt you with everything known to man, that is NOT good for you.  It could be a co-worker pushing those ooey gooey chocolate chip homemade cookies she brought in, it might be your mother, "oh come on sweetie have another helping, you are eating like a bird", it might be your significant other - "what do you mean you do not want to have a glass of wine with me or two or three or four?"

During the holiday season especially, food temptations are everywhere.  From stuffing and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, to eggnog and sugar cookies in December, the seasonal temptations are endless.  It can be tough enough to navigate the turkey buffet without your great aunt forcing an extra helping of mashed potatoes onto your plate, or resisting Grandma Fern's homemade dutch apple pie when she kindly smiles "oh my dear you must have a piece, I made it just for you"!

Food pushers range from well-intentioned loved ones to out right diet saboteurs.  Regardless of their motivation, you need to stick to your guns.  I find that honesty is best for me, and I simply tell them that my lifestyle has changed and that I am living healthy now.  Sometimes, that type of response just simply gets ignored.  So I have come up with some retorts to their food forcing ways that may help you keep in control of what goes onto your plate and ultimately into your mouth.

These tips will work year round, at birthday parties, special occasion dinners, Sunday brunch after church, any type of social gathering where temptations abound and the pushers lurk!

Food is DRUG to most of us!


The Push: "It's my specialty, you have to try it!"

Your Response:
"I will in a bit!"

Why It Works:
Stalling is a great tactic with food pushers. Odds are the offender won't follow you around making sure you actually try the dish. If they catch up with you by the end of the party to ask what you thought, tell them that it slipped your mind but you'll be sure to try it next time.
 
The Push: "This [insert name of high-calorie dish] is my favorite. You'll love it!"


Your Response:
"I had some already—so delicious!"

Why It Works:
A white lie in this situation isn't going to hurt anybody. You'll get out of eating food you don't want or need, and the food pusher will have gotten a compliment on what probably is a delicious dish.
The Push: "It's just once a year!"

Your Response: "
But I'll probably live to celebrate more holidays if I stick with my healthy lifestyle!"

Why It Works:
People can sometimes see healthy eating as vain—a means to the end result of losing weight and looking better. It's harder for a food pusher to argue with you if you bring attention to the fact that you eat right and exercise for better health and a longer life. Looking good just happens to be a side effect!

The Push: "Looks like someone is obsessed with dieting…"


Your Response:
"I wouldn't say obsessed, but I am being conscious of what I eat."

Why It Works:
Words like "food snob" or "obsessed" are pretty harsh when they're thrown around by food pushers. But don't let passive-aggressive comments like this bring you down—or make you veer away from your good eating intentions. Acknowledging your willpower and healthy food choices might influence others to be more conscious of what they eat. Sometimes you just have to combat food pushers with a little straightforward kindness.

The Push: "If you don't try my dish, I'm just going to have to force you to eat it!"
Your Response: "Sorry, but I don't like (or can't eat) [insert ingredient here]."

Why It Works: It's hard to argue with someone's personal food preferences. If someone doesn't like an ingredient whether its sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or butter, odds are that he or she hasn't liked it for a very long time. If you'd like to get creative with this one, go into detail about how you got sick on the ingredient as a kid or how your mom says you always threw it across the room as a baby. Who can argue with that?  

The Push: "You need some meat on your bones."


Your Response: "Trust me, I'm in no danger of wasting away!"


Why It Works:
This food push is definitely on the passive-aggressive side. Using humor to fight back will defuse any tension while making it clear where you stand. 

The Push: "One bite isn't going to kill you."


Your Response:
"I know, but once you pop you can't stop! And I'm sure it's so delicious I wouldn't be able to stop!"

Why It Works:
This is another situation where humor will serve to distract the food pusher from his or her mission. It's a way to say "thanks, but no thanks" while making it clear that you're not interested in overindulging.

The Push: "But it's your favorite!"
 Your Response: "I think I've overdosed on it; I just can't eat it anymore!"

Why It Works:
If you have a favorite holiday dish that everyone knows you love, it can be especially tough to escape this push. If a loved one made the dish specifically for you, the guilt can be enough to push you over the edge. But people understand that food preferences change, and most have been in that situation of enjoying a dish so much that they can't touch it for awhile.  
 
The Push: [Someone puts an extra helping on your plate without you asking.]


Your Response:
Push it around with your fork like you did as a kid to make it look like you tried it.

Why It Works:
While putting food on someone else's plate can be viewed as passive-aggressive, it was probably done with love. (Let's hope!) Making it look like you ate a bite or two can be an easy way out of the situation, but you can also just leave it alone and claim that you've already had your fill. (After all, you didn't add that extra helping!)
 
The Push: "Have another drink!"


Your Response:
"I have to drive."

Why It Works:
No one will argue with the fact that you want to drive home sober. If they do, you should have no qualms walking away from the conversation, period. If they offer a place for you to stay, you can always get out of the situation by blaming an early morning commitment or the fact that you need to get home to let the dog out. Kids will also get you out of everything.
 
The Push: "We have so many leftovers. Take some!"
 
Your Response: "That's OK! Just think, you'll have your meals for tomorrow taken care of."

Why It Works:
Not every party guest wants to deal with the hassle of taking food with them, and this makes it clear that you'd rather the food stay. If the host is insistent, you can feign worry that they'll go bad in the car because you're not going straight home, or it'll go bad in your fridge because you've already been given so many leftovers at other parties recently. Or be polite and take them. You'll have more control of your food intake away from the party anyway. So whether you don't eat the leftovers at all or whether you split a piece of pie with your spouse, you're in control in this situation.




These tactics can work wonders in social situations, but honesty is sometimes the best policy. A simple "No, thank you" is hard for a food pusher to beat, especially if it's repeated emphatically. Remember, too, that it's okay to have treats in moderation, so don't deprive yourself of your favorite holiday foods. Just make sure that you're the one in control of your splurges—not a friend, family member or co-worker who doesn't know your fitness and health goals!

I wish you and your families the safest and blessed Thanksgiving!  
Remember Christmas and New Years are just around the corner! 


 

3 comments:

RockBand Barbie said...

Thanks for posting...I know I will need to use some of these tomorrow!

♫ Drazil ♪ said...

Is it wrong that I'm going to print this? Cuz I am.

MandaPanda said...

Great tips! Luckily I didn't have any food pushers yesterday...just a nazi grandma who asked 6 times how I've been losing weight and insisting that I must be taking "some kind of pills." Sheesh.