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How to Say No to Food Pushers

Sara K. Larsen - Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Food temptations and food pushers are everywhere.  A food pusher is a person who tries to derail you from your healthy eating or who is constantly pushing you to have seconds of your favorite dessert. They range from well-intentioned loved ones, coworkers, friends, or stranger at a party. 

I don’t ever suggest depriving yourself. Healthy, balanced eating with occasional treats is the key. I believe in and teach my clients the 90/10% rule. If 90% of your food is healthy, then 10% can be a treat without throwing your whole diet off track. So enjoying a cookie with your coworker every once in awhile is okay, but saying yes every time someone tries to push food on you certainly can throw you off track.

Here are some tips on how to deal with food pushers:
  • Be upfront with the food pushers. Explain that you're trying to eat healthy and take better care of yourself. 
  • Instead of going out to lunch or dinner with friends, choose activities that aren't centered around food, such as going for a walk.
  • Replace the bowl of candy in the office with a bowl of fruit.
  • Ask your family to not eat trigger foods in front of you.
  • Be assertive, not aggressive, when you are saying no to them.
  • When offered seconds, ask for them to be wrapped up so you can take them home. Whether you eat it later or not is completely up to you. 
  • Know that those who are driven to sabotage are only doing it because of their own issues, they might like bonding while eating certain treats with you, or they could be jealous or threatened by the attention you may be receiving. 

If you say no to offers for food and let everyone know you're trying to take better care of yourself, eventually the food pushers will get the message and stop offering you food. Remember, no one but you is in control of your own behavior, so don't let pressure from anyone else sway you from your weight-loss or healthy efforts.

How do you deal with food pushers?