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Just Say No to Food Pushers (Nicely)

The time between Christmas and New Year’s is always the hardest time to eat healthy. Why is that? Is it because there’s temptation all around? Sometimes, yes. Is it because we have less time to work out and cook healthy meals? For sure. But what’s the No. 1 reason we all seem to struggle this time of year? Guilt.

We feel bad telling our grandmother that we have to forgo her famous mashed potatoes with lots of salt, butter and cream. Or that we can’t eat our aunt’s prized pecan pie. Or we even feel bad for not baking the family’s sugar cookie recipe that we always make. Change is hard, and in a lot of families, people’s feelings get hurt when you don’t act as though you have in the past. It’s a cliché, but in many ways it’s true: Food is love.

So how do you say “no” this time of year without causing a lot of family and friend drama? Follow these tips!

1. Find an ally. Is there a good friend or family member who is supportive of your weight-loss efforts? Ask them to have your back when a food pusher starts getting pushy.

2. Have a plan. Before going to any event, decide what and how much of everything you want — leaving at least a few bites for a mystery food in case something really special that you have a craving for shows up. Then, when you get there, eat according to your plan and enjoy every bite.

3. Don’t linger by the food. Ever notice how food pushers seem to linger by the food? When at a party or gathering, grab your food and go sit down away from the buffet line.

4. Say “No.” Sometimes the truth hurts, but make the food less about the cook and more about you. Soften the blow by telling your loved one how much you appreciate their efforts, but that this year you need their support in a new way — getting healthy. If the person is still relentless, just stick to your guns and say “no!”

Do you have a food pusher in your life? How do you deal?

December 16th, 2010

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(Page 1 of 1, 4 total comments)


I agree with Kelly. I stress the word "can't" and have even needed to go into detail before. I talk about my borderline blood-sugar levels, my quest to lose 10 more pounds, my fitness goals, etc... most people don't need that much info but for the PUSHIEST of the food pushers in my family, it seems to help. When they hear about how far I've come and how far I still want to go, they respect my choices a lot more.

You're so right though. Sometimes people just push and push and the only thing you can do is say no. It may cause some hurt feelings but at least you are sticking to what you think is right.

posted Dec 17th, 2010 8:14 pm


I would not call it 'crap' but I definitely would say 'Can not'. Food pushers especially during the Holidays don't realize what they are doing, and don't think is wrong. Only few are ill intentioned. You would be able to know who is trying to 'push' treats & sweets and unhealthy food on you on purpose, and those who just want to share in some 'cheerful' treats of the moment. Kindly tell everyone, you already had too much, someplace else, or earlier and step away. If that does not help, simply state it. Eating such foods, do not fit in with your health & fitness goals. On the other had, please remember it is all about portion control and knowing your limits. You don't need to deprive yourself, if you workout consistently and have specific diet needs, than make some 'leeway' for a small indulgence every once in a while.

posted Dec 17th, 2010 7:22 pm


I usually tell family and friends ahead of time my goal is to lose or maintain my current weight, especially during the holidays. I find they're very understanding and don't push. They also know that I've been working out at home and drinking Shakeology everyday which reduces my cravings for a lot of the bad stuff.

posted Dec 17th, 2010 5:00 pm

Kelly Turner

I usually say "I can't eat that crap" when someone pushes unhealthy food on me. Saying "can't" seems to work better than "don't want to"

posted Dec 16th, 2010 4:57 pm


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