When you’re on the road to improve your health by eating better, the holidays can be a very difficult time. Not only are you battling your own temptations and cravings; you might also have to fight friends and relatives who suddenly change from very nice people into the dreaded “food pushers.”
The solution begins with understanding why they’re pushing food on you and then learning how to politely say no.
Understand The Food Pusher Mentality
While some food pushers really want to sabotage your healthy eating plan, most do not. They equate food with affection and want to please both themselves and you by having you eat what they made. Sometimes that’s their only means of connection, particularly if they’re older.
However, whether the person is trying to show love or deliberately trying to pull you off your plan, you have the right to do what’s best for you—regardless of how others feel about it.
Be Assertive, Not Aggressive
Someone who is assertive
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines an assertive person as someone who “behaves confidently and is not frightened to say what they want or believe.” An aggressive person is described as “behaving in an angry and violent way towards another person.”
While getting angry gets your point across, it also can damage your relationships. Thankfully, there are some very effective ways to be “politely assertive.”
Learn Nice Ways To Say No
- Be Open And Honest – Bravely tell people that you have made a commitment to get healthy and you want to see it work. Explain that you’re not trying to make anyone feel bad, but you have to stick to specific food choices to succeed. You can even do this before you get to the celebration to get ahead of the issue and hopefully avoid a food-pushing incident.
- Deflect – When offered a food you know you can’t eat, deflect the conversation by asking things like, “Oh, that looks delicious. Where did you get the recipe?” Then launch into, “By the way, how is your job/school/hobby going?” Change the focus from you to the person who made the food.
- Stall – According to the site SparkPeople.com, “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.”
- Fib – Say that you’ve already had some of the offered dish. It’s a small lie and will make the food pusher feel good about what they made, no harm done. You can also put a small amount on your dish and move it around with your fork so it looks like you actually tried it.
- Give A “Grateful Apology” – This comes from the Happy Herbivore site and works well when someone says, “I made this just for you.” First, thank them sincerely for thinking of you. Next, apologize and say it’s your fault for not being clear about your dietary restrictions. Complement how good the dish looks and what a good cook the person is. Finally, apologize again and reiterate them how kind and thoughtful they are.
As the site says, “Most people don’t really care if you eat the food or not. They just want acknowledgement of their efforts and to feel appreciated, which you can give with your words.”
These are just a few of the ways you can stay on track with your eating program during the holidays. Do some research to find out which options will work best for you and the food pushers in your life so you can enjoy your holidays while staying on plan.
And remember that we at Why Weight are here to help you succeed in becoming a healthier you all through the year!
The Why Weight Transformation Program is an all-natural, safe, and effective way to lose weight by assessing the factors involved in fat storage and fat metabolism utilizing Bio-Marker Scanning technology, which help bring your body into the optimal fat burning zone. Contact us for a free evaluation.
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