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11 Nice Ways to Say 'No' to Food Pushers

Politely Turn Down Food at Parties and Gatherings


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  • I envy everyone here who can say "no thanks" and be heard/respected about it. Not everyone has people in their lives that will take 'no' as 'no'. Especially for Spark readers who are younger (like me) and the food pushers are the older generations who are incredibly patronizing about knowing better.

    It's a lot more complex than "lies are bad, and if you tell a lie about not being hungry you're a bad person". Not everyone has the same family situation as you.

    That being said, these days I escape about 90% of all food situations by being vegan... it's super awesome. I get to hear everyone's stupid/uninformed comments about not eating animal products, but I have better control over what they push at me.
  • The sheer number of comments speaks volumes about the subject matter...and the fact this article has been recycled on many occasions. Given the nature of the comments and the displeasure with the content, I find it interesting that Spark continues to include it in spark mail.

    When I skimmed the article, I sorta missed the intent...telling white lies to discourage food pushers. Let's be honest, food pushers are adult bullies. Applying pressure to achieve compliance is bullying! To stop this, lying will not help. Empowering people to say no is what will ultimately make a difference.

    In a twisted way, I think spark felt it was providing a bag of tricks you could pull out and use when a food pusher is making you feel uncomfortable. However, inventing/fabricating/lying just heaps another dose of bad behavior into a tricky situation. Saying no is not mean or wrong, lying is! Food pushers don't mean well, time to stop this cycle of using food as an object that can be pushed on others!
  • I think we spend too much time worrying about the other person's feelings. I will say no politely once. If the other person does not get it that I do not want, can not eat, SHOULD not eat any more, that is their problem.

    My health, and YOUR health, is more important than their feelings.

    If "Thank you, but I said no" is too much for people, that is their problem. I should not have to compromise my standards and lie to a person or make up a story because they can't understand that no means no.
  • What if you have a one person that wants you to eat. What do you do then? I visit this lady across from me. How do you say no.
  • I agree - Telling a lie is not the best approach - EVER. I adopted the - I'm sure it is delicious - and I hope that you truly enjoy it, but it is not a part of my lifestyle plan/choices right now. I even get the - OH you are on one of those (insert diet name here) - and I say no, I've adopted a lifestyle plan that makes me feel better, now - thank you for understanding.
  • @SESSIE691 " My favorite come-back when someone tries to push food on me is: "I'm sorry but I'm allergic!" If they ask what happens when I do eat that item I say: "I break our in fat!" Then I walk away quickly as they react to the last sentence."

    Same comment to you as to TRENAMARIE. People like you get children killed. Don't ever ever EVER lie about a food allergy.
  • @TRENAMARIE - " I usually tell them I'm I'm allergic, they say really. I say yes, it makes me fat!! And that is no lie"

    People who lie about a fake food allergy are why people have on multiple occasions almost KILLED my BABY nephew. They thought that because some people don't have the guts to say "no thank you" and instead lie about a false food allergy, that all food allergies are BS. Then they think it's ok to "slip" something in without mentioning. That the parents who are so TERRIFIED ALL THE TIME are just helicopter parents. (And no, I'm not apologizing for the all caps, and I am not apologizing for being so harsh, this is too important to mince words)

    PEOPLE, DON'T LIE ABOUT HAVING A FOOD ALLERGY, YOU WILL GET SOMEONE KILLED. It's not funny, it's not cute, it's not ok, ever, period, full stop. Don't do it, it is horrific unacceptable behavior.
  • I have to agree with most of the comments already posted... surprised Sparkpeople would encourage us to lie to others... Not a fan at all of this particular post. :-(
    I really like sparkpeople but...This article is the first one I've read that gave really bad advice. If I were the editor, I would take it down and correct it, or just omit it completely. I would never advise anyone to lie, that is a blot on your character, which is far more important that what you eat on any given day. This brings down the good reputation of sparkpeople, I admit I'm disappointed with that.
  • I recently had this happen that someone brought me a piece of dessert they wanted me to try. In turn, I shared with other people, so I was honestly able to say I had tried it and what I thought of it and the person was non the wiser that I had shared it and saved myself a lot of calories.
  • If someone doesn't just accept my "no thank you" and continues to persist, I go to plan B. I just offer them some of what I've been eating without labeling it as a healthy choice.
    Here try some of this ____
    True food pushers don't want anything pushed on them, especially anything they view as healthy.

    I usually tell them I'm I'm allergic, they say really. I say yes, it makes me fat!! And that is no lie
  • I read this article and I have to be honest there aren't many things in here I would use. One of the biggest things that come to mind when someone offers me something and I don't want any is No thanks!. If I haven't tried a food I'll generally say "I know it looked delicious but I'm full. I try to make healthy choices with the first go around and if something really looks appealing I will get just one single bite if I know its going to be a lot of calories. But, I would never put myself in the situation to lie.For other things if people really want to think I'm obsessive that's their own business I know the truth that logging and tracking my food keeps me accountable. Maybe there will be one day where it isn't as necessary but, for now it is! If someone says that to me I would say "No, I'm trying to make better food choices and I already enjoyed my meal this time. I'm also not going to say no to leftovers, I can either eat them sparingly, mix them in with other foods so that I add nutrition to the dish, or just share them with my family. I hope that sparkpeople decides to add some other helpful information to this article in the future.
  • I was just shocked when I read this article and I was surprised that the editor let this article go to press. I won't use lies to keep a food pusher away. I won't say I've already tried a food and it was delicious if I haven't. I won't say that I'm driving unless I am. I won't say that I don't like a food or can't eat a food, unless that is the truth, and I won't say I've overloaded on a food if the truth is that I would absolutely love to eat it but know that I shouldn't. I would focus on the health issue. You can use that for every single food pusher scenario AND it's the truth. "I don't want to eat that right now because I am trying to improve my health so that I will live longer to spend time with my friends and family." If they say, "But it's only this once." You can say, "If everyone tells me that every time I turn down a food, then it wouldn't be only once." Better yet, you probably already know in advance that you are going to go to wherever it is that these food pushers exist, so why not make room in your diet plan for 1 to 2 bites of something you might otherwise turn down. My son made bread pudding and I had 2 bites, entered it into my log and made sure that the rest of my day was balanced. It worked perfectly. As far as the alcoholic beverage offer is concerned, I can honestly say, "It's not worth the calories." I get as much pleasure out of a refreshing glass of iced tea as I get out of a cocktail or glass of wine and I've saved those calories for something else!

    Just don't tell people to lie. It's wrong and it should NEVER be suggested. If you think that "a white lie" never hurt anybody, then you haven't taken into consideration the ramifications that can occur if you are caught. Also, once you start telling lies that are "OK", lying can become a habit; then before you realize it, you're telling them more and more often. Soon, you will be caught and you won't be deemed trustworthy anymore. No, lying is definitely not worth it. I refuse to do it.
    I agree with alilduckling, I wouldn't encourage someone to lie. A couple of helps in situations like these: One is to put the food on a plate and walk around with it. Then you just eat what you have decided to eat and leave the rest. Hopefully no one would pay so much attention to you when they see the stuff on your plate. The second suggestion is to let your hostess know ahead of time that although you will be enjoying her food/party a lot, you won't be eating everything, and why. Most people do understand, and she might even become your ally when you need one. And...You can always run into the kitchen and wash some dishes or something! About leftovers, just smile and take it, and then give it to a friend, maybe even someone leaving the gathering who would appreciate it more than you do. The "saboteurs" probably mean well, they don't understand how difficult the process is...

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