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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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  • Easiest answer I've ever found: "I'm feeling a little nauseous right now, but maybe later."
    People don't argue with nausea, and usually go out of their way to avoid putting food near your face after that. If they are concerned, you can simply say you're ok but have been feeling a little under the weather today, or that you think something you ate earlier didn't agree with you. It's a good non-specific symptom that could have any number of causes, and can go away or come back at any time - and if they try again later, you just say, "Yes, I'm doing a little better, but I don't want to risk it today."
    Invoke as soon as you've eaten all the healthy food you plan to eat, so you won't be tempted to have any more.
    It doesn't offend anyone, so they won't feel badly about putting so much effort into cooking food you never tried, and it's an easy excuse if you don't want to bring home leftovers either. It will usually take many repeat performances before people catch on that you are nauseous a lot lately, and usually by then it's easy to say "Now that I've been losing weight, rich foods don't taste as good to me anymore. It's a waste of calories, because I actually prefer fruit/vegetables/healthy food now." People usually only resist when they haven't gotten used to a new way to relate to you, by the time the nausea excuse has worn thin, they are probably used to you not eating their food and gotten over it. And sometimes, they will even go out of their way to try to make something healthier you can enjoy for next time, or you may have inspired them to lose weight and exercise, too, because they see how great you're looking!
  • Am I the only one who replies to rude comments about what I eat with rude comments right back? If someone tells me I have to eat something, I say no thank you I don't eat that. If someone makes a comment about not eating anything, I explain that I work hard to make food that is healthy and delicious. And if someone put something on my plate, I would purposefully not touch the food to make a point. If you aren't supporting my journey, I'm not going out of my way to make you feel good about not supporting my journey. Sorry, not sorry.
  • I had a long talk with my husband before leaving for one of those high-pressure family gatherings. We thought back to how long ago in the old country feasts were indeed "once a year" events because food was not so easily available. Of course, no better way to show love in those days than to go all out with feasts. Now it seems that is all we do; every month there is a holiday or event and the food is all too easy to obtain than the old days when you had to harvest the wheat, knead the dough, etc. It continues to be a very, very hard challenge for me not to overeat out of my house even if I understand this. Not giving up
  • I don't believe white lies are a good idea. It will just set you up for more of that same behavior in the future. You will be left with a feeling of guilt for your lie. This could actually set you up to eat more. You must be true to yourself. Much better to simply say no and explain that you are very careful about what you eat and that you are working very hard to be healthy and would feel guilty if you did not keep the promise you made to yourself. Follow it up with what you enjoyed and that you are now full or finished and then change the topic.
  • very motivational
  • 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. :-(
  • BOOKNUT52
    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.

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