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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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  • Thank you. I needed this today!
  • The article doesn't mention it, but when you take those leftovers home and have more control over them, the garbage can is also an option! Sad, but waste or to waist!!!
  • A true food pusher won't stop. We have one at work and a neighbor of mine is one as well. They just keep at it until you either get short with them or you give in. Be strong and be firm.
  • I agree with the majority of comments here - a clear 'no thank you!' with a smile, is fine - or even 'not at the moment, thanks'/'not right now, thanks'.

    For me, the comments about 'you don't need to lose weight' etc are the most button-pushing ones !!! I'm likely to say nothing and just smile!
  • Good suggestions, but I rather like taking home leftovers! There's so much you can do, so many different meals you can make the next day or the next that don't have to be unhealthy. That's just me, though
  • 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.
    Somehow I think that the "I've already tried some, it was delicious" is going to get you a foil-covered plate of leftovers to take home with you and then repeats every holiday. Stick with the other options.
  • Interesting suggestions. However, the food pushers I've run into have not accepted my first or second, "No, thank you," or " No, thanks; I don't care for that." Saying I'll try something later didn't faze one woman, either. She kept pushing me to try her specialty NOW, no matter what. I wanted to take the bowl and dump it on her. When I walked towards another section of the table, she freaking followed me. I didn't want to leave the event venue to escape, for heaven's sake! The article may refer to kind, reasonable folks offering food, but true PUSHERS seem to have an agenda, and it can be horrible trying to withstand them! I will NOT eat what I do not want any more, but I have problems being assertive, and I end up miserable, trying to politely refuse, to escape, something.

    On the other hand, yes, I have had respectful acceptance from folks I've met in recent years. It was incredibly refreshing. But they were politely offering -- they did not qualify as true food pushers. I wonder if these suggestions work mostly with reasonable, respectful people. I like the idea of pushing the food around on my plate, but I think it's a shame it has to come to that.
    A simple "No, thank you" is sufficient.
  • I get a lot of food shoved at me by my clients, many of whom are elderly and very well meaning. If they won't take a 'no thank you' or a 'I'd love to have it but I had breakfast/lunch/brunch late so I'm really stuffed' answer, I tell them that I'll take it for later and then give it to my husband or next door's kids. I don't want to alienate my clients. Sometimes I get boxes of biscuits etc from them and my Husband takes them to dialysis with them and the nurses share them out between themselves. Saves a lot of awkwardness.

    When it comes to 'family pushers', I just say 'no thankyou' and stick to my guns. I had one cousin try to stuff vile vile vile Black Forest Gateaux into my mouth with her hand, while grabbing my by the pony tail with the other(disgusting) and I spat it all out. Every speck of it. My hatred of BFG is well known in the family, I've never liked it. I actually went home after that. Anyway, my dress was covered in vile chocolate and cherry cream.

    I don't white lie to get out of a situation. With my customers I might sidestep the issue a bit but as some of them actually save a little money back to 'give me a treat' I try to be really gratious about it. It's a bit of a tightrope act sometimes.

    I get the same thing with virtually everyone I know trying to pour alcohol down my neck too. I don't drink, I don't like it so I don't drink it. I've never found an alcoholic drink that I like the taste of so gave it up a long time ago.
  • Lying, even a "little white lie" is NEVER acceptable. Just say, "No, thank you" and stick to your guns. You will be admired for your fortitude. I never back to Weight-Watcher's after a leader encouraged "little white lies". Liars are worse than food-pushers.
  • Why give excuses? Just say 'No thank you' and walk away.
  • Personally a simple No Thank You seems like a better bet then all that hedging and lying, what if you say you are allergic to something and they remember you ate it last time. These seem to be children's techniques not something a confident adult should try.
  • A few commentors have noted that it's passive aggressive to lie and what not to "get out of" the situation. While "no thank you" and being assertive is healther, I can identify with many of these "ways" to get the food pusher to go away so I don't hurt their feelings.

    I found that saying "no" made me feel guilty and less worthwhile. I felt "good" when I said "ok". That's not "real" either.

    I swallowed a lot of resentment when folks would try to run me over and I let them do it. It started many a year ago when I was a wee child. I learned to be compliant then. It meant that I became a compliant adult.

    It's taken me some work with a professional to manage through some of those "when I say 'no', I feel guilty" feelings. Sometimes, I do feel guilty, inappropriately. Yet, I feel better saying "no thanks" now knowing that I'm not "wasting" by wearing it home on my thighs. Or to say "no" when I really don't want to do something.

    For those of us who were/are compliant (aka "door mats"), saying "no" can be emotionally painful.

    I think this article really is meant for those of us who grew up being compliant children and became compliant adults. I'm much less compliant now. It is a handy skill to have when it's not overused.

    If you find that you identify with guilt and this article brings up feelings, perhaps finding a professional to dig down into the desire to make everyone else happy before your own self might be worth some time and effort.

    Change is exciting (aka "scary" but I like "exciting" better). Feeling resolute about taking care of yourself is important.

  • Most of these ideas are good, but I don't agree with the"White Lie" theory of one of them. Sooner or later it comes back to haunt you.

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