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Member Comments for the Article:

11 Nice Ways to Say 'No' to Food Pushers

Politely Turn Down Food at Parties and Gatherings



10/23/2012 4:02:15 PM

JAMIEG's SparkPage
So many of my private weight management clients are people pleasers and one thing they have a difficult time with is saying "no thank you" to someone who is pushing food because they think it will hurt someone's feelings if they don't eat it.. It is helpful to have a plan before going to an event where you know you will be tempted. Besides bringing something you know will work for you, having an immediate reward for sticking to the plan can help you stay focused on the goal of let's say having only one drink or having only one small serving of something that you might find tempting. Perhaps the reward could be purchasing flowers for yourself on the way home or the next day or purchasing a book you want to really want to read or giving yourself permission and time to take a relaxing bath. Remember, we really want to make our food choices based on eating mostly healthfully the rest of our lives and what is being pushed just may not be healthy or conducive to your sticking with what you have decided you want for yourself and it's OK to want to be healthy and to make the food choices that will get you there, no matter what anyone else wants at the moment.


10/23/2012 10:37:53 AM

JALITH's SparkPage
I agree with the comments about honesty. I don't think a good policy is to tell lies. I often take a piece of what I am offered but don't feel a bit guilty about eating only a small amount of it and leaving the rest. But I realize this approach won't work for everyone.


10/22/2012 7:31:26 PM

_FALINE_'s SparkPage
OK, I just have to say that this is the most disappointing article I have ever read on Sparkpeople. Training people to lie? really???? They should pull this article and put it where it belongs, in the TRASH!!!!


10/22/2012 7:24:52 PM

_FALINE_'s SparkPage
Geese! I already know how to LIE! Give me a break!


10/22/2012 11:31:00 AM

MJKRESS's SparkPage
No, thank you.
Not right now, thank you.
Anything more than that will get too far into feelings, emotions, reasons why or why not, excuses... and dare I say it... lies. In any case, don't forget the BIG SMILE - after all, refusing food when you don't want it is a perfectly natural, normal, non-judgmental thing. It's not a commentary on the food, the person offering it, or SELF. It's just saying "no."


10/22/2012 10:43:33 AM

I try to use humor when my family gets pushy or critical. A sibling accuses me of being "obsessed", I just smile & say "Everyone needs a hobby," or when mom says I need to gain weight, I jokingly say "I'll try to start eating at Burger King".. People who know me know my choices aren't a diet but about feeling better & proactive about my health. I have diabetes & high blood pressure in my family tree & don't want any part of that.


10/22/2012 10:37:01 AM

JUSFOLK's SparkPage
"I've turned over a new leaf, a lettuce leaf."
"You know the saying, 'Once on the lips, forever on the hips'...I'm trying to get some excess off these hips."
"I better not; if I got started, I wouldn't want to stop, and then I'd feel guilty, which would ruin this wonderful occasion for me. I know you wouldn't want that."
"Looks great! Since I journal my food intake, would you figure how many servings the dish makes and the amount of each ingrdient it contains, and write that out for me so I can figure a way to work it into my healthy eating plan for the day?"
"I'm gonna pass for now, but if I take a plate home later, I'll be sure to add some of that."
"I know a lot of love went into that dish, but since I'm struggling to get control of my weight, I'm going to have to not choose that to put on my plate today."
"Looks yummy, but it's a definite diet de-railer, and I want to stay on track (wink, wink).


10/22/2012 7:27:20 AM

Really helpful article, thanks SP:)


10/22/2012 1:35:33 AM

CSMNETC's SparkPage
I am NOT impressed that lying is EVER considered better form than honesty, any time, anywhere.
SparkPeople just lost LOTS of my confidence and recommendations today. for posting this writer's unethical approaches.
Very discouraging.
I am a responsible adult, and simply say "No thanks" to the lies - and to extra helpings.!
- Maryjean


10/21/2012 10:04:11 PM

ELLESSE0's SparkPage
The hardest thing is pulling this off without making the other party feel guilty or self-conscious. I've been following a vegan diet for 4+ years and a vegetarian diet for 8+ years, so I've had plenty of experience with people pushing food I won't eat on me, asking/pressuring me to explain why, etc -- with something like vegetarianism that I do for ethical, health, and environmental reasons, it's so hard to handle with tact.


10/21/2012 8:59:07 PM

EL-ZORRO's SparkPage
It took several months for me not to want any desserts or sweets!!! Now if any body offers
any to me I will say SORRY this bad for me and I Don't care for any thanks any way,
My immediate family has been very,very supportive on all of this, I've lost a total of,
42lbs!!!!!!!!!! I've got about 121 more pounds to go!!!!! If anybody tries to push food I do
not want and will not listen to me they'll have my wife to deal with and she will plainly
put them in their place!!!!!


10/21/2012 8:30:15 PM

WITCHCAT1's SparkPage
I borrow an assertiveness trick called broken record. I smile warmly and say something along the lines of thank you for offering-- it looks luscious. When the pusher tries again, I just repeat the smile and the comment. Every time the pusher tries. They usually stop after the restatement. If they go on much longer they either get huffy or they get the giggles.


10/21/2012 5:51:01 PM

I agree with Dixie 1021, presenting a lot of your helpful "tips" with dishonesty as the premise is ludicrous. If you feel uncomfortable being honest about weight loss, or even simply not wanting to eat something with your friends and family, there's probably a lot of dysfunction there already. ALWAYS be honest! You always reap what you sow.


10/21/2012 4:59:44 PM

CMFARRELL36's SparkPage
My first answer is a plain, "No thank you." with a smile.
If then pushed, I'll repeat, "No, thanks. I'm fine". And put my right hand up, like backing off, again with a smile.
If pushed again in the same confrontation (for want of a better term), I just change the tone of voice and repeat,"No. Thanks anyway." and no smile.

It rarely gets to a third refusal. Usually the earlier refusal with smile works.

When it comes to great-auntie pushy-push, though, I have resorted to, "Oh, sorry, there's [name] calling me" - and then cope later with feeling bad.


10/21/2012 4:12:53 PM

CMITCHE55's SparkPage
When this happens, especially at holiday get-togethers, I can understand why people don't want to upset 80-year-old Grandma Gretchen who probably only bakes once a year anymore. It's hard not to feel guilty. I usually ask if I can just take a piece/slice/portion home with me to enjoy when I'm less full. That way, no feelings are hurt, and I can usually recruit help in eating a responsible portion by sharing with my husband or 10-year old later.

At work potlucks, I give myself a food budget of two items and skip my morning or afternoon snack. If anyone asks if I tried their specialty and I haven't, I just say no, but it looked delicious and ask for the recipe. It pays the co-worker a compliment and gives me a chance to add a recipe to my collection while seeing if there are easy ingredient swap-outs that would make it less caloric/fattening, etc.

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