Member Comments for the Article:

11 Nice Ways to Say 'No' to Food Pushers

Politely Turn Down Food at Parties and Gatherings

188 Comments



  • THATWIFE1
    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 10:43:33 AM
  • "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 10:37:01 AM
  • Really helpful article, thanks SP:) - 10/22/2012 7:27:20 AM
  • 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 - 10/22/2012 1:35:33 AM
  • 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 10:04:11 PM
  • 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 8:59:07 PM
  • 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 8:30:15 PM
  • WHITRIVERA
    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 5:51:01 PM
  • 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 4:59:44 PM
  • 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. - 10/21/2012 4:12:53 PM
  • DIXIE1021
    A "white lie" is a lie, nonetheless. To say that telling a white lie "won't hurt anyone" is not true. I read a quote from (oh no, I can't remember now) someone that essentially said "Never sacrifice any part of the truth on the altar of peace." When the truth is sacrificed, the "peace" you think you're keeping isn't realóbecause you know yourself it's not the truth.
    What ever happened to just saying, "No, thanks" ? No follow up; just no thanks. - 10/21/2012 3:52:04 PM
  • A lot of these are lies! That's not cool. I want to be a person of integrity not just a thiner person. These must ways to be polite and have integrity. I don't want to change one for the other. - 10/21/2012 3:15:57 PM
  • ELISFR
    Hi! My name is Elis‚ngela and I'm brasilian. I live in Rio de Janeiro. I loved this article. I'm a person that take care with my health. I lose 5 k and I need lose more 5, but I want to have health. I love to eat good foods and don't like whwm a person das that I'm very fat. This is impolite!!! No one need hear bad words. i refuse and wait the better the others people. - 10/21/2012 2:20:49 PM
  • I usually say "no, I'm trying to quit" and people laugh and go on to the next person. - 10/21/2012 1:56:09 PM
  • My favorite is, Sorry, but I'm "allergic" to that. Seems to be the win/win excuse that satisfies everybody. They did offer which feels good to them; and I did decline in a kindly what that also feels good to them. And I got out of even having to "just taste" it. ReeGee - 10/21/2012 12:43:15 PM

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