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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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  • Great article. I use some of these with my favorite food-pushers and when all else fails this is my favorite polite way to turn down a food-pusher, "Oh no, I'm sorry I'm just full now but I enjoyed everything so much!" - 5/26/2013 12:38:37 PM
    Because of food pushers, I have simply eliminated all food related gatherings at work from my schedule. I used to go just to be social, but people just can't seem to understand. I am gluten and dairy free for very good reasons, and they simply refuse to leave it alone. They are aware that I get sick and still push. I had one woman take a piece of cheesecake, put it in front of my face, and say, "just a little bit?!?" Now, when people ask if I will attend, I say no and explain why when asked. Maybe it will make people think and they will leave the next person that says no alone. - 5/26/2013 12:17:26 PM
  • PINK_FREAK8994
    i hate people who dont respect the diet wishes of someone. i try my best to eat healthy, i dont eat tortillas beans potatos buscuits or oily fried foods but yet my mom cooks every single one of those things for breakfast she fries the tortillas and the potatoes and its just disgusting and then when i say why cant she make something that i like and that is more healthy she gets all mad and says shes not gonna cook fancy stuff that we just need food to feed us. i feel like slapping her when she says that and you guys have guessed is that everyone has high blood pressure and high sodium and im the one in the family who weighs the least. my family is the picture of food pushers! - 5/26/2013 12:16:02 PM
  • i am a vegan and i do not eat wheat or sugar and i take my food and by now most people know how i eat or just get mad and i do not care or i will say i have lost 163lbs and i like it - 5/26/2013 11:19:04 AM
  • I have used many of these responses when someone offers me food. I have no allergies, but I have used the allergy excuse, even though people knows I am not allergic, they laugh and don't push anymore. Of course joking and sarcasm is what I do. So, it usually works.
    At big gatherings with a lt of food, I have been told try someone's dish (usually dessert), I tell them I will after my stomach settles. Sometimes, it's gone before I get to try it. Then I have an honest reason not to eat it when they come back and ask if I tried it. - 5/3/2013 8:17:43 AM
  • People do push food... and sometimes it's not just to be nice. It's almost like they won't feel guilty for eating it if you eat it too- especially at work! I had to say "no thank you" three times the other day to the same person offering the same food. The saying "We don't turn down free food around here" made me feel like I wasn't part of the team, part of the 'we' simply because I didn't want to add extra calories to my diet. There is always something to celebrate and some folks seem offended when I don't eat- as if I can't feel good about an event or 'celebrate' without eating a donut or a piece of cake or whatever the case may be. Food Pushers- kind or not, really does describe how I feel about these folks. Offer once, if someone says no- leave it alone! Geez. - 4/29/2013 4:17:21 PM
  • Amen to EAA789! - 4/26/2013 11:56:49 PM
  • The push where you're told you'll be forced to eat it would be a final straw for me - in fact, has been.
    I came back with a straight out "No, but thank you". Followed with something about "let's not fall out about this". - 4/26/2013 3:54:59 PM
    I just say no thank you and avoid saying something that isn't true. - 4/26/2013 11:24:35 AM
  • I find humor works well. "Oh no thanks; sugar makes my pants shrink." Truth also works, "Thanks, but I'm trying to lose weight and even a little sugar puts me out of control." - 4/26/2013 10:42:48 AM
  • I once had to do a very strict 10-day diet to get rid of migraines. Every week, we'd go to my Hungarian mother-in-law's home to eat her delicacies. This particular week, I made a batch of cabbage roll casserole, with ingredients that I was allowed to eat; including brown rice and ground turkey. Mother-in-law was invited to try some and she loved it! I was able to eat and not feel left out and it was good for relationships, too. :)

    Now, I try to avoid pork, you could say for religious reasons, but specific details are a separate conversation on their own. My mom loves me but still tries to force feed me bacon or pork sausage every chance she can. She just doesn't seem to understand. I'll have a little if I must but try to find ways around it if I can. "More for the rest of you" or "I'll just have extra veggies, thanks". I'm not about being offensive - that does no one any good. - 4/26/2013 8:52:22 AM
  • There are many days I hate being gluten intolerant. Around holidays, though, It's a great help in saying no. My reaction to eating anything with wheat, rye or barley is immediate. Those that love me, know and don't push. I don't worry about those who don't! - 4/26/2013 7:01:44 AM
  • I think the point of this article is a good one--be mentally prepared before you go to a social function where others may offer you food. Thinking through some possible scenarios you may encounter and planning some wise and/or gracious responses is just plain smart. Thanks, Erin!
    - 4/25/2013 4:17:52 PM
    Lots of comments here--- some seem kind, some unkind. I believe that most food pushers are well intentioned. A response, "I really appreciate your kindness, but I must say no".... spoken firmly-- should suffice. Both labels, "food pusher" and "food snob" sound unflattering (and unkind) to me. You should never feel forced to accept food, appealing or not. Grandma's cornbread cooked in cups of bacon fat, does not appeal to me--- but I never want to hurt Grandma. Courtesy and kindness in your refusal can usually succeed... Food "pushed" is most often offered in gracious spirit, rather than otherwise. Chill out and be considerate please-- - 4/25/2013 4:01:02 PM
    I hate lies, white or not. Just say no thanks. I'm sure we need a list of excuses and lies. - 4/25/2013 1:52:29 PM

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