We know all their lines: ”Oh, come on, just one more piece.” ”You know you want seconds.” “This little piece of cake won’t hurt you!” “I’ll be offended if you don’t even try some of this!” And so on. You get the picture. We’ve all encountered food pushers. They’re the (usually) well meaning folk who can’t or don’t want to accept that we want to eat more healthily.
There are, however, even people who have a problem overeating themselves and like you to keep them company to make them feel better! A bit like someone who drinks too much persuading an alcoholic to have another drink with them.
You don’t have to let them bully you into eating whatever they want you to. It’s your body. You decide what passes your lips. It’s never ok to push you into doing something you don’t want to. If you don’t want seconds, a piece of cake or “this amazing treat I slaved over all afternoon” then that’s ok.
We know that’s easier said than done. We don’t want to offend anyone. But there are some ways you can let food pushers know that you’re not having any more of what they have to offer without offending anyone. If, after that, they still don’t get the picture, then stop worrying about offending them, they’re not respecting your choices either.
Here are some clever ways to get out of the food pushers’ influence:
Try a simple “No, Thank You”
Just because someone offers you food, doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Starting with a simple “No, thank you, I couldn’t eat another bite” should be enough to deter the less determined food pushers. Say it with conviction. Maybe you need to practice beforehand if that’s not a natural response for you. Try it in front of a mirror
Take it “to go”
If someone offers you a second portion or is insistent that you try their dessert, offer to take a piece home to “eat later when I’m less full and can actually enjoy it”. Once back at your place, you can either offer it to someone else in your home, get rid of it or maybe you do want to enjoy it the next day.
Reassure them they’re allowed to indulge
If you feel that the food pusher is only trying to get you to eat another piece because they want one and don’t want to be the only one eating more, try this. “I really couldn’t eat another piece. But don’t let that stop you. I can tell how much you’d like to have another one.”
Change the subject
With this idea anything goes. You could try “Not right now but I would love to know the recipe. This looks awesome!” or “Maybe later, but can I choose the next song? There is this new song by Band X that you just have to hear”. Here’s another one; “Maybe in a bit, but tell me, how’s your mum/dad/insert appropriate relative”.
Be prepared to face your food pushers
The good thing about food pushers is that they’re predictable. You tend to know who they are and when and where they strike so you can prepare. Think ahead of how you’re going to react to their attempts to derail your efforts of eating healthily. If necessary, prepare by practicing what you’re going to say in front of a mirror.
How the Live Well Practice can help
If you want help with standing up to food pushers, you could give hypnotherapy a try. It could give you the confidence boost you need.
My name is Samantha Culshaw-Robinson and I am a clinical hypnotherapist and mindfulness practitioner. I have been successfully helping people quit smoking and relieve stress since 2010. If you have any questions about the above or would like to book a complimentary initial consultation, please get in touch. You can either email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 075 222 777 22.