The holidays are a time when family and friends gather together, and food is usually a huge part of the celebration. As we learned back in elementary school, the Thanksgiving holiday itself commemorates a special feast shared between the Pilgrims and Indians. Food is part of culture and heritage, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, family recipes and ethnic or regional dishes are one of the things that makes holiday meals so special.
For many people, there are foods and recipes that make them recall childhood or remind them of a beloved person in their life who may have made that food for them. For most people there is also at least one person in their life who pushes them to eat, even if they are already full! This can be a dicey situation especially if that person happens to be your grandmother and you're trying to stick to your weight loss plan.
Who is a food pusher?
Food pushers are those people, usually well-meaning relatives, who just seem to want to feed you constantly. They are often grandmothers and mothers but also can be aunts, uncles, and family friends. Almost everyone has a food pusher in their life and with such an abundance of delicious food available at the holidays, they have lots of opportunities to try to persuade you to get off track with your diet.
How to deal with food pushers:
The following list includes 10 responses you can give when faced with the food pusher in your life:
1. "I wish I could, but it's not on my diet right now."
Don't be afraid to tell the food pusher in your life that you are trying to change your eating habits. Most often, they will be encouraging of your lifestyle change and will want to support you along the way to a healthier life. You can even use this also as an opportunity to enlist more friends and family as your support system along your journey.
2. "No thanks. I really can't have just one bite."
This statement is critical! When pressured to eat that delicious pie, don't tell yourself you can have one bite and be okay because you know yourself; once you get started it is that much harder to stop! Practice saying this before you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner to ensure you are in the proper mindset and committed to your goals!
3. "Thanks so much! I know you want to support me in my efforts to get healthy, so no."
Spin it on them! Let the food pusher know that you are thankful for their support and you would like to continue to stay healthy, even with all the temptations around.
4. "My doctor and dietitian don't recommend that for me, but thank you anyway."
Blame it on us! Some family members or friends may become offended if you tell them you don't want to eat their food, even if you explain to them that you are trying to be healthier. Nonetheless, blame your new eating plan on your doctor or your dietitian and don't feel as guilty for saying "no".
5. "It really looks delicious, but I'm going to have to pass."
As stated above, some people can take offense to you not trying their food. Let them know that it does look very good but you are trying to be healthier and therefore are sticking to a regimented food plan.
6. "Wow, that does look good! But I already have enough food on my plate"
If you follow our blog, you know how much we express PROTEIN and the limitation of carbohydrates. Therefore, when serving yourself at the Thanksgiving buffet, be sure to fill your plate with protein and vegetables first, leaving little room for carbs or starchy vegetables. That way when pressured to eat the unhealthy food, you can blame it on that fact that your plate it already full.
7. "I am already full, but I would love to take some home!"
Tell the food pusher in your life that you would love to try their cooking, however you are stuffed from all the protein and vegetables you already ate. Suggest to them that you will take the leftovers home, however when you get home or before you even get in your car to leave, THROW IT OUT! Don't attempt to bring that temptation into your home because you will then most likely end up eating it in the privacy of your kitchen.
8. "I'm sure there are others who would be happy to take these leftovers home. Who would you suggest?"
If you don't trust yourself to throw the food out, then don't suggest bringing it home. Recommend that the food be packaged up as leftovers and given to someone else who doesn't care to have the unhealthy treats in their fridge.
9. "I am finally at a healthy weight and I would like to continue my progress."
Pat yourself on the back because you deserve it! Be proud of the progress you have made, that alone should be enough to say no to those temptations. Tell that food pusher in your life that you are at a happy place in your life and would hate to spiral down an unhealthy path again.
10. "Thanks so much but I'm allergic... I break out in thighs!"
Lastly, if all else fails, break out the humor. Tell this joke and distract them from their offer as they laugh with you. Don't let the food pusher in your life pressure you to eat foods that aren't on your plan.
Live Healthy MD wishes you all a happy, healthy, and food-pusher-free holiday!
Download our fall drink recipes and surprise your family and friends with a delicious, low-carb coffee this Thanksgiving.