7 Easy Tips to Deal with “Friendly” Food Pushers

6 December 2016 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Holiday Eating

We all have them in our lives: a friend, an aunt, mother-in-law, colleague, a sister… They mean well, but they like to push us to eat more food.  As mindful eaters, we like to stop eating at a comfortable point but this is hard when food is being pushed on us. Food pushers are especially active over the holidays and at family gatherings – it’s their moment to shine!

They mean well and are most likely showing their love for you through food or want to please you with food.  The scenario:

You are at a party and you have enjoyed your food and Aunty Veronica insists that you eat more cake “because you hardly ate”. You feel bad and you don’t want to offend her, she has gone to so much trouble so you eat more… You leave the party feeling physically bloated and uncomfortable and you feel bad emotionally for not listening to yourself.

Here are 7 easy tips on how to deal with food pushers…

1. Redirect

Compliment Aunty Veronica on how delicious the food is and thank her for all the effort she has gone to in order to prepare this beautiful meal. Ask her if you can take some home or ask her to explain the recipe and by that time hopefully someone else will have caught her attention and you can go in peace.

2. Delay

When your FFP (Friendly Food Pusher) offers you food… delay… tell her you are still savouring the first plate and you will have some more a bit later.

3. Divert

When more food is pushed on you, say “I am going to the bathroom” or “I am going to chat to Aunt Mathilda and will have more when I get back”. Hopefully when you get back she will have forgotten about you.

4. Deflect

Often people encourage others to eat so that they can have an excuse to eat some more themselves, so counter-offer her the food instead! “Perhaps you would like some more?” or “It’s delicious – you go for it!”

5. Change the subject

Say “thanks yes, but I must tell you about…” and start talking about something completely different in great detail, to the point she is so bored that she will leave you for another victim! Or “Did you know that our stomachs are the size of a fist?”

6. Keep it light

“I couldn’t possibly put another crumb in my mouth! It was all utterly delicious but I am starting to feel like an Anaconda.”

7. Simply say NO thank you

No is such a tiny word yet we have such difficulty saying it. The trick is to say “No thank you” in a very kind, polite and firm way.  Repeat if necessary. If you have a hard time saying no, practice before you go.

Food pushers can be very insistent. You may not always get it right. It takes time, practice and patience, but just keep going!

🍂 My gift to you is a free “slightly different advent calendar” for you to print and enjoy during the festive season.

🍂 Is handling the combination of holidays + food + a global pandemic stressful for you? This online course may be what you need… How To Handle Eating in the Holidays is designed to support you through the festive season.

🍂 Interested in healing your relationship with food? Book a free mini-session.

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