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Why Friends Sabotage Your Diet at Parties

2012-12-29 09:57

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How to Say No When You Don't Want the Food

A friend's doctor said he should lose 10 pounds and so he is trying to break his sugar habit. He generally eats well during the day but his downfall is cookies while watching TV. At an office luncheon when dessert was being served, he said, "No thanks, I don't want any." A well meaning co-worker then foisted dessert on him, shoving it in front of him and saying, "You're doctor is wrong, have some," leaving him staring at the dessert then back to us with a sorrowful look on his face.

Your Friend Is Trying to Make You Happy by Offering You Food

His co-worker probably was not out to sabotage him, but more likely was remembering the last time she said no when she reallywanted to say yes. She wished someone would have made the decision for her, albeit against her wishes, and then she could have eaten the dessert because it wouldn't be polite to refuse (or some other excuse), so now she's doing him the favor. She is wrong, but that's the way people generally are. We all understand the pain of deprivation and want to make it better for each other.

Devise a Plan for Dealing with Sabotaging Food Pushers

First, if you do want some dessert, have some, enjoy it and move on with your life. It is not a big deal to have a dessert, even if you're already over full. It's one eating event out of thousands. But when you are being pushed into something you don't want it's no different than being offered drinks when you're underage; peer pressure doesn't stop because you graduate from high school.

You Don't Have to Explain: Just Say No

If you're making an effort to make better choices, choosing to eat only foods that really appeal to you, and learning to say no when you just don't want any, you can tell the food pusher, "No, thanks," and leave it at that. You don't owe anyone an explanation. You could also take a plate and let it sit there. Most people are so preoccupied with themselves they won't notice whether you're eating. If someone does ask, "Aren't you going to eat your cake," you could say, "In a minute." Keep busy talking and just delay until it's time to go, then discretely set the plate aside.

If you watch the thinner folks at parties you'll notice they talk a lot and eat little. It's difficult to talk and gesture while holding a drink in one hand and a plate of food in the other.

If the food seems to be calling your name and it's becoming more difficult to resist since it's sitting in front of you then simply pretend it is made of plastic, like the display food in a Chinese restaurant. It's not meant to be eaten, just admired. Then admire it all you like.

Why do we need to resort to trickery to make our own food choices? Because food pushers are not going to accept your arguments, no matter how well you state your case, so don't bother fighting a losing battle. You can't change their mind; they want to eat some and they'd feel better if you ate some too. You can't change other people, you can only change yourself.

Remember the next time you feel the urge to push food on someone, food means love in our society, but choice means more. Offer it, and then let it go if they say no.

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