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Resisting Food Pushers: Handling Social Eating Situations Gracefully

Eating healthy and maintaining steady blood sugar levels can be challenging, especially in social situations where others may pressure you to indulge. Whether it’s a work party, family gathering, or dinner out with friends, you can stick to your healthy eating goals while still having fun. Here are some tips for gracefully resisting food pushers:

Plan Ahead

Before attending a social event, have a game plan. Eat a healthy snack or meal beforehand so you don’t arrive overly hungry. Decide what foods fit into your diet and which you want to avoid. Mentally prepare yourself to say no thanks to offerings that don’t work for you.

Bring Your Own Food

Offer to contribute a healthy dish you can eat. Bring your own snack or dessert that fits your nutrition needs. That way you’ll have something to enjoy without feeling deprived. And you will also give people a chance to see how they can eat healthy foods and have a good time doing it.

Use Your Body as an Excuse

Blame your stomach, not your willpower. Say something like “My stomach has been bothering me lately, so I need to avoid (certain food).” People tend to be understanding when you cite physical discomfort.

Steer the Conversation Away from Food

Tell your host you’re so excited to catch up that you don’t want to get sidetracked by eating. Or compliment something not food-related, like the decor or music. This subtly shifts the focus of the interaction away from any pressure to indulge.

Accept Small Servings Graciously

When offered a food you want to avoid, say yes to a small taste. By accepting a spoonful or bite, you sidestep an awkward refusal while still limiting your portion. You can push it around your plate a little to look like you’ve tried it. I don’t usually advocate deception but if you aren’t comfortable saying ‘no thank you’, this may be a better option for you.

Bring a Supportive Friend

Enlist a health-minded friend who can help steer you toward better choices and back up your “no thanks” with their own. Having an ally makes it easier to stick to your eating plan.

Be Upbeat, Not Apologetic

Don’t apologize for eating healthfully – you’re making wise choices for your wellbeing. Keep it positive by emphasizing how great you feel eating nutritious foods that fuel your body optimally.

With the right mindset and tactics, you can handle any social eating situation gracefully. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important, so arm yourself to resist food pushers and make the best choices. Stay focused on your health goals while still enjoying the social connections.

Need help standing firm? Let’s strategize.

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  1. Elisa on January 22, 2024 at 1:26 pm

    These are great ideas! When I go to an event, I like to see who is there and start conversations first before walking over to the food. Eventually, I’ll get there, but it isn’t the first priority. I may allow myself a treat or two, but then I walk back to the people I’m there to see and get away from the food.

    • Karen Admin on January 22, 2024 at 4:57 pm

      That’s a great strategy Elisa. Prioritizing the people over the food is key.

  2. Lily Leung on January 22, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    Very good ideas. However I failed on Saturday night at a book club meeting. We took no snacks but I happened to sit right in front of the table of snacks. I couldn’t resist at all.

    • Karen Admin on January 22, 2024 at 4:56 pm

      The important thing is that you are aware of your own behavior. Next time, you can take some healthy alternatives so you don’t fall so far off track.

  3. Kate Loving Shenk on January 22, 2024 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve been invited to a pot luck on groundhog’s day to strategize about 2024 election. I will bring something to eat, of course but these last several years, I haven’t done much cooking. I like focusing on social aspects and stay away from over eating. Thanks for the tips.

    • Karen Admin on January 23, 2024 at 6:46 pm

      I like how you think Kate. You can take something healthy for yourself and others to try. If you check out my website, there are lots of good recipes there.

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