THE BLOG
07/30/2015 02:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Food Pusher

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A food pusher is a person who will lead you to unplanned eating. They are all around and they push food that is high calorie and unhealthy. Whenever you are not paying attention, they strike and they win. They do this because you allow it. Know who your food pushers are, and have an action plan ready to execute.

Everyone has someone that knows the special treats that you love to devour. In this instance the food pusher is showing love by offering you something special. When someone is pushing food due to loving you, it is very difficult to say no. Saying no will be perceived as not accepting their love. If it is your choice to eat, plan on it, but if this is an item or a pattern you want to end, there are ways to accomplish it.

  • Accept their love by accepting their kind gesture and turning down the food. Use words that will easily roll off your tongue. Practice and be prepared. You can say something similar to "Thank you so much, that looks delicious." "Thank you, I think I'll have it later." Or "You made this for me? Thank you, everyone will love this!"
  • Make sure you say thank you, and that you never say no. Acknowledge and accept their love and efforts without accepting the food.

Jealousy also encourages the food pusher. Often people are jealous of you, or are unhappy with their own appearance. Misery loves company. Some may not be aware of your health issues or they don't think you need to watch your weight. They might not care how you feel inside.

  • These are the people it's OK to respond to by saying -- no. When you elaborate and say, "No, I'm watching my weight", or "No, I really shouldn't", what the food pusher hears is, "Twist my arm harder and I'll eat right along with you." The more words you use, the more ammunition you give them to get you to eat. At this point it's all about them and not you.
  • Be strong and use few words. No thank you, no, or not now, will suffice. Do not invite further conversation on this issue.

How about the groups that you celebrate with, or with whom you dine out who think constant food equals a good time? You may feel you need to partake to be included, but that is not so.

  • Decide what you want to eat, and remember you are there to eat and enjoy, not overeat and feel badly. Eat slowly and socialize. Less eating gets done when more socializing takes place.
  • Once others begin to eat and drink, they rarely notice what you are doing. Get the food pusher to eat first. Pass a platter and say, "Did you try this?" You can look at someone else's plate or drink and say to the food pusher, "Doesn't that look great?" Once they focus on themselves, they most likely will not pay attention to your eating or drinking.

Are you your own food pusher? Is there food you believe must be in the house to make family members happy? How about the many evenings you sit in front of the TV snacking with others? This can all become too hard to handle, and is a form of food pushing.

  • The food you keep in the house for others is for others. The question you need to ask yourself is, "What is the real reason this food is in the house?" Once you know the true answer to that question, you will be better able to decide what food should really be in the house. Maybe it's time for different items. Maybe food items are purchased because you like them.
  • Snacking while you watch TV is a pattern that is worth breaking. While you can't change others, you can change yourself. Often you have an eating seat. Simply by changing your seat sends a message to your brain that a new habit is forming. You can also keep your hands and mind occupied with a puzzle, your tablet, or a craft.

The more prepared you are to contend with the food pushers in your life, the healthier you will be. Focus on what you want most rather than what you want now.