02/21/2013 10:55 am ET Updated Apr 23, 2013

The Food Pushers in Your Life

Do you have any food saboteurs in your life? Like a husband who knows you are dieting but orders up forbidden restaurant food that arrives at your table on plates the size of manhole covers? Or your skinny "friend" who leaves the Belgian chocolate "just this once -- it's too yummy to miss!" on your doorstep?

How about your coworker who brings all her leftover Halloween candy to the office break room?
Does your sister insist that you are not overweight (because you are not as heavy as she is) and therefore insist that you take a bite, or does your mother bake your childhood favorite -- chocolate-filled double peanut butter cookies -- on day three of your Atkins diet?

Losing weight is torture enough without having to deal with negotiations about forbidden food. And with weight loss saboteurs, if you can spot them, then you can stop their effect on your weight loss efforts.

Here are six steps to sabotage their effect on you.

  1. Tell your friends, family members and coworker about your meal plan. Be sure they understand how important it is to you. Tell them exactly what you don't want them to do. For example, tell your mother that you will not visit her if she has your binge-trigger cookies in the house.
  2. Explain to them specifically why this goal is important to you, whether it is better health or weight loss. Be sure they understand how important it is to you and how they can specifically help you.
  3. Ask them to support you. If your friends and family know that you need their support -- by not offering you seconds or by coming to the gym with you -- they will not be as likely to throw tacks on your diet path.
  4. Be insistent. If you feel like they are forcing food on you, tell them straight out that it is not appreciated. Be specific with them by giving examples of things they've said to undermine your weight loss efforts. Don't ask them to stop, tell them. With a smile.
  5. If the chocolates are still appearing on your desk or the smell of peanut butter cookies assaults you when you open your mother's door, avoid spending time with these people. Let them know that it is because they do not respect your effort to lose weight. You have a right to put yourself first.
  6. Plan food-free activities. Meet for coffee instead of lunch. Take a walk with your mom, see a movie or go to the beach. Do something that takes food entirely out of the mix.

You can't have it both ways. You can either allow these people to subvert your eating or you can be thinner. But you can't be both.

For more by Penny Love Hoff, click here.

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