4 Types of Food Pushers During the Holidays — and How to Respond

4 Types of Food Pushers During the Holidays — and How to Respond

byLauren Krouse
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4 Types of Food Pushers During the Holidays — and How to Respond

During the holiday season, everyone wants to eat, drink and be merry. But if you’rewatching your weightortrying to slim down, it’s OK to skip seconds ordessertonce you’ve had your fill.

“Taking an honest and sincere approach tofood pushersmay be the most effective way to handle this group of people,” says Tara Tomaino, RD, a registered dietitian and nutrition director atThe Parkin Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

But doing so with poise can be challenging. To say no to more without offending family and friends, use these conversation prompts for four of the most common types of food pushers.



“C’mon — just have one, so I don’t feel guilty!” At holiday parties with friends or coworkers, peer pressure can make it difficult to say no to high-calorie cocktails and junk food. “Sometimes, food pushers feel bad about themselves for what they are eating, and they want others to join in,” saysTina Marinaccio, a registered dietitian in Morristown, New Jersey.

How to deal: Blame your healthcare provider

“Stay ahead of this by making sure people at the gathering already know you’re trying to eat healthier,” says Marinaccio. One response: “I’d love to have some, but I have a health concern, and my doctor or dietitian advised that I skip out on certain foods for now.” It’s tough to argue with a professional recommendation for your health.



“You must have seconds! It’s your favorite! I know you want more!” Sound familiar? Sometimes, people just can’t take a hint, but being direct can ensure you’re not stuck repeating yourself all visit long.

How to deal: Tell them you’re full

Simply tell them you’re satisfied, suggestsKayla Girgen, RD. A helpful prompt: “That looks wonderful, but I am stuffed. Another bite would put me over the edge!”



这是一个常见的反应,当你分享你trying to slim down: “Why are you trying to lose weight? You look great!” This person might just want everyone to relax and have fun or they could bejealous of your weight-loss progress.

How to deal: Change the subject

Share what you’re comfortable sharing about your health journey, kindly accept compliments, and then change the subject, suggests Tomaino. For example: “Thank you! I feel really healthy and energized since I’ve started working on my health and eating habits. Enough about me, though. Tell me about this upcoming trip of yours!”



For so many of us, food is a love language — which makes it especially hard to say no to something made especially for you. “One key thing to remember with food pushers is that they are often spreading love and cheer through food,” saysSarah Schlichter, RD, a registered dietitian who teachesintuitive eating. But you can say yes to a gift from a loved one without eating it right away (or at all).

How to deal: Ask for a take-home portion

To politely decline without hurting anyone’s feelings, try a response like this: “Thank you for offering — it smells and looks delicious, but I’m full right now. Could you pack a portion for me to take home with me so I can enjoy some leftovers tomorrow?”


“When and how you eat is no one’s business but your own,” says Tomaino. “Before you attend gatherings or parties, practice a few responses to help you exude confidence and poise in the face of food pushers.”

To stay on track with your health goals andavoid holiday weight gain, go in with astrategylike filling half of your dinner plate with veggies or bringing your own healthy dessert. However, if you veer off course a little, rememberthat’s OK, too. “Be mindful, but don’t forget togive yourself some graceduring the holiday season,” says Girgen. “No one eats perfectly.”

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About the Author

Lauren Krouse

Lauren Krouse is a freelance writer who covers health, domestic violence, and self-advocacy. Her work appears inWomen’s Health, Men’s Health, Prevention, Self, HuffPost,and elsewhere. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to meditate more, weightlifting, or walking in the woods with her partner and black lab.


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