Healthy Eating During the Holidays: How to Handle “Food Pushers”

how to handle food pushers

We all have at least one food pusher in our lives. You know: that well-meaning person who tells you “one more piece of pie won’t hurt” or “it’s the holidays, you should treat yourself.” Eating healthy during the holidays is tricky enough. The last thing you need is a food pusher lurking around the buffet table.

Managing even the pushiest of food pushers is possible, and healthy eating during the holidays is within your reach.

As you prepare for the upcoming festivities, consider these strategies for managing food pushers. The strategy you choose depends on your own communication style and your relationship. But no matter which strategy you choose, plan ahead and arm yourself with the tools you need to eat healthy this holiday season.

Change the Subject

This method is particularly effective for food pushers who are set in their ways. It does little good to remind this type of person about your goal of healthy eating during the holidays. For them, offering food is more of a habit than anything else. Break this pattern by getting them talking about another of their favorite topics instead.

Excuse Yourself to Another Room

Sometimes, removing yourself from the situation is the best way to deal with a food pusher. This strategy is twofold. When you leave the room, the food pusher hopefully turns their attention to someone else. But it also gives you a chance to regroup.

Find a quiet place for a few deep breaths. Remind yourself why you eat healthy during the holidays. Or, if a distraction is best, join a conversation that puts your mind in a different place.

“I’m Full”

Not all food pushers understand eating healthy during the holidays, but just about anyone understands being stuffed to the gills. In reality, you won’t eat past the point of being full, but the food pusher doesn’t have to know that. Try shutting down the conversation with a simple, “I’m so full, I can’t eat another bite.”

Speak with Confidence

A confident no is a powerful no. If you sound wishy-washy, this leaves an opening for a food pusher to ask again. Saying no with confidence isn’t easy, especially if you really do want that helping of mashed potatoes. So, practice ahead of time. Rehearse a few standard answers until you believe it yourself.

You’ve made a choice to eat healthy during the holidays; that choice is up to you and you alone.