Handling the Dreaded Food Pushers

We have them here in the Vancouver, Washington area and there is a good chance that no matter where you are, you have them, too. They are the dreaded food pushers. You know, the people who will insist you eat their fat-filled desserts, despite you telling them you are on a diet or trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle. Well this holiday season you don’t need to take their pushing. This year, push back!

My baby boomer personal clients here in Vancouver often share their stories with me of how they were doing so well only to have someone push a pile of fresh baked cookies on them. Or perhaps it was a new dish that they insisted be tried. You tell them no, but they just don’t listen and keep pushing. Rather than give into them, you need to toughen up and push back a little. It’s a matter of your health and you need to be in total control of it, not the food pushers.

So just how do you go about handling the food pushers? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Self talk. It is always helpful to have a list of all the reasons you want to lose weight or stay fit. Write them down on index cards if you have to, and then carry the list or reasons with you. As food pushers try to get you to eat things you know you shouldn’t, pull out those reasons as a reminder of why you are saying no.
  • Rehearse comebacks. Before you go into a situation where you there will be food pushers, try rehearsing your comeback. That way you will know what you will say when confronted by a food pusher and won’t be put on the spot thinking of an excuse.
  • Change mindset. You may feel that it’s rude to turn the food down. I disagree. It’s rude to eat something that you know you will regret later. Change the way you think about the situation so you can see the benefits of turning the food down.
  • Have a plan. If you will be attending a holiday event, go with a plan in mind. Decide ahead of time how much you will eat (such as trying three favorite dishes), and then stick to it. That way you will get to try a little bit, but you will be setting limits. Remember to use portion control.
  • Non-food rewards. Make a deal with yourself that you will get yourself a non-food reward by sticking to your healthy living habits this holiday season. Perhaps you can make it a new exercise shirt or something you have been eyeing.
  • Stick to your guns. If you had a food allergy you would never hesitate to tell a food pusher that you don’t want something. Have the same conviction and stick to your guns in turning down the foods that they peddle. When they see you are serious and don’t give in, they will move on to someone else. If you’ve rehearsed your comebacks you are less likely to sound rude. There are plenty of polite ways to say ‘no’.

As a personal trainer I work with a lot of baby boomers and senior citizens in helping them reach and maintain their fitness goals. These lifestyle choices will add years to their life. Many people go overboard when it comes to holiday eating, especially where food pushers come into play. Keep these tips above in mind so you can beat the food pushers and keep on the right path to your healthy lifestyle. You will be so glad you did!

 

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