Picture the scene. You’re at dinner with your family, and you feel good that you’ve stuck to your healthy eating goals. Decent portions, lots of veggies, and a little bite of dessert. Great job!
Then your aunt offers you seconds on everything. And by “offers,” we mean she stares at you expectantly until you finally cave.
It’s a funny scene that plays out often with families, at work, even on dates. But accepting food you don’t actually want can cost you lots of extra calories. Fortunately, there’s a way you can maintain your health goals and your relationships!
Remind Yourself of Your Goal
A little treat here and there can be fine. But accepting offers to eat all the time can get tricky. Ask yourself:
- Am I actually hungry?
- Does this food they’re offering have any nutrients? Or is it all just sugar and fat?
- Will this food help me with my goal of losing weight? Or managing my diabetes? Or lowering my blood pressure?
- Am I worried about offending this person? If so, is that a good reason to eat something I don’t need or want?
Master the “Polite Decline”
If you choose to turn down an offer of food you don’t need, you can say something like:
- “No, thank you. It looks delicious, but I’m trying to lose weight. Thanks for understanding!”
- “You’re sweet to offer me food, but my blood sugar is a little high, so I can’t eat right now.”
- “Thanks for the offer, but I’m stuffed! I couldn’t eat another bite.”
- “That’s really nice of you, but I’m keeping an eye on my blood pressure. You know how it is.”
- “Not this time, but I really appreciate the thought. I can tell you put work into this!”
Very few people would actually try to sabotage their loved ones. More often than not, people just want to show you they care! In the rare case that someone won’t take no for an answer, consider avoiding food-related situations with that person.
If you have a food pusher in your life, let them know they can bond with you over other things: exercise, music, TV shows in common, or even healthy food!