Dealing With The Holiday Food-Pusher

The holiday season is in full swing and food is abundant during this time of year. Holiday parties can start to fill up your calendar and tend to be extremely food-focused. Plus, food-pushers are in full force this time of year. A food-pusher is a person who, although he or she may have the best intentions, persistently pushes you to eat or drink something decadent. The holidays are a time where food-pushing is not only accepted, but it is almost expected by our loved ones. If you absolutely love the dish that they are persuading you to eat, by all means eat it and sensibly indulge. But if the dish that this food-pusher is persuading you to eat or drink is something that you don’t want to partake in, then there are some strategies and responses to help you avoid giving in.

Honesty Is Always The Best Policy

Although this may not be the easiest option, you should always make your best effort to be honest with that food-pusher. If they are supportive of your health goals, try explaining that you are making an important lifestyle change. This strategy can sometimes work with the right person if they respect your journey and choices. Never forget that honesty is the best policy, and expressing your health goals may even inspire that food-pusher to make some healthy choices.

Blame It On The Doctor Or Dietitian

Some food-pushers can get really offended if you don’t want to eat their food, even if you explain to them that you are trying to making some healthy lifestyle changes. Instead, you can put the blame on us. Saying that your doctor or dietitian advised you to limit sugar, salt, etc. can make that food-pusher take your concerns more seriously. This is a pretty easy way out and something that a food-pusher may have a hard time arguing with.

You’ll Save It For Later

Let that food-pusher know you are too full now, but would love to have a piece of whatever they are serving later. Stalling can help that food pusher simply forget to pack you some of that pumpkin pie. If they do remember to send you home with some treats, don’t be afraid to get rid of them. A holiday should last a day, not a week, month or year. Beware of leftovers lingering around the house for too long after a holiday as these can be tempting and might throw off your healthy habit.

Don’t Be Afraid To Just Say No

You can always politely decline and be assertive in saying no to get yourself out of the food pushing scenario. Plus, you can always say no but instead ask for something else like a cup of hot tea or coffee. Oftentimes, a food-pusher just wants to offer you something. This may be a happy compromise for both you and your loved one.

Wishing you all a wonderful and blessed holiday season!

Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN, CPT, is a clinical dietitian and certified personal trainer. She also provides private nutrition counseling at her office in Great Neck. Visit her website for more information or call 516-216-9909 to schedule an appointment.

Stefani Pappas Sassos
Long Island Weekly columnist Stefani Pappas, RDN, CPT, is a clinical dietitian at St. Francis Hospital. She also provides private and group nutrition counseling at her office in Great Neck. Visit Stef Health Tips for more information.

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