4 Ways to Handle Food Pushers
You probably know a food pusher—someone who tries to get you to join them for junk food, fast food or desserts. It’s the person who tries to derail you from your healthy eating or the person who pushes you to have seconds or try their dish at a summer cookout. It could be your friend, your sister, your spouse. It could even be YOU. So what do you do about food pushers, those people who seem to sabotage? And what do you do if you can’t get away from that person because it’s YOU?
1. Don’t keep it in the house. If it’s not in the house, you won’t eat it. While it may sound simple in theory, it’s harder to carry out. Your kids beg you to buy junk food at the store or your husband wants you to keep something sweet in the house. It’s hard not to cave in to the wishes of your family, but if you don’t keep junk food in the house, you will be creating a fail-safe environment that is supportive of your healthy eating goals. One way to really keep this going is to have your once in a while treats outside of your home. You can indulge in cones at the ice cream store or chips at a baseball game, just don’t be pushed into having it at home.
2. Make it a treat. If you can’t go that far to keep tempting foods out of the house altogether, limit the amount of indulgence foods you buy and lead by example. Tell your family the sweet treat is just that—a once in a while treat. As a family, maybe you decide what not-so-healthy item you are going to keep in the house, and limit it to that one item for the week. You can eat healthy most of the time, but still be realistic by having a go-to treat you can enjoy without someone pushing you to overindulge and fill up the house with foods you have to avoid.
3. Swap it out. Sometimes people are surprised to hear that I too, have a sweet tooth, but I do! I satisfy my sweet tooth with healthier versions of sweet treats. Have solutions for those foods that tempt you. This is especially helpful if you are your own food pusher! Swapping to healthier versions of foods is a great way to think in terms of what you can have, instead of a deprivation mindset of what you cannot have.
4. Be a broken record. Some people just don’t seem to get it the first time you tell them that you are trying to eat healthy. Don’t necessarily assume that people want to sabotage you; they may want to make you happy by feeding you something they prepared. Or they may want you to join them in eating something not-so-healthy because it makes them feel better about the choices they are making. Don’t try and fix the food pusher, just become a broken record of “No, thank you” or “I am trying to make healthier choices, so I will have to pass.” If that doesn’t work, launch into all the bigger reasons you are trying to eat healthy like: “I want to be around for my family as long as possible.” That usually can wrap up the conversation with a food pusher pretty quickly!
No matter who is the food pusher in your life—even if it’s YOU—follow these four steps and work for progress over perfection. And remember, the more decisions you make that support your goals and who you want to be, the better you will feel about yourself. And when you feel better about yourself, it becomes easier to make healthy daily decisions for YOU!
For healthy food swaps ideas and a host of other tips, visit Chris’ website: Chrisfreytag.com