Beware of Food Pushers: 5 Tips to Ward Them Off!



say no

(photo source:

Warding “who” off?  Who are they?  They are everyone who asks you, “you’re not gonna eat”?    Come on, you can have just one cookie.  It’s not going to kill you.  You’re no fun. You’re a buzzkill. Booh.

Or,  “It’s a party.  You gotta treat yourself. Just have one slice.  it’s okay. Live a little”

To which you say, Well hello, I’ve been treating myself for 15 years, how do you think I got this fat?!

are you a food pusher


“They” are you well-meaning friends, coworkers, relatives and hey, maybe at this point it’s the random guy on the street.  Everyone who thinks they have a say in what you eat or drink. “They” are food pushers!


Short Story:

One time I had this guy at work who was Muslim, like me, and he practiced eating only Halal which I do not, but that is not the point.  The point is he made this big deal about getting vegetarian dishes at the office lunches because he couldn’t eat the meat and there were enough of our coworkers that for various reasons didn’t eat meat to justify accommodating them.  So at the next office lunch they have pizza and he saw that I wasn’t eating.  He calls me out in front of everyone loudly and he’s like ,”It’s Halal, it’s halal!  You can eat it!”  I said, “No, thank you”.  But he just kept repeating himself.  “You can eat it.  There’s no meat.  It’s fine”.

cheese pizza

I got really angry and I’m like, “Dude!  Halal is not my only issue!”   –  How about that fact that I’m from Chicago and I don’t eat no crappy Virginia pizza (sorry Virginians!)  or I’m lactose intolerant and it would be a situation in the bathroom if I did eat this pizza unplanned and without my pills and again – I’m definitely not risking getting sick over some non-Chicago pizza!  And it’s pizza!  Do you know how many calories that is?  I’m not running on a treadmill for 3 hours for (yes, again) some non-Chicago pizza!  Get out of here!

But the point really is this:

I’m an adult – what I eat or don’t eat shouldn’t be of his or anyone else’s concern.

It was nice of him to try to make sure the lunch could feed everyone but I have long ago given up on trying to get what I need to eat at an office lunch.  If it’s a huge affair then I can usually get fruit or salad or something but otherwise I just bring my own.  It’s so much easier.  And over the years  my skin has gotten thicker towards coworkers insisting that I eat whatever nonsense they put in front of me.

That said,  EVENTUALLY,  if you work there long enough, people will wear themselves out and finally finally get it through their thick skulls that you are not going to eat what they put in front of you just because it’s free food.   They will stop asking you.  Trust me.  Eventually – they will get it.

In the meantime, here are five things you can do to at least quell the conversation if you find that saying you’re on a diet puts them too much in your business or if you think they will mock you and question everything else you eat outside of that meeting.

food pusher


5 tips for warding of food pushers:

  1. Control the menu.  This is risky because you could offend the people who eat anything and everything and are allergic to all things green.  🙂  But you could offer to order and then you could order from a place you trust and has food you can eat.
  2. Bring your own dish.  If it’s potluck – bring your own dish that can actually serve as a meal and then just eat that.
  3. Pretend to eat.  My nutritionist gave me this one.  She would get a slice of cake and just “move it around on the plate”.  Then take it back to her office and dump it.
  4. Eat the peripherals.  Eat the fruit or a salad with no dressing or the vegetables with no dip.  Or a piece of grilled meat by itself if all they have is ridiculous mayonnaise based side dishes.  This side dish issue happens more at office parties that social parities but I swear when we get into an office environment it’s like it’s 1980’s around here.  WTF?  Who is still cooking like that on a daily basis?
  5. Avoid the meeting.  This of course only works for office parties or meetings where they are serving food.  Answer this:  Do you really have to go? Can you fake an important meeting elsewhere? Can you actually schedule a real meeting at the same time and say you forgot?  Although, I have to warn you.  I’ve done this before  and had a ‘nice’ coworker save me some food and put in on my desk.  They didn’t want me to go hungry.  🙂


This only works at a large party. But you could lie. In my dieting journeys I have become a huge LIAR.  If they ask you to try something, just say, “Oh I already had that, it was delicious!” and change the subject quickly.

At that same job, I mentioned earlier, we had a holiday party and we decided to re-enact the Seinfeld “Festivus”.  Do you remember that?  Where they passed around the pole and you had to state your issues and grievances you had with the other people?  Well I took this opportunity to share my grievance:

“Hey you guys,  newsflash, I am an adult.  Just like you don’t need to worry about if I put on a coat because it’s cold outside, you also don’t need to worry about whether or not I’ve fed myself properly.  Stop all the food pushing!  If I say “no thank you” leave it at that!  Don’t try to force me to eat your stale donuts and fat infused bagels.  Cuz guess what?  It ain’t happening!  And that’s okay.  Don’t worry.  I won’t starve!”

Do you guys have any tips for warding off well-meaning coworkers or friends?  Any stories you’d like to share?  As we get closer to the holiday party time, it would good for us to “arm up” and remember our tools and tricks so that we’re truly only eating what we really want and nothing we don’t.  Lord knows we work hard to lose this weight, we don’t want to waste all that hard work on useless food that we really didn’t want anyway.




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