How to Handle People Who Push Food on You


We’ve all been there. Just when our diet or healthy eating habits are going well, you go out to eat and the waitress shows up with the dessert menu, offering you a delectable, enormous slice of chocolate cake. You go out for drinks with a few friends, and one person insists on getting appetizers or ordering another round for the table. You go home for the holidays and your mom, grandma or Aunt Sally say you should have another cookie because you “have to get some meat on your bones!”

As it turns out, eating cookies, appetizers and chocolate cake don’t help put healthy meat on your bones. Sure, a cookie is delicious every once in a while, but sometimes you just have to say no. It’s hard to resist — especially around the holiday season — but when you don’t want food, you don’t have to eat it. Here are four tips for dealing with people who push food on you.

1. Just say no.

Feel comfortable being honest. outlines tips for this type of situation and advises being “nice but super firm.” When someone asks you to have a second slice of pie, don’t feel like you have to say yes. “No thanks,” you can say. “I appreciate it, but I’ll pass.” If you feel like you need to give reasoning for your refusal, tell the truth — you’re trying to eat right, lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. “Usually with a small explanation, this will do the trick,” according to

2. Ask for something else instead.

This technique works in nearly every situation. At a restaurant, ask the waitress if you can get the fruit tray for dessert rather than the chocolate cake. When you’re out for drinks with friends, order a glass of water instead of another cocktail. It’s especially helpful when Mom, Grandma or Aunt Sally insist you eat a piece of fudge. “Oh, thanks so much! I’d love something to eat,” you can say. “Do you have an apple or banana?” They’ll be happy that you’re eating, and your body will thank you later for eating healthy.

3. Stall or take some for later.

If you’re at a party and you feel you’ve exhausted every type of refusal, take some food and put it on your plate. After all, you don’t have to eat it. You could also ward off the offer for more food. “Stalling is a great tactic with food pushers,” according to Say you’ll be sure to grab a bite of the dish later — the technique works with friends and family members. When you’re at a restaurant, you can tell the waitress to stop by later.

4. As a last resort, tell a white lie.

While lying isn’t a habit to get into, if you don’t feel comfortable saying no, telling a white lie might be the way to go. For example, say you find yourself at a party, and the host offers you one of the hors d’oeuvres she spent all day preparing. Naturally, you don’t want to hurt her feelings. Instead, say you’ve already had one. “You’ll get out of eating food you don’t want or need, and the food pusher will have gotten a compliment on what probably is a delicious dish,” says


As the holiday season passes by, don’t get worried about having to handle people who push food on you. Go ahead — have a drink or one of Grandma’s cookies every now and then. But when you really don’t want the extra bite of food, utilize these four tips.

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About Erin Dietsche

Erin ran track from an early age, but it wasn’t until her parents “forced” her to join her high school cross country team that she fell in love with running. Since then, she’s become an avid runner and learned how to balance her running with her interest in eating chocolate. In recent years, Erin has embraced other forms of fitness like lifting weights. When she’s not working out, she enjoys anything theatre-related, writing plays, reading, listening to rap music, and playing the piano.

4 thoughts on “How to Handle People Who Push Food on You

  1. Love this – staying firm with a reason helps me!! And, usually makes other people jealous that I’m actually sticking to a plan.

  2. These tips work when you’re at a restaurant or party but in a more intimate setting, especially with family, not necessarily. My grandma takes a lot of pride in her cookingi and it gives her so much joy to feed the family good, hearty food. I feel really bad to refuse so I’ll deal with the stomach ache the few times I visit her.

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