You’re doing great on your diet and losing weight, carefully avoiding your trigger foods—the ones that you can’t seem to control yourself around—and then suddenly a co-worker is shoving rich and delicious treats in your face.
A simple, “No, thank you” doesn’t satisfy the food-pusher and you’re faced with either saying “No” a second time (goodness knows saying “No” the first time was a struggle), or you end up giving in and taking a guilt filled bite and more than likely end up eating two or three.
It’s hard. It really and truly is hard to say no to those foods that got you fat in the first place. If you were good at refusing those foods, you wouldn’t be battling your weight! It’s a tough battle.
I successfully spent a number of years in an office setting where probably 90% of the employees were morbidly obese (including myself). You can about imagine the foods that popped up around the office—donuts, pizza, Chinese food, candy, cupcakes, Italian food, fried chicken, you name it and I saw it in that office.
As a side note, strictly for entertainment’s sake, Food wasn’t allowed in the cubicles and some employees even hid McDonald’s value meals in their desk drawers and snuck bites when the boss wasn’t looking. There was forever a phantom smell of french fries in the air, and sometimes much worse smells when said employees forgot about their concealed value meal and left for the weekend.
Oh the stories I could tell, but I digress.
Here are a few tried and true tips for how to handle food pushers.
Sometimes you don’t want anyone to know about the fact that you’re on a diet. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but I’m going to tell you right now that it’s a good idea to just let go of your pride and admit that you’ve got goals and you’re going somewhere.
Most people are completely understanding and supportive. I found that when food was brought into the office, many people would offer me the food to be polite and say something like, “I know you’re dieting, but I didn’t want to leave you out”. In such a situation, it’s easy to say “No” because others know about your goals and that helps hold you accountable.
It doesn’t make having to watch your co-workers chow down on delicious foods much easier, but you’ll feel better about yourself afterwards—I promise.
Keep some healthy snacks in your desk drawer. If need be, when the food pusher is making the rounds—just tell the person that you just ate said healthy snack and you’re just not hungry. Remember, the first tip and explain yourself.
You could even make the food pusher feel sorry for you a bit. Just indulge them—“I’d love to eat that because it looks so good, but I’m on a diet and it’s important to me that I keep on track. I’ll munch on these carrots instead”, and give the food pusher your best pout face. Make it a joke, and the person will likely move on.
Avoid Eye Contact
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I often utilize this technique to avoid interactions. People don’t usually talk to you unless you make eye contact.
For example, hubby is notoriously pursued by salespeople because he is just too friendly and makes the mistake of making eye contact with everyone he walks by. I tend to avoid eye contact at all costs and usually avoid the situation entirely.
This is a fairly easy one to do in the office without seeming rude. If you’re at your desk—become engrossed in your work. Pretend that you don’t even notice the food pusher making the rounds. Pretend that you’re on the phone and can’t talk. For goodness sake, just don’t make eye contact!
Compliment the Food Pusher
Food pushers don’t usually have bad intentions, even if it might feel like they’ve dedicated their lives to sabotaging your diet. They’re usually the type of people that like to make people happy by feeding them. People love food, hence why you and I are on a diet.
Let the food pusher know that you see the effort they’re making and you think it’s really great. Tell them they are so kind and thoughtful and you really appreciate the gesture, but “No, thanks”. The food pusher will be so absorbed in the compliments that they’ll have received the gratification needed and will move on.
If it comes down to it, you might have to firmly tell the food pusher no, and while you mean no disrespect, please don’t offer these foods to me any more. Let the food pusher know what a difficult struggle it is for you to say no and that you would really appreciate it if they did not force the food upon you. Being firm complements well with complimenting the food pusher.
Accept the Food
If the food pusher does not give up no matter what you have said or done, you may just have to take the food to get the person off of your back. Accept the food and give it to a co-worker or throw it in the trash. Just get rid of it.
How do you handle food pushers?