Food pushers aren’t the hot-dog vendors on the street or the cafeteria ladies dolling out macaroni and cheese. Food pushers and diet saboteurs are the moms, co-workers and friends who want to feel acceptance by making people happy with food.
Problem is pushing people to eat food when they aren’t hungry isn’t a sign of love – it’s actually quite selfish.
How many times have you been on a particular diet and felt pressured by food pushers to take a break or a cheat day. For people on gluten-free diets, dairy-free diets, elimination diets or Candida diets such as the McCombs plan, having a cheat day can actually throw a person off for days, possibly weeks. I’m currently on the Insanity Workout Diet plan, and really would not appreciate someone trying to guilt me into trying their homemade carrot cake.
Here are the five most common “food pushers,” and how to tactfully deal with them:
No. 1: Friends as food pushers: People tend to eat more when they go out with friends in a large group. Friends tend to eat when they are socializing – and may try to make you feel guilty if you don’t share treats. Eating out with a large group is the perfect time to practice the Three-bite rule as long as the treat does not conflict with a gluten-free, dairy-free or sugar-free type diet. With friends, share a dessert, but only have three bites.
No. 2: Moms as food pushers: Moms are tricky because they want to nurture you. The problem is you may see your mother fairly often, and no one wants to pack on 5 pounds every time they visit mom. Go out of your way to compliment your mother on any fruit, vegetable or healthful dish – and just don’t comment on the other food offered. Don’t change your diet to please your mother.
No. 3: Spouses as food pushers: You see your spouse every day (hopefully). With a spouse, lay it out on the line. Tell your spouse if you can’t handle Junk food in the house and ask him to keep it truly hidden. Make a variation of your healthy meal for him if he does not want what you would fix yourself. It’s really not that complicated. I’ve found. It’s just a matter of planning ahead.
No. 4: Children as food pushers: If your child is trying to push food on you, it may be because he or she is worried you may become anorexic. Teens hear a lot about eating disorders in school and through the media. Reassure him that you aren’t on a restrictive diet, but like to eat healthy foods so you can live longer. If your daughter bakes a cake, do not reinforce the behavior with compliments or you may be creating a food-pushing monster. Simply ignore the cake, and wait to compliment her when she does something creative, artistic or positive NOT related to food.
No. 5 Co-workers as food pushers: Co-workers who are food pushers can also be tricky because no one wants to offend people at work. Go out of your way to recognize and compliment your co-worker for good work on projects. You can make genuine compliments about her sense of fashion. But it’s just not your job to make her feel good about herself by trying her cupcakes.
I understand the desire to feel appreciated. My father, who has since passed away, used to love it when I baked cakes or cooked dinner. He always encouraged me – and that made me feel loved.
But, I grew up and realized if I truly want to show love to the people around me, it’s about spending time with them. And, if food comes into the picture, it makes more sense to show them love with healthful cooking and letting them choose to eat when they are actually hungry.
Truth is, sometimes people just don’t want “food pushers” to cook for them – not because they are terrible cooks, but just because they can sense the person’s insecure attitude and needy desire to be appreciated.
If you think you are a food pusher, try going out to eat with friends and family instead of cooking. And always refrain from commenting on how much, how little, and whether another person is eating. Refrain from commenting on food in general. You may be surprised by how often you catch yourself wanting to think or talk about food.
If you are a food pusher, your new mantra should be: Food is not love!
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The Dinner For Breakfast or Reverse Diet
Throwaway or Three Bite Rule Diet
Baby Food Diet
Chinese Food Diet