The Pressures Of Eating Socially

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Socially Fit
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Do You Say No?

Exercise is part of living a healthy lifestyle. If you combine that with a very healthy diet, you’re on your way to a new body and a longer life. Once we’re in a nice routine, we’re able to workout and feel great while doing it. Eating healthy is also something that comes easy once you’ve been practicing good habits. There are however, the social events where the unhealthy (but great tasting) foods are scattered all about. The foods are usually easy enough to pass up once your eating regimen has changed. Once you’ve found the healthier foods, along comes a friend or two trying to coerce you into having a slice of that apple topped cheesecake. And there it is….the peer pressure to eat unhealthy.

This pressure is different from most other things. We usually associate these verbal temptations with something bad or illegal. Eating high calorie and high sugar snacks are not the greatest for our bodies but they won’t harm your social status nor will the police show up asking you where you were on the night of June 13th, 2010. We may run the risk of offending someone by not trying what they put a lot of effort into. Being the caring folks that we are, we do not want to do that.

I present to you this question, what do you do in situations like this? Are there any tips that you can share with the rest of us so we know how to best handle this situation? We hope that you can share your experience or tips with us.

My motto for this particular problem is this: When in doubt, do without.

  1. magnuminsp says:

    I’ll either say I am full or, since almost everyone that knows me knows about my gluten issue, I tell them it may have gluten in it, so I can’t have it.

  2. I’m in a similar situation. I have very severe nut and coconut allergies – and, since most tasty treats either have or may have come in contact, I usually just explain that I can’t have anything.

  3. magnuminsp says:

    The only problem I have is that numerous friends and family, no matter how many times I tell them, do not understand the gluten issue!
    On the other hand, from my 4-year old son, when he is eating waffles for breakfast, “Daddy can’t have waffles because they have gluten and he will have a sick tummy’! 🙂

  4. I get the “One night won’t hurt, let’s go get a pizza, or eat some of these fries” I tell people that my diet doesn’t allow those kinds of foods so I’d rather not. Of course people act like I am a crazy obsessive dieter. I kindly tell them that I am used to eating clean and those foods make me feel ill after eating them. I still eat pizza, I just make it at home with my own hand and my clean ingredients. sometimes even if people try to make things awkward you just have to ignore it. They will get used to it eventually.

  5. I say this is my choice and I don’t judge you on yours. So eat what you feel like eating and so will I.

  6. bgddyjim says:

    I just say no thanks. I’ve never had anyone complain… Surprisingly the biggest one I run into is the “garbage before dinner”, which also has its own standard response: I’m not going to load up on garbage and spoil my apetite for the good stuff.

    When I do partake in the desert (and I do from time to time), it’s always 1/2 normal portions (or 1/4 restaurant portion).

    The only thing we can’t keep in the house are Oreo cookies – I have no self control whatsoever against those tasty morsels. Everything else, I can go either way… In fact, we just finished off a tub of sherbert that’s been in our freezer for somewhere between six months and a year.

    • Oreo’s are your kryptonite huh? Well we can’t have cheesecake here. I had to give one away because it was given to us as a present. I did not trust myself so in less than 4 hours it had a new home.

      • bgddyjim says:

        OUCH! I love me a good cheesecake! I don’t blame you though – it always confounds me, those who claim we’re “lucky” to be as fit as we are… They never see that part of the equation.

  7. Laura, Mom Gone Paleo says:

    I agree this can be the toughest part. I have begun to tell people I have food sensitivities. When explained that way, most people don’t take offense and understand. At the very least, the peer pressure to eat something stops.

  8. I have a problem with this. It is hard. I know a lot of people who do not indulge in sweets. They just state, ‘I do not eat sweets’. It seems to work for them. I am still trying! 🙂

  9. joranvar says:

    It helps if you state the area of “no go” clearly. People tend to remember and accept what they can understand. Things like “no meat” or “no sweets” are clear, things like “I already had a hamburger yesterday” not so much. Be clear and consistent, to others *and* to yourself, and people will have a hard time feeling offended because you don’t take “their” offer, you don’t take “any” offers of that kind.

  10. Since my husband has celiac disease, we tell people the reaction is like severe food poisoning for three days. (This happened the last time he accidentally ingested soy sauce) So, he’d love to partake but the reaction isn’t worth it. This helps them understand how serious it is and they understand he can’t just ‘have a bite.’

  11. I agree with the others who said that telling someone you have food sensitivities usually works. For me, it’s dairy. But if it’s something I really do want to try, I have a tablespoon rule: I take just about a tablespoon-sized helping just so I can taste whatever it is. If it’s pie or cake, I have no shame in telling people I only want a half slice. And I try to serve myself because people generally don’t listen when you tell them “small piece.”

  12. graceyb says:

    A great post! So much of our society revolves around food. When we get together with friends it is for lunch, dinner, cocktails or coffee. Family events and holidays center around food as well. It is really hard to eat well at these occassions. I find that it is probably OK to have a small sample of the treat being offered. It won’t kill you and it may help keep you from being a social misfit! but the trick is having a small sample without eating too much!

    • My family loves to cook and eat. I usually stick to the proteins and away from the fatty stuff (I leave the room during desserts). It can be tough when relatives are trying to force feed you…after about 15 “no’s” they usually get the hint.

  13. elisariva says:

    I have a few replies I keep handy after saying I will pass and the reply is “come on you are so thin, it won’t hurt” My answer “that’s how I stay thin, I’ll pass” If they are really pushy there is “I just ate”, if it has diary “that might not sit well in my stomach” and when all else fails “I think I have a stomach bug”

  14. Dr Ken Romeo says:

    (1) Eat something to take the edge off your appetite BEFORE you leave home. This will minimize the seductive power of an unfriendly menu.
    (2) Steer clear of cheap restaurants. Usually the prices aren’t that much lower but the food is. Cheap restaurants pack their dishes with fats and sweets to compensate for the lack of real food.

    • So true–and cheap restaurants often only ‘do what they do’ and don’t make accomodations for sensativities. (Or they pick the chicken or whatever off and try to serve you the same dish again–not good!) I also always keep a few gluten free snacks in my car and my bag in case of emergency for either my husband or myself.

    • This is a good idea….my metabolism has increased since I began to run. I try to curb it as much as possible without being a glutton but I continue to get hungry every 2-3 hours.

      • Dr Ken Romeo says:

        If you are eating the right foods, then it is virtually imposiible to over-eat.
        Just ask Dave Scott — 5 time Iron Man Champion.

      • I am making sure of that. I eat fruits, nuts, grains (in the AM), more fruit, more nuts, meats and veggies for dinner.

      • Dr Ken Romeo says:

        Sounds like you’re on the right track, but I don’t know you’re specific training schedule or goals.
        That being said…
        You have a great blog…please keep it up. I enjoy reading it.

      • Thank you sir! I am not training for anything specific and the only regularity I have in my workout schedule is the 5AM run I do on M-W-F. Other than that, I make it to the gym 3-5 days a week depending on my work schedule.

  15. travtrails says:

    Say that u are a frugal eater and hope to get away with it.

  16. Melanie says:

    Love this post! I can definitely relate! If I’m with good friends, i just tell them I’m a recovering sugar addict and trying to quit! They usually don’t bother me after that! If they keep pushing, I just turn on my stubborn side and say, no thanks! It’s tough!

    • Saying no thanks is indeed a tough thing to do. It does get easier as your taste buds change. It is a lot easier for me to turn down sweet dishes as they have become entirely too sweet for my tooth!

  17. livepassionatelytonight says:

    This used to be a huge issue for me. I would find myself feeling guilty for saying no to any food offered to me, and then I started to think, “Why on earth am I feeling guilty for saying no to a slice of chocolate cake that I don’t even like that much anyway and that will make me feel like crap?” Now whenever I’m offered something I don’t necessarily LOVE, I politely decline. If questions are asked (which they’re usually not), I explain my healthy eating habits and how certain foods with too much “bad ingredients” upset my stomach. Not even a lie! That way when I am offered something that tastes like heaven to me, I can have it without regret 🙂

    • I talk about my eating habits so much that people will tell me what I can’t eat. It’s definitely a lot easier when those around you understand what you’re trying to accomplish.

  18. Jan Lumibao says:

    One strategy that I’ve integrated when I’m trying to cut body fat is to create a weekly calorie deficit instead of a daily one. This way when I’m out to eat with my friends, say, on the weekends, making a decision on what to eat isn’t as hard as it usually is, since I’ve already left myself some “leeway” from earlier in the week. Though, nothing beats eating whole, healthy foods that support your goal and nourish your working body 24/7.

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