50 Tips for Dealing With Food Pushers

Having trouble with food pushers? Here are some tips on how best to overcome their pushy ways!
Food pushers are all around us. Every day, we’re bombarded with the wrong messages about food. TV commercials, billboards, and radio ads are constantly showing us images of happy, attractive people enjoying greasy fast food, judgment-impairing cocktails, and dehydrating caffeinated drinks that decrease brain function and lower your self-control.
Corporate America is highly skilled at pushing people to eat and drink things that are not good for brain health. Restaurants and fast-food joints train employees to “upsell” as a way to increase sales and subsequently, expand our waistlines. Your beloved friends and family can also make you fat … if you let them.
Don’t let other people make you fat and stupid.
Here are 50 tips for dealing with food pushers that will help you stay in control of your health.

  1. Ask your spouse and kids to hide unhealthy treats and snacks out of view or get rid of them so you don’t have to be tempted.
  2. If you are going to a dinner with friends or family, call ahead to inform the host that you are on a special brain healthy diet and won’t be able to eat certain foods. You only have to do this once or twice before your friends start to ask you what they could serve that is brain healthy.
  3. If you are at a business luncheon, and your new boss or a potential client raves about how wonderful the bread is and offers it to you, take one small bite, tell them it is delicious, and then wait for your meal.
  4. When going to parties, consider eating something at home first so you won’t be hungry at the event.
  5. Be upfront with food pushers. Explain that you are trying to eat a more balanced diet, and that when they offer you cake, chips, or pizza, it makes it more difficult for you.
  6. Instead of going out to lunch or dinner with friends, choose activities that aren’t centered around food, such as going for a walk.
  7. If your coworkers invite you to happy hour, but you don’t want them to push you to drink alcohol, ask the bartender to put sparkling water in a glass with a splash of cranberry juice and sip it slowly.
  8. When people offer seconds, tell them you are pleasantly full. If they insist, explain that you are trying to watch your calories. If they continue to push extra helpings on you, gently ask them why they are bent on sabotaging your efforts to be healthy.
  9. I know some people who will accept a piece of cake or a cocktail and then toss it in the trash or the sink as soon as the host turns away.
  10. Avoid visiting with coworkers who have a bowl of candy on their desk.
  11. Tell your host you don’t drink alcohol… period. It doesn’t agree with you.
  12. With hosts you don’t know well and likely won’t see again, consider telling them you have food allergies so you don’t have to try their chocolate mousse pie or mayonnaise-laden dip.
  13. Eat very slowly so when the host starts asking guests if they want seconds, you can say you are still working on your first helping. By the time you have finished, the second round of eating could be over, and you won’t have to be subjected to the offer for more.
  14. Give kids a healthy sack lunch so they don’t have to eat from the cafeteria, if schools serve unhealthy food.
  15. Commit to taking control of your own body and don’t let other people make you fat and stupid.
  16. When driving past food billboards, focus on how many calories are in the food they are offering and allow yourself to feel disgusted, because you know if you give in to it, you will be sitting in extra fat.
  17. When radio ads are aired, turn off the radio or switch to another station.
  18. Tell restaurant servers “no bread” or “no chips” before you’re seated.
  19. Tell restaurant servers “no dessert” before they have a chance to bring the dessert tray to your table.
  20. When ordering fast food, just say no to supersizing.
  21. Ask your spouse not to eat trigger foods in front of you.
  22. If family members are eating foods that tempt you, leave the room until they finish.
  23. Inform parents and in-laws ahead of time that you won’t be partaking in certain foods at family gatherings.
  24. Ask grandparents to avoid giving food rewards to your children.
  25. Don’t buy junk food for your kids.
  26. Don’t keep junk food in the house for them. If they have it, you’ll want it. Plus, it’s better for their brain health.
  27. Ask friends or your spouse to split an entrée with you.
  28. Ask the restaurant server to pack up half your meal to go before they bring it to you.
  29. If the neighbor brings you a plate of chocolate chip cookies, immediately ‘regift’ them to someone else.
  30. If the boss brings birthday cake for your birthday, say thank you, take one small bite, and tell them how wonderful it is.
  31. If you can’t resist those high-calorie cocktails or you’re worried that a few glasses of wine will ruin your self-control for the rest of the evening, say no to happy hour with your coworkers.
  32. Don’t walk past the vending machines at work/school.
  33. Bring a sack lunch instead of eating out or eating at the cafeteria.
  34. When a coworker suggests celebrating birthdays with cupcakes, recommend a healthy alternative.
  35. If coworkers want to share their snacks, say no thank you.
  36. Ask office administrators to contract with healthy food providers and get rid of vending machines filled with sodas and candy.
  37. At church, skip the doughnuts and coffee after the service and stand outside if you want to socialize.
  38. At community clubs, bring your own snacks.
  39. Don’t take the free samples of the “energy bars” or “energy drinks” offered at the gym. Remember “energy” equals ‘calories.’
  40. At all-you-can-eat buffets, go for the salad (dressing on the side), steamed vegetables, and lean protein first, then after you have eaten that, go back if you still hungry want to try a higher-calorie item. Chances are you will eat a much smaller portion than if you had started with the fatty fare.
  41. Bring your own healthy snacks to the movies so you don’t have to go near the concession stand.
  42. If you’re at a sporting event, be aware that many ballparks and sports arenas are offering healthier options so explore all the offerings rather than heading straight for the hot dog vendor.
  43. If you can’t resist the goodies at county fairs or amusement parks, get one item and split it among your friends.
  44. When temptation wins out, use the three-bite rule. Take three bites of the item, then toss it.
  45. Donate money to the Girl Scouts rather than buying cookies.
  46. When your spouse asks you to finish off the small amount of food left over from dinner, say no, box it up, and put it in the fridge for another meal.
  47. When it’s your turn to host a party, send all the leftovers home with your guests so you won’t be tempted to eat them.
  48. If someone in your dining party orders fries for the table, make sure you have a glass of water or green tea to sip on while they munch. It will keep you occupied and help prevent you from reaching for a fry, or two, or twenty.
  49. At the grocery store checkout stand, keep your eyes focused on the checker so you don’t have to look at the candy and other impulse-buy items calling out to you.
  50. Make it a rule NEVER to take free food samples ANYWHERE!