You’ve changed your eating habits for the better. You’re losing weight. As your new habits become obvious, suddenly everyone seems to have an opinion about what you’re eating and what they think you should eat instead. Here’s how to deal with food pushers and food police during weight loss.

How to deal with food pushers at work

What are Food Pushers?

Food pushers are people who push you to eat.

They say things like,

“Here, have a brownie.”

“Come, on, just one more won’t hurt.”

“I can’t believe you aren’t going to eat this after I went to all the trouble.”

You’ll know you are dealing with a food pusher when they act personally offended if you don’t eat the food they offer.

Sometimes these people are well-intentioned and have gotten into the habit of loving others with food.

Other times, their intentions are passive aggressive. They might have their own food issues and are jealous of your healthy efforts.

I’m not sure why but it often seems like food pushers are someone close to you like a mother, mother-in-law or co-worker so it makes the situation a bit tricky.

How to Deal with Food Pushers

Use 2 words to deal with food pushers.

“No, thanks.”

You, and only you, control the food that goes into your mouth and this is deeply powerful.

If you give in to a food pushers and eat what they offer even though you don’t want it, you are responsible for this choice. It’s not the food pusher’s fault that you ate. Own your choices.

You owe no explanations, although you can give them if you want to.

If you know you have a food pusher in your life, having a statement prepared in advance is helpful.

Here are a few ideas of statements you can have ready if you have a food pusher in your life:

  • “Thanks, but I’m way too full.”
  • “No thanks, I’m not hungry.”
  • “Thanks, but not today.”
  • “I’m not hungry now but if you wrap it up I would love to take a piece home for later.”

With these strategies in place, you don’t have to worry that someone who pushes food at you will derail your weight loss goals.

What are Food Police?

Food police are the opposite of food pushers.

Food police are people who have taken it upon themselves to make it their personal job that you follow your diet correctly.

I’m a pastor’s wife and a few years ago at a church potluck, a lady came up to me, surveyed my plate with a critical eye, then asked, “Should you really be eating all that?!

I wanted nothing more than to go back to the buffet table, load up my plate with 15 more brownies and start chowing them down right in front of her. Seriously!

Food police often have good enough intentions. This person might be a worried spouse, a concerned parent, or a fellow WW member who is just a bit too self-righteous in their endeavors. (Then again, it could also be a rude person sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong.)

How to Deal with Food Police

While food police and food pushers may have different behaviors, the way you handle them can be the same.

Say, “No thanks” to their offer or intrusion.

Have a prepared statement will help if you run into food police.

  • “Thanks, but I’ve got this.”
  • “Thanks, but I know what I need to eat.”
  • “Thanks for your concern but I’ve got my eating under control.”
  • “I only discuss my food choices with my doctor.”
  • “I appreciate your concern, but what I eat is up to me.”

While it might be tempting to come back with a snarky comment, I encourage you to offer grace. You’ll feel so much better about yourself when you take the high road.

Have you had to deal with food pushers or food police during your weight loss? How have you handled it? Share in the comments below.

For more on this topic, I recommend the book Boundaries.

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How to Deal with Food Pushers During Weight Loss
How to Deal with Food Pushers and Food Police During Weight Loss