Dealing With Pressures to Eat

A major challenge for dieters is to cope with pressure to eat. Friends, relatives and strangers, some well meaning and some not, can make it difficult to diet by encouraging you to eat. There are a number of reasons for this.

They May Be Uncomfortable Eating In Front Of You

People agonize about eating when another person is not. They offer food to be polite, even though they know the offer won’t be accepted. You can tell them that you don’t feel uncomfortable and that they should eat if they wish.

They May Be Jealous Of Your Success

Others with weight problems may be jealous of your success. Thin people may also be jealous that you are accomplishing something and are proud of your achievement. This is their problem, so don’t let it become yours by agreeing to eat.

They May Not Want You to Succeed

This is rare, but it spells trouble for the dieter. You can spot it in acts of sabotage. The person may develop a sudden craving for your favorite food or may say demoralizing things like, “You have always failed before and will fail again”.

There are several reasons why another person would act this way but I do not want to launch into a lengthy psychological analysis. You are best off ignoring these comments. Confronting the person rarely helps and can make the situation worse. Again, this is their problem so don’t let it influence you. If they offer you food or encourage you to eat, refuse in a polite way, but be sure to refuse. The person will get the message and will quit trying.

They Think That You Are Starving

These people can imagine themselves in your shoes and are certain they would be ravenous. Since so many people associate food with love, encouraging you to eat is one way to show concern. Assure them that you are fine and that they can help by ignoring what you are eating and not to worry about offering you food.

They Want To Test Your Determination

They may want to tease you or to see how serious you are about this diet. It seems cruel, but it happens. Show them just how serious you can be.

Be Polite But Be Firm

When you get pressure to eat, stand up for yourself and refuse. Avoid being aggressive or insulting, even if you suspect evil motives. The polite approach works best. After a few polite refusals, most people will learn that their pressures will not work and will quit pestering you.

If Aunt  Emma offers you fudge, you might say, “Gee Emma I’m not very hungry”. If your husband stops to get ice cream with you in the car, say “I hope you enjoy it, but I really don’t want the calories”. If a co-worker says, “let’s go out and get something fattening for lunch”, you can reply with, I’m struggling to avoid those foods, so I’d better not go. If we can go to a place with a salad bar, I’ll be glad to join you”.

If you have trouble being assertive, try to predict the situations in which you might be pressured to eat. Plan a response and practice it so you arrive prepared to be polite and firm.

Next time that you are pressured to eat, try to find out what’s the problem:

1.     _____________________________________________________________

2.     ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________________________________________

3.     _____________________________________________________________

Write down what you’ll say or how you’ll behave next time:






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