In almost every family or group of friends there's at least one person who
seems determined to make everyone else eat more. “Oh go on have another one”,
“just one more”, “look there's still some left in the pan” are
all phrases you might hear from your local Food Pusher. Not wanting to make a
fuss, or forced by politeness and guilt you accept that second portion, have a bit more
of the cake, or take a last potato. You continue eating well beyond what is necessary or
healthy and also beyond what you want to
The Food Pusher dynamic is an odd one. It should
be easy to say no, I've had
enough. You've tried everything, you're feeling full, you've had a lovely meal, so why is
the pressure from the Pusher so often effective?
Food often defines our
relationships and we all have rituals associated with food. By saying no you are
changing these rituals, which can in turn unsettle our relationships.
Food Pushers rarely give up by themselves. If you take that extra piece of cake this
time, then you'll be expected to take it next time. If the pushing strategies work on
one occasion, food will be pushed on you again.
If you want this to stop,
at some point you need to take control. Simply saying “no thanks” can be
ineffective. One strategy is to graciously accept the food, but explain that you're full
now and would love to take a piece home. This often satisfies the Pusher, whilst avoiding
the need for you to eat more. Another idea is to thank your host for the gorgeous food,
but tell them you're full and if you eat more you'll be uncomfortable – very few
Food Pushers will push so much that they want you to actually feel uncomfortable.
I've been guilty of Food Pushing in the past. I can't stand wasting food and if
we have people over for dinner, I'd much prefer them to eat the food up, than have to
throw some out. I'd find myself saying “just have that last piece” to
everyone, until I could see my guests undoing their top belts and groaning under the
strain of too much food.
When I thought about this I realised that wasn't
fair. I was... Read More...