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  • Rebecca Washuta

Thanksgiving Survival Guide: Food Pushers

Updated: Apr 19


If your family is anything like mine, holidays are filled with a lot of food pushing by well-intentioned loved ones. Holiday weight gain is usually not something to stress over (people typically only gain 1-2lbs between Thanksgiving and New Years) but it can be hard to stay on track with your health goals when Aunt Betty insists you try her pie, and your mom fills your plate for the second time with the sweet potato casserole she made “just for you”. When “no thank you” just won’t cut it with your loved one, try these tips:

Put Yourself First

Yes, turning down grandma’s mashed potatoes may hurt her feelings, but what about your feelings? Will saying yes cause you to eat more then you intended, feel overly full, or feel guilty later? Too often we put other’s needs and feelings before our own. If you don’t want to try this or have an extra helping of that, say no confidently and politely. Going home for the holidays can make us seriously regress back to childhood patterns, but remember, You’re A Grown Ass Adult Who Gets To Decide What To Put In Their Body!

Change The Topic

Food pushers are frequently just trying to show us love. At its roots, this is a wonderful gesture. Our loved ones want to make sure we’re nourished and happy and well taken care of. Eating is inherently social and food is meant to be shared. On the flip side, what and how we choose to eat is very personal. If Aunt Betty is persistently pushing her pie on you, say no thank you, and change the subject. Ask about her cats or the recent trip she took with her book club to Niagara Falls. You can connect with family without having to give in and compromise your heath goals.


Delay, Delay, Delay

For some, cooking and baking is an art, and a way to express their creativity. In the same way it would sting if your mom painted a portrait and you refused to look at it, refusing to eat something she spent hours (and sometimes days) preparing can feel like an insult. If you’re not interested in eating something, try telling her how delicious it looks and that you can’t wait to try some LATER. Maybe later you will want to try it, and if not, you know she already has the Tupperware ready and will be sending you home with a to-go bag.