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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Weight Loss & Fitness Channel > Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

I'll bet I can make you eat!
by Linda Spangle, RN, MA

Have you ever told someone you were trying to lose weight, then immediately been coaxed to eat something? Some people take the word "diet" as a challenge to see if they can make you fall off the wagon.

It's as though they're saying, "Watch me! I'll bet I can make you eat." Then they prod you to "just have a few chips" or to meet them at a new buffet-style restaurant. When you protest, they push you harder.

The best way to win the "I can make you eat" game is to not even play. Rather than eat something just to get people off your back, use these subtle methods to get them to stop bugging you.

I've already eaten

Convince others that you don't need any food. Tell them you've already eaten and you are quite full. Or inform them you have to eat somewhere else later. For example, you might beg off by saying, "I'd better not eat anything because Mom is expecting me and she's cooking a big meal." If your friends realize your food needs are taken care of, they are less likely to push you to eat.

Don't discuss your "diet"

Try to avoid getting caught up in conversations about dieting and weight loss. Even good friends can spout off dire opinions about why your chosen plan is bad for you or convince you why it isn't going to work. When people ask how you're losing weight, simply tell them you're following a "healthy eating plan."

You can also blame your diet program. When someone pressures you about your food decisions, just say, "My weight-loss counselor recommends we don't discuss the diet because talking about food makes us want to eat. Do you mind if we change the subject?"

The magic phrase

If you feel pressured to eat when you don't want to, sidestep the food pusher by hinting that you will eat something later. Whenever someone offers you food, respond by saying, "Not just yet; I'm going to wait a little while." This magic phrase convinces people that you are going to eat eventually, so they leave you alone.

When they return and offer you food again, simply repeat the phrase or some variation of it. You might say, "Thanks, but I'll still wait a bit" or "Not right now, but maybe later."

Saying "not right now" provides a gracious way to avoid food when you don't want to eat. Even if you say these lines repeatedly at a gathering, most people will never realize you didn't eat anything during the entire event.

About the author:
Linda Spangle, RN, MA, is a weight-loss coach specializing in emotional eating, and the author of 100 Days of Weight Loss, a book of daily lessons that helps people stay committed to their diet and exercise plans. Her website is www.weightlossjoy.com.

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