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How to cope with food challenges in social situations

How do you cope with social situations around food consumption? Here are some great tips to keep in mind.

The situation: Even though your family is aware of your healthy-eating style, they remain hell-bent on pushing food:

“Just eat it, it’s not going to kill you!”

“You could afford to have some.”

“But I made this just for you!”

Response: Say thank you with a smile and eat what you originally planned. If anyone insists on seeing you finish the portion, make an excuse about feeling uncomfortably full and ask if you can take it home.

The situation: You’re the only non-carnivore at your friend’s party. While they’re thoughtful enough to grill you a veggie burger, fellow guests aren’t as considerate and give you the following line:

“Where do you get your protein from?”

Response 1: How about you don’t ask me about my protein, and I won’t ask you about your cholesterol.”

Response 2: My veggie burger is superb! You should try one! You’d be surprised how good it tastes! They may or may not take you up on it, but they’ll know not to argue further with someone so confident.

The situation: Seeing family means you’re instantly fair game for unsolicited commentary on everything from love life to career choices. But today’s hot topic is your body:

“You’ve lost so much weight!”

“You’re so thin! How much do you weigh?”

Response: Thanks for being concerned about my health, but there is nothing to worry about. My doctor says my weight is healthy and to keep up my good eating habits. I feel better and more energetic than ever.

The situation: The spread is deep-fried and highly processed junk. Eating this meal equals a massive food hangover. You help yourself to what you can, but when others see your plate, they exclaim:

“Why are you barely eating?!”

Response: This is plenty for me. Thank you for preparing all this.

The situation: Everyone wants to go to the fast food outlet. You don’t want to be disagreeable and go along, but then your coworker passes you a box of sugary donuts: “Come on, you can be unhealthy for a day!”

Response: Thanks for offering, but no thanks. I’m stuffed from lunch!

The situation: You’re out with coworkers, but you’d rather just enjoy their company and skip the booze. When you pass on alcohol, your colleagues start in:

“Oh, come on, just have one drink!”

Response 1: I just don’t feel like drinking tonight.

Response 2: Now you have a sober driver to make sure you make it home.

The situation: While the rest of the table starts with fries and mozzarella sticks, you opt for a salad. Your friends immediately comment:

“Of course, you always get the rabbit food.”

“Are you on a diet or something?”

“Ugh, I can’t imagine eating just a salad for dinner.”

Response: The grease upsets my stomach and I’d rather feel good instead of ending up in a food coma and feel lousy tomorrow.


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