Food sabateurs and losing/maintaining around them

by Christine on February 21st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Everyone battles food demons, and losing weight or maintaining your weight loss can sure be a challenge when unhealthy food is constantly being pushed in front of you.

What are some of your biggest food challenges? Who are your biggest food pushers?

At work, I am my worst enemy. I am grateful that my office is located far away from the office kitchen, so if there are donuts and cookies sitting on the counter, I am not aware of them. Instead, I am my worst enemy. I love to stop at Dunkin Donuts for a small coffee (with cream and sugar) in the mornings. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I factor in the coffee calories into my daily calorie totals, it’s often hard to resist getting a wake-up wrap or a donut in addition to that coffee.

Also, while I know that it’s healthier and more cost-effective to bring in a healthy lunch to work, I have to fight my own desire to go out to a restaurant for lunch. Even a healthy restaurant choice (side salad, soup, grilled chicken) is higher in calories than anything I would pack and bring into work. Consequently, I tend to sabotage myself sooner than anyone else does.

The only time I really good food pushers at work is when I’m at a marketing event, and alcohol is involved. None of my clients want to drink alone, so they are constantly asking me, “Can I get you another beer?” or “Bartender, another round please!”  More often than not, they take the option completely out of my hands and out of my control, ordering for me in order to keep me drinking.

For some people their family is the biggest downfall to staying on board with their plan. Big family dinners mean fried chicken, lasagna, baked goods, vegetables coated in fattening sauces and dressings. I know a lot of families that also have picky children that refuse to eat healthy food, forcing Mom to make two (or more) separate meals—one for the picky eaters and one for the rest of the family. Making two meals every day is extremely taxing, and it’s easy to just say, “screw it; I’ll just eat what they are having.”

And what is it with society that wants to feed you unhealthy foods when you are bound and determined to lose weight or keep your weight off? It seems that humans are programmed with the challenge of fattening up the newly-skinny. How many times have you been at a friend’s house or out to eat with a friend, and they make junk like homemade macaroni and cheese, extra-chocolately cookies, or just “happen” to leave a bowl of your favorite candy sitting on the coffee table in front of you?  Why do food pushers have a need to sabotage our best efforts?

So what can we do to fight the food pushers around us and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Please chime in with some suggestions below!! Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Prior to any outing with friends, make sure you tell them that you need their support in regards to food, and to please help you to make healthy choices
  • Schedule physical activities with your friends, not eating events. Rather than meeting for lunch, why not meet at the mall for a 2-mile walking loop?
  • Bring your own healthy dish to share at a family dinner
  • If you’re feeding a family of picky eaters, schedule separate food times, with the healthy eaters eating first. At 5 pm the healthy eaters will get to eat their salad. At 6 pm the rest of the family can eat their hot dogs and Mac & Cheese. If you eat your healthy food first, you’ll be less likely to want to eat the unhealthy option.
  • When at a marketing event where alcohol is involved, either lie and say that you can’t drink because of your medicine, or pull the bartender aside and politely ask that they serve you diet coke for the remainder of the night, even if someone orders something different for you.
  • Don’t forget to food journal every day! Most smart phones have free applications you can download to help keep you on track throughout the day.

How do you stay on track when food temptations and food pushers try to derail you?

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  • Lesley

    Great Blog Christine!

    I am lucky, i don’t really have a problem with anything, other than the alcohol, like you mentioned. When others are drinking around me, and keep offering me one, i find it so hard to say no.

    Other than that, i am ok turning down sweet treats in the office etc.


  • Sunshine’s Heart

    You gave some great suggestions about dealing with the food pushers. I don’t socialize much but when I do there are always people who think I look too thin and need to eat more or just go of the plan for “one day”. I’m going to remember your suggestions. For the most part my immediate family is supportive. It is the extended family, most of who are MO who push the food at me.

  • Elissyjane

    Your idea of scheduing activities with friends that aren’t eating events is a good one. One day, about a year ago, three friends and I were eating lunch, and someone made the comment that all we do is eat. We decided then and there that we would now play cards instead of eating lunch. We also decided to play at our health club, which welcomes card players and has very healthy food, if we choose to eat there. It’s been good for all of us, and the card games are lots of fun!

  • Bonnie

    A lot of great ideas.

  • Dan – Fitness Coach

    Nice tips! It becomes difficult to avoid food pushers when they are from your family. However one should be conscious to his/her health to avoid them.

  • Sarah G

    Don’t answer the door when the neighborhood Girl Scout comes knocking!