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How to Say 'No' to Food Pushers

Tips for turning would-be diet sabotage into diet support.

Avoiding Diet Sabotage at Family Gatherings

Chances are, you have a pretty good idea of what's likely to be served at your mother's or grandmother's for those Sunday dinners. So why not offer to bring a salad, vegetable, or healthy dessert?

"Who can resist an offer to help with the meal?" says Gidus. "And this way, you know there will be some food that you can eat and [you can] just take small portions of the other offerings."

If they insist you take that piece of pie, it doesn't mean you have to devour a huge slab. Just accept a small portion, eat it slowly, and enjoy it. Or even just take a single bite.

Another option: "You can always graciously accept the food, saying something like, 'I'm full right now, but I'd love to take it home and have it later," says Foreyt. (Then you can ditch the decadent item at the first opportunity.)

Avoiding Diet Sabotage From a Spouse or Partner

Coping with your diet and changing size may be difficult for your partner, especially if he or she also could stand to lose some weight. Some may fear that if you get thinner, you may draw more romantic attention from others, or develop a wandering eye yourself.

"Feeling threatened can cause partners to react negatively and not be supportive," says Gidus.

To prevent this, make sure to reassure your partner that you love him or her, and ask for support for your weight loss efforts.

If having the house stocked with tempting goodies makes it harder on you, ask your partner to please enjoy these treats outside the house when you are not around.

And what if your partner loves to cook? In particular, says Gidus, "many women show their love through food just like mom did, and cooking is their way of making their partner happy."

She suggests asking these nurturing types to find ways to show their love other than through food. And let them know that preparing healthy foods - even healthier versions of the family's favorite comfort foods - is a great way to show their love while supporting your health goals.

Avoiding Diet Sabotage During Happy Hour

If you're headed out to the bar with your friends, make a plan in advance for how you will navigate the alcohol, snacks, and pressure to consume both.

"Knowing your temptations and being prepared with a strategy will help you enjoy the happy hour without feeling guilty afterwards," says Moloo.

Her advice: Drink one or two light beers or wine spritzers, then spend the rest of happy hour sipping club soda with lime (it looks like a cocktail). If you eat high-calorie appetizers, consider them dinner.

Don't let friends pressure you into making bad decisions. Stick to your drink limit, and order some healthy appetizers for the table for everyone to enjoy.

"Be careful when you are drinking alcohol, because you can let your guard down and before you know it, you have devoured the appetizer loaded with fat and calories," says Moloo.

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