Eating with Company - How to Say No

Have you ever been at a get together where you try to avoid eating the dessert on the table knowing it doesn’t fit your goals, but also worrying about offending your hosts by not indulging in it? Have you ever just eaten the cake and been bummed you did later in order to avoid the latter? If you’re like me, you’ve been in this place many times.

Friends, why do we feel so guilty turning food away? Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way suggesting that we behave rudely while a guest in someone’s home or their event.

Instead, I am asking us to consider what it is about us that makes us feel guilty about making choices that serve us well in these types of situations.

Is it the fear of hurting someone’s feelings? The fear of bringing attention to you? I’m here to say that a lot of times these feelings seem much bigger than they truly are perceived by others.

Today, I’d like to share a few tips of how to navigate these kinds of circumstances so we do not feel as though we have to defend our choices nor feel guilty about it.

#1 - Have a snack or drink in your hand that you know fits. When you already have a snack or a drink in your hand, it is easier for you to tell others that you are doing fine. Need a cookie? No, thanks I already have a plate. Need a drink? No, my glass is still full. These are quick ways to shift the conversation in a manner that doesn’t make anyone think twice.

#2 - Suggest a game that gets you moving. If a friend asks if you’d like to head over to the table and eat dessert, ask if they’d like to go play a game like corn hole instead. You’re still together, the activity is just different!

#3 - Offer to bring the food item that will be most tempting. Is dessert the hardest to turn away during a dinner with friends? Offer to bring one that will fit with your goals for the day! Your friends will appreciate the offer, and you’ll be relieved that you won’t have to turn away something yummy.

#4 - Just say “no, thank you!” In today’s world, everyone is trying to eat better and exercise more. We all want better for ourselves, and your closest friends will be your biggest supporters. Explain what you are doing, why you are doing it, and leave the conversation at that. You do not have to defend your actions as long as they are handled with grace.

Friends, it is possible to say no. The next time you head over to a get together, try out one of these tips and see how it goes. You may find that the worry is all in your head!