Today I wanted to share some tips on how to be unaffected by “food talk” while out with friends and family. I am going to walk you through specific examples and give you some powerful statements on how to respond to people’s food and diet comments that have made you self sabotage your nutrition journey. I created a FREE resource with example responses to diet talk for you to utilize at your next social event. They're located at the bottom of this blog. Go grab them!
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What exactly is “food talk” you might ask? Think of it as those pesky comments that friends and family make around the dinner table.
“Wow I’m so glad I didn’t eat before coming here.”
“This is just so fattening, I never eat like this.”
“Is that really all you’re going to have?”
“Today I’m going to cheat on my diet.”
People’s comments at social events often evoke a response within you and can cause you to do things that are harmful because you’re either trying to prove them wrong, or you’re aligning yourself with their disordered behavior.
Here’s what I want you to do.
Take a minute to think about who is going to be at your next social gathering. Will you interact with people there that you know will make food or diet comments? What kinds of things do they typically say? Are they food pushers or are they avid dieters?
If you have someone in your mind, this part’s for you. Before going to your gathering, physically write out a response to the food comments you anticipate them making. It might feel weird at first, but having a pre-contemplated response can help you in the moment when you are taken off guard by a comment made around the dinner table. Look over your written response a few times before going to the gathering so that it’s internalized in you and you are able to easily recite it if the time comes to use it.
Here are a few examples of responses you can use.
If you have the food pusher at your gathering: “You know what, that dessert was so amazing, but I am really full right now so I would love to take some home and I’ll eat it tomorrow. Here, I’ll grab a Tupperware for you to put it in.”
A lot of times food pushers are people who feel loved by serving others. They don’t realize it, but they feel better when people eat the food they have made, that’s why they push it on you. Honor them with this comment by still accepting the food, but at the same time, honor your own body and what it’s telling you to do by saving the food for later.
To the avid dieter comments: sometimes, you have to completely change the subject. Say something like, “This is a time that we’re here to enjoy ourselves and focus on relationships, so let’s shift the focus of this conversation to something that will help us connect better. How is that project you’ve been working on going?”
To the food commenters: you need to ensure that you don’t do something to spite them and end up hurting yourself. If they comment on how little you’re eating, this could send you into wanting to restrict even more. On the contrast, if they say, “Wow are you really going to eat all of that?” It might make you feel shameful for the amount you took and binge even more. Here’s what you say to the food commenters, “Yep, I have chosen this amount of food to start with. If it’s too much I’ll take it home, if it’s not enough I’m going to go grab seconds. I feel great about what’s on my plate.”
Most importantly, it’s important that you remember to not let other people derail you. You are on your own journey and no one can live it for you. Make a plan of how you want your social gathering to look BEFORE going to the event, and know that people aren’t always aware of how their comments come across. Don’t give them power over you by allowing their words to change the trajectory of your future.
If you are wanting to use some of the replies that I shared with you in this blog, I created a FREE resource with them all typed and ready to go for you. Make sure to grab it via the link below.
Until next time,
Mikyah, RDN, LDN, CD
Grab Your Freebie here!