We all know that the holiday season can be a healthy-eating minefield. But it's not necessarily just because of the festive drinks and fattening apps. Friends and family members can alsoÂ wreckÂ your dietÂ effortsâintentionally or unintentionally.
Most of the time, they mean well, says Susan Albers, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and author of 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food ($10.43, amazon.com)."Often, theyâre trying to show their love through food, as many families do," she points out.
On the other hand, not everyone has good intentions. "Some people attempt to push food to alleviate their own guilt: If sheâs eating it, then it's okay if I do, too," Albers says. "Or it may be jealousyâyour friend may be a little envious that you look great in your holiday dress."Â Shut down common diet sabotaging comments with these comeback strategies from Albers.
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The Saboteur Says:Â âYouâve got to try this! It tastes amazing. Really, eat it.â
Shut It Down: âIt looks amazing, but no thanks!â Remember that itâs okay to simply say no with confidence. Donât apologize or offer an explanation. Practice saying no assertively and firmly before the party if you need to.
The Saboteur Says:Â âI made my coconut custard pie just for you. I know how much you love it.â
Shut It Down: Appreciate the effort by accepting a giftâeven one of foodâgraciously. Ask to take it home since you are so fullâand then regift it.
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The Saboteur Says:Â âIâm going to box up these leftovers for you.â
Shut It Down: Use humor by saying something like, âIâm so stuffed, pretty soon you're going to mistake me for the turkey!" Or tell your host that your refrigerator is packed; everyone can visualize a full fridge that doesnât have room for leftovers.
The Saboteur Says:Â âWhy do you even bother dieting duringÂ the holidays?â
Shut It Down: âYouâre right. Dieting during the holidays is a recipe for disaster. Iâm eating mindfullyâwatching what I eat so I donât overeat and gain the twoÂ pounds that research says most people put onÂ during the holidays.â Agreeing with your critic or starting out with the words âyou are rightâ helps to take out the emotional struggle. And throwing out research makes your comeback grounded and smart.
The Saboteur Says: "One drink canât hurt, right?â
Shut It Down: Actually, maybe your friend is rightâone cup of spiked coffee isnât going to kill you or your diet. And neither will one cookie. So choose your one indulgence and decline the rest. Say something like, âThanks, but that drink has as many calories as a piece of pecan pieâand Iâd rather eat the pie!â
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