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"Just eat it, you'll like it"

A current thread on keeping your thoughts about others' food to yourself brought up some latent frustration from experiences of people pushing food on me. The back story is that I eat a fairly low carb diet which is well known by nearly anyone who interacts with me daily. The best example I can give is chocolate or any other food which people particularly coworkers know that I don't enjoy or eat on a regular basis (e.g. pasta, bread, etc). At least three times a week, I have to deal with people pushing food at me and insisting I eat it. I am never really clear on the motivation. It's one thing to encourage others to open their minds but they have heard my explanation and know full well that I don't enjoy particular foods and have no interest in eating them. To me it feels like someone pushing bacon on someone who is Jewish and keeps Kosher or someone who absolutely hates fish. Have you ever had food repeatedly "pushed on you?" What do you think of this?

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  1. You just need some pity comebacks to push people off balance.
    They usually get the hint.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      I think you mean "pithy" comeback, but the idea comes across.

      I disagree. You don't need a comeback. Just tell them no. "No". I wouldn't worry about it and just keep to what you like to eat.

      It is a little weird, though. I have never had anyone (even in my household) to question my food choices (or non-choices). I'd hate to be in that position.

      1. re: gardencook

        ^This.

        No. Just No. No further explanation required. No excuses. No apologies. Just NO.

    2. Fldhkybnva,

      I think it's similar to the "just one bite won't hurt you" syndrome.

      Low carb (like gluten free eating) is still seen by a lot of folks as a fad. And it's true that a lot of people without celiac or diabetes (among other issues) do voluntarily go gluten free or low carb. But for others, those food choices aren't choices---they're mandates. For example, strictly speaking I "choose" to eat low carb and H "must" eat low carb. Everyone knows that of both of us, and they still push very sugary stuff on him "Oh it's a holiday" or "oh, just have a slice" or "Oh, I worked all day on it"...

      My H has taken to saying "I can't eat that" and repeating it over and over until the person gives up. He's less tactful than I am :-)

      10 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        I agree, there seems to be some of that. I often feel like people think they can "break me" and that it would be some sort of victory for them. My usual explanation is to point out that I've preferred to eat this way for most of my life and even as a kid I had a very low preferred carbohydrate threshold but even that doesn't seem to get people to realize.

        1. re: pinehurst

          "...is still seen by a lot of folks as a fad."

          yes. it is. no matter what. you cannot change the fact that too many fads ruined it for everyone.
          too many of my 'vegan' friends eat McDonalds after a night out...
          too many of my 'fat free' friends eat things they have no idea contains fat, good, bad or otherwise.
          too many of my "low carb" friends only shy away from pasta and bread...
          too many of my friends get diet information from unreliable sources.

          couple that with cluelessness of some of the pushers that see these constant fads come and go... you get it...

          every vegetarian I have met is no longer a vegetarian. too bad for them, but it makes everyone around them ridicule the true vegetarian or vegan.

          "fat free", "carb free", hell, even celiac, yeah, all fads...in their eyes... " a little can't hurt anyone"

          I recommend a simple smile and a "Thank you. No."
          Anything more on your part is You Pushing Your diet on Them.

          1. re: Gastronomos

            I think part of the problem may lie in the approach to the diet question in general. Perhaps, there simply is no universally "right" diet. Different humans may simply benefit from different nutritional intakes to maximize health. When some are too dogmatic about their approach and proselytize aggressively, it flies in the face of personal experience, preference, and good taste in general (kinda like religion).

            1. re: MGZ

              "Different humans may simply benefit from different nutritional intakes to maximize health." This is exactly what I often tell people that inquire. I emphasize that I'm not saying my "diet" is the right diet, but it's right for me. I usually even say "I understand that it doesn't work for many, but it's just how I prefer to eat." I never comment on what other are eating just like I never comment on anyone's appearance unless asked or very close family or friends because you never know how that person will interpret. When I say no to certain foods, it's never followed by a statement as to why i think they shouldn't eat it, I just state my preference of "no" in not eating it. They imply a lot more than what I actually say which is quite frustrating. My decline is not a moral statement about their choice of foods.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I think it speaks to the offender's insecurity.

                1. re: monavano

                  that "insecurity" usually comes from too much misinformation from 'reliable' and unreliable sources and the fact that they probably grew up without all this around them...
                  or, they're just plain insecure?

          2. "It tastes like chicken!"

            1. Birthday cake and ice cream is the main culprit around here at work. I don't want to waste calories on that crap, leave me alone!

              1. I just wait for the offender to ask, "what don't you like about it?". My answer usually shuts them up....especially when it concerns certain cheeses.

                3 Replies
                1. re: grampart

                  Adding "it doesn't agree with me" and holding stomach helps ;)

                  1. re: melpy

                    I said that to a cousin's wife last Thanksgiving about some food she wanted me to eat. She replied "nobody agrees with you". It was Thanksgiving, we were last in line, but I let it go..

                    1. re: John E.

                      John E.

                      "oh nobody ever does, but I still think I was right about the Treaty of Nantes"