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Food, Peer Pressure, and Goals:
How to Say “NO”

food, drink, intuitive eating

The holidays have come and passed, and the general vibe across the country is toward resolutions, wellness, exercise and healthy eating. But the food pushers will be there sooner or later, so this is a good time to reflect on how food-based peer pressure impacted you in the past month. Did you find yourself eating something just to shut someone up? Did you eat because everyone else was eating, even when you weren’t hungry? Were you hungry but afraid to speak up because “what would people think of you?!”? Athletes of all shapes and sizes experience these same thoughts and feelings, especially around the holidays. Here are some ways that we recommend saying “no” if you don’t want something. . . . Side note, if you really do want something, we recommend saying “yes” to that! Ask your dietitian how!


How to Say “NO”

Even though it’s as simple as it sounds, saying “no” to a food pusher can be exhausting. And if they have more stamina than you, you give in and eat the food you’re not even interested in eating. Everyone has been there! The key is to have a good arsenal of “no” responses that you can fire off when needed. Try some of these favorites:

Option 1. No, thank you.

Option 2. I’m so full I can’t possibly eat even one more bite. Thank you for offering.

Option 3. Wow, that looks delicious, but I’m very full already. I’d love to take some home to try when I’m hungry later, if there are leftovers.

Option 4. Thank you, but I’m very full. It looks delicious, do you have the recipe? I’d love to take that with me!

Option 5. No, thank you, I’m very satisfied and want to respect my fullness. Thank you for honoring that.

Option 6. No thank you, again.

Option 7. No, thank you. All of the food has been delicious, but I’ve learned I’m just not fond of (item they are offering). Thank you so much for asking though.


The most important thing you can do is to be consistent and confident. If someone is used to peer pressuring you into eating something you’re not interested in, they know that is a trend in your relationship. In any relationship, consistency is key to restructure expectations. The more you say “no thank you, I’m full” and continue to be true to yourself, your desires, and your goals, the less the peer pressure will become over time. Be true to what you want, and stay strong my friend!