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Are you being food bullied? Here’s how to handle it

Food bulliesIt’s hard enough making healthy eating choices day in and day out. But what do you do if people start mocking you for your food choices, calling you boring, or worse, trying to tempt you into cheating on your plan? Here’s how to handle the food bullies.

“You’re always eating salad.” 

Probably said by a co-worker as they’re tucking into a burger or slap chips. What you have to understand here is that comments like this aren’t about you, they’re about the other person’s insecurities. They know they should probably be eating salad, too and your good choice is only reinforcing their poor one. Knowing this will take any sting out of their words. Simply respond with the truth: “I’m looking to lose Xkgs and eating salad helps me do that.” Then tuck into your healthy lunch and enjoy. 

“One bite won’t kill you.” 

Whoever’s trying to get you to eat the unhealthy food (because it’s always unhealthy food) is absolutely right. One bite of a carb-laden meal won’t hurt your healthy eating at all. But two, three, four, 20, definitely will. Comments like these are usually made by family members at a meal together, where you usually bond over food. And your healthy choices are creating a different dynamic, and possibly making others feel uncomfortable (again, not your problem). Say: “You’re right, one bite won’t hurt. But I can’t stop at one bite, so I’ll say no for now, and you go ahead and enjoy.” 

“You’re so boring these days.” 

With friends like these, who needs enemies? And this comment is the kind usually made by a friend when you order a virgin mojito at happy hour rather than your usual four margaritas with a tequila chaser. If your new habits are in direct opposition to a time-honoured friendship tradition, it’s natural for those close to you to feel challenged and resentful. Your choices are now affecting them (“It’s no fun drinking if you’re not!”) and they’re looking to restore the status quo. That doesn’t mean they can get away with insulting you though. A simple “I’m sorry you feel that way” is all that’s needed here – and maybe a change of plans going forward. 

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