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How to turn down food at parties

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Social eating is one of the biggest obstacles when you are trying to stick to a diet. Let’s go over some tips on how to turn down food at parties.

Disclaimer: This is of course for potluck type party settings rather than a dinner party. When you are specifically at a person’s house for dinner, it is hard to turn down food without seeming rude. In those cases, I would just watch portion size and avoid any foods you are allergic to.

Most get togethers tend to be buffet style where you serve yourself. This means that all eyes are not on you. While it might feel like it will be noticeable if you don’t sample everything, it’s not.

Sure, you could stick with honesty, but not everyone will agree with your diet, so sometimes it is just easier to either tell a white lie or just be vague. Here are some excuses I like to use when a simple “no, thank you” doesn’t seem to work.

Phrases to turn down food at parties

  • No, thank you. It looks really good, but I’m pretty full right now.
  • I’m actually more in a savory mood than a sweet mood.
  • Thanks, but I’m not hungry yet, I had a huge lunch. I’ll probably grab something in a bit.
  • Wow that looks really good, but I’m full. Would you split it with me?
  • Oh thanks, but I’m actually not a huge brownie person (or insert other food name)
  • I wish, fried foods mess with my stomach. I’ll just stick with my salad but thanks!
  • (did you try ___?) Not yet, but it looks good. How is it?
    • This is a distraction technique.

Things to remember:

Keep it casual. Turning down food is only a big deal if you make it a big deal. Most of the time people are only offering your food to either be a good host or because they’re excited they tasted something delish. Usually they are not concerned with your eating habits. No one is keeping tabs on you to make sure you eat everything.

Also, don’t be wasteful. Don’t load your plate up with foods you have no intention of eating.