Dealing with Naysayers Even When They’re Family

“You’re too … skinny… overweight…overworked…busy”.  You know all the comments you get when around family can be annoying even though they mean well.  Those that love us can’t help but offer advice.  With Thanksgiving and the holiday season coming up, I want to help you ward off the comments and stay on your health journey.  Have a plan dealing with the naysayers at the dinner table.

One of my family’s favorite movies is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.  There are so many lines that we quote and laugh about.  With holiday meals, family members are lovingly preparing their traditional recipes and might get their feelings hurt when you choose to pass.  Being from the South especially, love is baked into a casserole or shown by getting huge second helpings.

“What do you mean you don’t want this casserole full of ingredients that will make you feel bad?  You used to love it!” Yes, you used to love that dish BUT you also had problems attributed to the ingredients in that dish. It is okay to pass on things you know will make you feel bad later.

How Does Your Diet Affect Me?

When I started Intermittent Fasting, my family wasn’t quite sure what to think about me delaying breakfast.  I chose to stay on my plan that works for me.

When we stopped eating gluten, everyone was worried about how our holiday meals would change.  Now they realize how good other foods can be and they don’t miss it.

Whenever you start to eat differently, people around you start to feel uncomfortable and might try to sabotage your efforts.  This is especially true at the holidays.

  • The people close to you feel threatened because if you get healthy and change you might expect them to as well. Or you’ll outgrow them and not need them anymore.
  • Others feel they must criticize your way of eating to rationalize to themselves that it wouldn’t work for them.  This could be someone who struggles themselves and thinks you should too, so they tempt you with treats and criticize your diet.


There are several types of naysayers that try to sabotage your efforts by questioning, judging, or discounting what you’re doing. Here are examples of a few:

  • The New Nutrition Expert: Has done a little research and is on the latest diet they think best. They think you’re doing it all wrong.
  • Concerned Family Member: Is worried you’re not eating a balanced diet or are suffering, and they keep offering you bread, treats, and pizza like you used to eat.
  • The Passive Aggressive Friend: Downplays your success and condescends that there are too many foods you can’t eat. They stop inviting you out because you’re too much trouble.

Strategies to Handle Naysayers and Critics

  1. Try not to talk about your way of eating around your family and friends as much. Just do your thing and don’t try to convince anyone.
  2. Just be the example. When they watch you take care of yourself and see that it works, later they will start asking questions.
  3. Visualize your success and keep up with your mantra of I deserve to be healthy and I’m going to act like it.
  4. Bring food that helps you stay on your plan.
  5. Remember your big “why” that being healthier is so important to you.

The holidays are a great time to spend time with those that you love.  You are worth the work to get healthy, so don’t let others convince you otherwise.  Enjoy the food and the company and no matter what happens remember, it’s only a few meals.   I hope you have a Healthy AND Happy holiday season!

Comment 1

  1. Wendy W Pounds
    November 25, 2019

    Great advice, Todd keeps getting the question? Are you loosing weight on purpose. Why are you doing this? He just answers short and sweet. Wendy and I want to get healthy and stay that way so that we can enjoy the rest of our lives.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: