Want some fries with that salad?

Most people struggle to refuse food in the company of others, and saying no to a greasy shared appetizer isn’t easy. “Being fussy about food is often interpreted as arrogance. Humans connect by being the same, and anything that makes you feel different makes you feel insecure. Ordering salad instead of pizza during a work lunch can make people feel uneasy,” explains nutritionist Marisa Peer.

Confidence, both physical and mental, is required to change your habits.


“Losing weight and becoming more physically active will make you feel and look better,” she says. “When you feel good and are happy with the way you look, you will automatically gain confidence.”

But you have to talk yourself thin: “If you’re depressed, it’ll send signals to make you reach for the nearest doughnut, associating this with childhood memories of comfort and pleasure.”

Resisting the urge for cake requires motivation and desire, whether this is the desire to feel good or fit into a pair of skinny jeans. Setting realistic goals will make the desire to eat unhealthily go away.

“Ongoing communication with the mind and body is essential,” says Peer. “Building up the confidence to listen to what your body — not your mind — wants is key. Once you achieve that point, it’s unlikely you’ll reach for that chocolate anytime soon.”

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