Dealing With Diet Haters (5 steps)

It’s Friday night.

There’s anticipation and excitement.

You are out with friends for “cocktail hour” and the appetizers are coming out. Then “it happens”

Burch doesn’t eat bread, he prefers rabbit food” taunted one of my pals.

This is familiar territory for many

Now, if you are reading this (you are), you have experienced something similar.

You have been on a “diet” and someone noticed. A family member, friend, or co-worker.

It may have been a playful observation.

Or, it may have been a malicious jab.

Either way, it is something you should be armed to deal with.

social pressure is one of the greatest barriers to achieving our personal health/fitness goals, especially negative pressure.

There are a few reasons for the hate:

  1. Said person is resistant to change.

Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod is a book about creativity, but several aspects of the book can help you deal with “diet haters.” According to Macleod “Your friends may love you, but they don’t want you to change. If you change, then their dynamic with you also changes. They like things the way they are, that’s how they love you- the way you are, not the way you may become.”

In a relationship, if one person changes, everything changes.

Your friends know you. How you have been. They fear the unknown and most people don’t like change.


You don’t need to change them, just don’t let them derail you from your goals.

2. Said person is particularly insecure.
 Your friend or co-worker WANTS to lose weight.

They have TRIED to lose weight.

And maybe that person HATES THEMSELVES, (link) because they don’t like their body.

So, when you opt out of “pizza friday” in favor of a home-packed grilled chicken salad, they are reminded of their own repeated failure. All of the negative energy and pain and sadness are projected onto you via some nasty comment or question.

“That’s all you’re going to eat”

I’ll dive deeper on how to handle this later.

3. The person could be genuinely. interested.
 If someone is asking you questions, especially if they have seen you achieve fitness-related results, there is a good chance they are looking to you for answers.

But isn’t fat bad for you”

“Does that meal even fill you up”

Then you direct them HERE (link)

Usually the hate is coming from 1 of these 3 areas, and now that it has been identified, we can deal with it.

  1. Education 101 (my personal fav)

Give them information aka knowledge bombs. People still think they can put butter in their coffee and this is the magical elixir to health and fat loss. It’s especially important if they specifically ask to answer their questions honestly and completely, they asked you seeking info. This is the time to shine and possibly help someone out, which in turn will help you out. Don’t be afraid to share what you know.

2. Troll them
 Spend time on the Internet and you will come across the term trolling.
 It can be a very hilarious way to deal with “diet haters.”

“I ran across a study that linked ice cream to ebola, so none for me thanks.”

Immediate subject change
 After you apologize for bashing ice cream because no one needs that kind of negativity.

3. Completely ignore them
 Basically be socially incompetent. This will be awkward at first, so save it for a group setting where you are multitasking and can redirect your attention quickly. Someone WILL ask you questions and just be still.

4. Fight fire with fire
 You could choose to say something offensive in return. Technically speaking, your fitness journey and what you consume, or don’t, is not of their business. If you get uncomfortable with a question, maybe they crossed the line and it’s fair to cross it back.
 Lots of times this leads back to point number 1 and a conversation ensues.

5. Surround yourself with like minded individuals
 A community can do A LOT for a person. Our opinions are formed by the information we consume which largely comes from the people around us. Crossfit is lauded for their community, and for good reason. They have put barbells and other weighs in more hands than anything else. They are uplifting and people feel good, ASIDE FROM THE PUKING (link)
 Kidding aside, I strongly recommend surrounding yourself with people who are on the same mission as you.

We are a product of out environment.

Point blank, I’m very fortunate because fitness is my “job”. People expect me to eat healthy.

Those who mess with me are poking fun and it doesn’t traumatize me.

But most people aren’t that lucky. Most face unsupportive, threatening pressure from friends and acquaintances on a regular, even daily, basis.

So, please use these suggestions to navigate through life’s problems with making a positive life change.

Like/comment/share if this resonated with you

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Originally published at on February 24, 2016.