Whether you're at a party, out for drinks with friends, or grabbing lunch with your team at work, maintaining healthy habits can become challenging if people start pushing you into making unhealthy decisions.

If someone starts insisting that you eat foods that don't fit into your healthy meal plan, you can usually push back by being polite but firm. However, if that's unsuccessful or you feel like you need to be armed with reasons, these tips can help you deal with food pushers.

Share Your Excitement about Healthy Eating

Many people want to eat healthier but lack the motivation or simply don't know how to start. If you share your positive experience with healthy eating with others, it might encourage them to change their diet or lifestyle for the better. There's also a possibility that your friends and family will be so inspired by your passion that you'll have a new fitness buddy to share your successes and experiences with.

Say You Don't Like the Food That's Being Offered

Chances are, no one will get offended if you decline a certain food by saying that you don't like it, so give it a try the next time a coworker brings in a baked good or box of donuts. Don't worry about what everyone else thinks, or if you've eaten donuts in front of them in the past. Food preferences change and you can say that you no longer enjoy a certain flavor, that you crave healthier desserts now, or just haven't been in the mood to eat rich foods lately.

Change the Subject of the Conversation

The main reason people get together over meals is to socialize. If a friend or coworker starts insisting that you eat something unhealthy, you can simply thank them and then quickly change the subject. Ask them what's new in their life, how their kids are, or how work is going, and they're guaranteed to forget all about food. This technique will help you shift the focus of your conversation to one that you'll both enjoy.

Fill Your Plate with Healthy Options

If you're at a gathering where food is abundant, fill your plate with salad, vegetables, and lean cuts of protein before anyone can tempt you with junk food. This approach also works well when you're out for drinks or dinner. If you order your meal first, you won't be enticed by others' choices and can more easily turn down add-ons when someone suggests splitting an appetizer. It also allows you to say that your plate is already full when the waitstaff delivers your meals and someone offers you a bite of an unhealthy option.

Be Prepared for the Holidays

If you're trying to eat healthier options, the holiday season can be tough when you're surrounded by sweet treats and friends and family members who want you to enjoy them. Luckily, you'll be able to get through this tough time without major setbacks if you're prepared.

If you're heading to a dinner and you know there won't be many healthy choices, ask the hostess if you can bring a dish with you. This will allow you to contribute to the meal while also ensuring that you have something healthy to eat. If you get to the celebration and someone wants to fill your plate with unhealthy food, let them know that you want to try a little of everything and will eat that particular food later on. Friends and family can sometimes push you a little harder, so you may want to try a small bite and take the rest to go.

Although dealing with food pushers can be difficult, always remember that you know what foods are best for your body. Use these tips, and don't let anyone convince you that you need to try whatever food they're offering.