How to Say No

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Good evening.  It’s past 10:00 PM, and I’m just getting home from work.  So this is going to be a quickie (with some good tips at the end)!


Mid-afternoon snacks included Chobani + Kashi TLC Bar + handful of cereal:


And grapes:


Before I left for work at 6, I ate a whole wheat bagel + PB + drizzle of maple syrup + banana.


Just Say No


At work, I was confronted with the delicious chocolate chip cookies that tempted me so last week.  I wanted one so badly, but these cookies are literally the size of my palm.  After a few days of poor food choices (beer, cake, ice cream, cookies galore…), I was ready to get back to clean(er) eating, but sometimes it’s hard to say no.  Especially for me — I find tempting foods to really hard to resist (which is why I do not keep cookies or ice cream in the house, ever).


Here’s how I walk away from a tempting treat after a weekend of overloading:


  • Assess Whether You Are Really Hungry:  Tonight, I knew I was just bored, not hungry.  If you’re truly hungry and the only food options are not-so-stellar, maybe its better to eat the cookie.  But tonight, I was just BORED.


  • Walk Away:  I have to physically remove myself from the area of temptation.  Usually, it’s out of sight, out of mind.


  • Remind Yourself How the Cookie (or Whatever) Will Make You Feel:  I thought about how my blood sugar would spike and crash if I ate the cookie.  That made it easier to say no.  I also thought how I would feel emotionally if I ate the cookie — a treat every day isn’t a "bad" thing to me, but this weekend was cra-azy and I knew I wouldn’t feel happy if I ate that cookie!


  • Eat Something Else:  Instead of the cookie, I bought a hot tea to keep my mouth busy.


  • Remind Yourself the Cookie (or Whatever) Will Be There Tomorrow:  I told myself that I can have a cookie NEXT week if I want.  I don’t need to stuff my face just because there’s a cookie in front of me right now…. there will be many more cookie opportunities in my future. 🙂


When I got home from work, I made Amazing Grass + almond breeze. 


It was no chocolate chip cookie, but it still tasted pretty good (for vegetables).  🙂


What are your tips for saying no to tempting food?



  • sarah June 8, 2009, 7:33 pm

    These tips are great! I also have to physically remove myself from temptation–it can be SO tough.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration–especially the segment on "Fat Talk". So powerful and was a big step in changing my perspective about my body image. Thank you!

  • Matt June 8, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Can't help ya there! I am the first one in the cookie jar!

  • The Novice Berker June 8, 2009, 7:38 pm

    Excellent tips; so many of us have these issues! If I really want the cookie (and it's not because of stress reasons, emotional reasons, etc.), I'll usually let myself have it. 🙂

  • Meganerd June 8, 2009, 7:41 pm

    Great Tips! I have a really hard time around tempting treats too! I try to think whether this food will make me feel better or if it will make me feel worse (or a tummy ache). That usually helps!

    Did you take a little nibble of that bagel before the picture? LOL at least it looks that way! 🙂

  • gina (fitnessista) June 8, 2009, 7:41 pm

    haha i just read this post and it's funny because tonight i wrote about how i ATE the cookies, and you write about how you didn't 😉
    hope all is well!

  • Help Meghan Run June 8, 2009, 7:43 pm

    I just remember that if it's really emotional, my body doesn't need it. But sometimes a cookie is oh-so-necessary, and that's part of life.

    Check out the Adora Calcium giveaway on my blog!

  • heyitstay June 8, 2009, 7:45 pm

    Great tips, thanks girl!
    I also am trying to use the tip: You can have that cookie (or an even BETTER cookie) another time or any time you want. What makes now so important to eat it?
    I'm trying to work on intuitive eating – and eat it if I'm only craving it specifically. I'll chew gum a lot also to avoid snacking, but I'm trying to cut back on that!

  • eatingjourney June 8, 2009, 7:46 pm

    Those are great tips. It has been really hard for me lately becuase I've been diagnoised with Celiac and Candida which means no more refined sugar and limited well as no gluten, oats. etc. I binged for about five months because I was grieveing and didn't feel like I was in control. I came across something on yesterday about Willpower and Willingness. I blogged about it last night. You can have willpower..but it never seems to work. However, you can have a willingess..which is what you did..of putting healthy things in your body and adopting that lifestyle. That's how i look at food choices. What am I willing to eat to help me have a healthy lifestyle?

  • Jennifer @ His N' Her Health June 8, 2009, 7:50 pm

    If it is something I can have anytime, such as a cookie or something packaged I tell myself it isn't worth it. If it is a treat that I won't have for several months/years/never again… etc, I will indulge. Great tips! We always have cookies, cakes, and donuts at my office and it is definitely hard some days.

  • HangryPants June 8, 2009, 7:52 pm

    Yeah I think sometimes I need to just find something else to think about or leave the room. Other times, I can have a little tiny bit, be fine and move on. Oh and before this month (no more sugar free gum) I would pop in a piece of gum.

    Great tips!

  • teacherwoman June 8, 2009, 7:53 pm

    Great tips, Caitlin!

  • Holly June 8, 2009, 7:53 pm

    I'm glad you made the decision that made you happier in the end :o) Although, I don't think your eats have been awful lately anyways!

  • Niki June 8, 2009, 7:55 pm

    Great tips! I am so bad about giving in but am really trying to work on it! I have the biggest sweet tooth!

  • Tammy June 8, 2009, 8:03 pm

    If I know I'm not truly hungry, I'll tell myself I can have it tomorrow (just like you do) or another day, and that does the trick! Also, I think about what healthier options I could have that will be just as satisfying, if not moreso! For example, "I can have that now, or I can my yummy vitamuffin and fat free fro-yo later on." I love it when I can eat things that are delicious and have more volume to them — sometimes it's nicer to have a treat that lasts a while instead of one that will be gone in 10 seconds!

  • Peanuts & Crackerjacks June 8, 2009, 8:04 pm

    I like to have an alternative. For example on Thursdays at 4 we have a seminar at work with unlimited cookies. I bring an organic granola bar or protein bar and I'm not tempted at all!!

  • Amanda June 8, 2009, 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I have to totally agree on the not keeping it in the house tip. If I know that there's cookies or ice cream or chips in the house, I have a much harder time resisting!

    Out of sight, out of mind works well, even if it's just covering the plate with a napkin. At a party or get together, if I can't visually get away from the food holding something in my hand (a drink or something) will help my hands from wandering too much to the serving dishes…

  • Anonymous June 8, 2009, 8:07 pm

    Is it just me or is a cookie
    the size of your palm not even
    THAT big?

  • runsarah June 8, 2009, 8:08 pm

    Those are awesome tips! I so often eat out of boredom at night and I want to stop.

  • Rachel June 8, 2009, 8:19 pm

    Thank you for the tips! I'm gonna have to bookmark this page. I don't really have any great advice, since I usually give in, ha! I guess sometimes I chug water and then have a conversation with myself about my real desires and feelings.

  • CeciLiA June 8, 2009, 9:18 pm

    Anonymous – I guess that depends on how big your palms actually are 😀

    Great posts Caitlin!! Sometimes, you just gotta say no! There's nothing wrong with cookies, but like you said, after a weekend of over-indulging – it might be best to say no. Plus, a cookie would not be 'special' if you have it everyday.

  • Rebeca @All Vegged Out June 9, 2009, 12:56 am

    I have a hard time walking away… I mean in all honesty I rarely actually walk away. For me, it's a victory to just eat half or have a taste of it (I'm working on changing that though!).

    One thing that always saves me though is gum, a toothbrush and floss. If I can I brush my teeth and floss- it takes awhile so the craving may pass in that time and I rarely want to ruin a good teeth cleaning with anything… and the minty flavor of my toothpaste would ruin the flavor of a cookie anyway…

    If there's not time for that then gum and lots of it work too…

    It has the added benefit of continuing my lifetime streak of no cavities 😉

  • Erica June 9, 2009, 3:30 am

    Great tips! I drink a glass of water and wait five minutes. If I still want the treat, I have at it!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point June 9, 2009, 4:11 am

    megan – i did take a bite out of the bagel LOL sometimes i forget i need to take a picture first!

    eating journey – i love the video of willingness vs willpower.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point June 9, 2009, 4:12 am

    i mean, idea, not video. LOL

  • Stacey June 9, 2009, 5:02 am

    I take a walk! It gets my mind off of the craving

  • Galadriel June 9, 2009, 5:59 am

    These are all good ideas. I'm enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work.

  • seesaraheat June 9, 2009, 6:23 am

    The out of sight, out of mind thing works very well for me. There are also many things I cannot keep in my house but that seems to work! I also do tea, water or chew some gum to keep my mouth boredom at bay. At home, brushing my teeth helps because then anything else on top of that would taste nasty. Glad you were able to say no this time 🙂

  • Amy P. June 9, 2009, 6:39 am

    Hey! Thanks for the tips! I did have a quick question for you: I know you live in Florida but I was wondering what store you purchased your ALMOND BREEZE from? I was looking for something to mix my Amazing Grass in, and the Almond Breeze looks like something I may like!
    THANK YOU!!!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point June 9, 2009, 6:41 am

    hi amy 🙂

    i got the almond breeze at my reg grocery store in the organic section!

  • Dawn June 9, 2009, 7:42 am

    When you did your review of Skinny Bitch, you wrote a couple of things that I actually put on a post-it note and have placed in a couple of key spots to help me when I'm tempted. "Love yourself enough to do whatever it takes to be the best you can be…just take it one meal (or in this case temptation!) at a time….acknowledge that no vice item will ever make you feel happy or whole or satisfied."

    Because I've been seeing it on the post-it, I'm starting to think it even when I don't see it. It's helping!

  • Elizabeth June 9, 2009, 8:14 am

    I was going to say the same thing as Gina 🙂 Thanks for the tips though – I definitely need them. Especially at work – junk food central!

  • Fitzalan June 9, 2009, 8:38 am

    I have started following the same rules as you…and the one that has helped me the most is telling myself that the treat will be there for me when I am hungry and still want it. I can almost always pass on it knowing that if I still really want it tomorrow, then I can have it. It is almost like when you go shopping…they tell you not to just impulse buy. To instead think about it over night and go back and buy it if you are still thinking about it.

    Happiness Awaits

  • BethAnn Caputo June 9, 2009, 1:01 pm

    I usually follow the same tips that you do…but one cookie isn't going to kill anybody…I think that if you really truly want something, and it takes a lot of effort to not eat it, that you should just give in to the craving because I usually find that I wind up picking or eating something even worse if I don't.

  • Love, Fitness, Money, More June 9, 2009, 9:32 pm

    @Amy If there is a Trader Joe's by you you can find Almond Breeze there! 🙂

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