How normal, thin people eat.

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  • Lots of good points. But I've been overweight my whole life. I don't have the hunger cues most people do. I only feel full if I eat waaay too much, so calorie counting is the only way I can know when to stop.

    I see it as a life-long illness. If someone has diabetes, they have to take their medication every day to manage it. Well, I'm prone to obesity so I''ve accepted that for the rest of my life, I'm calorie counting.
  • heatherweh
    heatherweh Posts: 4 Member
    Interesting! Most of the thin people I know do seem to think of food as an afterthought. As Monty pointed out, they don't eat many whole foods. I see a lot of convenience foods and even things like pizza or chips but just in pretty small quantities. In fairness though, when we're hanging out its less likely we'd ALL be sitting around eating grapefruit halves than having party food. I have a few thin friends who do seem to abide by the principals of healthy eating, whole foods. I have thin friends who workout somewhat regularly but most do not really exercise at all.

    The more diet books I read and the more years pile up that I have been part of the "dieting culture" the more mind-boggling (and to me discouraging) it is.
  • taso42
    taso42 Posts: 8,981 Member
    Let's aspire to be normal!
  • wolfelements
    wolfelements Posts: 117 Member
    #3 is the only one that applies to the only skinny girl I know. She eats everything. She eats double me easy. She once ate the entire menu of Taco Bell in front of me, didn't gain a pound.
  • PikaKnight
    PikaKnight Posts: 34,994 Member
    Let's aspire to be normal!

    ....my worst nightmare.....
  • This is true for most naturally thin people but some really do just have fast metabolisms. My boyfriend is very lean, around 8% body fat, 5'10, 145lbs. He maintains around 4,000 calories a day. To bulk, he needs at least 5,000 a day. He even wakes up to eat cookies or chocolate in the middle of the night every single night. He'll eat a "snack" like a soda, an energy drink, two huge protein bars, and a huge candy bar totaling to over 1,000 calories like it's nothing. This is what we call a "hard gainer" even though some people like to think they don't exist.
  • chadgard
    chadgard Posts: 102 Member
    if your metabolism is fast.. you will crave food all of the time... you just wont get fat as easily.

    That would be my wife. She eats a lot more than me, doesn't have as active a job, and doesn't exercise. While not rail thin, she is a beautiful, healthy weight, and the doctor praises her each year. Meanwhile, I'm all pudgy. And by eats a lot more than me, I mean her portion sizes are larger at each meal, AND she eats more times throughout the day. Since I'm the cook when we're not in school, I have to say it gets quite exhausting. It always feels like we just finished eating a large meal (sometimes I haven't even finished cleaning up from preparing that meal) when she says, "I'm hungry! What do we eat?"
  • Dream land. Though I would definitely just make numerous batches of healthy clean cookies! :)
  • I have to disagree with those who think "naturally thin" people don't have issues with food.

    I'm 5'4" and have been underweight for the last three years (around 105 lbs) after a major surgery and changes in my metabolism. Part of recording my food and exercise is to make sure that I am feeding my body the nutrients it needs and not binging on things that I love to eat, which I am very prone to do.

    I'm paying for it right now, after putting on 15 very unhealthy pounds right around my middle, hips and thighs. If it were healthy weight, I'd be delighted. But when you're petite, even 5-10 pounds can look like a spare tire. Trust me, it is psychologically jarring. I salute everyone here who is making safe, sane and healthy progress by making informed decisions about changing their lifestyle and eating right...!

    I love food. I always have. I live in San Francisco, one of the major food epicenters - there's always a new food trend, special dish, or restaurant opening. Artisan baking is here in a huge way, and delicious bread hits the table with Every. Single. Meal. Out. I love pasta carbonara, salty charcuterie, butter, butter, butter, cheese... And did I mention, butter...? Right before my surgery, my labs came back with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which was a wake up call for me!

    Left to my own devices, I eat with all of my senses, but LAST of all my sense of comfort. It's a bad habit of mine to order extra appetizers, take a taste, and then take the remainders home for a snack later. I don't have an eating disorder; I'm neither anorexic nor bulemic - and I have been unhealthy: high cholesterol, anemic and high blood pressure, even as a size 0-2.

    The week before I started MFP and when I knew I needed to make a change, I ate an entire large pizza by myself in an afternoon. It was an artisan, thin-crust pizza from the bakery that is a few blocks from my house. Their stuff is fantastic, and it is a daily struggle not to 'pop in' for a slice...or two... or three... or four... because it smells so delicious.

    If you don't think I was disgusted, alarmed and ashamed that I ate a whole pizza, you're wrong. My thought was, "Well, next week I'm going to get my act together, so whatever I do today doesn't matter." Clearly, that's not how it works!

    If it makes you feel any better, my cardio is horrible - I'm really, really, really working hard on this. There are people here who are much more disciplined, devoted and serious about their health than I have been, and those are the people who I'm currently looking up to! Today I struggled to do 30 minutes of moderate jogging on the treadmill. Skinny does not equal healthy!!!

    What I've learned and what MFP has reinforced is: HEALTHY is much more important than the myth of 'Naturally Thin' ...

    I'm looking for more friends to support and who can also keep me ACCOUNTABLE in my struggles with food and managing cravings. It is really important that as a community, we work together to be positive about whatever another member's journey may be, and not to pass judgement or make assumptions. Please friend me if you'd like to work together and celebrate daily victories and challenges here!

    Peace,

    Kim
  • rvicini
    rvicini Posts: 253 Member
    Looking at the brighter side, I lose weight taking care of my cals but not being deprived of anything!
    I have eaten everything fattening including Pork fried skin and I keep losing!...
    I am not bragging. All I am saying is that I wasn't suppose to be a weightloss case and I could, following the rules!
    I was obese, now I am overweight. Never been skinny so, what's to prove.
  • With a sister who struggled with anorexia, I don't think you always know when someone is "normal" and "thin." I think there are very few people who actually eat the way you're describing, because most people become dissatisfied with their bodies at some point and their eating habits get warped (and dieting to lose 10 pounds turns into a lifetime of not understanding your hunger signals!).

    Also, the food that is available to us in the US leads people to crave food they don't need--the people who are thin just happen to burn the calories they take in; they aren't magically immune to the temptation to eat things that are unhealthy.

    Also, we all have our vices. Some "normal, thin" people are addicted to drugs, sex, alcohol, video games, etc......just a thought.
  • Let's aspire to be normal!

    ....my worst nightmare.....


    Hahahahaha.....thank you :)
  • This is true for most naturally thin people but some really do just have fast metabolisms. My boyfriend is very lean, around 8% body fat, 5'10, 145lbs. He maintains around 4,000 calories a day. To bulk, he needs at least 5,000 a day. He even wakes up to eat cookies or chocolate in the middle of the night every single night. He'll eat a "snack" like a soda, an energy drink, two huge protein bars, and a huge candy bar totaling to over 1,000 calories like it's nothing. This is what we call a "hard gainer" even though some people like to think they don't exist.

    It's not that people don't think they exist, it's that most of them complain that no matter what they do they can't gain weight. The solution is always the same: eat more.
  • persnikity
    persnikity Posts: 11 Member
    Bump
  • ldrosophila
    ldrosophila Posts: 7,515 Member
    I love to watch people eat. It's what I do everyday. Here's my observations of how naturally thin people eat.

    1. They actually do eat less than you think. They may say oh I eat all the time. I'm always eating this and this or you may watch them eat a ton, but thats pretty much it for the day. I can bet they will not eat a full meal the rest of the day they will graze.

    2. They arent food motivated. Put a piece of candy ontheir desk and it will sit there.

    3. They move more. Watch your coworkers notice who sits,stands and walks. Thin people move more always

    4. Their portions are small. I've never seen a thin person finish off a 12 inch subsandwhich, chips, cookie and soda. I've never seen a thin person eat more than 2 slices of pizza and maybe a small salad. There will always be leftovers on the plate.

    5. They stop when they are full. Move on actually have to remind themselves to eat sometimes.

    I know I'll never be naturally thin my brains not wired that way.
  • ldrosophila
    ldrosophila Posts: 7,515 Member
    if your metabolism is fast.. you will crave food all of the time... you just wont get fat as easily.

    That would be my wife. She eats a lot more than me, doesn't have as active a job, and doesn't exercise. While not rail thin, she is a beautiful, healthy weight, and the doctor praises her each year. Meanwhile, I'm all pudgy. And by eats a lot more than me, I mean her portion sizes are larger at each meal, AND she eats more times throughout the day. Since I'm the cook when we're not in school, I have to say it gets quite exhausting. It always feels like we just finished eating a large meal (sometimes I haven't even finished cleaning up from preparing that meal) when she says, "I'm hungry! What do we eat?"

    Does she sit down a lot? when u come home where is she? give me an example of a large portion...say 16oz steak large potato with everything vegetables roll drink and dessert?
  • ldrosophila
    ldrosophila Posts: 7,515 Member
    I disagree. I was a thin person until I was about 40. I ATE A LOT. More than most people I knew, no matter what their size, male or female. And I was always interested in thinking about where my next meal was coming from.

    so typical large meal? did you finish it? what was your activity level?
  • osualex
    osualex Posts: 409 Member
    I love to watch people eat. It's what I do everyday. Here's my observations of how naturally thin people eat.

    1. They actually do eat less than you think. They may say oh I eat all the time. I'm always eating this and this or you may watch them eat a ton, but thats pretty much it for the day. I can bet they will not eat a full meal the rest of the day they will graze.

    2. They arent food motivated. Put a piece of candy ontheir desk and it will sit there.

    3. They move more. Watch your coworkers notice who sits,stands and walks. Thin people move more always

    4. Their portions are small. I've never seen a thin person finish off a 12 inch subsandwhich, chips, cookie and soda. I've never seen a thin person eat more than 2 slices of pizza and maybe a small salad. There will always be leftovers on the plate.

    5. They stop when they are full. Move on actually have to remind themselves to eat sometimes.

    I know I'll never be naturally thin my brains not wired that way.

    Agreed!! I wish this whole metabolism myth would die a horrible death. There are people out there who can eat +3500 calories a day and maintain, but they are not the majority of thin people. Just like the majority of overweight people aren't overweight because of genetics or a medical problem.

    Just because thin people eat whatever they want, does not mean they eat whatever YOU want. Sure they might eat Taco Bell and KFC or whatever but they're not eating the whole menu. My thin friends also eat slower, something I'm trying to work on. My overweight friends eat more and more often than me, from what I've observed. I've been out to dinner with people who have ordered nearly twice what I have and finished it off, in addition to drinks and dessert.

    My whole family is thin, and so was I until college, and now I'm almost back where I was. My mother eats healthy and in moderation, and works out 5 days a week. My dad eats whatever he wants (oh man was there a lot of junk food when I lived with him!) but he doesn't gorge himself on crazy amounts of food, he's very in tune with his hunger signals. My little brother is the only person I know who eats tons of food (like 6 FULL meals a day at 700-1000 calories a pop) and can't gain weight. He has an autoimmune disease.

    I wish people would quit denying the law of thermodynamics. It is a scientific LAW. Come on, people!
  • peachfigs
    peachfigs Posts: 831 Member
    Really good observations...

    I think a lot of it has to do with emotional attachment and the way we think about food. If food is a comfort,it's only natural that you will eat more of it when you're angry or upset. Perhaps there are lot of people out there who cope with problems in different ways, or simply haven't HAD to turn to food for comfort.
  • larnsperger
    larnsperger Posts: 161 Member
    I think it is true that people are either from the "eat to live" or "live to eat" camp. Personally I was raised in an "eat to live" environment and I come from an extended family of this thinking. We are all (aunts uncles cousins etc.) of "normal" weight. Meals were simple, there were 3 per day and an after school snack. I didn't realize how different other people ate until I was in middle school and spent time at my friends homes. I THANK God that my mom raised me that way, as I'm sure it has saved me. If I had been raised by a foodie in an environment that revolved around great meals and lots of snacks, I've no doubt I would have had a weight problem much sooner than mid life. I also know how much easier it is for me to lose weight because my brain doesn't tend to think about the next meal, nor do I have a problem eating the same things over and over. I have a dear friend who is a wonderful cook and thinks about food constantly, looks for new meal ideas, tries them out is a fantastic baker, just an all around wonderful cook. However losing weight is a struggle now that mid life has hit and she has gained weight. She is always telling me how much easier this is for me and I have to agree with her. I totally agree with the observation that people who seem to stay thin or are naturally thin are probably less food oriented. OF course there are always exceptions, like my husband who is 6'4" and remains slim and can eat whatever he likes with no real thought to ever gaining weight. He is blessed with very good metabolism. He of course doesn't eat crap all day everyday with no thought to his health, but he is able to indulge without gaining. If only we were all so lucky. I count calories because it keeps me honest with myself and MFP has made it so easy to do so it is hardly a bother to me. You just have to find what works for you. I think it truly matters what we tell our kids about food consciously and unconsciously through what we serve them when they are young, as are setting their future relationship with food and nutrition.