Welcome to Debate Club! Please be aware that this is a space for respectful debate, and that your ideas will be challenged here. Please remember to critique the argument, not the author.

Naturally thin

Options
135

Replies

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Options
    There is no such thing as "naturally thin" people.

    I think that whenever this topic comes up people mean different things by "naturally thin."

    I do think some people have more trouble gaining weight (probably in part but not only due to the natural increase in NEAT when they eat more). There are some studies about them discussed in Alan Aragon and Lou Schuler's Lean Muscle Diet (and many other places).

    I also think a number of people (declining with age) naturally (as in not thinking about it) eat and move in a way that leaves them thin, and never having to think about weight. I also think that if you are heavier than you like it's easy to assume that MORE people are in this category than actually are -- my sister, who has always been thin and seems never to diet, for example, definitely thinks about it to some extent, even if a lot of what she does just seems like things she enjoys. As I get older, I notice that a higher percentage of always thin people are in this category.

    On the other hand, I have known some who just never think about it and even want to gain weight. They simply don't care about food that much or are naturally very active or have longstanding, ingrained, healthy habits that have served them well.

    I thought when I was a teen/early 20s that I could eat whatever and not gain, since I did eat whatever I wanted and was one of my few friends who had never dieted, and I was physically lazy (or so I thought). But looking back, I was actually quite active and although I ate whatever I wanted the amounts I actually ate were not super high. When I was in my late 20s and much less active throughout the day (even though I would go through periods where I'd try to run regularly for a while) and had the ability to eat tons of restaurant food (nice restaurants, work related, but still), yes, I started gaining. Under different conditions I can be "naturally thin" even now, but I'm definitely not in reality (or in my actual environment) -- I have to think about it and adopt strategies.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
    Options
    Another characteristic of 'naturally thin' people is they tend to be active even when sedentary - they wriggle, fidget, and make hundreds of small movements while the overweight person sitting next to them is completely still. Start watching your 'naturally thin' friends while they're watching TV - How many times do they change position? Do they wave their arms about when they talk? Are they jiggling their foot? Do they get up often to make tea or grab something? Over the course of a day, 'naturally thin' people unconsciously burn hundreds of extra calories over 'naturally heavy' people, and can therefore eat the same amounts of food as an overweight person without gaining weight themselves.

    Yup...I'm a twitchy, fidgety person and can't sit still for long...I'm always moving and twitching and fiddling with something. I have difficulty spending anymore than about 30 minutes watching television or something which is one of the reasons I don't do movies that often...sitting in a theater for a couple hours can feel like torture. Even when I am sitting there, I'm fidgeting and moving around a lot...drives my wife nuts sometimes that I can't just sit still. I'm also a "hand talker."

    I have a sedentary job and mostly sit for about 10 hrs daily, but I have a rather high TDEE.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,395 MFP Moderator
    Options
    jlhflex wrote: »
    I am "naturally thin". All the men in my family are very lean, naturally cut and defined. My grandfather all the way down to my brothers and I. My 90 year old Grandfather has bicep "egg" and has never touched a weight in his life. At 10 years old I had a Bicep "egg". Its part of the reason I started weight training at that age. I believe it has alot to do with genetics, which would determine your Metabolism and everything about you. I have a high speed metabolism where I can eat and eat and eat anything and everything and not gain an ounce. I have to eat well above the recommended amount of calories/Protein/carbs to gain weight. I quite working out several years back up until a year ago. During that time, I lost muscle mass but was still the same Body fat and tone. People that dont know me, would have guessed I was still hitting the gym everyday. I have friends that pick with me that I "walk into the gym skinny and walk out swoll". I have good genetics, fortunately. My point is that I believe alot of factors can come into play. People say that sometimes being over weight is a "genetic thing" or "predisposed", so why not being "naturally thin"?

    Do you know how many calories you maintain at?
  • court_alacarte
    court_alacarte Posts: 219 Member
    Options
    Back in high school, I refused to count a calorie, and my 5’5” frame consistently hovered at an average 125 all through high school (and some college) without even trying.

    If you would have told me I was an active teenager, I would have scoffed at the idea. However, in hindsight, I was pretty darn active, just not in the “routine gym exercise” sense. My high school was huge and I would walk to different ends of school every day. I also played on the golf team, and do you think they gave us youngsters carts to get around in?? Heck no! We walked with the clubs on our back and played 9 holes a day when we weren’t at tournaments; 18-hole tournaments were at least once a month. Plus, we packed way more stuff in those bags than just clubs, balls, and tees. All this with no beer too! The nerve…

    I also remember how emotionally removed from food I was, not to mention, how picky of an eater I was. I believe my limited preference in food really facilitated my perspective of eating as something that is simply necessary, not enjoyed, thus helped in keeping my figure back then; I would not eat anything with whole tomatoes, mayonnaise, sausage, nuts, jelly, peppers… if it even *looked* spicy I didn’t touch it. My staples tended to be soup, crackers, cereal, peanut butter sandwiches, boiled eggs, and chicken when my mom made it. I rarely ate what the school cafeteria offered because I figured I wouldn’t like anything they served. And when my parents or friends wanted to go out to eat, cool! I love me some steak and a baked potato, or some combination fajitas with flour tortillas. I could even put away an average of 5 bread sticks at Olive Garden in one sitting before my chicken fettuccine alfredo came out. But how often did I actually go out to eat in general? Once, or twice a week at most during the weekend. And then it was back to good ol’ PB sandwiches 5 days a week and 9 holes a day.

    If you only saw me at a restaurant on weekends back then, you would have been dumbfounded at how I maintained such a thin figure. AND I EVEN THOUGHT I WAS FAT BACK THEN!!!!!
  • czmiles926
    czmiles926 Posts: 130 Member
    Options
    I was underweight throughout my childhood and adolescence but I couldn't understand why. I thought I ate loads and just assumed that I had a fast metabolism. However, looking back I realise that I didn't eat very much at all. On a normal school day I would have a plain slice of toast for breakfast, a packet of crisps at break, a sandwich and a chocolate bar at lunch and a meat casserole with vegetables and potatoes for tea. I remember not being able to sleep at night because I was hungry and having to eat a banana or cereal in the middle of the night so I could sleep.
    However, if I went to a party or buffet I would gorge and eat everything in sight. Which is probably why I thought I ate loads.
    I'm still quite thin but I struggle to reach my calorie target because I just can't be bothered to eat sometimes.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
    edited September 2017
    Options
    I think it's a whole host of contributions. It seems a lot is attributed to that they just don't eat that much, but that's not the case in every situation. Rates of absorption, higher metabolism, genetic disposition can all offer small contributions and for the right person & combination make them "naturally thin". My college roommate drank nothing but mtn dew, ate copious amounts of food, especially junk food and was the leanest person I've ever known. There was no mistaking how much he ate. I also think the "fidget factor" is often overlooked. Given a person is awake 16-18 hours a day, one who sits still, truly still for a significant portion of that time, versus someone who is constantly twitching, moving, fidgeting, shaking their leg, and such is going to burn a lot more calories .

    Added-my roommate was into body building so he was forever in bulk mode, so it's not like he wasn't trying.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    Options
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    "Naturally thin" people have common traits. They just don't eat more than they need to.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Well, obviously they don't eat more than need to. I don't think anyone is questioning that. The question was, do some people eat more than should need to and not gain weight. Do they eat more than would make the majority of other people of the same size, shape, sex, everything gain weight.

    The answer is yes. Absolutely yes. But not commonly yes.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
    Options
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    celiah909 wrote: »
    Could part of the reason some people seem to be "naturally thin" be because their bodies process calories differently?

    Yes, that could be part of the reason for some people. There's a lot about human physiology we don't fully understand yet. :+1:

    You have to put this in context. There's much we don't yet know and the body of knowledge is continually adapting, testing, and modifying accordingly.

    Does this mean that someone with 30% body fat or greater processes food differently? No.
  • GemstoneofHeart
    GemstoneofHeart Posts: 865 Member
    Options
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    celiah909 wrote: »
    Could part of the reason some people seem to be "naturally thin" be because their bodies process calories differently?

    Yes, that could be part of the reason for some people. There's a lot about human physiology we don't fully understand yet. :+1:

    I have a different thought/spin on this.

    There's a lot about human psychology we don't fully understand yet. "Naturally" thin people don't have the same relationship with food compared to their counterpart. What the body does with the calories is the same across the board. Why the mind of the naturally thin person is different than the fat person about eating and exercise habits....well that is a draw.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    Options
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    celiah909 wrote: »
    Could part of the reason some people seem to be "naturally thin" be because their bodies process calories differently?

    Yes, that could be part of the reason for some people. There's a lot about human physiology we don't fully understand yet. :+1:

    I have a different thought/spin on this.

    There's a lot about human psychology we don't fully understand yet. "Naturally" thin people don't have the same relationship with food compared to their counterpart. What the body does with the calories is the same across the board. Why the mind of the naturally thin person is different than the fat person about eating and exercise habits....well that is a draw.

    The bolded is not always true.