Weight Loss Support - My "naturally thin" friend




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freelancemomma
01-23-2012, 09:24 PM
Hi all,

I recently joined this forum and wanted to start a dialogue about "naturally thin" people who can supposedly eat everything in sight without gaining weight. My personal observations have led me to believe otherwise. All the skinny-no-matter-what-they-eat people I've known... don't actually eat that much.

An illuminating case in point: every year I go out for a joint birthday dinner with a friend I'll call Tamara. The ever-slender Tamara loves talking about fine dining, knows the names of our city's top chefs, and always orders an appetizer, main course and dessert. Ostensibly she's one of "those people" who can eat everything that's not nailed down without gaining.

But our annual dinners tell a different story. She announces she's starving, but only eats about an eighth of her appetizer, a third of her main course, and two bites (no exaggeration) of the velvety chocolate Ganache cake she always orders. This happens year after year, and at our most recent dinner I teased her about it. I asked her how she could be starving one minute and full the next, and whether she had to restrain herself to avoid eating more of the delicious foods on her plate.

She told me she really is starving when she says so, but quickly fills up and loses interest in the food. (We can only wish, right?) She also told me that this propensity of hers drives her husband (who claims there's a fat man inside him dying to come out) nuts. They're always going out to eat at five-star restaurants and she always pushes her unfinished plates away. She'll have a hankering for a certain type of cookie, buy a bag at the grocery store, eat one cookie, then leave the package on the shelf for her husband to struggle with.

I've known several other "naturally thin" people over the course of my life -- people who claim they just don't gain weight no matter what they eat. The better I've known them, the clearer it became to me that they don't actually eat as much as they claim. One of them (a university roommate) had large suppers, but routinely forgot to eat breakfast AND lunch. Another would virtually stop eating whenever she was under stress. And so on.

I've come to the conclusion that people vary much more in their appetites than in their metabolic rates, and that variations in appetite/fullness signals have the greatest bearing on the tendency to gain weight. What does everyone else think?

Freelance


aliasihaya
01-23-2012, 09:32 PM
Unfortunately I haven't had the same experience with my friends. Or at least that I've noticed. It always seems like they can eat whatever they want in numerous amounts and not gain anything. I had a size 2 friend who used to drink a ton of wine whenever she was out and would eat everything in site and never exercised. Even after she had her baby it's as if she was never pregnant. I was sooooo jealous. I'm still a bit bitter and jealous. But for some people it will never be an issue.

But it's a good point. I wonder if for other friends it seems like they're eating a lot but they're not. Maybe it's that they're eating what they want to, but they don't eat all of it or have smaller portions. I could see me only paying attention to them eating things that I can't. <sigh> Regardless I wish I had whatever magical gene or behavior that they have. But I need to get over that and accept me and my body for the way that it is.

Arctic Mama
01-23-2012, 10:02 PM
Freelancemomma, by and large my experience is similar to yours. I don't have a natural off-switch for eating, and consume a great deal more of the same foods than naturally slender friends of mine. They simply don't eat as much, even if what they do it is much lower quality than what I eat, their weight is controlled by their genetics and satiety, as is mine. But the difference is in the details - I have a body that wants to put on weight and a feedback system that is very easy to override, they generally have bodies that resist fat storage and a feedback system that is strong enough to disincentivized overriding their system to indulge in more of what tastes good, despite a lack of hunger.

There are ways either system can be changed for better or worse, but I have learned not to underestimate that people differ wildly in what is ideal or normal for their bodies.


Nadya
01-23-2012, 10:18 PM
I'm sure this holds true for a lot of people but I wouldn't go so far as to say it is true for everyone. I seem to remember a girl I went to school with who could eat pizza, chips, cake, etc. and not gain an ounce. She wasn't particularly athletic but never once worried about what she was putting in her mouth. She's still stick thin today and that's after having given birth to a son. Maybe she skipped other meals, who knows...

My older brother ate a lot growing up, too. He'd literally eat a stack of buttered bread with his meals (white, not wheat). He was thin up until, I'd say, he hit his 30's. Maybe he was active enough to burn all of that off back then...I'd say not but I can't obviously say for sure.

My younger brother has, thus far, been the same way. He spends at least 80% of his time sitting. He doesn't go anywhere, doesn't do anything, and eats terribly. We're talking 1000+ calories in one meal, eating only twice a day, avoiding vegetables and fruit entirely, and eating in the middle of the night. He's slowly gaining but he's gaining it a whole **** of a lot slower than I did despite the fact that I am a student who, at the very least, walks between classes while he's, quite literally, sitting almost the entire duration of the day. =/

lin43
01-23-2012, 10:33 PM
My experience has been similar to yours. I have noticed that the few people I consider "naturally" thin are that way for a reason. My husband is a prime example: He has never had a weight problem, but it's because he'll eat breakfast, doesn't "feel like" eating lunch, and then he'll eat dinner. So, essentially, he eats two meals a day. Breakfast isn't huge either: He'll either have a kaiser roll and butter or sometimes he'll make an egg & bacon sandwich. He does eat quite a bit at dinner, but I notice that when he's full, he will not eat another bite---no matter how great the food is. I, on the other hand, will keep eating if it tastes good (or at least I would have in my "fat" days).

So, to me, the biggest difference between me and "naturally thin" people like my husband is that I simply want food more than they do. It's a mental difference more than a physical one.

berryblondeboys
01-23-2012, 10:34 PM
My husband is a naturaul thin person and he eats pretty much whatever he wants and whenever he wants, but it's never as much as I could and would eat if I ate as much as I want. Or, other times, he'll eat so little because he says he's saturated and needs a break from food.

Some other thin people I know eat a lot, but they are nonstop motion. They don't just watch their kids play, they are jumping around with them. Sitting on the floor, etc. they pick things up all the time, constantly tidying and so on, they are burning a ton of calories just by their lifestyle of needing to be on the move. Yet they will say, " I'd not excise and eat what I want". Well, if I moved like they did, I wouldn't need to jump around the gym either.

Then some other thin people I know are also avid exercisers. They can eat a lot because they excise a lot.

kaplods
01-23-2012, 11:08 PM
My experience has also been very different. I've been watching people for about 40 years now trying to find patterns that would help me, and I've concluded that "everyone is different." I've met thin, inactive, folks who eat massive amounts of crappy, high-calorie food 24/7 and I've met fat, active folks who eat very little (of healthy foods). I've met people whose weight problems are mostly food quantity (they eat healthfully, but too much - this used to be me - at least until I realized that grains weren't so healthy for me). I've met people whose weight problems are mostly activity related (they eat normal portions of healthy food, but they don't move). I've met people whose weight problems who don't eat more or move less than thin folks, and still have weight problems. I think the differences are so important, that it doesn't matter how common or rare the differences are. After all, it doesn't matter whether you're like or unlike anyone else - it matters what works best for you.

I also think we spend too much time and effort trying to identify the cause of weight gain, and not enough time and effort finding solutions that works best (and not best "overall" but best for which people). It doesn't really matter if appetite is the more common problem, if appetite isn't YOUR problem. It also doesn't matter if appetite is the more common problem, if it's not being addressed. I didn't think it was important to control or address appetite (if I had to "suffer" to lose weight, that was ok and even good - but I didn't realize how difficult it is to sustain willpower through suffering). Appetite was my biggest problem most of my life, but I didn't learn to address the problem. I just tried to work around (and more often - thorugh) it.


When I was younger, appetite was my biggest problem (now, it's less of a problem but I have other problems now). I was active, and ate healthfully, but I was hungry all of the time, and insanely, torturously, uncontrollably hungry around TOM. Even at 11 or 12 (I started menstruating at 9 or 10) I was telling doctors that I had to spend the whole month trying to compensate for the weight I gained during TOM. At 12 or 13 (8th grade), my parents and I were desperate (I weighed 225 lbs). My pediatitian suggested we could try birth control or prescription diet pills. My mother and I chose diet pills (because my doctor warned that birth control could and statistically was more likely to cause weight gain). I wasn't really willing to take the chance of weight gain (and my mother felt the same way).

In fact, I avoided birth control for many years just to avoid the possibility of weight gain, only to learn that the right BC was incredibly helpful in controlling appetite.

I've managed to find ways to cut my appetite by 80% and my calorie intake by almost as much, and it didn't solve my weight issues. Now, I eat much differently, and I still have weight problems. The calorie level it takes to maintain my weight, is one at which I lost weight rapidly in the past. It's beyond frustrating to eat 1800 - 2000 calories and lose no weight, when I once lost 5 to 7 lbs per week consistently (not just the first week) on 2500 calories.

I have to say that it's taken me 40 years to be as open-minded as I am now. Because I was fat because I was hungry all of the time, no matter how much I ate - I believed that EVERYONE was fat because they were like me. Even when I had evidence to the contrary from a very early age (a grandmother who ate very little, but couldn't lose weight - and a brother who ate constantly but couldn't gain weight).

We see what we expect to see, and ignore evidence to the contrary, or dismiss such evidence as "the exception" rather than the rule.

But even if it were true that appetite was the bigger problem, so what? I think we dismiss appetite as something that is easy to control, when it isn't.

I wish I had "respected" the power of appetite much earlier in life. For most of my life, I thought the secret to weight loss was "white-knucked willpower," and for most of my life I failed at weight loss as a result.

When I started respecting and understanding the influences on appetite, I was able to finally lose 100 lbs.

I learned perhaps the most powerful lesson only about 3 years ago after adopting an old, very fat cat. I assumed that it was going to be easy to get weight off a cat - after all we as the kitty-parents would have complete control over her diet. We fed her half of what we fed our previous, thin kitties - and she lost nothing. So we reduced her food even more, and the less we fed her, the less she moved, and the less time she spent conscious. She also became food obsessed. She would beg constantly (making us feel like ogres for ignoring her). When we did feed her, she would bolt her food so fast, that she would often vomit (and wouldn't let us near her to clean it up - she'd eat the vomit so fast we didn't have a chance to clean it up). She started chewing and eating non-food objects, including dangerous objects that could have injured or even killed her - like fabric, plastic, thread/yarn, wiring.

We had to feed her in very small amounts, frequently. She became an incredibly high-maintenance pet, and in the end, we were only able to get about 30% of the extra weight off her (and it's a constant struggle - she still is incredibly food-obsessed, and her food is in the bathroom - so every time anyone goes to the bathroom - even strangers she runs in with you to beg while you're on the potty).

We've had more success with a higher-protein diet (hey true for me too - what do you know).

I think we have to stop trying to make obesity a "simple" problem with a "simple" solution. "Just eat less and move more" sounds like such simple advice, but it's extremely difficult in the implementing.

Even if appetite is the more common issue, so what? What does that really tell us? Appetite can be incredibly powerful. The only way I've been able to lose weight successfully (and it's still been damned difficult) is to reduce appetite - by using the right birth control and eating a reduced-carb, paleo diet.

Unfortunately my insurance no longer covers the birth control that is most effective in my hunger control. What is covered works better than nothing, but not nearly as well as my previous medication. I'm also dealing with hormonal issues that are probably peri-menopause, so I have to work harder, but without paleo-eating, I would be feeling starved all of the time.

Most of my life, I've felt starved 24/7 - and much like the cat - the less I ate, the less I moved, and the less time I spent conscious. I had to learn to diet differently. "Eat less, and move more" wasn't really possible (I could do one or the other, but rarely both).

Ironically, I also found an appetite and metabolic miracle in low-carb/low-GI, paleo eating. I found that I lost more on 1800 calories of low-carb eating, than 1800 calories of high-carb eating. In fact, I felt better and more able to exercise too and my body temperature is about a full degree higher (pretty good evidence that there's actually is a metabolic difference going on).

Through trial and error and an open-mind, I had to learn to find what works for me - and it's not what works for everyone. I've joined many weight loss groups over the years, and I'm amazed at how different everyone is - not only in their weight problems and issues, but in the solutions that work best.

It would be great if weight loss were as simple as we want to make it, but it just isn't. And I don't think much progress will ever be made in the field of weight loss unless and until we start acknowledging and identifying the differences.

What's sad is that it took me decades to realize that my problem wasn't simple, and didn't have a simple solution. When I thought the answer was simple, I failed. When I found, acknowledged and addressed the many complex factors, I succeeded (and those were only the complex factors FOR ME).

shcirerf
01-23-2012, 11:28 PM
This summer, I had one of those "light bulb" moments about "naturally thin" people, and "normal" eating.

There are very few "naturally" thin/fit/healthy people.

Some, work very hard at keeping a fit, healthy weight body. And do it the right way.

On the flip side, many do it in an unhealthy manner. We don't see what they are doing, when we're not looking.
It took me about a week to process all of this stuff in my head, and to observe and think about all the "skinny" people I know, and to get a handle on what is really normal.

I live in a very small community, so it's very easy to observe.

Most of the so called "naturally" thin people are not. They have eating and or exercise issues, and are OCD.

There is one woman in particular, who is very thin. Probably 5'5" ish, guessing about 105-110. Since we only have one gym in town, she's always there, no matter what time of day. Rides the elliptical like it was her job. She looks like crap. If she's not at the gym, you can see her out walking and or running. Her hair is dry, she has big circles under her eyes, and looks like the pics you see of anorexics or bulimics.

I've never seen her in the grocery store or out to eat anywhere, EVER!

Normal, is what we make of it. For me, normal means, most of the time, I have to be vigilant and watch my food, and exercise on a regular basis. But now and then, I can splurge.

This was a tough concept to realize, but once I did, it's been smooth sailing. I decided to embrace "normal" for me and live with it. :D

free1
01-23-2012, 11:41 PM
I realized that my "naturally" skinny friends may eat whatever they want in social gatherings. However, privately they are not eating like that all the time. I had a "naturally" thin cousin who ate fried foods and fries almost every evening. However, the same cousin LOVED to dance (and did often) and also hardly ate breakfast or lunch. I didn't realize she was only eating one big meal a day.

I have another "naturally" thin friend who is 6'1" and looks like a model. She is rail thin. However, she also doesn't like eating too heavy. She may eat cake but she prefers to eat fresh whole fruits and veggies most of the day. I actually watched her eat and noticed that she will sometimes have multiple veggies on her dinner plate (instead of a meat, starch, veggie and desert).

People call my husband "naturally" thin all the time. What they don't know is that he runs and does these crazy sit ups in groups of 100. He also eats a very low-cal breakfast (less than 100 calories) and eats a salad for at least 1 meal most of the week. When they see him, he is eating 3 pieces of cake. What they don't know is that he always detoxes after by eating fruits and veggies until he feels better.

If these people really do exist, I have learned I am not one of them. It's sort of like school...I was the kid who could pass and barely study. Others had to study their butts off to get my grades. It came natural. A "naturally" skinny frame...if there is one....does not. So, exercising I will go :)

GotothegymOKAY
01-23-2012, 11:47 PM
I was just thinking about this today regarding my skinny roommate!!!!!

I'm always so bitter, like SHE DOESN'T WORK OUT LIKE I DO, SHE DOESN'T TRY, SO WHY AM I STILL NOT AS SKINNY AS HER??

But then I took a step back and realized that she also doesn't eat an entire box of Cheezits in a day. She doesn't eat 5 slices of pizza after a night out and she doesn't constantly snack throughout the day like I do.

cherrypie
01-24-2012, 12:51 AM
One thing I've noticed is people who are "naturally" thin respond to stress by not eating. Me and every other person I've ever met who had a weight problem eats when they are stressed.

Crawlil
01-24-2012, 01:18 AM
My sister is one of this naturally thin people (gross like thin) she is 5'7 and maybe 100 pounds. She either is eating like a horse or will eat a few candy bars and call it a meal. She is a vegetarian since about age 15 (she is 20 now) granted I'm much older than she is and was having babies and married when she was learning to write her name. I lived briefly with her when she was 12 and again she lived with us about 6 mts when she graduated high school. She never exercised (or got off her rump for that matter) ate lost of junk and fastfood. Never gaining an ounce. She is just one of those naturally thin alway going to be thin people. But I think there are few that don't work or starve for it.

Oh and as to the stress eating comment, I'm overweight, and I do NOT stress eat per say. I will go a Long time with eating nothingm then eat something terrible like 1/2 a pizza and go back to not eating till the stress passes.

freelancemomma
01-24-2012, 01:31 AM
<<We see what we expect to see, and ignore evidence to the contrary, or dismiss such evidence as "the exception" rather than the rule.

But even if it were true that appetite was the bigger problem, so what? I think we dismiss appetite as something that is easy to control, when it isn't.>>

I agree with these statements. I was simply interested in people's views, not suggesting the problem is always the same or easy to solve!

Freelance

freelancemomma
01-24-2012, 01:35 AM
<<One thing I've noticed is people who are "naturally" thin respond to stress by not eating. Me and every other person I've ever met who had a weight problem eats when they are stressed.>>

I've noticed the same thing.

F.

freelancemomma
01-24-2012, 09:49 AM
Just wanted to add: I actually intended my original post in this thread as encouragement. Many people complain that it's not fair that they're stuck with a sluggish metabolism, while their friends are calorie-burning furnaces. If it's true that proneness to obesity reflects appetite more than basal metabolic rate, it means we have SOME measure of control over our weight destinies.

I agree that appetite is very difficult to change, but we can experiment with the types of foods and eating patterns that are most likely to leave us satisfied. If metabolism is the culprit, we're stuck.

I agree that it's important to have an open mind about how and why different people gain weight. At the same time, my research supports the view that basal metabolic rates do not differ widely in people of the same age, gender, height, weight, and lean body mass -- perhaps by 5 to 10 percent at the most.

I'm open to be proven wrong, but for the time being I continue to suspect appetite, underestimation of food intake, and overestimation of physical activity as the key drivers of weight gain.

Freelance

sontaikle
01-24-2012, 10:06 AM
I always thought that there were people who were just annoying and could eat what they want and then there were people like me who were prone to gaining weight if they looked at a cookie. Well when I taught myself about portion sizes and nutrition, I realized how wrong that viewpoint was.

I'm engaged to a guy who is "naturally thin" and I just assumed that his bagels at 2am without weight consequences were just his "fast metabolism" that I hoped our children would eventually inherit. Well when you spend a lot of time with a person (as anyone dating, engaged or married knows) you learn a lot about their habits.

My fiance doesn't eat when he's not hungry, even if you place his favorite thing in the world in front of him. He will stop when he's satisfied. He will routinely eat one meal a day, with maybe one snack. That's all he's hungry for. I often plan ahead when I know there's a good dinner coming up by eating light during the day. He does this too but not to maintain his weight but rather "save his appetite."

When it came to my own weight loss and now maintenance, I've tried to emulate his behavior. Granted, we're on two different clocks when it comes to eating (I'm a morning person, he's a night owl) and I prefer most of my meals earlier in the day while he starts his eating later in the day, but for the most part his habits have worked well for me.

I just eat until I'm satisfied now, even if the food is oh so tasty. If I'm not hungry I don't eat, even if someone is passing around something I really enjoy. I've learned that I don't need food. It will be there later if I'm hungry.

I just have to make sure not to eat as much as him. He's a foot taller and probably weighs a good 70 pounds or so more than me...he can eat much more than I can :)

runningfromfat
01-24-2012, 10:29 AM
I've found something similar. The friends who are "naturally" thin all are doing something different than I was when I was at my highest. Some of them self-regulate better (eat a big meal but then skip another meal, for example), others are quite active etc. As to why yet others gain, well, again there are a plethora of reasons for that too.

What I do find interesting, though, is that how, as someone who has struggled with self-regulation when it comes to food, I can do it so easily in other areas of my life. Savings is one. I don't have an urge to overspend. Sure, I'd LOVE to go shopping and buy a ton of cool things but I don't, whereas I have friends that simply can't resist the urge and need a super strict budget (like many need here with calorie counting) in order to stay out of debt.

I also want to add that when we're observing the "naturally" thin friend we don't always know their past. Being that I recently moved and am still meeting new people there are definitely people that I have met not too long ago who have never seen me at my highest. For all they know I'm "naturally" thin (ok, maybe more like naturally average ;) but still..). And I'm someone who will go out to a restaurant for pizza and even eat dessert on occasion! What they don't see is the salad that I had for lunch before that or how hard I hit the gym that day or how the next day I eat lighter. None of that comes naturally for me but those are habits that I've tried hard to pick up and maintain. About the only thing that friends have commented on in terms of eating/drinking is that I rarely ever drink alcohol (I don't like the price or the taste that much) but that's something completely independent of my eating habits.

banananutmuffin
01-24-2012, 10:42 AM
I would've called myself "naturally thin" at one point. It's true that I would regularly eat serving bowls of spaghetti (including garlic bread) at midnight and never gain weight. I could do this night after night. Hubby is the same way.

But as time went on, I realized a few things:

- I DID self regulate. (So does Hubby.) If I ate a huge McDonalds meal (double QP, large fries, large coke) for lunch, it would easily be 6-8 hours before I'd even think about eating again.

- I don't have a sweet tooth. People may say I am the type to take one bite of dessert and push it away, but that's simply because I am just not the sweets type.

- I may have a thyroid problem. Fun. Fun.

I am sure if I ate serving bowls of spaghetti three times a day, I would probably pack on the pounds easily. So I was self-regulating, I guess, I just didn't realize it.

JudgeDread
01-24-2012, 10:43 AM
That's been one of the hardest things to do is PORTION! Especially at supper. I have had to start measuring out servings while I cook to make sure I don't cook too much. I have a tendancy to eat more if I see there is more. Or, there is too little to save, or I don't want to save the parts on my plate....so I eat it.

I've gotten a lot better, but still need to think about it. I just need to control my snacking after work as there is far more food at my house than at work. Most of it is healthy food, but you still can eat too much!

I hate how I am always hungry and having to think about eating. I wish I didn't get hungry like some of those folks...or get full and stop eating before I become so full I want to puke!

jeminijad
01-24-2012, 12:12 PM
I agree that the people who can truly eat 3000 calories a day, not work out and maintain a normal BMI are very few and far between. Even close friends that appear to eat a lot and stay smaller almost always have better habits when alone than we do.

Beach Patrol
01-24-2012, 12:44 PM
I've known some of those "naturally thin" people, who at closer scrutiny, wasn't so "natural".

A friend of mine I've known basically all my life - she has ALWAYS been this tiny, thin creature. She's 5-foot'nuth'n & usually around 105-110 lb. She has two kids; I've never had children. Yet I've battled my weight all my life, and she rarely ever has. Once upon a time during our college years, she got a little "pudgy" - all those pizza runs & partying (i.e. lots of alcohol!!!) caught up with her like it did with the rest of us. But she was able to slim down effortlessly when those "crazy college years" ended.

One thing I have always noticed about her: she ate very slowly. I have always "shoveled it in" - lending credit to the fact that eating slowly means you take in less food, therefore don't eat as much, therefore don't gain weight.

However, it was interesting to see her bounce back from both pregnancies quite quickly. Only now, as we're both nearing 50, she has gained a considerable amount of weight. She isn't "obese" in the medical sense of the word by any means, but she no longer finds it quick nor easy to keep her weight at the desired 110 lb. She's around 135-140 right now, and that is a huge amount of weight to her. She's never weighed this much - EVER. And she's not happy about it! -but she freely admits to eating a LOT of carbs. A lot more than usual... Lots & lots & lots. And she's having trouble trying to stay away from them.

Another "naturally thin" person I know is my brother. At 6'1" and 160 lb most of his adult life... He has eaten cheeseburgers & chocolate most of his life, and never once gained any weight. But he too succumbed to weight gain when he got married & had a wife that cooked big meals for him. In fact, when he reached nearly 200 lb, he felt "fat" (even tho he still looked good, IMHO). When he got divorced, those big meals stopped & he slimmed down again...even tho he still ate cheeseburgers 3 or 4x a week and always enjoyed a Coke and Moonpie as a snack almost daily. :rolleyes:

Now that he's in his early 50's, he's maintaining his weight at around 170. But he has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a couple other health problems that "don't show by looking at him". And you know what? A couple years ago, he was preaching to me and an overweight friend of mine that we just needed to "stop eating so **** much" and the weight would come off. :mad: Of course we both took offense to that! - but you know what? He was right. :^: Creating a calorie deficit - no matter how you do it (diet, exercise, diet & exercise, etc.) is the way to lose weight.

I don't think there are very many people who are "naturally thin" - who can just eat & eat & eat whatever they want whenever they want & not gain weight - I think most people who we consider to be "naturally thin" just don't have the eating problems that us overweight people have. And while I don't categorize everyone together in one lump sum, I do think that most overweight people have an unhealthy relationship with food. Either by binge eating, or stress eating, or sweet-tooth eating, or socialization eating - whatever. "Naturally thin" folks seem to eat when they're hungry, and stop when they're not.

cherrypie
01-24-2012, 12:53 PM
I'm forming a theory from this thread. Sure they may be able to eat what they want. But they don't want to eat as much as we do :lol:

DietVet
01-24-2012, 01:04 PM
I'm forming a theory from this thread. Sure they may be able to eat what they want. But they don't want to eat as much as we do :lol:

I have thought this for a very long time. There's something disfunctional about the appetites of us fat people. I see my slim friends (in their 30s and 40s) regulate their intake (and exercise regularly), but I also see that it is not so much of a struggle for them as it is for me. I want, want, want and they seem to have an easier time of stopping when they are full or when they think they have had enough.

The reason this discussion is worth having is that it allows us to acknowledge that the problem isn't that slim people have more 'will power' than fat people; it's that our desire for food is greater and thus we need substantially more will power than slim people to maintain a reasonable weight.

aliasihaya
01-24-2012, 04:20 PM
Here's an odd side note to this conversation. Someone mentioned this about their brother up above and it reminded me. I watched this show called Freaky Eaters (yeah I watch crap tv). They help people who have a strange eating habit get over it quickly. The had a show about a guy who ate nothing but french fries since he was 2. He was very fit and active. A skateboarder. Had a wife and kids. He just couldn't eat other food. So they took him to a doctor and he basically had the start of heart disease. Terrible cholesterol and blood pressure and other stuff. So even with all of these people who think they can eat whatever they want and never gain weight, it doesn't mean that they're healthy.

Chubbykins
01-24-2012, 04:26 PM
Sometimes teenage boys have crazy metabolism.
I knew a few who ate like crazy (probably 3000-3500) calories a day.
Of course they were fairly active boys and they grew about 2 feet during that time. Still it was somewhat amazing and nothing a fully grown, normally active adult can do.

banananutmuffin
01-24-2012, 04:27 PM
So even with all of these people who think they can eat whatever they want and never gain weight, it doesn't mean that they're healthy.

VERY true. About a month ago I weighed 115 pounds... a respectable weight by anyone's standards. Went for bloodwork.

My total cholesterol: 299! (Way too high LDL, way too low HDL. Tris were ok.)

I was also diagnosed as prediabetic again. (I've been prediabetic for a few years now).

Yeah... weight doesn't mean much when it comes to health.

free1
01-24-2012, 04:32 PM
I'm forming a theory from this thread. Sure they may be able to eat what they want. But they don't want to eat as much as we do :lol:

I sooo agree...

DietVet
01-24-2012, 04:45 PM
Another thing: I don't think it makes much sense to talk about 'naturally thin' teenagers. Adolescent bodies are so busy growing that they are far better able to withstand vast calories! Things really start to change once you hit your 20s.

freelancemomma
01-24-2012, 06:36 PM
<<I'm forming a theory from this thread. Sure they may be able to eat what they want. But they don't want to eat as much as we do >>

EXACTLY what I've been thinking.

F.

ELBS717
01-24-2012, 07:55 PM
I've seen both sides of this situation... an entire family of friends of ours are the type that could eat anything and not gain an ounce. We'd have a whole dinner, then a half hour later they'd be grabbing a bag of pretzles to munch on. But these people were all really active - into all kinds of sports and always staying fit. So I wouldn't be surprised if it was their metabolism... even if they eat an entire pizza each (believe me, I've witnessed it).
My mom, on the other hand, can be 'starving' and then be 'full' on one piece of toast with cream cheese. Seriously? It'd take 4 slices for me! (then the carbs would burn off and i'd be hungry again in two hours)
I've also noticed that a lot of the people I see that look thin and fit - and I"m jealous of, assuming they can eat 'anything' they want without it going straight to their hips - don't actually eat ANYTHING they want. A lot of these girls actually do eat healthy salads for lunch, etc. It's not as if they have Micky D's every day.
So, IDK. Depends on the person and their lifestyle. :-P :-D

cherrypie
01-24-2012, 08:25 PM
I have thought this for a very long time. There's something disfunctional about the appetites of us fat people. I see my slim friends (in their 30s and 40s) regulate their intake (and exercise regularly), but I also see that it is not so much of a struggle for them as it is for me. I want, want, want and they seem to have an easier time of stopping when they are full or when they think they have had enough.

The reason this discussion is worth having is that it allows us to acknowledge that the problem isn't that slim people have more 'will power' than fat people; it's that our desire for food is greater and thus we need substantially more will power than slim people to maintain a reasonable weight.

I don't know how much I believe this but...

on an episode of biggest loser last year the doctor used brain scans to demonstrate to people the differences between the brains of healthy weight people and overweight people. Supposedly different parts of the brain would light up when someone craved a certain food. And they could tell when that person was satisfied. Heavy people's brains showed that they desired the food far more than healthy weight people and it took twice as much of the food before they were satisfied. They didn't say if this changed when a heavy person lost weight.

lin43
01-24-2012, 08:26 PM
I agree that it's important to have an open mind about how and why different people gain weight. At the same time, my research supports the view that basal metabolic rates do not differ widely in people of the same age, gender, height, weight, and lean body mass -- perhaps by 5 to 10 percent at the most.

I'm open to be proven wrong, but for the time being I continue to suspect appetite, underestimation of food intake, and overestimation of physical activity as the key drivers of weight gain.

I tend to agree with this---just from what I've read and observed. However, like you say, there are exceptions to every rule, so undoubtedly there are those lucky few who can actually eat to their heart's content and not gain. I just know I ain't one of 'em!!

LiannaKole
01-24-2012, 09:30 PM
I agree that appetite is very difficult to change, but we can experiment with the types of foods and eating patterns that are most likely to leave us satisfied. If metabolism is the culprit, we're stuck. Freelance

I pretty much agree. I'm working on nailing down the "cycle" of foods and eating that my body needs to feel full. It seems to change depending on several factors and I'm attempting to find the pattern.

I think that habits are hugely important when determining someone's weight. I mean, look at Korea or Argentina - they don't have anywhere NEAR the weight problems we do, and it's very unlikely that only westernized countries have slow metabolisms.

But then again, there are several studies that suggest that overweight or obese people have slower metabolisms, especially after they lose weight. They're not entirely sure if the metabolism was slower to start with or if it became that way after gaining weight.

LiannaKole
01-24-2012, 09:32 PM
But yeah, I have thin friends who can "eat anything."

Some of them get full fast and lose interest, like your friend. Some of them eat very lightly most days of the week and only eat more when they're out to dinner or something. It balances out, basically.

The one exception I can think of is my brother. I was around him for years day in and day out. He could eat a huge bowl of rice, a frozen dinner, a couple fish fillets, a handful of candy and two donuts for all meals (or an equivalent), 8-10 cups of hot chocolate for a snack, and half a gallon of juice a day. He also barely walked around let alone exercised, and still was thin as a rail. But then again he's also almost 6 feet tall.

freelancemomma
01-24-2012, 09:38 PM
<<But then again, there are several studies that suggest that overweight or obese people have slower metabolisms, especially after they lose weight. They're not entirely sure if the metabolism was slower to start with or if it became that way after gaining weight. If you want references I can dig some up. Let me know.>>

What I read recently is that metabolism slows down temporarily when you're losing weight, but revs back to normal when you bring your calories up to maintenance levels. (In other words, years of yo-yoing do not permanently damage the metabolism.) Of course, the new normal (BMR) will be lower than the old normal, but that's simply because it takes more energy to keep 250 pounds alive than to keep 150 pounds alive.

F.

LiannaKole
01-24-2012, 10:02 PM
>>>What I read recently is that metabolism slows down temporarily when you're losing weight, but revs back to normal when you bring your calories up to maintenance levels.<<<

Yes eventually. But after weight loss studies showed that the metabolism was still slower, so the person had to eat fewer calories to maintain the same weight that a never-overweight person had. It was only after several years that the body was able to eat more calories and maintain the weight. It was something like after being so overweight and then dropping all the weight that it took the body a while to regulate itself "normally" again.

Interesting stuff, I think. It'll be cool to see what researchers find in future years.

124chicksinger
01-24-2012, 10:17 PM
In reading your title, the first thing that came to mind is an old co-worker/friend of mine (sadly who passed away a few years ago) was thin....lean and thin. She too claimed she could eat everything and anything. Then she tells me one day she was so busy....she forgot to eat. You wrote that about your friend too.....FORGET TO EAT? Are you kidding me? I know when I'm busy and wrapped up in a task....eating will take a back burner. I've enjoyed myself for hours at a casino, and "put off" eating, but trust me, forgetting to eat is never ever going to happen to me.

I think that food isn't a true pleasure for that type person, so they could never, for instance, grow up to be a chef...:) - and also b/c they don't pay attention to regular meal times and can even go over when their bodies will naturally hint....HEY FEED ME...their stomachs are smaller and when they do eat get fuller faster and can't finish their meals.

Frankly, I'd be mad if I habitually spent good hard earned money on food that got pushed away, went stale, had to be eaten by someone else as leftovers, etc. My husband continually jokes with me about pasta, my favorite food in the whole world, when there's for instance leftover baked ziti -- "for heaven's sake, its a few mouthfuls....it cost 20cents a pound...throw it away. Its not like its prime rib." Ah, but to me its better than prime rib!

Point made---those "I can eat anything" folks....most likely hardly eat. God bless them.

knoxie
01-25-2012, 04:24 AM
I completely agree. I have thin friends who say they can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound and it's true, because their version of 'whatever they want' and my version of 'whatever I want' are two very different things :D I don't know where I got into a cycle of thinking I had to eat a whole packet of cookies instead of one or two, but I know it's a cycle these friends have never been in!

I don't know if it's about differing appetites necessarily as I used to eat all the time when I wasn't hungry at all. I guess it's more about choice (however conscious or otherwise that may be).

ringmaster
01-25-2012, 04:44 AM
I'm not sure if it's always different for men and women..I haven't had a chance to observe a "naturally" thin woman, but my ex boyfriend was a naturally skinny person. I seen him eat bags of chips, half gallons of ice cream, alcoholic drinks, Baileys(which is very high calorie), whatever he wanted at restaurants and buffets... in my attempts to keep up with him and join him in eating I did start gaining back the weight I had lost before meeting him!

so I think some people do have a faster metabolism than others or the ability to not store the excess calories.

and I think some women will say they don't diet and eat whatever they want because maybe we are self conscious saying we have to diet and watch what we eat, like some women don't like to appear as a high maintenance dieter type.

freelancemomma
01-25-2012, 09:13 AM
<<Then she tells me one day she was so busy....she forgot to eat.>>

Yeah, this stuff kills me. I'm as likely to forget to eat as to forget to breathe. The only time in my life when I lost my appetite -- and it was just for a few days -- was when I was deeply depressed after a bad breakup. Milder depression, anxiety and stress have me rooting around the fridge.

As you said, "those people" get less pleasure from food than we do. I suppose that's the upside of being prone to gain weight.

Freelance

OhThePlaces
01-25-2012, 09:57 AM
My husband is naturally thin (5'11 and weighs 125 lbs. VERY thin). He eats whatever he wants in terms of fast food, pizza, etc. but on the flip side, he doesn't have a large appetite and at work he'll often forget to eat! He also doesn't like ice cream or cake... I can't imagine! When we're at a restaurant and he's satisfied, even if his plate is still half-full, he stops. His attitude surrounding food is much different than mine, he truly eats because he needs to.

My best friend was the kind who could eat whatever she wanted in high school... and she did. Fast food every day, big portions, no exercise, and she was always very small. Well in the last few years her metabolism has slowerd (we're now 27) and she's not able to eat that way anymore. She's nowhere near overweight, 5'3 and probably 125, but she's larger than she'd like to be and she now goes to the gym regularly and makes an effort to eat small portions of healthy food most of the time.

Rana
01-25-2012, 11:00 AM
One of the things that has helped my journey so far IS realizing that my "naturally" thin friends were not so "naturally" thin.

I have a friend who eats salads all week so she can go out on the weekend and eat a big meal.

I have a friend who is semi-vegetarian and can't this or that and basically she ends up eating nothing because of her food allergies and issues.

And they both exercise regularly!

Realizing some of this I came to the conclusion that I was fighting windmills with my ideas of that "naturally" thin person. I'm sure some have a high metabolism. But the reality is that most don't and whether it's a psychological thing, a fullness thing, a learned habit or whatever, they eat to live, they don't eat for entertainment.

For me, it's been a process of learning to eat for health, to live, rather than as a way to distract my mind from boredom.

When I'm super busy I CAN forget to eat. But I'm never that busy all the time, so who knows, I might have been a "naturally" thin person if I had been.

bronzeager
01-25-2012, 01:36 PM
I think that food isn't a true pleasure for that type person, so they could never, for instance, grow up to be a chef...:) - and also b/c they don't pay attention to regular meal times and can even go over when their bodies will naturally hint....HEY FEED ME...their stomachs are smaller and when they do eat get fuller faster and can't finish their meals.

I have had a really persistent cold and lingering congestion for three weeks now, and although I don't feel that bad, I have laryngitis, and very little appetite or taste for food. Mostly because it all tastes like cardboard. I am having a mixed reaction -- hmm, I can keep my calories low without very much effort. But there is certain lack of enjoyment in life going with it, that is kind of depressing. Is this what life is like for my friend who is capable of forgetting to eat for an entire day at a time?

Also, I have a lot of fresh produce that I am trying to figure out how to freeze, etc so as not to waste it.

sontaikle
01-25-2012, 01:47 PM
Realizing some of this I came to the conclusion that I was fighting windmills with my ideas of that "naturally" thin person. I'm sure some have a high metabolism. But the reality is that most don't and whether it's a psychological thing, a fullness thing, a learned habit or whatever, they eat to live, they don't eat for entertainment.


I have a sneaking suspicion that I actually have some sort of a fast metabolism too, as I noticed the following about myself:

1) I lost my weight pretty fast
2) I maintained a high weight eating A LOT of food. I probably should have weighed more.
3) When I thought I weighed 135, I ate to maintain 135. I actually weighed 125 (my scale was off by 10 pounds) and wound up losing 5 pounds that I didn't intend to. At 120 I need to eat more than I ever thought I would at 135!

I keep wondering what I would have wound up like had I been left to my own devices as a child. Reading this thread about naturally thin people reminds me of how I was when I was very little, before my parents would force me to eat.

schubunny
01-25-2012, 02:01 PM
It's funny because the same thing happens with larger people.

I know two women I work with who are quite overweight. I never see them eat even a drop at work, and one even claims she has to FORCE herself to eat.

I find it all really funny, because if you hate food/didn't eat that much, why are you so large and getting larger?

I think everyone just needs to be honest with themselves and others.

freelancemomma
01-25-2012, 02:05 PM
<<I have thin friends who say they can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound and it's true, because their version of 'whatever they want' and my version of 'whatever I want' are two very different things>>

It occurs to me that "those people" have the same attitude toward food as I do toward alcohol. I have a glass of wine with dinner almost every night and really enjoy it, but I never have (or wish to have) more than two glasses, even when celebrating with friends. I can keep any kind of alcohol in the house (fine wine, beer, hard liquor, liqueurs) for weeks or even months on end without giving it a thought. I guess I don't have addictive tendencies when it comes to booze. (Let us be thankful for small blessings.) Perhaps it's because my body categorically rejects excess alcohol by making me nauseous, dizzy or outright sick.

F.

Munchy
01-25-2012, 02:56 PM
One of my best friends has always been teeny tiny and still is after two children. She would always call me back in high school and say "I'm STARVING and picking you up to eat!" then she'd order an appetizer plus a big unhealthy meal and eat a half a chicken finger and a french fry and she was done.

We often have sleepovers with our children so that they can play while we can talk and catch up.

At her house, I tend to eat too many calories because I get entirely too hungry. I'm a volume eater and I have to have vegetables to fill me up without filling me out :dizzy:

She doesn't cook unhealthy foods, but they are starch-centered Guyanese foods: rice and peas, stewed chicken, roti, and all kinds of bean dishes. She can eat a small bowl of something and feel satisfied. I can't.

I don't try to fight my natural hunger anymore. I just find a way to satisfy myself while staying within my meal plan.

MiZTaCCen
01-25-2012, 03:15 PM
Sure they may be able to eat what they want. But they don't want to eat as much as we do :lol:

LOL Love it.

Anyways I have a naturally thin friend, who is sure thin around 98 to 105 pounds who doesn't gain weight from anything. She drinks alot, smokes pot all the time and and eats completely unhealthy. Never have I been jealous of her because she can eat whatever she wants because in the long run she looks very unhealthy on the outside as I'm sure she is on the inside. Don't get me wrong I love this girl to death she is my soulmate friendship wise...but damn I would not give anything to be that "naturally" thin. I never had to work at losing weight until I hit my 20's. I was ALWAYS skinny **** when I was in grade 10 I ate burger king everyday for lunch with friends (disgusting I know LOL it took me 11 years just to eat burger king after that. I had my first whooper last year LOL). Two burger's fries...and lets not talk about the amount of pop I consumed a day because water? ewww.... I never ate breakfast, I always at a "healthy" dinner because my parents made it and people always said I was "naturally" thin because of it. But then my wonderful 20's hit and it ALL caught up to me! :lol:

The point is sure it sucks that I gained all this weight but the truth is I can lose it as fast as a gained it. My body sucks like that (or thats good) as long as I continue to excerise and eat smaller proportions. So for me to be jealous of these "naturally" thin girls, I never really am. But the girls who have nice curves and a wicked body who claim they don't do anything to keep their figure...that's another story. :devil:

PixieChix
01-25-2012, 03:58 PM
I was very skinny all my life. I could and did eat lots of food, sometimes two plates full. But I do have a few hormonal imbalances and perhaps that accounts for some of it. I ate and ate and was bony. I had the problem of having a negative self image because complete strangers felt free to tell me how skeletal I was. But that was just me.

I eventually filled out and now that I'm middle aged, I'm fighting to keep my weight at a good level. Most people would say my excess weight is "vanity pounds", but I"ll tell you that I just feel so horrible and uncomfortable this way. My body doesn't like it.

So I do think some people, for some period of their lives, can eat without gaining weight. But I also think many of them succumb to middle-aged spread, like me.

I once had an enlightening conversation with two coworkers, both of whom were doing Weight Watchers. I told them how horribly uncomfortable I feel when I overeat. That stuffed feeling is really miserable for me. One of them said, "Oh, my stomach likes that feeling" and the other one said, "I just ignore that feeling."

That was the first time it over occurred to me that the way people's bodies experience something could be so drastically different. This might explain why some naturally thin people don't overeat as much, because their bodies feel really horrid afterwards. That horrid feeling is all that stops me sometimes, but it does stop me.

JohnP
01-25-2012, 09:52 PM
At the same time, my research supports the view that basal metabolic rates do not differ widely in people of the same age, gender, height, weight, and lean body mass -- perhaps by 5 to 10 percent at the most.

If you look at the data from whence the caloric calculators were derived you will see that for the most part this is true but there are data outliers.

What I read recently is that metabolism slows down temporarily when you're losing weight, but revs back to normal when you bring your calories up to maintenance levels. (In other words, years of yo-yoing do not permanently damage the metabolism.) Of course, the new normal (BMR) will be lower than the old normal, but that's simply because it takes more energy to keep 250 pounds alive than to keep 150 pounds alive.


Also very true but there is a component of that is not accounted for by weight. Take a look at the work by James Kreiger he has a good article in the free section of his web site on this topic. Essentially it disusses how people who have lost weight do not tend to have the same BMR that others of the same height/weight. As to the cause of this or if it was present all along we don't know.

Petite Powerhouse
01-25-2012, 10:00 PM
I think it takes all kinds. I have never been overweight, but that's because, from the day I hit puberty and started developing hips and a butt, I have paid attention to what and how much I ate. I have paid perhaps too much attention. And so, although my friends and family probably think I am naturally thin, I am pretty sure that is not the case.

I can't say I never eat too much. I can put it away like nobody I know. If I didn't know I would gain weight, I would eat all day and start again the next day. And some days I do. I can sit down at a fancy meal and walk away having consumed 4,000 calories. I never actually reach a point where eating any more would physically hurt. But I have always watched the scale creep, and have compensated by cutting back to a more normal intake and working out that much more intensely for a week, which kept me at about 129 for the 20 years of my adult life.

Am I naturally thin? I am pretty sure that I am not. My brother is: He has never—not one day in his life—had to worry about how much he ate. My boyfriend is: At 50 he is still under 135 at 6', despite eating constantly and consuming his fair share of alcohol. I work and live with him. I have a pretty good idea what he eats, and he doesn't work out enough to counter that. But I am not like that. If I overeat, I gain. So I am vigilant. And although I love to eat, I also love exercise, so I work out hard. It isn't an astronomical metabolism that keeps me at my goal weight. And it also isn't that I couldn't eat more. I always can.

Petite Powerhouse
01-25-2012, 10:07 PM
You just don't know. That person you see pick at her food may go home and eat a large meal later on, then dessert, and then go to the gym for four hours the next morning to work it off. Nobody sees everything a person does. SO, yes, some people are naturally thin. They are. It's a fact. But a lot of those never-been-overweight people are more like I am. They indulge—sometimes a lot—but they also are aware of what they are doing, and they compensate, make up for it. Maybe they count their calories on a big day, and then scale back the next couple of days and boost their workouts, too. You just never know.

ParadiseFalls
01-30-2012, 03:07 AM
I don't know what the deal is with your friend, but in general, my "naturally thin" friends seem like they can eat whatever they want because they do eat whatever they want. The difference is that they don't have an unhealthy relationship with food, so "whatever they want" might be a pastry or some ice cream, but they're not adding that to a week or a lifetime of shoving entirely too much unhealthy food in their mouths like it is for me. They eat intuitively and they only eat until they're full, so yea, they're eating whatever they want, but that doesn't have the same effect on them as on me because "whatever we want" is vastly different.

freelancemomma
01-30-2012, 10:41 AM
<<They eat intuitively and they only eat until they're full, so yea, they're eating whatever they want, but that doesn't have the same effect on them as on me because "whatever we want" is vastly different.>>

I think we're in agreement here. That's exactly my point: that naturally thin people may have the luxury of eating what they want, but they generally want a lot less than you or me. So the "unfairness," if we choose to see it that way, lies more in their smaller appetites/cravings than in their faster metabolisms.

Freelance

cassieleighgotto
01-30-2012, 08:30 PM
Sometimes I get really frustrated because it's almost as if I can look at food and gain weight but my boyfriend can eat whatever he wants and be rain thin. However, rail thin does NOT equal healthy! :)

Petite Powerhouse
01-30-2012, 08:56 PM
Sometimes I get really frustrated because it's almost as if I can look at food and gain weight but my boyfriend can eat whatever he wants and be rain thin. However, rail thin does NOT equal healthy! :)

Even when rail thin IS healthy, it isn't necessarily desired by the one whose cross it is to bear. My boyfriend would love to put on weight, but his metabolism resists. He is all lean muscle, but he will never be at all broad. He's 128 at 6'—and he hates it. He has tried all the tricks personal trainers suggest and none of it works. To even try to put on weight he has to eat so much that he gets sick.

We all face challenges when it comes to how we look.

Magalo
01-31-2012, 01:31 PM
Personnally, as a featherweight, I keep my weight down without counting calories because I just stop when I'm not hungry anymore. Hey, a stomach is small, and it's not long until it feels full, you just need to listen to it.

freelancemomma
01-31-2012, 05:42 PM
<<Hey, a stomach is small, and it's not long until it feels full, you just need to listen to it.>>

I agree on the wisdom of listening to your stomach, but I also think that fullness signals vary tremendously among humans. There are people who would be physically unable to eat a 400-g jar of Nutella -- they would feel bloated, nauseated, and on the verge of throwing up -- while I've done it several times without feeling any discomfort or hearing any obvious "stop" signals.

Freelance

PixieChix
02-01-2012, 11:01 AM
There are people who would be physically unable to eat a 400-g jar of Nutella -- they would feel bloated, nauseated, and on the verge of throwing up -- while I've done it several times without feeling any discomfort or hearing any obvious "stop" signals.

That is really interesting, Freelance. It just goes to show you how different our bodies are. The older I get, the more I see how very different we each are. We each have our own histories, experiences, and bodies. I was at the beach once and my boyfriend wanted me to play in the surf with him. I didn't want to. I am really small and fine boned and the surf knocks me on my butt. He was having such a good time one day that I went down and he saw how the same surf that barely touched him almost knocked me over. That's when he realized that we're not all the same and don't experience life the same.

I guess the same is true for hunger.

Ryler832
02-01-2012, 03:38 PM
While it is true for some it is not true for all. My sister is 4'11" and weighs 80-85 lbs. She eats more than my brother and I combined. At one sitting she can eat at least 2 big macs, 10 pieces of nuggests and a super sized fries and would be hungry again after an hour.

Lunula
02-01-2012, 03:53 PM
I have to say I agree with you, freelance. After many adult-years of struggling with my weight, it was a startling revelation when I realized that my idea of over-eating was very very different than what normal-weight people saw as over-eating. I started playing very close attention to the "normal" people when I would go out to eat with them and there were striking differences.

I would order a salad, eat the entire thing. Polish off a couple pieces of bread, eat my entire entree and then get dessert and eat it all. I would walk away from most restaurants bloated, overly-full and uncomfortable. In contrast, when we go out with my mother-in-law, who is the same height as me, but 20 years older, she would eat her entire salad, maybe 1/2 of her entree, skip the bread totally and then split a dessert with her husband (she would normally only eat a couple bites of it). Many times, she would order a salad and soup and have a few bites of dessert.

I had a girlfriend in college is was rail thin and she used to brag about "eating anything she wanted and never gaining weight" - in fact, she ate a lot of candy bars, but little else. We'd order a pizza, she'd eat one slice. She'd order a sandwich and eat less than half of it. Sure, she ate a lot of junk, but she didn't eat a lot.

LiannaKole
02-02-2012, 10:43 AM
You know, it's interesting. One of my sisters is rail thin (85 lbs, 5' 2", 16 going on 17), and it's half natural half not. She gets full very, very easily, but she also has a problem stopping when she's eating something she loves. So what she does is she doesn't eat the trigger foods. She's very healthy, works out, but just makes sure she eats in a way that's good for her. She doesn't overeat because "it's a special occasion" or anything. She hates being too full, and if she eats certain things she'll eat too much, so she avoids them.

Another of my sisters is also naturally thin, although more in normal range (5' 2", 21, about 115-120). She eats a lot of junk. Almost all junk actually. And she does overeat sometimes. She can put away a whole box of cookies on her own, but it takes her a few days and even then she won't eat much else. Sometimes she'll eat 4 pieces of candy, a sandwich, and then have a bowl of soup and a slice of some dessert and for her, that's eating way too much. She'll naturally eat lighter the next day. She doesn't even notice.

It's fascinating how "naturally" thin people work. I've never, ever worked that way. Lucky me, I'm the only girl who has fat problems. Oh well.

freelancemomma
02-02-2012, 12:13 PM
<<She gets full very, very easily.>>

To me that's THE key difference between "us" and "them."

<<She can put away a whole box of cookies on her own, but it takes her a few days >>

I wouldn't call it "eating a whole box of cookies on her own" unless she accomplishes the deed in minutes or hours!

<<She'll naturally eat lighter the next day. She doesn't even notice.>>

Another very important difference.

F.

Petite Powerhouse
02-02-2012, 01:03 PM
I would order a salad, eat the entire thing. Polish off a couple pieces of bread, eat my entire entree and then get dessert and eat it all. I would walk away from most restaurants bloated, overly-full and uncomfortable. In contrast, when we go out with my mother-in-law, who is the same height as me, but 20 years older, she would eat her entire salad, maybe 1/2 of her entree, skip the bread totally and then split a dessert with her husband (she would normally only eat a couple bites of it). Many times, she would order a salad and soup and have a few bites of dessert.

I still contend that it varies by individual. When I go out, I will eat several pieces of bread, my whole salad, my whole entree, and an entire dessert plus wine. I'll sometimes even eat another dessert and split a second bottle of wine with my boyfriend. I can eat a lot. But I hold myself accountable. I consciously eat carefully for the next several days, and I make sure to get my workouts in. That is how I have stayed a normal weight my entire life. So, while people I know would probably call me naturally thin, I actually work hard at it.

Some people do get full faster. Some people do self-regulate without being conscious of it. But others can eat a lot more than you would expect, but are also always aware.

freelancemomma
02-02-2012, 02:52 PM
<<So, while people I know would probably call me naturally thin, I actually work hard at it.>>

It's true that you've stayed thin, but you're not "naturally thin" in the sense that I mean -- eating 3,000 calories per day and not gaining weight. I'm not saying that every thin person has a small appetite, I'm simply suggesting that people who claim they can eat whatever they want whenever they want without gaining weight (assuming they're telling the truth) tend to have small appetites. Or as others have pointed out, "whatever they want" is different from whatever I want. I don't believe there are people who weigh 120 lbs and can eat 3,000 calories day in and day out without gaining weight.

Freelance

F.

sontaikle
02-02-2012, 03:00 PM
<<So, while people I know would probably call me naturally thin, I actually work hard at it.>>

It's true that you've stayed thin, but you're not "naturally thin" in the sense that I mean -- eating 3,000 calories per day and not gaining weight. I'm not saying that every thin person has a small appetite, I'm simply suggesting that people who claim they can eat whatever they want whenever they want without gaining weight (assuming they're telling the truth) tend to have small appetites. Or as others have pointed out, "whatever they want" is different from whatever I want. I don't believe there are people who weigh 120 lbs and can eat 3,000 calories day in and day out without gaining weight.

Freelance

F.

Well no, the majority of 120 pound people probably can't eat 3,000 calories a day and maintain their weight. If they're a very muscular 120 pounds they might actually need those 3,000 calories to maintain. Muscular people tend to need to eat more to maintain or build muscle mass.

I'm finding that I'm a bit of an exception to the rule here. I've been told that a formerly obese person needs to eat 15-20% less than expected to maintain his or her weight. Putting my stats into calorie calculators and knocking it down 15-20% leaves me at around 1800 calories a day, give or take.

So I ate that much...and wound up losing several pounds. I'm probably more muscular than the average 119 pound person which may leave me actually needing to eat over 2000 calories to maintain my weight. I'm sure my age comes into play too, but I'm not seeing the slowed down metabolism effect that I thought I would and I suppose that all the strength training I did during my weight loss and now has made it so I need to eat more.

sacha
02-02-2012, 03:17 PM
I was naturally thin for 21 years.

Food. Weight issues. Exercise <- never crossed my mind. Never thought about it. I have no idea how much I ate, what I ate, etc. It isn't a thought to a "naturally thin" person.

The sorts of things that people talk about on here (people who have had weight struggles) generally don't come up in the mind of a naturally thin person (speaking as someone who has 'been there'). It just wouldn't even be a thought. It's hard to explain.

Petite Powerhouse
02-02-2012, 03:41 PM
<<So, while people I know would probably call me naturally thin, I actually work hard at it.>>

It's true that you've stayed thin, but you're not "naturally thin" in the sense that I mean -- eating 3,000 calories per day and not gaining weight. I'm not saying that every thin person has a small appetite, I'm simply suggesting that people who claim they can eat whatever they want whenever they want without gaining weight (assuming they're telling the truth) tend to have small appetites. Or as others have pointed out, "whatever they want" is different from whatever I want. I don't believe there are people who weigh 120 lbs and can eat 3,000 calories day in and day out without gaining weight.

Freelance

F.

My point is really that it is very difficult to know who is naturally thin. I eat more than anyone I know. Many people would assume that that is because I am naturally thin. In reality it is probably much more the fact that I have lifted weights for 20 years, am hugely into exercise, and regulate my food intake despite having very high-calorie days.

Other people pick at food when they are around others but eat more when they are alone. And still other people really do always leave food on their plates—which then begs the question, which of these people is naturally thin and which is undereating?

"Naturally thin" is an amorphous concept. The people we think of as naturally thin are thin for all manner of reasons. Which kind of eater they are only they really know—and sometimes they aren't even being honest with themselves.

freelancemomma
02-02-2012, 05:40 PM
<<I watched a program a while ago on an experiment where a group of very thin people were fed huge amounts of food for about one month with strict conditions on level of activities they could do. ALL of them put on weight at the end of the month (not more than 5kg though). >>

Wow, what an interesting experiment!

F.

Petite Powerhouse
02-02-2012, 05:41 PM
I find this topic fascinating.

IMO, I don't believe that there is anyone out there who is "naturally thin", meaning that they would still remain thin if we feed them 3500 cals a day without them exercising the cals off.

I watched a program a while ago on an experiment where a group of very thin people were fed huge amounts of food for about one month with strict conditions on level of activities they could do. ALL of them put on weight at the end of the month (not more than 5kg though). Funnily enough, while all except for one increased their body fat percentage, one guy increased muscle mass while his BFP remained the same.

The same goes for aging, really. I was a thin kid. In the 70s and early 80s I knew only one kid who wasn't. (I remember him because he took his own life rather than continue to face the ridicule of his peers every day.) But as I grew into an adult, I didn't have a child's metabolism anymore. I had to become much more aware of what I was eating to keep the weight off.

So many people who were thin as kids end up putting on weight eventually. Whether that is because of decreased muscle mass and movement as they age, the stress of being an adult, making adult decisions, and eating more as a means of comfort, or other factors, it is a fact.

All along those people had limits to what they could eat. They just didn't reach them as kids.

Today? Kids still have higher metabolisms than most adults. Unfortunately, they don't get outside as much as they used to, and they don't eat what they did 30 years ago either. There is no question in my mind that a lot of kids who would have appeared "naturally thin" 30 years ago are overweight today for these reasons.