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Shadowing a healthy person

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default Shadowing a healthy person

Has anyone successfully shadowed a healthy person? I want to ask a friend if I can shadow her in the hopes that I can learn how to be a normal eater. She'll let me know what she's eating and how much and ill eat exactly that. It might be interesting to compare how we deal with hunger, cravings and feeling satisfied. Is this a crazy idea??
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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I'm not sure. My fear is that people are so different that what she eats may not work for you.

It could work if you are trying to maintain, but unlikely if you are trying to lose. I eat entirely like none of my 'healthy' colleagues. I eat some of their meals but not others. So I have had to find what works for me.

One suggestion, therefore, might be to look at what lots of healthy people eat and pick and mix from there to achieve your goals rather than just one person.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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Yea but that takes a lot of work. I'm thinking that by shadowing it will take the angst away of trying to figure out what to eat. I think I know everything there is to know about losing weight I just can't effectively do it. The hunger pangs do a number on me. It might be easier to face hunger knowing someone else is facing it at the same time.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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I think it's a great idea. You'd get to compare your responses to someone else--hunger, fullness, all that stuff. Would you do it for a couple days?

It'd be interesting to shadow several people (not at the same time) to see different types of eating.

You'd want to check her diet if you do low carb or something like that.

If you do it I'd love to hear how it goes.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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I don't think it hurts to try different things.
Then like Ian says take from that what works for you and other things you've tried and make your own plan.
If shadowing helps you get started that's a good thing.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
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I wonder how my friend will react when I ask to shadow her. It would mean that she has to track what she eats in order to share with me. I know she's been doing WW for a while. I know that as a disordered eater myself I hate the idea of sharing what I eat - the element of secrecy is very prominent in my disorder. We'll see what she says.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
Yea but that takes a lot of work. I'm thinking that by shadowing it will take the angst away of trying to figure out what to eat. I think I know everything there is to know about losing weight I just can't effectively do it. The hunger pangs do a number on me. It might be easier to face hunger knowing someone else is facing it at the same time.
Shadowing is also going to take a great deal of work, commitment and honesty on your part AND for your friend. I tried to do this with a friend and dorm mate in college and it was a miserable experience. It was crazy difficult and we had the advantage of being able to eat together for breakfast, dinners, and some lunches and we ate in the school cafeteria so we only had to buy food on Sunday dinner. You may have better luck with it, but it will not be wasy and I would suggest you think it through to be prepared for any possible pitfalls.

If you know everything there is to know, but can't effectively do it, what is going to make you effectively follow in your friends footsteps. This is going to be a lot more difficult than you're anticipating. How are you going to eat exactly what your friend is eating? Unless you're living and shopping together, how is this going to work? Shopping would be a pain, I would think.

How will you feel if your role model isn't feeling hungry, or if you eat only what she eats and end up gaining, or if you don't enjoy what she is eating, or if you find it difficult to stick to her plan?

How will your friend react if you don't lose, will she assume that you're cheating and how will she feel about that? What if can't stick to her menus, after she's done so much of the work for you. Will it put a strain on the friendship? Will you be discouraged.

Don't get me wrong, I think this could work, and I'm all for trying it, but I don't think it will work unless you're prepared for any and all pitfalls. I wasn't.

And if you're looking for "easier" I doubt you're going to be happy with this particular strategy.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #8
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I've always thought about this myself How DO naturally thin people eat? How do their work their day to day? The only downfall of copying them is that they are usually eating to maintain their weight, not lose so what they eat each day could cause us to gain not lose weight, or at the very least maintain our weight too.
I was reading a free pdf book last night (the overfed head, you can google The Overfed Head PDF and there will be a link to take you right to the book) about a guy who lost 100+ lbs by listening to his body and the reason he went that direction was he had a roommate in college who was naturally thin and she ate anything she wanted. His side of the fridge was all low carb, low calorie, lean meats, fruits and veggies and her side was pizza, ice cream, high calorie treats and foods.. she would only eat when she was truly hungry and only what she was truly hungry for.. he said she'd get a craving for icecream, go get her pint out of the freezer and truly savor a spoonful, closing her eyes and just enjoying the flavors, textures etc, she take a couple spoonfuls then put the lid back on and put back in the freezer, her craving was satisfied and she could move on knowing if she wanted more, it was right there for next time. Ah-ha moments for me for sure! So anyway, that opened his eyes too and he moved into an intuitive eating way of life and lost all his weight by listening to his body, eating healthy but not depriving himself of the food he loved and craved as well and is maintaining successfully so that is what I'm gonna try too. I just downloaded the IE book and plan on reading it this week and see how I too can learn to eat like a naturally thin person
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for relating your experience kaplods, there do seem to be pitfalls in store. One thing I wouldn't want is to make my friend feel either uncomfortable or responsible for what I eat. I might just be looking for some company. It's not that I don't know what to do, I'm doing it already. I do feel a little lonely in the journey though.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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Thanks Spryng, but IE is not right for me.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #11
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The closest I have come to something like this is copying what my husband eats. We are the same height and he weighs a good 50 pounds less than me. During the weekends we tend to eat pretty much the same. Where we deviate is during week days. He eats maybe a small bowl of cereal or a few pieces of fruit for breakfast and something small for lunch like a small sandwich or salad. When I try to get through the work day on meals like his I am ravenous by dinner time. I honestly think that he doesn't feel hunger to the same intensity I do.
A perfect example was yesterday. We spent the whole day together. We both ate a healthy small portioned breakfast. We went out to run some errands and a few hours later my stomach was growling. We had planned on stopping somewhere for lunch at some point and I told him I was hungry. He replied that he wasn't hungry yet but he could eat if I really wanted to.
I wish I felt hunger more like my husband, but it makes sense that I get more hungry more frequently than him since I weigh considerably more. I am also realizing that if I want to lose anymore weight ignoring hunger is going to be neccessary.
I successfully used intuitive eating to get from 220lbs to my current weight of 180. I was eating a lot when I wasn't hungry, eating large portions of calorie dense food and snacking a lot. At this point I have cut out all of the extra eating but I have not been able to get below 180. I am planning and structuring my meals more and I feel like that will be the key to continue my weightloss.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:45 PM   #12
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The closest I have come to something like this is copying what my husband eats. We are the same height and he weighs a good 50 pounds less than me. During the weekends we tend to eat pretty much the same. Where we deviate is during week days. He eats maybe a small bowl of cereal or a few pieces of fruit for breakfast and something small for lunch like a small sandwich or salad. When I try to get through the work day on meals like his I am ravenous by dinner time. I honestly think that he doesn't feel hunger to the same intensity I do.
A perfect example was yesterday. We spent the whole day together. We both ate a healthy small portioned breakfast. We went out to run some errands and a few hours later my stomach was growling. We had planned on stopping somewhere for lunch at some point and I told him I was hungry. He replied that he wasn't hungry yet but he could eat if I really wanted to.
I wish I felt hunger more like my husband, but it makes sense that I get more hungry more frequently than him since I weigh considerably more. I am also realizing that if I want to lose anymore weight ignoring hunger is going to be neccessary.
I successfully used intuitive eating to get from 220lbs to my current weight of 180. I was eating a lot when I wasn't hungry, eating large portions of calorie dense food and snacking a lot. At this point I have cut out all of the extra eating but I have not been able to get below 180. I am planning and structuring my meals more and I feel like that will be the key to continue my weightloss.
I am convinced that ignoring hunger is the one and only true path to losing AND keeping weight off. I have my struggles with hunger but I think the key to people being Nola weight is being indifferent to hunger. Trying to battle hunger is like being in a dead end relationship. You can't cajole it, you can't make compromises with it, you can't reason with it. The only thing you can do is be indifferent to it.

I have yet to talk to my friend. I'm still thinking about it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #13
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I think it would definitely be an interesting experiment as long as its something your friend is comfortable sharing.
I have been able to take a look at a few people's food diaries on myfitnesspal and have learned some things about what real people eat on a day to day basis. These are all people that have successfully lost weight and maintained it though. I would also be interested to see the day to day diets of a naturally thin person and see how that compares.
I have a feeling that it takes much more work to lose weight and maintain it than just maintain if you never gained it in the first place.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jazbcure View Post
The closest I have come to something like this is copying what my husband eats. We are the same height and he weighs a good 50 pounds less than me. During the weekends we tend to eat pretty much the same. Where we deviate is during week days. He eats maybe a small bowl of cereal or a few pieces of fruit for breakfast and something small for lunch like a small sandwich or salad. When I try to get through the work day on meals like his I am ravenous by dinner time. I honestly think that he doesn't feel hunger to the same intensity I do.
A perfect example was yesterday. We spent the whole day together. We both ate a healthy small portioned breakfast. We went out to run some errands and a few hours later my stomach was growling. We had planned on stopping somewhere for lunch at some point and I told him I was hungry. He replied that he wasn't hungry yet but he could eat if I really wanted to.
I wish I felt hunger more like my husband, but it makes sense that I get more hungry more frequently than him since I weigh considerably more. I am also realizing that if I want to lose anymore weight ignoring hunger is going to be neccessary.
I successfully used intuitive eating to get from 220lbs to my current weight of 180. I was eating a lot when I wasn't hungry, eating large portions of calorie dense food and snacking a lot. At this point I have cut out all of the extra eating but I have not been able to get below 180. I am planning and structuring my meals more and I feel like that will be the key to continue my weightloss.
I'm wondering if you may be more carb sensitive than he is. When I have a carb bast breakfast like cereal or fruit I am hungry again fairly quickly but if I have more protein at the same calorie count, protein shake or eggs etc. I don't get hungry for a lot longer.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:10 PM   #15
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My gut reaction on this is that I would feel really weird if a friend asked me if she could do that. And, I would imagine that if I said yes, I probably would eat differently than I normally would in an effort to look good, or to simplify my food choices for her, which would then negate the whole experiment from the outset.

For example, the dinner I made tonight was pretty complex -- it included a side dish that I had already made yesterday, and that side dish included some rice that I had made the day before that and had leftover. How could my friend replicate that? She couldn't, so I'd have to choose something different (and then I would probably feel put out, but that's just me).
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