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Old 04-29-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default More thoughts on "naturally thin"

I've been doing some reading on the "naturally thin" phenomenon. It's a complex and confusing area. Research suggests that variations in weight stem from:
Variations in energy intake (biggest factor)
Variations in appetite and perceptions of hunger/fullness (which may be partly genetic)
Variations in basal metabolic rate (certainly a factor, but less pronounced than commonly supposed)
Variations in metabolic adaptation to caloric excess or restriction.

I came across the following post, which I found quite illuminating as it supports something I've always believed. (I realize it's only one example, but I suspect it's not unusual and I've certainly observed it in some of my friends.)

<<I am a "naturally thin" woman. For years I could not gain any weight no matter how much I ate. That is what I used to think until I actually measured my calories intake. Last summer I kept a diary of what I ate. I religiously weighted every piece of food that got into my mouth, meals and snacks, everything. And then I took daily average. And you know what? Turns out I didn't eat enough. For my height of 1.73m I ate only 1500 kcal a day. Turns out that a huge pizza for dinner barely compensates for skipped and forgotten breakfast. And turns out that a big bowl of squid salad is not so nourishing, even if seasoned with mayonnaise. That was such a surprise. It just shows how much someone's perception can differ from reality. I really did believe that I consumed a lot.>>

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Over the last few years, I've spent a lot of time, while grocery shopping, at work, at the gym, just out in public in general, watching people, and if they are skinny or heavy. What's in the cart and so on and so forth in mind.

There does not really seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it.

One, "naturally thin" lady, always has a cart full of crap. I suspect, it's for the family, and she rarely indulges in any of it and she's one of those always on the move people!

My terribly over weight neighbor also has a cart full of junk, it's' obvious, she eats it!

My grocery cart is an odd mix. My stuff, stuff for the DH. It would make most peoples heads spin!

I really don't think that anyone is "naturally thin", they just eat less, and move more, without actually realizing what they are doing.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:12 PM   #3
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Are you guys thinking too much??

Hey...here's another part to that equation:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/he...loss.html?_r=0

fecal transplants. less expensive than gastric bypass. (just the thought of it instantly kills my appetite!)
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:31 PM   #4
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Interesting reads....Ive always wondered about the connection between gut microbes and weight...Especially after having 5 rounds of harsh antibiotics last year for a massive ear infection.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
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Interesting thoughts!

I have a "naturally thin" husband. I've always felt it unfair me and him both would have a chocolate bar after dinner every day, and I would gain weight, he wouldn't. I always blamed it on different metabolism and considered myself unlucky in this aspect.

But, couple of years ago, I finally faced the truth. It's not about my or his metabilism, it's about the way we eat. The major difference between my and his way of eating is the perception of hunger, and reaction on it. He eats when he's hungry. He doesn't stop until the hunger is over. When it's over, he doesn't eat anymore. I eat when it seems "appropriate" (even though I might not be hungry at all), and if I like the food, I'll eat much more than I need to statisfy hunger.

When we come home after a day out, I will have a dinner, no matter if we have eaten out or not. Coming home = dinner to me. And I will grab something and put it in my mouth before even undressing. Even though I'm NOT hungry. He doesn't do that. Often he says he is full, and doesn't eat anything, or eats very little. If he eats, he prepares his plate carefuly, sits down, eats, finishes eating and does something else. I would grab this and that, try a little of this, little of that, perhaps have a plate of something, and a little extra helping, perhaps something sweet to finish it off. I nibble a lot, and I bet if I ever had to put everything I nibbled on on a plate, I would be shocked to see the size of the portion.

So, yeah. Not a metabolism in my case, certainly not. I comfort myself by food, I cheer up myself by food, I love food, and that's it.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:01 AM   #6
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I tend to also believe people who have remained at a healthy weight have different mindsets concerning food, whether realized or unrealized. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some of that is genetic.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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He eats when he's hungry. He doesn't stop until the hunger is over. When it's over, he doesn't eat anymore.
Ronja - your husband is a classic example of an intuitive eater. I was exactly the same way for 20 years (age 28-48) and never had a weight problem. Now I've decided to return to that WOE. I've not been perfect at it, but pretty good - even if I have to say so myself. (I just did!)

A bit OT, but I believe you are in the Czech Republic, right? I wanted to say I was so sorry to hear about the explosion in Prague. I was in Prague two years ago this month and loved everything about it. We also made a side trip to Kutna Hora.

Beautiful country, beautiful people. I'd love to go back.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #8
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My BF is like that. He's comparable to a black hole except he doesn't get any bigger. He's 6'1"and weighs less than I do! like, seriously? All he does all day is sit on his computer working and playing video games while I'm downstairs sweating my chubby butt off exercising. he also has ADHD though so that might contribute to him being so skinny. If he doesn't have his meds he moves a million miles a minute. I also suspect he has a thyroid problem but won't get it tested.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post
I tend to also believe people who have remained at a healthy weight have different mindsets concerning food, whether realized or unrealized. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some of that is genetic.
You know, this got me thinking. The perception of hunger and ability to stop when having eaten enough may actually have some connection with genes. Just on the top of my head, I can see 3 examples in my life:

1. Myself - I have, as far as I remember, always ate too much, especially sweets. When I was like 8, we had a little Christmas celebration at school. Everyone brought some sweets and candies, and I remember my skinny schoolmate asking me why I am eating so much sweets, she said "you don't have to eat all of it, you know?" I remember I just couldn't figure out why everyone else is not eating it, it was obviously good!!! Also, in school cafeteria, I was always worried they would give me a small portion...it was my every worry, before lunch, whether or not they'll give me full plate. So even at early age, my mind was very occuppied by food.

2. My twin daughters: I really watch very closely what they eat, as I don't want them to struggle with weight they way I do. But I can already see how different they are, aged only 2, when it comes to eating. My daughter A took after me. She won't finish her dinner, but when she has a chance to eat something sweet (rarely, but sometimes the opportunity occurs), she will eat LOTS of it. Even though she's not hungry, just because she likes the taste. She will also eat considerably more of food she likes than food she doesn't particularly care about.

My daughter B took after my husband. She eats pretty much everything when she's hungry. When she's not hungry, she won't eat, whatever food is being offered to her. She might be sometimes tempted by a candie, but just eats a little bit of it. She won't eat it if she's full, even though she likes the taste. She shows much healthier approach to food already. The difference between two of them is striking.

3. MY friend's daughter: she's two, and she is extremly fat. She weights as much as a healthy 4 year old, in fact. She would not stop eating. And the most shocking part, to me, is that she's ALWAYS been like that. She was born a normal weight, but she soon gained a lot while being breastfed. She would suck her milk, and never stop until her mother unlatched her. (my girls always stopped nursing when they were full). Later as she was weaned off, she showed pretty much the same approach to any food. She just wants it!!! When she sees anything that resembles food, she'll go "nom, nom" and do anything she can to get her hands on it. Her mother tries to offer her fruits and vegetable (she eats it, she eats everytihng) but with this enormous apetite it's difficult to control her weight. Her mother says she's not concerend very much, as she had been a very fat child herself (she is a normal weight now).

So this all is just falling at the place now, and I'm starting to believe there's something inherently genetic about the way we deal with hunger, and how we approach eating. Interesting!
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:56 AM   #10
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I agree that mindset towards food is a large part of the equation. I think the mindset also depends on upbringing. If your parents or others used food to reward or comfort you when you were growing up (giving you a chocolate bar for being good, making your favorite dinner when you needed cheering up, etc.), then I suspect you're likely to comfort/reward yourself using food later in life. Others who haven't learned to associate food with comfort/reward tend to eat if and when they're hungry, not otherwise.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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I have a naturally thin husband and a naturally thin mother. So I've been able to observe quite closely how they eat. There are times they over indulge, just like anyone. However, they make up for it later by not eating anything later and having very light meals the next day. It's like normal people at Thanksgiving - they stuff themselves and then they say "I won't be eating for days" and then they literally hardly eat anything the next day! Not me, everyday is Thanksgiving. One big meal does not affect my ability to eat a big meal later in the day or the next day. It's this sense of balance that keeps people natural.

Another thing that I've noticed in thin people is their reaction to hunger. They don't seem upset by it. My husband can be hungry but wait for dinner, my mother can skip a whole meal if you ask her to. Both can go to bed without dinner and not have any sense of deprivation. For me I react to hunger differently, and that's what I'm trying to change. I don't want to be consumed by hunger, which often brings out anger in me.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:05 AM   #12
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I was never one to blame my fatness on a slow metabolism. I was fat because I ate wayyyyy too much and didn't exercise.

HOWEVER, I do believe that certain people have metabolic advantages that allow them to eat more and stay thin. My sister-in-law is one of these. She seriously eats like she is afraid that people are going to come and steal food off her plate and is thin.

Her sister is positively scrawny. I haven't spent enough time around the sister to know how she eats on a normal basis, but when I have seen her eat it appears to be a "normal" amount of food.

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:25 AM   #13
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I think some people (who struggle with weight) are born with a built in very high appetite and some people develop it later in life. My husband struggles with his weight. When he was a baby, he would eat three times as much as a typical baby. He rarely feels full so is constantly feeling deprived and eventually, he gives in and binges.

I, on the other hand, was a typical baby. I had an appetite that made my parents very happy (they felt babies should be chunky) but as I was a child growing up, I was thin. Around puberty, all that changed and I started to struggle with weight. The binge eating began when I was 19 though probably due to some traumatic events.

I also read that once someone is obese, they no longer derive the same pleasure from food as thin people so we need more and more of that food to get the same effect. I completely get that because this entire past year (when I gained 50 lbs.), I don't think I enjoyed my food very much. Now that I'm eating on track, I'm starting to enjoy it a lot more.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:41 PM   #14
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oooooh...you ladies are still thinkin' !!

Here's som'thin' else to think about:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/w...er-20101019605

There are genes for neuropeptide/digestive hormones that affect satiety. I would bet my "defect" is in something like neuropeptide S--affects anxiety and appetite. I live with a constant anxious feeling in the solar plexus, can lead to "mindless" eating.

NATURE didn't make that cow that could produce 1000gal of milk per udder--selective breeding did. Combining all those minor milk-producing variations together into one animal sure created a weird beast! I'm guessing my ancestors survived the WORST famines and passed a lovely collection of efficient-metabolism traits down to me!
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:18 AM   #15
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I'm starting to believe there's something inherently genetic about the way we deal with hunger, and how we approach eating. Interesting!
I agree. My mom told me that as an infant I would insist on having exactly twice as many bottles of formula as the doctor recommended. After each feeding I would raise h-e-l-l until I got that second bottle.

And like you, I've had a long history of eating "just because." How I envy those people who intuitively push away their plates when they've had "enough," whatever that is!

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