I know a lot of people who are naturally thin or skinny. Now, a lot of people claim it is just genes, some say they are just lucky etc. But, those answers do not satisfy me.
Whenever I meet these folks, I am naturally curious and I start asking them questions about what they eat, their food preferences etc.
How are you so thin? – Wrong question! What are your food habits? – right question.
Here are the 5 most common traits I see repeated over and over with almost all the folks I speak with:
Before we start =>> This post is not meant to glorify naturally thin people. Everyone, is beautiful, in their own way, whatever size they come in.
But, if you are constantly reprimanding yourself over your own food habits, or puzzled over a thin person’s ability to eat pizza, fries etc without guilt, then maybe looking at the whole picture might help you understand their choices better.
Here we go…
1. They are incredibly slow eaters:
I am not sure why, but this is the #1 similarity I see in almost all naturally-thin people. Almost every single one of them eat – so – damn – slowly!!!
Now contrast this with my attitude – When I see a meal, I see it as a task to be completed. Eat quickly, be done, move on to the next task. Naturally thin folks – not so much!! They take their own time, much to the annoyance of everyone around them and eat so so so…sloooowllllly.
Case -in-point: My ex-roommate (a naturally-thin person) would take almost an hour to eat her dinner – an hour!! (Gaahhhh!! – super frustrating when waiting for her)
2. They are not a fan of sugar:
Most naturally-thin people I know are not big fans of sugar. It is not because they are trying to stop themselves from eating it, or exerting huge self-control…they just don’t care for it.
When I drilled further, one of my subjects revealed that she doesn’t like how she her body feels after eating sweetened food.
She told me that during office parties, she is never attracted to donuts, or cookies. Even if she feels socially compelled to take a cookie, she is perfectly fine taking 1 or 2 bites and leaving the rest of her cookie.
In fact, she recollects, on of her co-workers was in awe of her having this half-bitten cookie in front of her for hours together and not feeling the urge to finish it. She just shrugged her shoulders recollecting this memory, “It was no big deal, Swetha. I didn’t feel like eating it.”
3. The feeling of hunger does not bother them quite as much:
When I am hungry, trust me, I am like the Hulk – you don’t want to be anywhere near me. My mind only thinks of 1 thing – “Am hungry – Need food NOW”!! Once I am full, I turn back into my normal self.
But naturally-thin folks brush aside hunger rather easily. Another super-thin person I know – comes back from office super hungry, yet does not eat her food for another hour or two. Why? She picks out veggies, preps them calmly, cooks a meal, feeds her kids, talks on the phone, yada, yada, yada…2 hour later – She’ll sit down to eat. Hello??? Can I take hunger-taming lessons pleeasssee??
My husband (another thin dude) does not even remember to eat his lunch, when his works get busy. I get it – he is dedicated to his job – but how does one not remember if they had their meal or not? Like, who does that??
4. They are very discriminatory about the food they eat:
This is a hard one to explain. For me, at the surface level, it almost feels these subjects are being selfish to their wants. But, they really are not.
They listen to their bodies rather than the cues from the outside. I will give you an example – if there are food leftovers – I feel like I should not waste it. But, with my subjects, they would rather go hungry, than eat something that seems unattractive to them.
The flip side of this argument is: Even if you go a a huge buffet with the most delicious dishes, they will pick and choose only those dishes that appeal to them.
Take a visit to Chipotle, for instance, where you get to decide the toppings you want in your burrito. All the toppings are included in the cost. How does a normal person (okay, more specifically me) think? “They are giving all this food anyway. Why turn it down, right?”
One of my subjects told me she avoids adding cheese and sour cream to her burrito. “Why? Wouldn’t that be the most yummy parts?” I asked. But, she replied without missing a beat “These ingredients drag me down after a meal and I would rather not have them.” She was so in-tune with her body’s response to each item.
5. Naturally thin people are not a fan of any diets:
These folks do not view their meals as carbs, proteins and fats. While they are a fan of a proper, well-rounded meals, they do not like the concept of low-fat, low-carb etc.
For e.g., If they don’t like salads, they avoid it like the plague. But if they love salad, they eat it – because they like it, not because it is healthy.
They don’t discriminate food based on healthy, low-fat etc…they just eat to satisfy their palate and their stomachs.
I have also noticed that while they eat proper full-fledged meals, they barely eat anything in between. Most don’t even drink coffee or tea. They snack less and I feel their overall calorie consumption for the entire day end up being lower than normal folks.
But Naturally thin people have their own health problems too
People often confuse thin with being healthy. But, all these folks I have mentioned, have their own health issues. They have shoulder pain, back pain, fatigue, bone problems, even high cholesterol (yes cholesterol).
So, yes, their food habits are awesome, but their life is not a basket of roses just because of that.
Correlation ≠ causation
While these traits are wonderful, these are just correlations and not the cause of them being thin.
You can try to
- slow down your meals more
- avoid sugar
- start trusting your gut more, etc
-but do that because they are good food habits, in general, not just to become thin.
Tailor your food habits to your specific lifestyle. If you love sweets, don’t deprive yourself just because thin people do. That will just make you feel miserable.
Instead, try to reduce your sugar consumption slowly. Or maybe have a treat once every month – whatever works for you!!
After all, being healthy and happy is a greater gift to yourself than becoming thin, isn’t it??