I’m not one of “them”, but I know several of them. You know, that person that eats fettuccine alfredo, but it doesn’t show up later on their thighs. Or that friend that never “diets”, but always maintains their weight.
I have observed several healthy behaviors by “these people” that could help you and I maintain our weight easier. Granted, there are “those” people who are just naturally thin and no matter how much they eat, they won’t gain weight. I’m not referring to “those” people. I’m talking about the people that maintain a healthy weight all year round, but could gain weight if they didn’t adhere to the following tricks.
Trick #1: They don’t eat based on the clock.
I spent some time in Colombia and was always impressed by their lack of concern for what time it was. If something ran over time and or started late, oh well. If you need to take a nap, other things can wait. There was no sense of urgency with time like there is in America.
We schedule our lives down to the minute and often, overlap our minutes with multiple commitments. This leads us to have the habit of eating based on time. You have to eat at 7am because if you don’t, you won’t get in your breakfast. You have to eat at noon, because that is your “lunch meeting.” The first skinny girl trick is to not eat based on the clock, but to eat based on your body’s hunger signals. Now, for many people, we’ve done so many bad things to our bodies that the natural hunger signals are off. We overeat, eat the wrong kinds of fuel, skip meals, drink our calories, eat too little, diet, or even over exercise. All of these things will freak out your metabolism and affect your body’s natural ways of telling you what it needs. Removing one bad habit at a time will restore your body’s ability to communicate to you and you will be able to rely on your body’s clock not the one on the wall.
Eating based on your body’s clock will require some prep time and planning ahead so that you can have a bite wherever you are whenever you need it, but the pay off is worth it. It doesn’t make sense to eat when you’re not needing fuel just because we call it a lunch meeting.
Trick #2: They eat a little of what they’re craving.
You’ve been at a birthday party when you’ve witnessed one of “them” eating on that cake and ice cream while you’re depriving yourself in the corner crunching on your celery. You fear that if you picked up a piece of cake, you’d never stop eating it. They can stop after a few delicious bites because they are satisfied. They’ve learned a thing or two about cravings and treats. They can enjoy an occasional treat or satisfy a rare craving because they haven’t tricked their body with fake treats using artificial sugars causing them to crave more and more.
Again, we tend to treat our bodies poorly which leads to daily cravings where treats have become our norm. Deprivation hasn’t lead them to crave and desire fries and milkshakes. I’m suggesting to learn to indulge slowly and thoughtfully and in small amounts to get rid of your deprivation binges. It makes eating healthy a majority of the time much easier when deprivation is not a part of your plan.
Trick #3: They don’t commit to cleaning their plate.
You’ve waited all week for Friday night when you plan on going out to dinner with friends. You had an apple for breakfast and green tea and some nuts for lunch because you’re saving your calories for dinner. That’s bad move #1. When your food finally arrives, you attack it like a wild animal because 1) you are starving and 2) you are depriving.
You eat so fast that your arm is creating a draft as you shovel the fork to your face. Your food is gone in 2 seconds flat and your plate is licked clean (well almost, but you didn’t want to lick it in public because that would be rude). Bad move #2. Bad move #1 leads to bad move #2. Restaurants are commonly known for serving way too much food (unless you are in a fancy shmancy place that is more concerned about food art than satisfying their customers hunger.)
Naturally thin people following trick #1 will naturally eat until they are satisfied often leaving food on their plate. Because they follow trick #2, they don’t feel the need to finish every last bite because that won’t be the last time they enjoy a treat or two.
Trick #4: Getting back on track happens as soon as the next meal.
So you had a treat meal last night and you haven’t worked out in a week. That’s not a failure and it’s not something to fret about. You’re not off track and you didn’t ruin your health goals. I’ve watched numerous people succumb to feelings of guilt with a response of quitting. Some live with the “I’ll start again on Monday” mentality or even the “I’ll begin again on the 1st.” There’s no rule that says you need to wait until Monday or until the first of the month to make healthy choices again. In fact, the sooner you make healthy choices, the easier it is to stay committed and see results. On again off again habits lead to repetitive weight gain and loss.
Thin folks have figured this out because making healthy choices is a lifestyle. They share a piece of pie with their sweetheart at lunch and are right back to a healthy nutritious dinner that night. They haven’t adopted a belief that pie made them off track. In fact, I think they quite enjoy it, both treats and a healthy lifestyle.
These 4 tricks are simply healthy lifestyle living. When a person decides that they will make choices to be a healthy person, there are no more diets or hardcore weight loss exercise programs and maintaining an ideal weight is subconscious and easy. Yes. Easy.
Photo by Ginny