We all have that one thin friend—one of those skinny women who’s never bullied into submission by the bread basket, and when she says “I’ll just eat one bite,” she does just that. Is she for real?
Turns out, research shows that skinny people simply don’t think about food the same way as–well, the rest of us. Thin people have a relaxed relationship with food. Those who are overweight, however, tend to be preoccupied by it. They focus on how much or how often they eat, or attach labels like good and bad to certain foods. As a result, mealtime is always on the brain.
Here are 8 ways how skinny women eat and think about food. Learn what they do, what they don’t, and how you can act the part – and get yourself to your ideal weight and stay there for good.
1. Skinny women choose satisfied over stuffed
On a fullness scale of 1 to 10, skinny women stop eating at a level of 6 or 7. The rest of us may keep going to an 8 or 10. Why? It may be because you mistakenly equate the sensation of fullness with satisfaction and feel deprived if you stop short. Or you may just be used to finishing what’s in front of you, regardless of whether you really need it.
How to do it: To eat like skinny women, about halfway through your next meal, put your fork down and, using the 1 to 10 scale, rate your level of fullness. Do it again when you have about five bites left. The goal is to increase your awareness of how satisfied you feel during a meal. (Bonus: It also slows down your eating, which allows the sensation of fullness to settle in.)
2. Skinny women realize hunger isn’t an emergency
Most of us who struggle with extra pounds tend to view hunger as a condition that needs to be cured— right away. If you fear hunger, you might routinely overeat to avoid it. Thin people tolerate it because they know hunger pangs always come and go, buying them some time.
How to do it: Pick a busy day to purposely delay lunch by an hour or two. Or try skipping an afternoon snack one day. You’ll see that you can still function just fine. Then next time you feel those grumbles, you’ll hold off before making a beeline for the fridge.
3. Skinny women don’t use food to cure the blues
It’s not that skinny women are immune to emotional eating, but they tend to recognize when they’re doing it and stop.
How to do it: Add the word ‘Halt’ to your vocabulary. More than just a command (as in stop eating that entire sleeve of cookies), it’s an acronym that stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired—the four most common triggers for emotional eating.
If you’re truly hungry, eat a balanced snack, such as a handful of nuts, to tide you over until your next meal. But if you’re angry, lonely, or tired, seek an alternative calorie-free solution to your emotional need. Blow off steam by going for a run or just jumping around—the heartbeat boost will help dissipate your anger.
Lonely? Call a friend, e-mail your kid, or walk to the park or mall. Being around others will make you feel more connected to your community (even if you don’t bump into anyone you know). If you’re tired, for heaven’s sake, sleep!
4. Skinny women are creatures of habit
Any dietitian will tell you that a varied diet is good–but too much variety can backfire. Studies have shown that too many tastes and textures encourage you to overeat. Thin people have a “food groove”—the majority of their meals consist of well-planned staples. There are a few surprises thrown in, but for the most part, their diets are fairly predictable.
How to do it: Try to eat as consistently as possible with your major meals—have cereal for breakfast, a salad at lunch, and so forth. It’s okay to add grilled chicken to the salad one day and tuna the next, but by sticking to a loosely prescribed meal schedule, you limit the opportunities to overindulge.
5. Skinny women have a self-control gene
A recent study found that the biggest predictor of weight gain among women in their 50s and 60s was their level of disinhibition, or unrestrained behavior. Women with low disinhibition (in other words, a finely tuned sense of restraint) had the lowest body mass index. High disinhibition (i.e., low restraint) was linked to an adult weight gain of as much as 33 pounds.
How to do it: Prepare for moments when your disinhibition is likely to be higher—such as when you’re in a festive atmosphere with a large group of friends. If you’re at a party, tell yourself you’ll take one of every fourth passed hors d’oeuvre. If you’re out at dinner, order an appetizer portion and share dessert. Or if you’re stressed—another low-restraint moment—make sure you have a source of crunchy snacks (like fruit or carrot sticks) at the ready.
6. Skinny women move and shake
On average, skinny women are on their feet an extra 2 1/2 hours per day—which can help burn off 33 pounds a year.
How to do it: Try a reality check. Studies have shown that people often overestimate how active they really are.. Most people actually spend 16 to 20 hours a day just sitting. Wear a pedometer on an average day, and see how close you get to the recommended 10,000 steps. Your day should combine 30 minutes of structured exercise with a variety of healthy habits, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or mopping the floor with extra vigor.
7. Skinny women sleep well
Skinny women snooze 2 more hours per week, compared with overweight people. Researchers theorize that a lack of shut-eye is linked to lower levels of appetite-suppressing hormones like leptin and higher levels of the appetite-boosting hormone ghrelin.
How to do it: Break it down – two extra hours of sleep a week is only 17 more minutes a day—a lot more manageable, even for the most packed of schedules. Start there and slowly work toward 8 hours of snooze time a night—the right amount for most adults.
8. Skinny women have a go-to back-up plan
Skinny women have a back-up diet system in place whenever they go off path with their eating habits—so that whatever weight they’ve gained, they can quickly lose it after.
So, don’t obsess over losing weight if you eat more than usual for many days at a time. Food binges do happen, even to the best of us. Sometimes you’re able to fight it off, sometimes you just give in and indulge.
But know that because you have a proven back-up diet system that works (and that works fast), and one that you can always go back to whenever you gain some weight, you can rest assured eat like a champion on special (or many) occasions.
How to do it: If you need such a proven diet system that can help you lose weight quickly, then I would strongly recommend you try what my girlfriends swear by—the 2-Week Diet program by Brian Flatt.
It is created by Brian Flatt, fitness trainer to the celebrities.
At the onset, you may think because of the name, the 2-Week Diet is a quick fix and a fad diet. But that is where everyone gets it wrong. And I wouldn’t recommend these quick fixes.
With the 2-Week Diet, there are no “gimmicks” or “tricks”. You lose weight by learning to use your body’s own natural hormones and bio-chemistry. Your body is then conditioned to naturally jumpstart your metabolism and you’ll burn more fat at rest.
The 2-Week diet does not add more stress to your life with grueling cardio sessions and endless gym time. It does not force you to cut out carbs or fat completely, or starve yourself and make you feel miserable.
With the 2-Week Diet, you follow a specific meal plan for 14 days with a list of foods that you should eat more of and foods that you should avoid. You can even continue to eat the foods you love (think ice-cream and chocolate cake), although it is not recommended that you binge on them.
Women who have been on the 2-Week Diet have reportedly lost up to 20 pounds in the first 14 days, and have continued to lose up to 37 pounds in a month.
If you’re a woman who have struggled to lose weight in the past, I urge you to give yourself a chance to transform your health and body in the next 14 days with the 2 Week Diet. Click here to read about how my girlfriend Beth, a secret eater who’s struggled with losing weight all her life lost 63 pounds by following the 2 Week Diet.