I’m a skinny guy. I’ve never been fat and I’ve never been skinny. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a personal trainer. I’m just a guy who lost 30 pounds and kept it off for six months. Here’s some advice from a skinny guy to help you:
I became a certified personal trainer in the hopes of helping good people lose weight and keep it off. I have found that the weight loss advice I give to my clients is pretty standard: eat less and move more. But, to be honest, I don’t really understand why this works for so many people. In fact, I can’t understand it at all. Why does it work for some people but not others? And why do some people have such issues with weight in the first place? There must be a reason, but I don’t understand it. If I can figure this out I can help you lose weight.
I’m a skinny guy. I’m also a guy who wants to be fit and healthy. Most of you reading this are too. We want to look good in our clothes, we want to live longer, and we want to be able to keep up with our kids. But what if there’s a way to lose weight and keep it off? What if there was a magic secret that could help us look and feel better?
Don’t you despise those who are naturally thin? You know, the ones who eat anything they want and still manage to stay slim?
They appear to have some sort of supernatural metabolism. They must have a lot of guilt-free chocolate eclairs and pasta banquets in their lives.
And the rest of us who are trying to avoid the freshman 15 or the midlife spare tire can’t possibly learn anything from them.
While there are physiological distinctions between “naturally” lean and “naturally” bulkier people (for more information, see All About Eating For Your Body Type), it isn’t only down to genetics or metabolism.
People that are naturally slimmer think and act differently.
What do you think S2B and PN Coaching have in common?
I had the opportunity to speak with some of the Scrawny to Brawny coaching program’s participants at a recent workshop in Toronto. We discussed their problems to get large, which is the polar opposite of the problem that people in the PN Coaching program face.
But then I learned we shared a lot of interests.
- After all, PN Coaching clients are attempting to lose weight and become smaller. They must learn to consume fewer calories.
- Scrawny to Brawnies are attempting to grow in size and weight. They must learn to consume more food.
- Both groups must adopt new eating behaviors that are in opposition to their “natural” inclinations and habits.
At first, I dismissed the notion that eating more would be difficult. C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. Even as a little lady, I could easily meet the calorie requirements for Scrawnies with enough passion and nut butter and beef brisket.
But the more I talked to the boys, the more I realized how difficult it was for them to overeat… The more I thought about it, their “natural” leanness had as much to do with their attitude and actions as it did with their physical composition.
Many of their experiences and insights, I realized, would be beneficial to customers looking to shed fat and weight. So I enlisted the help of a slew of other “naturally skinny” males. Many men reacted to my queries, and I received some excellent advice.
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Food, energy, and feelings
Food as a source of energy
One of the most crucial aspects of the “naturally slim” mindset is that food is simply food.
Some guys were more interested in food than others. Food, on the other hand, was just… food. It was neither a reward nor a safety net. It didn’t have a lot of meaning. It wasn’t one of their closest friends.
“Food is essentially a fuel source. My slender buddies and I used to joke that if we could just take a pill and obtain everything we needed, we would. I understand what wonderful food is and have even attended cooking school. I like the taste of nice food but don’t have a strong desire for it.” ”All I ask is for food to provide me with enough energy to carry me through my day and workouts.” ”Food was merely a means of satiating my hunger. It didn’t matter whether I ate spaghetti for many dinners as I did when I was a kid.”
The drawback was that many naturally thin persons had terrible eating habits. Rather of caring about the nutritional content of the food or how it nourished their bodies, they would often consume whatever was available.
Another issue was that many naturally thin people did not consider food to be very important. Eating was a low priority before S2B. Before eating, there were many other things to do.
“It’s still difficult for me to set aside time to eat everything I need to eat.” ”[Eating] was something I had to do before I could move on to other things.”
Food was merely a tool for naturally slim individuals, and it didn’t take over their lives. They weren’t focused on food cravings or consumption. On the other hand, this meant that meal preparation and healthy eating were not always top priorities.
Emotional eating is a type of eating
The concept of emotional eating perplexed many of the naturally slim people. In principle, they grasped the notion, but they didn’t “understand” it. Food was merely fuel to them, therefore it didn’t make sense that it would have any deeper meaning, any more than brushing one’s teeth would make one feel better.
“The concept of ‘comfort food,’ or eating to make yourself feel better when you’re depressed, seems bizarre to me.” ”Eating whatever they want appears to be the most important thing to my overweight pals… even more essential than their health. When they’re depressed, they eat for consolation and to make themselves feel better. They talk about meals they can’t live without, such potatoes, fries, desserts, and carbs. It’s difficult for me to comprehend how someone may find comfort in eating.
Hunger, fullness, and mealtimes
What are the signs that it’s time to eat?
Many of my clients have trouble deciding when to eat. Some people who are overweight believe they are “always hungry.” Other people who are overweight frequently confuse “head hunger” (i.e., a psychological urge for food) with physical hunger (i.e. the actual physiological need for food). The distinction is between “wanting” and “needing” food.
The naturally thin folks, on the other hand, virtually always followed their stomachs or pre-set, somewhat occasional mealtimes. Naturally thin people frequently relied on others to remind them to eat.
“Either by the clock or when I became sufficiently hungry, I would begin eating. Breakfast was simple because it was already done when I arrived in the car. Because the group was leaving at 12:00, lunch was similarly simple. Dinner would generally be served when my wife was hungry.” ”[I’d] wait for my stomach to growl or for hunger to strike. I never paid attention to the time. I just ate whenever I had the chance. When my job schedule allowed, I would simply eat.”
As a result, one of the most difficult tasks for S2Bs was simply getting started on a meal. They refused to eat until they were actually hungry.
How do you know when it’s time to put down your fork?
Naturally slim people are like the perfect hipster party attendee who arrives late enough to be cool but leaves early enough to fool everyone into thinking they have something more important to do. They always know when to leave a party before it devolves into chaos and/or the authorities arrive.
To put it another way, they know when it’s time to stop eating before it’s too late. They’re aware of their physical signs for fullness and satiety, and they stop eating when they get even the tiniest tingle from those signals.
Half of the time, one S2B participant forgot he was eating. He wandered off to do something else after many of his meals.
If they didn’t have to, the naturally slim folks didn’t feel obligated to clean their plates. They didn’t appear to get the idea that “children are hungry elsewhere.”
“I would take the rest home or leave it on my plate at restaurants or when the portion sizes were greater. If I was as full as I wanted to be, I had no qualms about not finishing my meals.”
Are you hungry or stuffed?
Let’s pretend we’re on a scale from hungry to stuffed.
One is hungry, possibly trapped in the desert for days without sustenance. 10 is so crammed that your esophagus might burst.
I asked the naturally slim folks where they felt greatest on this continuum before S2B. What makes you feel happy and normal?
Most men stated they were happiest between the ages of 4 and 6, which is significantly lower than many of us who are prone to overeating would prefer. One naturally slim guy favored a 3—”just enough so I’m not peckish anymore.”
Many of the guys claimed that they actively loathed the sensation of being full.
“It makes me feel lethargic and uncomfortable to be full.” ”I don’t feel good physically or psychologically if I’ve overeaten.” ”I despise being a ten on the fullness scale. It’s just inconvenient and painful. “It’s as if my stomach is interrupting every idea in my head with, ‘You are painfully full.’” ”When you’re stuffed, don’t you feel like sh*t? I recall going to a buffet (after starving myself) and just eating everything. I was so disappointed with myself thereafter that I decided to avoid buffets altogether.”
As a result, one of the most difficult aspects of S2B, in the words of one participant, is “overeating.” I’m stuffing myself until I’m sick of it. I recall going to bed feeling like I had a Swiss ball suck in my stomach the first night I ate the muscle supper. I even looked like I was defying science… an 8-month-pregnant dude.”
Most naturally slim people, on the other hand, were philosophical about what they saw to be overeating and fascinated by how their bodies gradually adapted to a change in food intake. They said that portion control is mostly a learned skill, and that if they had to learn to eat more, others could learn to eat less.
“S2B has been challenging, but I’m getting used to it. That is to say, the amount of food that used to fill you up to a 9-10 is now closer to a 7-8. For someone attempting to reduce weight, I feel it could operate in the opposite direction.” ”I was shocked when my 10-ounce piece of beef grew to 14-16 ounces and I had no trouble finishing it.”
Cravings, entertainment, and speed are all factors to consider.
It doesn’t have to be a circus every time you eat.
While some of the S2Bs admitted to being “picky eaters,” many others were men who like nice cuisine in general but didn’t believe that every meal had to be a lavish affair.
Food manufacturers know that when consumers have more alternatives, they eat more, as David Kessler points out in The End of Overeating, and Brian Wansink observes in Mindless Eating. At a buffet, almost everyone eats more than at a single-plate lunch.
Furthermore, when there is more “stuff” going on with the meal—crunchy textures, creamy textures, a variety of tastes blended, a lot of color, etc.—people eat more. (Think of an ice cream sundae with all of the toppings, chicken wings with dipping sauce, or nachos.)
This is due in part to the fact that people appear to be energized by variety. We are more prone to overeat if we seek variety—and reward—at each and every meal. People who are naturally thin don’t anticipate every meal to be exciting or even particularly interesting. They had a delicious gourmet supper, but they expected it to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Speed of consumption
I inquired as to how quickly or slowly the S2Bs ate. Surprisingly, their reactions to this one differed. Some of the guys rushed their meals, seeing it as an annoyance.
The other males tended to take their time and linger over their meals.
One naturally slim person stated that he eats in the range of 45 minutes to an hour. Another man commented that now that he has to eat more, his slow eating speed is “especially obvious whenever I have breakfast, because I have started coming up late for work simply because I cannot finish all of my meal quickly enough!” It takes me nearly 40 minutes to eat everything all, and I don’t always finish it!”
Do you ever have hunger pangs?
Those who are naturally thin were split on this one. Some people claimed that no matter how beautiful or tasty something looked, they never craved it.
“I don’t eat a lot of sugar and can easily hand it over when everyone else orders dessert,” one naturally slim person explained. I’m also not a big fan of a lot of fat. I’ve always removed all superfluous fat from steaks, purchased the leanest ground meats available, and avoided using butter.”
Simple carbs—bagels, baked goods, pizza, and ice cream—were a favored option among those who felt cravings.
And, strangely enough, the cravers adored chocolate.
“I am undeniably a chocoholic. If there is milk chocolate in the house, I will seek it out and consume it. Everything, as well. Sure, it’s stealing from children, but I’m an addict. I’ve started putting one or two squares of 85 percent dark chocolate in my Super Shakes every now and then to help with the cravings. Still, leaving me alone in a room with a 1lb. chocolate Easter rabbit isn’t a good idea.”
However, one significant distinction between naturally slender people and those who are overweight is that naturally skinny people frequently employ various techniques to deal with cravings. They rarely gave in to their cravings, regularly diverted their attention away from them, and frequently distanced themselves from the food they craved. Or they’d realize they only wanted a smidgeon of it.
“I sometimes use desires as a self-test to assess how much self-control I have in order to resist temptation. With my limited attention span, I eventually forget about the urge. Most of the time, I’m able to suppress a hunger because I don’t have the products I crave near or around me, and I’m too lazy/unmotivated to go out and find them.”
“I’d grab a candy bar if I really needed chocolate. Surprisingly, I rarely eat the entire piece. I discovered that I mostly craved the taste. My stomach may be full of anything, yet a taste of chocolate was enough to satisfy me.
“Most of the time, it isn’t a problem because I never buy certain goods at the supermarket, so they aren’t in the house.” I’ll take a look around my house for a while and see what I can find. I generally don’t, so before S2B, I’ll eat some fruit or have a Super Shake (after S2B). I usually forget about it because I get back to work on something else.”
One man admitted to having occasional hunger binges. He used the Kitchen Makeover technique in his situation, which included avoiding storing his craved items in the house.
“If the products I crave are readily available on rare times, I will binge (this is why I have requested my girlfriend not to have specific items in the house or, if they are, not to tell me about it). In a 12-hour period, I’ve been known to consume an entire box of Oreo cookies dipped in milk. I believe the bingeing side of my personality stems from my childhood. In the house, there were four of us kids. We were all around the same age, so we had to make sure we divided the snacks and ate them promptly, or else someone else would eat them for you and you’d be out of luck!”
At the very least, those naturally slim people have human flaws!
Calorie expenditure and movement
People that are naturally thin are NEAT-o!
Many people believe that all they have to do to lose weight is go to the gym a few times per week. However, evidence suggests that non-gym activities such as cleaning, moving around, fidgeting, strolling here and there, and so on, contribute to a slimmer body in the long run.
In fact, even if you go to the gym every day, research shows that sitting on your butt for several hours a day significantly slows fat loss. Even if you’re technically “active” with frequent workouts, staying sedentary for the majority of the day works against you.
This non-exercise movement, dubbed NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), is critical in assisting us in becoming (and, more importantly, remaining) thin.
Naturally slim individuals are NEAT-o, which is unsurprising. They’re always moving, whether it’s fidgeting, running errands, or taking the dog for a walk.
“I’ve always been a high-energy, very busy person. I’m a fidgeter who is always shifting and moving around. I have trouble sitting motionless for more than a few minutes at a time. This trait also contributed to me being one of the few people I know who failed kindergarten: I couldn’t sit still before Ritalin! Moving limbs and demonstrating exercises are all part of my job as a physiotherapist. During a typical workweek, I move a several thousand pounds of weight (body parts, loading/unloading bars/dumbbells, equipment, and so on).”
“I had a physically demanding profession with lengthy hours (I broke a sweat at least once a day on a good day). I spent the majority of the day strolling about. Even when others appeared to be slowing down, I continued to work swiftly. In addition, I went to the gym twice a week and ice skated twice a week in the mornings. I’m also a fidgety person.”
“Even though I have a sedentary job, I am naturally active. I’m baffled as to how people can sit there like slugs for such long lengths of time. It would irritate me to no end!”
“At work, I move about a lot, and I even pace while talking on the phone.”
“I walked so much that I broke both of my feet with stress fractures! I walked from my apartment to the university, from my apartment to downtown, around the university campus (when I worked as a tour guide), visiting a new city, taking a leisurely stroll to enjoy the lovely weather…”
Messages, social support, and behaviors
Many people who are naturally thin are sensitive to messages about gluttony in the media. (See Parts 1 and 2 of All About Gluttony.) They avoid overeating since it is socially unacceptable.
“I suppose there’s a part of me that feels gluttonous about eating so much, and I do have to remind myself now and then that it’s not about being a ‘pig,’ but about building and nurturing strength and power.”
Clients frequently express anxiety about “wasting food.” They fix the situation by consuming the leftovers in their case. People who are naturally thin, on the other hand, avoid wasting food by beginning with smaller portions.
“Wasting food [by overeating] has always been the most difficult and guilt-inducing aspect of my life. My parents instilled in us as youngsters the importance of not wasting food when there are people starving to death all over the world (the images of those starving Ethiopian children during the famines of the 80s are etched in my mind).
Maybe that’s why, rather than risk throwing food away, I take only what I’ll eat (smaller portions) and go back for more if I’m still hungry.”
A naturally slim person who had grown up in a low-income family was constantly aware of the cost of food and was careful not to overeat.
“When I was younger, I used to feel terrible if I ate too much food. So I attempted to limit myself to one helping, with the exception of when a second helping was provided. I didn’t want to go through the week’s groceries too quickly because that was the only thing we had.”
One of the most prevalent issues I see with clients as a PN Coach is social functions. They may feel compelled to eat or find it difficult to resist a setting involving a large amount of food. Many people are concerned that others will judge them based on how much they consume.
As a result, I questioned if the S2Bs had the same issue. Let’s pretend you’re not hungry, I said. You’re invited to a social gathering or a family gathering where you’ll be pressed to eat. So, what exactly do you do? Their responses were eye-opening.
Regardless of how many times Grandma nagged them to eat more delicacies, none of them felt forced to eat when they were not hungry.
“Food is always pushed by my family/relatives. Maybe it’s because of their German ancestors: who doesn’t want salami and cheese for breakfast, followed by a beer? I simply decline politely.”
“Food appears to be the main attraction at practically all family or social gatherings. In my instance, I’ve been persuaded by friends/relatives to eat or drink when I didn’t want to or wasn’t hungry on numerous occasions. That feeling of being full was so alien to me that no amount of cajoling, entreating, or shame could persuade me to eat any more.”
If a naturally thin individual succumbed to social pressure, they became inventive.
“In circumstances where my refusal was met with a full plate of food regardless (refusing food is a big no-no in my East Indian culture and can be considered as a show of disrespect), I would accept the plate, take the usual bite, then find a way to unload the plate surreptitiously somewhere else.”
“Take the minimum amount that is socially acceptable. Take a couple of bites. Simply mix up the rest and rearrange it on your plate.”
And those who are naturally slim aren’t afraid of offending others. They are polite in their refusals or employ humour in their refusals. In any case, they are steadfast in their beliefs. Food pushers gradually come to terms with this.
“If you give me food that I don’t like, I’ll politely decline. I might try a small taste or spoonful simply to see what it’s like, but I won’t eat under duress. I used to pat my stomach and say, “No, thanks, I’m watching my weight.” It used to be a joke since I was so thin, but now that I’ve gained a few pounds, it’s the truth. People appear to comprehend and are unconcerned in any case.”
“I’ve discovered that saying no once or twice boosts your resolve because you know you can just say no and people would understand.”
Identity and body image
Here’s something I didn’t anticipate. I’ve always imagined that naturally thin people wished to bulk up—the dreaded “98 pound weakling” insecurities.
I had no idea how many naturally slim people were satisfied with their appearance. For their sport, many people preferred to be smaller or lighter. Many of them expressed a desire to be extremely thin and have little body fat. A few people stated they had felt the same pressure that women do to be extremely skinny.
“There’s a psychological issue in there about whether it’s ‘acceptable’ or ‘proper’ for me to be a big, strong guy.’ My self-concept was always about giving it my all, despite rather than because of my small and lack of strength.
As an athlete, I was quick, quick, and clever, and the bigger and stronger guys were rivals that I had to defeat with talent, quickness, and intelligence. I never imagined I’d be able to develop the strength and power to compete with them. So it’s interesting to see myself acquire that, especially at my age (!).”
In order to lose weight, customers must learn to think of themselves as “fit individuals” or even “athletes.” Similarly, naturally skinny people must learn to think of themselves as muscular. Identity must change in order for conduct to change.
What would you do if you were overweight?
Overweight people have a hard time imagining what naturally slender people think and feel. So I asked the S2B guys to examine the opposite: What is one thing about folks who are overweight or overeat that just doesn’t make sense to you?
Many naturally slim people couldn’t understand why particular foods, or large amounts of them, were consumed.
“I get a little queasy just looking at deep-fried Twinkies, but a lot of people consume them. I think I’m the odd man out here since the food business continues to manufacture a lot of these foods (highly processed, high fat items), which I see in people’s carts and can’t comprehend how they can eat.”
Over-fat people, according to other naturally slender people, don’t seem to use adequate portion sizing.
“My partner and I stuffed our small dessert plates with what we believed was a substantial amount of goodies at a late-night chocolate buffet on a cruise (5-6 items). We could only eat half of one plate between the two of us at the end!
At our table, we were joined by a lady. She was extremely petite (5’1′′ or so) and weighed well over 300 pounds. Her supper plate was loaded high with food. She finished her meal and went back for more. I was amazed that she could eat that much food in such a short amount of time and then go for another full supper plate (as well as the fact that she was wearing a diabetic medic alert bracelet, but that’s another story!).”
Desires and deeds are out of sync.
People who claimed they wanted to lose weight but didn’t eat less perplexed naturally thin people.
“I’m astounded by what a lot of folks consume. I was having lunch with a friend the other day. He’s aiming to shed a few pounds… He chatted about his fitness program before placing his order for a double bacon cheese burger.”
“I’m not sure why there isn’t a mental kill switch or override button. Why can’t they simply stop eating and stop consuming bad food? They know they should, and they know how to do it, but they just can’t.”
Many S2B gentlemen were married to ladies who had weight issues. A few families even had a “PN couple,” with a husband performing Scrawny to Brawny and a woman doing PN Coaching. (I can only picture the tense discussions about food planning and portion sizes!)
As a result, the S2B husbands were able to watch and compare a variety of experiences and opinions firsthand.
“My wife eats her emotions. She’ll get a cookie to cheer her up if she’s having a rough day. She is aware that she does it and is working to break the behavior. I, on the other hand, have never experienced any emotional or boredom-related eating triggers.”
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“My obese pals are well aware of their condition and frequently discuss going on a diet. I mean all of the time. The issue isn’t one of lack of awareness. One of them did Weight Watchers for a period and lost 50 pounds. He regained all of his possessions a few months later. So, for him, the problem isn’t a lack of understanding about how to accomplish it.
My friend will spend the rest of the evening nibbling on chips, pie, cookies, and ice cream after his typical dinner. He feels good about himself since he adds blueberries to his ice cream and drinks tea instead of soda with his munchies! He once asked me, perplexed, how I did it, how I was able to maintain such strict and continual discipline.
I assured him that such was not the case. I simply don’t want to eat it and don’t feel compelled to. I’ll decline his offer of junk food because he’ll be eating it all evening, and instead have a can of tuna for an evening snack. To be honest, I find it repulsive that he eats whatever he does. I’m not saying I wouldn’t love a slice of pie or a cookie, but the sheer amount of them looks revolting.
I just read an article that claimed that overeating has the same effect on the brain’s dopamine receptors as cocaine and other addictive drugs. This seems to accurately capture my overweight friends’ conduct as well as our differences. They appear to be pushed, compelled, and nearly powerless, as if they are junkies who are ‘feeding’ their addiction. So what they perceive as discipline in me is simply a lack of compulsion, a lack of “addiction” in my case.
I remember going to the supermarket with a Weight Watchers acquaintance. He had a cart full of pies, cookies, and chips. I told him that if he wanted to lose weight, now was the time to start exercising control in the store. He was going to consume it once it got into his house. He should decide immediately whether or not he wants to consume it and remove it from his cart.
‘Skinny people just don’t understand,’ he joked as he looked away from me and over to the overweight checkout clerk after I stated this. ‘I know,’ she responded with a giggle. Of course he bought everything.”
Conclusions and Recommendations
So, are naturally skinny folks lurking in supermarket aisles, examining our carts, and wondering whether we’re insane? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no It’s also not true that being naturally thin immediately makes you healthier.
It simply means that their experiences and viewpoints show that much of overeating behavior is learned—that it is shaped by early events, our outlook and worldview, societal messaging, and habitual behaviors.
Natural slim folks offer fat-loss advice.
How can you learn to think and act like a naturally slender person so that you can lose weight? Here are a few pointers.
One natural slim person’s final thoughts:
One thing I’d like people to understand is that just because I’m thin does not mean I’m healthy. I was not in good health prior to S2B. I try to encourage individuals to talk openly about their health and diet, but some people feel nervous or afraid to say they are attempting to better their health. I believe that folks who are extremely thin and those who are extremely overweight both need to be healthier, but their objectives are significantly different. My friend (who is attempting to lose weight) and I (who is trying to gain weight) constantly discuss our respective goals and how we “meet in the middle.” Despite our differences in aims, we can encourage each other to be healthier and happier people.
Next week, we have a special treat in store for the Scrawnies: some advice from PN Coaching clients on how to get big.
Better eating, moving, and living.
The realm of health and fitness can be perplexing at times. It doesn’t have to be that way, though.
It will teach you the optimal diet, exercise, and lifestyle strategies that are specific to you.
On the surface, the skinny guy-weight loss advice is no different than anyone else’s: eat less and move more. But is there a more scientific way to lose weight? Researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and weight loss for years; however, until now, the findings had been inconclusive. In a new study published last month in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that skinny guys who exercise more than others have better odds of losing weight.. Read more about i am very thin girl how to gain weight and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can a skinny person lose weight fast?
There are many ways to lose weight fast, but the most common way is through a diet and exercise regimen.
How can a skinny guy lose belly fat?
There are a few ways to lose belly fat. One way is to exercise more, which will help you burn calories and build muscle. Another way is to eat less and work out more, which will help you burn calories and build muscle.
What is the best diet for skinny guys?
There is no best diet for skinny guys. It all depends on the individuals personal preference and what they are trying to achieve.