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Do you eat like a pig but stay skinny?

Do you pig out yet manage not to gain weight? How? Do you even know? Have you ever worried about your weight? Do you ever think about fat and calories?

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  1. Funny, people rag me about this constantly. They always have. I have an insatiable appetite and think about food all the time. I don't fill up quickly, but I am conscious of portions and I don't overeat. My weight fluxuates maybe 5 lbs. Right now I'm about 5 lbs heavier than I would like to be. But I don't fret over it. People are always saying "how to you eat so much and stay so thin?" I think it's a combination of things. Good DNA, primarily. I'm also type 1 diabetic so I eat well and regularly. I love veggies, whole grains and don't eat much sweets or simple carbs. I don't reallly worry about fat and calories - just carbs.

    1. Oh god, don't I wish! The day a doctor says to me, "Caroline, you've got to put some meat on those bones," I will KNOW there IS a god and she loves me...!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1

        "I will KNOW there IS a god and she loves me...!"

        Love that, Caroline!

        1. re: lynnlato

          Thanks, but I consider myself living proof that God is a misogynist. If God REALLY loved women, we would have to eat to stay slim, and chocolate would be the world's most effective diet food. But since things are the way they are, can there be any doubt?

          1. re: Caroline1

            This kind of thinking is problematic, but it is hardly your fault. Why do we consider skinny good? It is because we live in a patriarchy and a capitalist society. When women are pressured to reject their natural forms by shrinking their bodies, they become less strong and less powerful. Their enery is focused away from the change they can affect in the world and toward self-hatred. That pressure is manifest through all forms of media constantly and has proliferated the thinking of most every being in western culture.Why would you say that if God "really loved women" he'd keep us thin? Love is acceptance, not rejection. Be kind to yourself. It could change the world.

              1. re: liabon

                you can't blame men/patriarchy for this. before twiggy men were quite content w/ marilyn monroe and jane russel

        2. No, but thanks for asking. 8^P

          1. I definitely eat what I want, when I want, in the quantity I want. That being said, I havent always been 6'2" and 170lb that I am now. Through hard work, dedication and eating right, I managed to drop 75lbs about 10 years ago and keep it off. Resistance training, running and eating healthier allowed me to get to where I am and as a side affect rev'd up my metabolism to the point where I now, by my best guess, eat about 3500-3750 cal. a day. I still work out daily(either running or weight lifting), but make lots of time to enjoy my food exploring/eating hobby.
            That being said, I find it highly dismissive and snarky when someone says something to the effect of, " oh, you are so lucky to be born with such a fast metabolism!". They would not have said that if they knew me when I weighed 245lb! furthermore, you arent saddled with a particularly slow or fast metabolism....you have control over it to a large extent!

            Sorry for the Thread Hijacking rant!:-D

            2 Replies
            1. re: nkeane

              I'll support your rant. More than once people have said to me "how do you eat like that and yet stay thin?" or yes, more snarkily, "boy, you're lucky to have you metabolism." (I'm 5'4" and 125lbs with a good amount of muscle.) what people don't realize is that they're seeing me out at restaurants or parties or other social occasions where yes, I pretty much eat and drink what I want. What they don't see is me dragging myself to the gym 5-6 mornings a week, or what I eat when I'm making myself a "non-event" meal, which is a lot of egg whites, plain grilled meat, fruit, steamed or grilled vegetables, salads with lowfat dressing, cottage cheese, a few nuts . . . pretty darned exciting. So if I'm thin it's due mainly to discipline, not winning the random metabolic rate lottery.

              1. re: cookie monster

                i'm also same height and weight, and exercise 5 days a week. not on a diet but i eat well and sensibly. after returning from a holiday i can't wait to work off the extra kilos and everyone says 'what extra kilos?!'. lol...

                yes, discipline and my exercise love do help loads. i still fit into my clothes from 20 years ago....

            2. Yeah, I do have to watch what I eat, though fortunately I can keep my calorie count relatively high and still maintain my weight; that's due to my activity levels. But 25 years ago I weighed 250 lbs. Today I weigh about 145 lbs. I've gotten back up to 165 but never even remotely approaching two-five-oh. And given how cruel people are to the obese, I don't ever want to go back there. So, yes, I can eat a lot but I can't totally pig out (well, a day or two here and there is okay).

              I watch carbs too, but only to make sure that I eat plenty of them before a long run (there's a noticeable difference in my endurance if I run the day after meals heavy in protein and/or fat). I understand that is not true of everybody but it is for me.

              1. People also bug me abotu this a lot as well. I can manage to pack away an incredible amount of food when I'm out for dinner and remain "underweight" and skinny. My bf weighs probably around 170 lb (I weigh about 110 lb) and when we go out for dinner/lunch, I ALWAYS eat my entire meal, PLUS about 1/2- 1/3 of his meal that he is "too full" to eat. Its a bit embarassing, yes. And I'm getting incredibly tired of servers looking at me and saying "wow, I'm impressed, where do you put it?!" I know they're being funny, but, I dont like it really. Despite the fact that these big meals dont seem to make a huge difference in my weight (I attribute this to my daily exercise regime and the fact that I eat a tonne of fruit, veg and high fiber grains the rest of the time ), it still sometimes makes me feel a bit guilty.

                1. I spent most of my life incredibly skinny - too skinny. I've been 5' 6-1/2" since I was 12 years old, and I remember that at the beginning of my senior year in HS I weighed 98 pounds. I was never ill, always loved food, but could just never eat very much at one time plus I have always been very high energy without being hyper - happier doing than sitting sort of thing. Then senior year my appetite kicked in and I started eating everything in site. My weight "skyrocketed" to 110. I weighed between 110-115 well into my 30's, and yes I ate and drank pretty much whatever I wanted throughout that time while also having a desk job. I truly was one of those people everyone hated for that reason. My husband at the time was the exact same way.
                  Then over the next 10 or so years as age caught up to me, I slowly crept up to about 130 and was still there at age 45. At the same time though, there was a whole lot of stress in my life that I think kept a lot of it off. About that time I started weight lifting and actually put on about 10 pounds of muscle mass, mostly in my upper body and for the first time in my life lost my tendency toward pear-shapedness. That was three years ago at age 47, and I was probably in the best shape of my life. Unfortunately, I was also still very unhappy due to some things going on in my personal life.
                  Then I met my current husband and gained 20 pounds in two years. Thankfully I have leveled off at 160 for over a year. My girlfriends and I refer to it as achieving our "happy weight". I still work out and am probably even healthier due to a happy and non-stressful life style. Having said that, I would love to lose 10 pounds, and having recently gone through menopause I have a feeling my upcoming physical/blood work will provide me with the motivation to do so. I have lots of family history of diabetes/HBP/cholesterol issues cropping up at this stage in life.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cycloneillini

                    I'm in my late 20's and seem to be around the spot you were (5'4/115). I eat what I want when I want, but I seem unable to eat much at one sitting. I've had a few worried comments, but what can I say? I'll not stuff myself to discomfort, but I will eat every five minutes if given the chance lol. My mom and grandma were the same way, heck my mom doesn't even use milk on her cereal.... she uses half & half. So it would seem that I make up for in calorie density what I can't do in quantity.

                    Don't get me wrong, I do try to eat healthily, just not in a low-fat or low-cal sort of way. I'll have my 7 grain toast, but real butter is going on it (or several servings worth of peanutbutter).

                    oh, forgot to answer the "how": well, first you have to get a dna sample from a humming bird, then somehow splice it into yourself......

                  2. I'm like Bridget Jones and am a little bit fat. In a perfect world I'd lose 15 pounds but am not willing to do what it takes to get there.

                    1. When I was younger, yes. Lord knows hanging out w/friends usually meant cleaning out a frig or pantry and then riding bikes for hours. I never sat down.

                      Now, 4 kids later & a more "mature" approach I eat/workout/de-stress every day. I'm small framed, (& short) so I need to swim/bike/run/cardio and still enjoy eating almost everything. 5 lbs on my frame shows in "obvious places" but I don't count calories or weigh myself. I just make better choices now.

                      Just about everyone I know frets about their weight. Stress WILL put weigh on you, so it's better to relax.

                      1. I was like that until I was about 40 - I could eat anything and stayed skinny as a rail. Now, in my 50s, I need to (and do) hit the gym regularly so that I can continue to indulge myself - even though my capacity is no longer what it was.

                        A word of warning - if you're an ectomorphic (naturally thin-boned) male like me and DO start gaining weight, it's likely to be entirely around your belly and before you know it you look like you're seven months pregnant (yes, I speak from experience). It's not pretty. And then you have two choices: start dieting (never going to happen!) or start working out.

                        1. Like HillJ, used to eat like a grizzly bear, had a hard time keeping weight on. 2 foot long subs at lunch, and I was still looking for a snack by 5 or 6 pm. Then the old metabolism changed a couple of years ago, so I always think about fat and more exercise, portion size, etc. Just have to eat less and move more these days (a simple concept lotsa folks ignore)

                          1. i have the worst curse. i weigh 190. my wife weighs 105. yet, she can eat as much, if not more than me, and i'm the one who has to work out to maintain status quo. to make it worse, my job now keeps me more sedentary. back in teh day, i worked out and my metabolism was crazy efficient. so, i've also had to cut back what i eat just to maintain. all the while watching wifey pile drive noodles, dumplings, pizza, etc.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: FattyDumplin

                              I feel a bit more at ease about my boyfriend and my experience now that I have read your post. I thought it was completely abnormal and miraculous that I could eat more than my boyfriend and yet weigh only 2/3 of his weight. Guess everyone is different.

                              1. re: hungryabbey

                                yeah, not really fair. i tell me wife that i can't keep up with her eating. she just laughs and slurps more noodles.

                              1. I was like this until I hit 28 or so. Then I started noticing that I couldn't binge the way I used to and burn it all off, plus my previously iron stomach wasn't so iron anymore. So, now I'm more careful about portion size as well as about eating too much grease and fat in one sitting that can make me slightly naseous. I'm a bit less than 10 lbs over my college weight--though I still get those anorexic jokes thrown my way--and certainly my metabolism still seems to be higher than the norm, but it's definitely slower than it was back in the day.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: PegS

                                  Yup - I was Mr. Hollow-leg when I was a kid, and all through my twenties; ate like crazy and never gained a lick, but if I skipped a meal (something I tried very hard not to do) I could drop five pounds just like that. Then I found my waist expanding stealthily: at 27 it was 27, at 28 it was 28, at 29 it was 29... and then, one day when I was around 32, I was running down the stairs and felt something I'd never felt before. It was my CHEST bouncing! A precursor of things to come...

                                2. I might if I had never dieted. My first "diet" was really an orthorexic one (vegan - which was not physically or mentally healthy for me) when I was still in my teens and very athletic. That began the damage to my health that resulted in the yo-yo weight-loss diet cycle. Now I am heavy and healthy, having made a conscious decision to eat when I am hungry, eat what sounds good, and stop when I am full. I exercise when/because I want to. I am still overcoming the mental hangups associated with the opposites of my food and exercise decisions. (I recently discovered that I was feeling awful having not exercised at all for a while.) I find when I eat this way I can not eat much at one sitting and also do not eat terribly often in a day. I have become even more "chowish" because I refuse to squander my scant appetite on something I will probably not enjoy. My weight has been stable for months. I am facing the very real possibility that I have permanently damaged my body and might not ever return to my more natural weight. At any rate, I dieted for about 10 years (cumulative of the "on" periods for the course of my lifetime) and I estimate it will take at *least* that long to undo the diets.

                                  1. Like many others, I unfortunately have an entirely sedentary job.

                                    A few years ago I realized I needed to start losing some weight, but was never very successful, always losing a few pounds (maybe up to 10) before eventually gaining them right back. I didn't think I was fat, per se, just a tiny bit overweight. And then my wife and I got back from a beach vacation, and upon looking at the photos I realized I was a full-blown fatty.

                                    Fast forward two years, and I've knocked off 50 lbs (from 210 to 160), through nothing more than exercise and portion control. Many people are amazed when they find out I lost so much weight, and then baffled when I tell them there was no particular diet ... just a lifestyle change.

                                    And then there are those new friends & family who only know me at this size, and they make comments similar to those others of you receive like "Where do you put it!", or "You are so lucky to have such a good metabolism". Again, as with others of you, they are only seeing me when we're out at a restaurant, or eating a meal with friends in the home -- times where I allow myself the freedom to eat what I want, in amounts that I want. They don't see the "regular" meals we eat at home, that are much more focused and strict in terms of portion size.

                                    One thing I never did was focus on fat content or calories ... only portion size and my waistline.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: a213b

                                      I think portion size is hugely important to weight control without deprivation. One chowish way I motivate myself to reduce portion sizes - "If I save half this dinner tonight, I will have a delicious lunch tomorrow!". It's like extending the life of good food.

                                      1. re: julesrules

                                        i lost 4 lbs over the last 3 weeks , simply by forcing myself to be aware of how much i ate.

                                        1. re: thew

                                          That's awesome!

                                          It's funny how portions have grown so much larger than they were last century (especially the earlier part). I feel like I even read on here how plates, serving platters, etc are larger now than they were previously.

                                          Heck, half the time my wife and I eat dinner on our salad plates ... just a little trick I learned that allows me to get a full plate of food without eating far too much.

                                          1. re: a213b

                                            i use one of those apps (though not fanatically) on my phone where i record whatever i eat. I started doing it just because i had no clue how many calories a day i actually ate. but an unforseen instant side effect was that i cut out a lot of side snacking, just because entering it each time made me aware how much there was.

                                            as to your "trick" my best friend is a nutritionist. when he asks patients how much they eat, they often answer "just one plate" his response is always "get smaller plates"

                                            1. re: thew

                                              LOL, I love that response!

                                              And I did something similar (this was before the iPhone and all of its apps), wherein I created an Excel document that served as equal parts:

                                              Food diary - I didn't count calories, just wrote down everything I consumed each day, food or drink

                                              Exercise Diary - Again, I just wrote how long and what I did each day

                                              Weight/Measurement Diary - I did one weigh-in a week, Sunday morning when I woke up, and I also used a seamstress tape measure to measure my waist.

                                              Basically I made my own, super complicated app, but I noticed that I only needed to use it for the first few months before the behavioral patterns had been established/learned and I no longer needed it.

                                              BTW, I'm still chuckling over that nutritionist friend of yours's response.

                                        2. re: julesrules

                                          "I think portion size is hugely important to weight control without deprivation. One chowish way I motivate myself to reduce portion sizes - "If I save half this dinner tonight, I will have a delicious lunch tomorrow!". It's like extending the life of good food."......julesrules

                                          I firmly believe that portion control and the feelings of deprivation that it may lead to is the single greatest contributor to weight loss failure. If you are someone who enjoys quantity, there is no reason to change that. What you do need to change is what you eat. Check out a calorie chart. It's damned difficult to find a high calorie vegetable! Even a potato is relatively low cal UNTIL you bake it and slather it with butter, sour cream, bacon, shredded cheese, or mash them with butter and milk or cream. The things you do absolutely have to "portion control" are proteins such as meats, poultry, seafood and cheese. They can pack on the pounds! As for bread, shop by reading the calorie content. I have a local market that makes fantastic cracked wheat bread that has great texture and flavor, but no fat content and only 50 calories per slice.

                                          You DO have to think about what you eat, but you don't have to go around semi-hungry all of the time. Spend some time browsing calorie charts. Most people find huge shocks and huge happy surprises. Good luck.

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            Calories you say? Never heard of them, will have to look into this!
                                            Don't worry, I don't go around semi-hungry. And I don't restrict quantities of vegetables or whole grains. I am talking about sitting down to a rich meal of short ribs and mashed potatoes (yes with butter) and knowing that I will be happy & full eating a small portion and having some leftovers for my next meal.

                                            I've lived by the calorie charts before; never again. They come in handy once in a while to remind me that a giant Blizzard or Starbucks frappe is not worth it compared to a small serving of my homemade ice cream.

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              I have to co-sign what jules wrote ... I've never felt deprived, as just as s/he recommended, I don't really restrict myself when it comes to fruit and vegetables.

                                              I will say that I do, out of curiosity, take a look at calories and nutritional data where provided (though fairly rarely).

                                          1. Choose your parents carefully.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Karl S

                                              Definitely. My i89 y.o. MIL is a scrawny little bird. My husband (age 65) can wear the same pants he wore in 1986 when we met. His daughters are in their early 30s and seem to have his genes; I'm the wicked stepmother but their "real" mom is short and a bit rounder than she might wish (hope she's not reading this cause I really like her!) My husband eats everything in sight and I envy him enormously. I do NOT have the skinny gene :(

                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                you got that right!

                                                I could eat all that I wanted up until I turned 30. Then I gained 30 pounds in ten months! I've never taken it all off.

                                              2. That used to be the case, but not as much any more as I recover from mercury and arsenic toxicity and my body is better able to use nutrients properly. I don't recommend metal toxicity. I'm 5'6" and weighed 82 lbs at the worst of it, my natural weight is about 120 lbs. which is about where I've been for a while.

                                                I'm vegan (18 yrs) and gluten-free (nearly as long) and currently temporarily (till the end of Oct) greens-free (low vit K diet) for health reasons. I gained some when I lived in Paraguay as an exchange student back in 1980-81, but lost what I had gained before returning to the states. I don't count calories or limit plant-based fats but do avoid empty calories and try to get the best nutrients for my $.

                                                We do yoga-type stretches every morning, use stairs instead of elevators when practical, and walk many errands. I should get back to the Boflex this fall.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lgss

                                                  Hear, hear. My secret is Crohn's Disease... I used to be fairly chunky (6', 225 lbs) and had a difficult time losing weight. Then, suddenly, I got sick and lost 75 lbs in less than six months.

                                                  Now I can't get the scale to ever read higher than 175 no matter what I do, which is not a bad thing at all. There are days where I have an obligation to eat half a pound of bacon and a stack of pancakes swimming in butter (which don't seem to affect my cholesterol adversely at all) so that I don't lose any more weight. Some people are jealous, but the pain and humiliation that Crohn's causes are not worth it at all.

                                                2. No, and it is the great sadness of my life.


                                                  1. don’t i wish! i’m 5’7” and most comfortable between 105-110. i’m a 45 year old female and it takes every bit of self-control i can muster as my favorite foods are pizza, pasta & bread!

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: ericalloyd

                                                      You sound like my younger sister. She's 39 and about your height/weight. Unfortunately she has been anorexic since high school after starting out as a chubby kid. She eats whatever food she wants, but only very small portions of everything, and does an hour of cardio six days a week. She obsesses about everything she puts in her mouth and constantly nags at her husband and son (15 yrs old) about every single thing they eat. Horrible way to live in my opinion. I'll take my 5'7" and 160 pounds any day.

                                                      1. re: cycloneillini

                                                        My CH heart can't get over people like this cyclone! What joy do they get from eating when every morsel is treated like regret. I can't imagine looking at anything, let alone yummy, delicious food, that way. Very sad.

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          There was a thread awhile back about what it means to be a CH. Maybe you have found the answer HillJ... CH's truly find joy in food!

                                                          1. re: cycloneillini

                                                            :) now you know what the "J" in HillJ stands for !

                                                      2. re: ericalloyd

                                                        wow, i'm so sorry. i'm 5'7" and last time I was 118 I looked emaciated.

                                                      3. I try not to eat like a pig so as to retain my piglettish figure.

                                                        1. Typically, you have a relatively fast metabolism the younger you are. As a kid, you could eat junk all day long and look only slightly pudgy (i am generalizing here). As you age, metabolism slows...usually, you have more "refined" tastes and more information about basic nutrition, so you balance the slow down by eating better. if you keep up your pizza eating, beer guzzling young adult days well into your 30's (and you dont have an unusually fast metabolism), then mr (or mrs) flat tire appears. you dont build as much muscle as before, you wear down easier after a few restless nights...your body simply slows down. to eat like a pig the older you get, you have to hit the gym even more (play hard, work hard) and eat very healthy on down days. anyone here know of the tv show man v food? the host explains that on his non challenge days, he hits the gym hard and has a strict diet.

                                                          i personally prefer not to have that high and low diet type of routine. i am not an athlete and dont care to exercise for the sake of redeeming myself after a weekend of over eating. i want to exercise because i like it and dont want the chant "exercise harder because you ate that extra slice of pizza the other night" in the back of my mind. it simply takes away the fun and sincere motivation of whatever physical activity i am partaking in at the moment. at the same time, i will forego a food fest with friends to have the calories evenly distributed over the course of a week.

                                                          1. I eat like a bird and drink like a fish so I'm calorically about average. I exercise alot to work up my appetite (20-30 miles of biking a day). Heavy food sits really...heavy on me, so I don't eat much red meat or starch - I love the flavors but have a hard time digesting them, so I mostly stick to vegetables, seafood, and fats.

                                                            My spectrum ranges from 188 lbs at 16 years old and 123 lbs at 23 years old (I'm a 6'1'" male). Currently 140 and change at 26.

                                                            I wonder about the girth of foodies, as some I meet are very robust and some I meet are very slender. It's not a good indicator of health or fitness, but what's everyone's BMI? I'm 18.6. You can find easy calculators via google.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: blkery

                                                              "I eat like a bird". Idiomatically (sparingly, I assume, in your case based upon your height and weight or literally (10 times one's weight)?

                                                            2. "Do you pig out yet manage not to gain weight?" - No.

                                                              "Have you ever worried about your weight?" - No, but I sometimes worry about having to keep buying larger trousers

                                                              "Do you ever think about fat and calories?" - From time to time - but then I think about all aspects of food.