HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Those you know who actually only "eat to live"? [from General Topics]

So I think most people know at least one person like this... the kind of person who just eats to live, vs. lives to eat. I'm not saying people here live to eat but I mean you are interested in food, eating, cooking, etc. I don't think I have ever just not thought about it, yet I do see people who just seem to think nothing of food and their weight and eating habits never change, etc.
Are any of you like this? Do you know someone like this who you know well (like bast friend, family, etc).? What are their eating habits like? A lot of people I know and a lot of people in the world DO talk about food, not too much, but just things like "I reeeally want a steak" or "I'm so full but that was so good" or "No I don't want dessert because I'm trying to be good" So just when I see people eat a lot of forget to eat and just never mention it, I wonder, "Do they really never think about it or do they just not say anything?" Plus their weight stays the same even if I see them eat out all the time and eat candy bars or lots of pizza which are very calorie dense!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. i have a relative who has only eaten cold cereal for 16+ years, she doesn't want to cook for herself. my brother lived with a nasa engineer who subsisted mainly on eggs-in-a-carton. the act of eating is a troubling necessity for many folks in various stages of recovery from eating disorders, as well. i think i'm responding to the title of your post, and maybe not to what you're actually asking about-- now that i'm re-reading. . .

    1. I have one friend like this. If food came in daily capsule form with all necessary nutrients he would be first in line to try it. He is an exercise fanatic so food to him is just calories in vs calories out, am I getting enough protein, etc. I can't help but think there is something fundamentally fucked up about that mentality but in his defense he is in inhumanly good shape.

      I must say, I have only ever met people like this in the USA. In Asia, Africa, and Europe everyone I meet has at least little bit of interest in food, or some national pride in their home cuisine. I never meet people from outside the USA for whom eating is a chore and who have no food interest whatsoever.

      8 Replies
      1. re: RealMenJulienne

        I'm pretty sure people like this exist everywhere. I personally know a couple Koreans who are like this, anyway.

        1. re: RealMenJulienne

          I know it sounds bad, but I would love it if there were a pill that made you feel full and nourished. I love to eat good food, but since I'm not a cook at all (I bake though) and don't particularly like cooking or putting food together, it *is* a chore for me to think of the ways to make myself feel full and nourished at home. Especially since most of what I would eat at home aren't very good, so I feel like they're waste of calories. It probably doesn't make a lot of sense!

          1. re: uwsister

            maybe instead of a magic pill, you could take cooking classes so the food that you prepare tastes better? i personally feel like cooking is only satisfying when the results are good!

            1. re: uwsister

              There is nothing like having to cook to force you to learn to cook. If you are not in a position where others depend on you to cook, then I like the suggestion from jamieeats. I believe that cooking is a life skill that will serve you well throughout your life.

              One of the sorrows of seeing my mother become addled with dementia was seeing how she lost her skill in the kitchen. She was never a happy and insightful cook, really. If she had enjoyed her time and had kept her skills up, she might have held onto them longer.

              And the time to learn is now. It is always now, the present. Take some lessons, or learn how to do a certain sort of cooking. If you can bake, you can cook other stuff. And being competent in the kitchen will never be a disability, ever.

              1. re: sueatmo

                Maybe someday - but since I don't *like* to cook, I don't really see that happening soon, unfortunately. My husband likes to cook occasionally though, so thanks for that and my "staples" (fruits, string cheese, boiled eggs, etc.) to keep me alive and going between eating out.

            2. re: RealMenJulienne

              Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that in the US as we became a "melting pot" we lost the pull that most other cultures have around the dining table.

              1. re: Barbara76137

                Perhaps, but my friends and I use the melting pot-ness of our cultures to bring us together more often at the table. This was a good weekend of eating - Nepalese Goat curry dinner on Friday, followed by Korean tabletop BBQ on Saturday, and today we're having Ham for Easter Sunday!

              2. re: RealMenJulienne

                There's quite a few Germans, Brits, Scandinavians and other North Europeans as well as Australians who have similar attitudes toward food.

              3. My best friend from college always thought eating was a chore. He wasn't a picky eater, just hated that he had to eat regularly. If there was a way for him to never eat again, he would jump on it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: dynastar

                  I have a friend like that. Needs to be reminded to eat. Likes to eat when reminded to, and is appreciative. I don't mind feeding him.

                  I have a friend whose husband will only eat fish sticks, baked potatoes, plain chicken breast. Blames it on his mother. Says she use to put medicine in his food. Apparently she didn't dose dessert because there isn't a dessert he won't eat. I told him to get over it. Nobody's trying to slip him a mickey. Except maybe his wife.

                  My daughter-in-law's food groups are brown, gray, white, and fried. Won't eat foods that have "too many colors". She knows how to get to Hardees from our house.

                  1. re: dynastar

                    My dad is somewhat like this. If he could eat only on special occasions, it would make his life. I mean, he likes good food and as a family we celebrate special occasions with a special meal, but day to day? He barely notices if he's eaten or not.

                  2. I think some of us have better olfactory and taste sensitivity and so we actually like eating. Mr. Sueatmo like quantity of food and sweet tastes. He admits he doesn't have the sensitive taste that I seem to have. For one thing, he doesn't detect over salting. He does however like to eat.

                    No one in my family or acquaintance "eats to live" only. But I have heard of this from others. Apparently, a person like this doesn't eat, because he/she can't be bothered to cook. When food presents itself, he/she might "tank up" but make no effort to feed him/herself normally. The fact that someone can't be bothered to cook probably means that he or she doesn't feel hunger normally.

                    And of course, we all know of people who don't gain weight no matter what they eat. Would that I fell into this category!

                    There are probably a range of factors that make up an "eat to live" person.

                    1. When I was recovering from surgery, Mr. Pine Time made over-cooked scrambled eggs 3x/day for 2 weeks, and he didn't understand why that wasn't acceptable. Needless to say, I hobbled into the kitchen with a walker and hung onto the countertops to get back to real food.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: pine time

                        LOL Mr. Huntress gave me one takeaway meal a day post knee surgery. He struggled to understand why I was so hungry and upset every night when he came home from work. As soon as I could manage on crutches better I was straight back in the kitchen - now that I'm only on one crutch it's much easier to manage. I never want to eat takeaway ever again.

                        1. re: TheHuntress

                          I used to like scrambled eggs, but it's nearly a year since my knee replacement, and I don't think I've had one since the Mr.'s ill-fated cooking of them!

                            1. re: hill food

                              Thought of this thread yesterday, so I made properly soft-cooked scrambled eggs yesterday for breakfast (even Mr. P.T. thought they were good). Yum.