After taking just a week off from podcasting, it seems like forever! It was a treat to be able to sit down with the mic and podcast with Dan. I always forget how much fun these are to do until we’re doing them.
It might come as a shock that even though Dan and I work together, we don’t really work “together”. I have my tasks and he has is… it’s a great change up when we actually get to come together!
Recently we came across the book, The Thin Woman’s Brain: Re-wiring the Brain for Permanent Weight Loss by Dilia Suriel. Dan picked it up to help “get inside a woman’s head” for website design and copy but after flipping through it he suggested I read it as it had some great topics.
He was right. I instantly connected to the book. As a woman who has to work hard for her thin figure, I can relate in so many ways to Suriel. I love the science aspect of psychology, food, overeating, and our relationship to food. All of which I often think about, especially when dealing with female clients every single day.
This is actually going to be a multi-part podcast because there is just far too much information to cover, debate and discuss for a single episode. And so, for today I’ve decided to focus on:
The 9 Traits Naturally Thin Women Have
Here’s the just of what we covered…
First, I learned the hard way how it feels to push the body too hard. I’m still recovering from my Palmetto 200 relay race which was quite evident when I filmed a workout yesterday and could barely pump out the prescribed 15 push-ups. Something that is normally quite simple for me. Recovery… it might be frustrating but it’s necessary! Listen to your body.
Okay, then we went into the meat of the subject…
Here are a few fun facts we discussed (definitely listen in to hear our very different opinions and thoughts on some of these)
Dieting History 101
–> Did you know that only 3 out of 100 women who lose weight (30 pounds or more) will keep it off for over a year? This is according to the National Weight Control Registry (who knew there was such a thing). Just food for thought. This doesn’t mean that you are doomed it simply means you need to better understand what separates those 3% from the rest of the pack. And that’s what we covered.
–> Because of society, we live in a diet raged world. Never satisfied… always aiming to get smaller and smaller. That leads to chronic dieting, unrealistic body images, and frantic (unconscious) eating.
–> It wasn’t until the rise of stick thin models in the 60s that “dieting” became mainstream and a focus for women.
–> The problem with dieting comes from the “famine brain mechanism”. Basically, because dieting is still new we’re still reacting to it the way our ancestors reacted to famine… with the body trying to make us eat more. The body can’t tell when it has too much fat, but it can tell when it’s losing it. This means it does what it can to get it back… increase the hunger hormone ghrelin (increase appetite) while decreasing leptin (tells us when we’re full). And there lies one of the biggest causes of yo-yo dieting.
Types of hunger:
Brain Hunger and Physical Hunger
There are two types of hunger and we have all experience them at some time in our lives. I can’t tell you how many times I have grabbed for a cookie, not because I was hungry but because it was there. It looked good and I need it! It’s emotional, it’s primal and there is no real need for it.
Then of course there are those moments in life when you are so starving you’ll break every nutritional habit you have just to get something in your mouth. Since I am still recovering from my race, this hasn’t been me in quite a few days! Unlike many athletes, I have a hard time eating after a race or event!
–> BRAIN HUNGER: Emotional eating… eating because you have a craving for chocolate, ice cream, pizza, etc. You see an ad and have to react. Eating for the sake of eating.
–> PHYSICAL HUNGER: Stomach is growling, blood sugar is low and you will be happy with anything.
It’s comes down to being aware of your body. To stop in your tracks and ask… “what’s going on? Am I hungry, stressed, tired, etc?” Just asking yourself this question before enjoying the food in front of you will give you more control over your nutritional choices!
9 Traits That Naturally Thin Women Have
You might think these traits are a reflection of me. They’re not. I am not a naturally thin woman. Like many (maybe you), I have to work on my figure. I have to consciously make an effort to keep my body in shape and be conscious about the food I am eating. But I do try to be naturally thin, I try to incorporate these traits into my life. By doing so, my brain is being re-wired to look at food differently.
If you want to be thin, you have to think like a thin woman. And that’s why I think these traits from Suriel are so great!
1. Thin women don’t obsess about food.
They eat when they’re hungry but they don’t finish breakfast and immediately start to think about lunch.
2. Thin women enjoy food but not in an obsessive way.
Food is a way to get nutrients. They eat to live not live to eat. A meal is enjoyed but isn’t the highlight of their day.
3. Thin women make time to enjoy their meals.
Sit back and enjoy the time you have with your food. The faster you eat the more likely you are to go back for seconds. Try placing your fork down between bites to savor the moment. This also allows your body to catch up with your mouth and you’ll realize you’re full faster.
4. Thin women can assess their body’s needs against their food options.
These ladies practice mindful eating. They can look at the food and ask, “do I need this?” Or, “Out of all the options around me, which is going to make me feel the best?”.
5. Thin women dislike feeling bloated and stuffed so they can stop prior.
They have control! Thin women are able to make the conscious decision to stop eating when they begin to feel full. How many of us have continued to eat well beyond our needs? I know I have!
6. Thin women can eat whatever they want while considering the impact of calories.
Again practicing control. But this time in terms of portions. They might indulge in cake, but instead of eating 2 slices they can stop after 1 knowing that that slice has more calories than what they need. Or they might eat just half a cookie. Because thin people get “happy” from less food, they are able to stop short while overweight women often need more bites to get the same feelings of happiness.
7. Thin women don’t look at food as a primary source of joy.
They don’t tie their emotions to food. I loved that Dan and I talked about comfort food… have you ever turned to comfort food that your mom or grandmother used to make in an effort to bring joy into your day?
8. Thin women are more attuned with nature.
They have a better grasp on what’s going on around them and don’t allow outside issues affect their decision making. It could be food decisions or other.
9. Thin women have the ability to experience lives ups/downs.
They are able to handle stress and emotions without turning to food. Studies show that naturally healthy women are better able to express their emotions helping them to avoid emotional eating. I for one, am a big emotional eater… and no, I do not express my emotions very well!
The Overall Message?
What is it about naturally thin women?
No they don’t have magic genetics (though genetics does play a small part)… they are able to control their emotions. Overeating for most (not all) starts as a mechanism to deal with life… stress, fast paced nature, life changing events, etc.
The next time you go to grab the cookie, ask yourself… why?
Why are you grabbing it? Are you hungry? Stressed? Bored? Lonely? Then look to do something else. Perhaps go for a walk, write in a journal, get a workout in… find a new way to handle cravings and you might see the way you react to food begins to change.
There were so many other great points we covered, definitely listen in!
But before I go, I want to know…
What foods do you crave when stressed out?
Personally, I LOVE cookies and when I am stressed I want a good chocolate chip cookie!