9 Traits Naturally Thin Women Have Towards Food

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

Inside The Thin Woman's Brain

Don’t have time to listen right now?

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

No More Dieting

–> 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!

And finally…

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!


  • Great information here. I thought the famine brain portion was especially interesting, the fact that our body produces less of the “feel full” hormone especially. Not fair! ; )

    Weight is and will always be a battle for me. It definitely takes concentration on my part to keep it in check. The exercise part is never a struggle for me b/c I love it. It’s the food part that I have to think about and I will always envy those that don’t, b/c they are out there!

    • Thank you! I know isn’t that crappy with the whole body sabotage? Ugh. I’m there with you, but like you at least I have exercise as my friend.

  • Can’t wait to listen to this one! The mentalities of a “thin women” that you listed are always something I’m working towards but they are rather hard to put into practice sometimes. Hopefully we can start spreading a healthier mindset on eating for women so that the next generations to come won’t have to struggle as much.

    • Yes, it would be great if we could spread the healthier mindset bug for women. I think it really starts with our own families and friends!

  • Michele

    I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while now and I have noticed that Dan frequently references books that he is reading. I would love to see a compilation of his (and your) favorites on the blog. I bet you both have some really great recommendations!

    • Michele, that’s a great idea. I will have Dan put together a list of all his favorites and I’ll do the same! I wish I could say I read as much as my husband but he kills me in the book department which is why he has many more references than I do. Any particular topics of books? He reads EVERYTHING!

      • Michele

        Maybe he could share his favorites in a few different categories? I’m excited!

  • I usually crave something sweet when I’m stressed. I sometimes get froyo to satisfy my cravings!

    • Oh Froyo how we love you!

  • Sheena

    I haven’t heard the podcast yet but I’m curious about this book. When I see things like this I think of why my trains of thought are as they are and a lot of it comes down to past experiences. The army taught me to scarf down food and my father taught me to finish what was put on my plate. If I do nothing health wise I at least want to successfully teach my children healthy eating habits, does the book talk about how to develop these thin women brain patterns? And does it explain if I have any chance of re-rehabilitation? I don’t want to obsess over food or eat past full.

    • Yes, it does teach how to rewire the brain to think differently. I was like you Sheena, we had a “clean platers club” and of course everyone wanted to be in. The book definitely talks about how to begin to look at yourself and your thoughts differently so that you can develop a different/better relationship with food. I think it’s def. worth the read!

      • Sheena

        I ordered this on Amazon last night, can’t wait for it to arrive 😀 Along with the super cute barefoot Merells that go perfectly with this book, oops….

        • HAHAHA! Well make sure to check back tomorrow, I did a podcast last night with Dilia (the author)!

          • Sheena

            Can’t wait 🙂

  • These are interesting points. But how does one achieve this mind set? I fight for my figure and weight loss everyday but I also obsess over food. It’s a real struggle. I know a trait of thin women is to not obsess over food, but how does one obtain that mentality? Maybe I’ll have to read the book, but if they say it’s genetics or biology, that will be frustrating. Thanks for the post!

    • I am there with you Julie and no, the answer isn’t in genetics. The book is really interesting and I am a big believer that we can rewire our brains which is what the book talks about. I believe part of it comes from accepting the desire to think differently.

  • Marisa

    I have been so busy striving to reach my weight loss goals that I sometimes forget to celebrate my weight loss accomplishments thus far. WOW, I am among one of the 3% of women who has maintained her weight loss of 46 pounds for more than a year (actually, it’s more like 2 years)! Now that’s something to celebrate!!

    Thanks for the GREAT info!

    • That is definitely something to celebrate Marisa!! That is awesome!

  • Jeanete

    My sister is naturally thin. I was discussing this with my other sister who, like myself, struggles to keep weight off. For all our lives we could not pinpoint a time where were witnessed our thin sister actually enjoying food. We couldn’t tell you what her favorite food is, or if she really gets the satisfaction out of food that we do.

    I don’t know if I would want to live that way. I’ve had periods in my life where I had no desire for food. I could look at an entire menu and I would just settle for whatever . It wasn’t fun, it was depressing (or it was a symptom of depression). I’m not saying all thin girls are depressed. But I suspect that there is some physiological thing where some people just don’t get the same endorphins from food that others do.

    In having to strive to keep myself at a healthy weight I’ve found so many things I love like lifting and running, and friends that will run 200 miles with you across half the state in the rain :). I’m thankful for all those things and in some strange way I guess I’m thankful that it doesn’t just come naturally.

    • That’s interesting! And you know what? I agree, I love enjoying food and finding passion in it. I can’t imagine life without good food! But if I was naturally thin and had never had to worry about weight would I be here today? I probably wouldn’t have become as committed to my fitness either. Good stuff! And yes crazy friends help and are the best.

      Kettlebells tomorrow?

      • Jeanette

        YES! Muscle, Muscle, Muscle!

  • Kim

    Interesting – I might have to read the book. I don’t consider myself thin – just average size and I find that I relate to some of those traits but not to others.
    When I’m stressed I usually crave potato chips – the salt!!!

    • Dan is the same… chips. For me, it’s sweets! Chocolate and caramel! Yum!

  • Jaimie

    I’m a naturally thin woman, and some of this is true for me, but not all. I sometimes have a tasty meal as the highlight of my day, and I do turn to food for comfort. For me, the biggest thing is I’ve never been able to eat too much without feeling very sick, so it’s easy for me to control portions. This has been difficult lately because I’m trying to eat more to gain mass (like you said in your posy trying to gain 10lbs) but it’s difficult for me to get enough calories. I just can’t seem to be able to eat enough. Almost making me dislike all food.

  • Thank you for posting this!! Mind over matter is something I’ve been struggling with since leaving my last career. I have a lot more time now and have found that I tend to eat when I’m bored, so I’m working on incorporating more activities into my day so I don’t have time to sit and think about my next meal – or the bag of pretzels I can easily get down the street. Haha! LOVE this post!

  • love!
    we crave any sweets when we are stressed 🙂

  • very interesting!

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  • Great information and tips. I definitely tend to crave sweets and often find myself over indulging on the weekends. Hopefully with this information will help me to be more attuned to why I am craving those sweets. Thanks for sharing!

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