We've all got at least one friend who barely tries (if at all) but doesn't gain any weight. Doesn't that seem a little unfair? So, what causes it?
How do slim people maintain their slimness?
Really, it's a lot of things. Obviously, lifestyle and food choices play a role, but genetics may also play a role. I believe the latter is the most difficult of all.
For example, some research suggests that having certain genes puts people at a higher risk of obesity. Other studies, on the other hand, suggest that a lack of certain genes makes some people more likely to gain weight.
While there have been numerous studies linking obesity to heredity, many, if not all, of these studies have also mentioned environmental and behavioral factors. That is why identical twins can become polar opposites when it comes to their weight.
So, inheriting “fat genes” from your parents isn't the be-all and end-all of how you'll shape up – and that's what we're focusing on today. We're talking about habits, food choices, and other things you can control to get and stay skinny. Let's start with the fundamentals, shall we?
How to Get Slim
To truly understand this, you must first understand the principle of energy balance, so let's start there.
It essentially means that whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight is determined by the ratio of your energy intake (calories consumed) to your energy expenditure (calories you burn).
You want your energy intake to be consistently less than your energy expenditure if you want to lose weight. This is referred to as negative energy balance, and when you are in this state, your body relies on stored fuel rather than what you get from food, resulting in weight loss.
Then, once you've reached your ideal weight, maintaining it entails keeping your energy intake and energy expenditure roughly equal.
This is where habits, such as lifestyle and food choices, come into play. Of course, your genetic makeup may make this part more difficult, but skinny people have patterns that you can emulate to help you stay thin. Let's talk about it.
Skinny people's habits
They move more
Fortunately for you, this does not always imply spending more time in the gym than others. It's really just as I said – they move more.
Oh, the elevator is completely full? They don't mind going up and down the stairs. Is it true that all of the front-row parking spaces are taken? Walking from a distance does not bother them.
Furthermore, have you ever noticed how jittery these skinny people can be? They were drumming on pens, shaking their legs, walking around, and generally doing nothing (whatever it is they do).
While these are minor actions, they burn more calories than simply sitting down. According to research, skinny people may expend more calories due to these small, fidgety actions.
They most likely sleep better.
According to a study on the relationship between sleep and obesity, sleep deprivation resulted in the following:
- Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity are reduced.
- Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels rise at night
- Ghrelin levels that are too high (the hunger hormone)
- Leptin levels are low (the satiety hormone)
Overall, these hormonal changes will make you feel stressed and hungry. And what about when you do eat? You're barely satisfied, man.
So, if you want to be skinny, I recommend getting some sleep. To be more specific, 7-9 hours.
They consume more water.
Even if they do consume other beverages, have you noticed how much water they consume?
This may come as a surprise because water is the most basic thing in the world, but the truth is that many of us do not drink enough H2O. From my perspective, it appears that many of us neglect our water needs in favor of drinking more bobas, energy drinks, sodas, lattes, and other sugary beverages.
These drinks contain a lot of added sugar – the kind you add to food, like table sugar, honey, and so on. Furthermore, studies show that diets high in these sugars promote obesity.
The study also claims that the US population as a whole consumes 300 percent more added sugar than the daily recommended dose, which means you and I are both likely victims of this.
On that note, consuming fewer of these unnaturally sweet foods may make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Drink water instead. It contains no calories and takes up space in your stomach, making you feel less hungry.
In fact, drink two glasses of water before each meal. According to research, it can instantly cause you to eat less.
They eat in the manner of sloths.
I'm sure you have a friend who consumes food at a slower rate than the rest of the group. I am certain of it. Actually, there are two of them, and both of them are still slimmer than the rest of us.
In any case, who knew that this sometimes vexing habit of theirs helped them maintain their slim figure? According to one study, eating slowly makes you feel fuller, which can lead to you eating fewer calories throughout the day.
According to another study, one reason for this is that chewing your food more thoroughly lengthens the meal duration, which reduces your appetite. Another study backs up this idea by demonstrating that chewing more results in less ghrelin, which makes you feel less hungry.
They are dull eaters.
This means that they do not always seek variety in their food. They eat the same foods on most days of the week. This, however, can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it's beneficial because being satisfied with certain foods leads to fewer cravings for others. Personally, I believe that this is an important part of learning how to eat whatever you want while remaining slim.
On the other hand, these staples aren't always healthy. As a result, some skinny people can eat chips and not gain weight.
According to research, many foods in the Western diet are “hyperpalatable,” which encourages overeating. These foods are high in fat, sugar, and salt, which is not only unhealthy but also addictive. As a result, this path may not be suitable for everyone.
Overall, I encourage you to find satisfaction in everyday foods while also selecting clean and healthy staples.
But I'm not saying you should completely avoid these delectable foods. You can have them on occasion, but on most days, choose to eat fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, whole grain over refined grain, lean protein over saturated fat, and unsaturated fat over saturated fat.
They refrain from overeating.
… They do not, however, condemn themselves for indulging on occasion.
But, first and foremost, there is a distinction to be made between being physically full and experiencing a psychological sense of fullness. When you're physically full, your stomach is completely full (i.e. overeating). The psychological sensation of “fullness,” on the other hand, indicates that you are satisfied.
Skinny people who have kept their bodies in shape recognize this feeling of satiety and generally don't eat more than they need, which helps them keep their weight in check.
You want to stop at 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is when you're starving and 10 is when you're completely full. This is the point at which you feel satisfied and have enough food to function, despite having more than enough room to eat more.
Having said that, skinny people do indulge on occasion. The difference is that when this happens, they don't beat themselves up about it.
This carefree attitude prevents stress from building up, which, according to research, helps steer them away from obesity.
On a similar vein…
They don't always eat when they feel like it.
People who have been skinny for a long time understand that having the urge to eat isn't always a signal to stuff their mouths, unlike many overweight people who eat whenever they feel hungry.
This is a good thing because the urge may not be for food. It's possible that you don't have anything better to do (i.e. boredom eating).
According to research, boredom increases the desire to snack on both unhealthy and healthy but exciting foods. So, if you don't feel hungry, you might as well do something else to keep yourself busy. But if you can't fight it, at least try to choose something healthy. For example, fruit and eggs.
You may now be wondering:
Will I lose weight if I eat junk food but exercise?
Yes, you can, in a nutshell.
That, however, is not the best way to go about it. Exercise burns more calories, which can help you achieve a state of negative energy balance (which we will discuss further later), but making unhealthy foods a staple of your diet puts you at a significantly higher risk for a variety of hormonal imbalances, including insulin and leptin resistance, and disease.
Having said that, while eating unhealthy foods while exercising may work in the short term, it can also make losing weight and maintaining a slim figure more difficult than it should be in the long run.
But, since you've asked, let's talk about it anyway.
How to Eat Anything and Still Lose Weight
Count your calories
This is possibly the most important piece of advice I can give to anyone who wants to lose weight without becoming overly restrictive with food (if at all).
Again, the concept is simple: maintain a negative energy balance and you will lose weight. So, if you've ever wondered how to eat junk food without getting fat, this is it.
Many people appear to believe that this is difficult to accomplish, but I have found that with the assistance of modern technology, it has become much easier. For example, there are numerous apps and websites that can assist you in determining your daily caloric requirements.
The Mayo Clinic's calorie calculator, for example, estimates how many calories you need based on your age, height, current weight, and gender. To lose weight safely, cut 500-100 calories from your daily intake (but don't go below 1300 kcal!).
I recommend UnderArmour's MyFitnessPal if you want something similar that you can carry with you on your phone. It does everything a calorie calculator does, but it also has a massive database of food and nutritional profiles to help you track everything you eat. Plus, it's completely free, so why not?
However, even with the aid of technology, counting calories can be a pain in the buttocks at times. If you're as lazy as I am, use the apps to practice mindfully watching how much food you should eat to lose/maintain weight. Once you've mastered that, you can abandon the calculators and food diaries. It also helps if you already have some food staples (as previously mentioned).
Build more muscle
Again, it's a straightforward concept: the more muscle you gain, the faster your metabolism becomes.
How quickly, you ask?
According to research, gaining 2 kg of muscle allows you to burn approximately 50 more calories per day.
To be sure, that isn't a lot of calories, but don't underestimate the power of stacking. After a month (30 days) of carrying extra muscle mass, you'd have burned approximately 1500 calories more than if you hadn't. That's three whole Zingers and possibly a handful of fries from KFC.
Muscle building also necessitates resistance training. Whether you lift weights at the gym or at home, or do calisthenics in the park, the training itself burns more calories, assisting you to achieve a state of negative energy balance.
Furthermore, you'll need to eat more protein to gain muscle, carbs to stay energized, and fat to help balance your hormones.
Include some appetite-suppressing foods in your daily diet.
Yes,, yes, yes I'm recommending foods when I'm supposed to be teaching you how to eat whatever you want and lose weight. But bear with me.
Appetite suppressants, as the name suggests, help keep your appetite in check, allowing you to eat fewer calories. I believe this is critical for two reasons:
- Eating whatever you want usually involves eating unhealthy foods with low nutritional value, and Appetite suppressants are generally healthy foods that are nutritious and light, so they help fill the gap.
- However, these include fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal, fruit, and vegetables; proteins such as eggs and tofu; and high-water-content foods such as soup and citrus fruit.
And while we're on the subject of food, here are a few examples of what you can eat in large quantities without feeling guilty:
Foods that you can eat a lot of without gaining weight
Before we continue, keep in mind that many of these foods are natural appetite suppressants. They are light, nutritious, and thus suitable for weight loss. Look at this:
Because it is both light and satiating, celery is one of the most commonly used vegetables in virtually any type of weight loss diet.
According to Self NutritionData, a serving of celery contains only about 17 kcal. This is largely due to the fact that 95 percent of it is water. It also contains nearly 2g of fiber and 40% of your daily vitamin K requirements.
Spinach and kale
Spinach and kale, in my opinion, are nearly interchangeable. I substitute one for the other in my cooking, and while there are flavor differences, they aren't all that noticeable.
In terms of nutrition, both are comparable. They have very few calories because they are 85-90 percent water and contain a lot of fiber. Furthermore, a cup of these leafy vegetables provides more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements, and they both provide significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
There are several types of lettuce, and while they each have their own distinct characteristics, I don't believe you can go wrong with either one.
Having said that, they're all high in antioxidants like vitamin A, C, and K, which help cleanse your system of harmful free radicals. Lettuce, like spinach and kale, contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids as well as water and fiber.
Broccoli and cauliflower
These two vegetables, like kale and spinach, are frequently interchanged in my kitchen. I know there are differences in flavor, color.
In any case, they're both low in calories, have a lot of fiber, a lot of omega-3, a lot of protein, and they're both about 90% water. These nutrients help to suppress your appetite, making them both weight loss-friendly.
Broccoli, on the other hand, has significantly more vitamin C and K than cauliflower when it comes to nutrients.
Boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes
Many people believe that these two foods are bad for your weight, but while this is true in some ways, it is not entirely correct. It is important to cook your potatoes and sweet potatoes correctly.
According to The University of Sydney's findings, boiled sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index (GI) of 44, but when cooked any other way, their GI rises to moderate to high levels.
These details are important because the glycemic indexes of foods determine how much of an impact they have on your blood sugar. When compared to moderate and high GI foods, low GI foods, such as boiled sweet potatoes, raise blood sugar levels at a more controlled rate, making them a more stable source of energy.
Apples are a staple in most weight loss kitchens for a variety of reasons. For starters, they're inexpensive and delicious. But, perhaps more importantly, they're high in water and fiber, which helps reduce calorie intake while keeping hunger at bay.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries… you name it!
These bite-sized droplets of heaven contain some of the most concentrated amounts of fiber per gram. They're also about 85-90 percent water, which makes them more satiating while also lowering the calorie count.
Cucumbers make me think of how juicy each bite is. It turns out that the juiciness is what makes it so good for weight loss – it's mostly water!
However, it is not particularly nutritious or fibrous (at least not compared to the other fruits on this list).
You probably shouldn't peel these as well because the skin contains the majority of the vitamin K in the fruit. For comparison, 100 g of skin-on cucumber contains 16.4 mcg of vitamin K, whereas 100 g of peeled cucumber contains only 7.2 mcg.
To begin with, tomatoes are approximately 95% water, and 100 g of this fruit contains 1.2 g of fiber and only 18 calories. If you ask me, those are good numbers for any weight loss food.
Furthermore, the variety of tomato varieties is astounding! Are you having a salad today? Toss in some cherry tomatoes if you have them. Oh, you're going to make pizza? Italian tomatoes make an incredible sauce! Burgers? Maybe a couple of plum tomatoes sliced up.
Whatever the occasion, I'm confident there's a tomato out there that will fit right in.
Grapefruit and orange
And pretty much any other citrus fruit. It just so happens that grapefruit and orange are two of the most frequently mentioned examples.
Having said that, grapefruits and oranges are high in vitamin C, which has been linked to weight loss due to its ability to help you use fat as fuel during exercise.
Citrus fruits have a high water content in general, with grapefruit and oranges both having more than 85 percent.
When it comes to vitamin C, cantaloupes are a great source, providing 61 percent of your daily requirements per 100 g. Furthermore, they are high in vitamin A, a nutrient that promotes both eye health and youthful skin.
It also has a high water content and calorie count.
Popcorn, but not the kind you get at the movies. Those have far too much butter and flavoring, which makes them delicious but also raises the calorie count.
However, if all you want is something to snack on while binge-watching your favorite crime shows on Netflix, popcorn with a pinch of salt is a great low-calorie option.
In a nutshell, naturally skinny people start out skinny largely due to genetics that help keep them that way. People with these gifted physiques, however, can gain weight over time if they do not complement their gifts with healthy habits.
Among these habits are getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating slowly, and saying no to food when you are satisfied (not full), among others. These are habits that the rest of us can adopt in order to be and stay skinny.
That's all I've got! But, before you go, remember that your body is beautiful regardless of its shape. Spread good vibes, and while you're at it, will you share this with a friend?