(Polish Poster: "Three Women" by artist Mieczysław Wasilewski, 1977.
I always wanted this one for my kitchen!)
How do I stay skinny?
This is a question I get often.
Well, for starters, genes & family habits have a lot to do with it. My mom raised all of us six kids to be health conscious. And our family generally had healthy eating habits (minus homemade icecream & Navajo tacos :). Really, I have had it easy. I know that.
But I've tried to figure out what I might do differently, if anything, so I can give people some helpful tips. And I've come up with a few things.
(Major disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist/weight loss expert. Just passing on tips/philosophies based on things that I do that I believe have led to me being naturally thin most of my life. I don't want to advocate being "thin" according to any standard, but rather a healthy weight, whatever that is for you. I did tell this stuff in detail once to one person and the next time I saw her, she was laughing...she had dropped a ton of weight...and she said it was because she tried what I told her.)
So here you go........
In addition, to trying to maintain a whole foods diet rich in protein, fat, vegetables, legumes, rice/quinoa, & moderation in all things, here are a few other things I do.....
1. I don't ever over stuff myself. I just hate the feeling of being gorged. To me, it ruins the satisfaction of a good meal. So when I am done, I'm done. The first moment I feel full, I'm good. If there is more food on the plate, I'm excited cause I know I'll still eat it...I just save it for some of my next meal. Many people wonder how I can do this so easily...well.....
2. I think stomach size plays a big part. Someone I know in New York hired a fancy nutritionist who worked with celebs & helped them to be lose weight. Her philosophy was that at one time, you shouldn't eat more food than the size of your stomach. The idea was too much food at once will stretch out your stomach, which leads to the need to eat more food to feel "full", which leads to more hunger pains & over eating. She said stomachs are naturally about the size of a person's fist. SO, instead of eating HUGE meals at once, just eat the size of your fist, which is probably a lot less than most people are used to. And, the nutritionist advised that...
3. Since these meals are smaller - - EAT THEM OFTEN (as in maybe 6 or 7 times a day?) This keeps your energy level at it's prime since you're never really overeating and getting into a food coma (which zaps your energy). Metabolism is always going. Digestion stays manageable and efficient. AND you actually feel like you're always eating, so you don't feel deprived. It also helps your stomach to stay in it's natural size. When I heard this, I thought - - - YEP, SHE'S DEAD ON! THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I DO!
4. When you first get started eating this way, you may feel a little hungry as your stomach might need some time to readjust to it's unstretched size. I think after just a day or two of an potentially uncomfortable adjustment, things will get better & you'll soon start noticing that your stomach will feel nice and full with a smaller amount of food.
5. The key is: Once your stomach size is normal, you have to PAY ATTENTION to the first moment that you feel a little full! If you ignore your body's signals, you may end up eating way too much (just out of habit!) and your stomach will continue to be stretched out too much and so this whole idea won't work.
6. Once this gets going, the beauty is: You might end up feeling like you eat as often as you want. When you're eating, think to yourself: "I'll eat this fist size amount now and then whenever I feel a little hungry again, I'll eat the rest." You still get to enjoy every bit of your meal. No good meal goes wasted...you just prolong the eating of it. (You could also just sit at a French restaurant! It's an easy way to just eat a fist size every hour....all in one sitting :) :)
7. I do my best to intentionally work in exercise during the day & to just make it a part of life. For me, going to the gym is not my favorite thing to do. Being indoors with no sunshine, sweaty equipment and sweaty men kind of gives me the creeps. Also, I like to be as efficient as I can be with my time. SO....I just intentionally work in "activity" into my everyday life. There is really no set schedule. For example, when I am waiting for a train, I walk up and down the platform instead of sitting stationary; instead of taking the elevator in my building, I walk up the four floors to my apartment every single time; I always get off the train at a stop that is slightly further from my apartment than the closer one...just so I can have a longer walk. And, I do work in walks & runs in the park when I can (mostly walks). I'm guessing that if you needed to lose a significant amount of weight, that you would need to follow a more rigorous routine to get yourself to a healthy weight. But after that, I think the portion size changes plus weaving activity into your everyday life will help a ton to help you maintain a healthy frame for the long-term.
There you have it! That's it!
Except one other big thing that came later..........ha! I am Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free due to health reasons/allergies/autoimmune issues. When you remove a huge amount of carbs and desserts made of flour, you are bound to lose weight. You can't imagine the numbers of cookies, cakes, desserts, tarts, baguettes, pizza, and bread I have passed up. I am telling you, eliminating that stuff makes a huge difference. But that is a story for another day.....
All comments welcome, as always.
Happy Easter Weekend to all!