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TOPIC: How people at a normal weight eat!

 
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November 20, 2012 6:13 AM
QUOTE:

#5 is really bothering me..

If those 'normal' people are eating a properly portioned lunch and saved half of it then they are not getting the proper amount of calories in a day. If you are at home packing a single serving lunch why would you put enough for two days? What sort of things are they eating if they can safely be eaten at least 3 days after originally prepared? Unless you are talking about 'lunch portions' at restaurants, those are really too much food. If so, carry on and ignore me. If not, I call shenanigans.


This. I almost always finish my lunch and I'm at a relatively normal weight. I purposefully pack a lunch for one day--if I eat half of that, I'm either sick, or had an unexpected snack.
November 20, 2012 6:14 AM
How overweight people eat:

1. We horf it down so fast it looks to the average passerby like we're eating with a prison mentality
2. We want to finish eating as quickly as possible to as to get more food in before the 20-minute mark when we start feeling full
3. We eat so we can take a nap later- energy? Pffft.
4. If it's not tasty- well, we'll probably still eat it, but then eat something else to get the bad food taste out of our mouth.
5. #1 rule- when there is food on the table- NO TALKING.
6. We're disgusting, abnormal pigs who should probably be shipped off to an island with our own "kind" so as not to gross out the normies who delicately pick at their plates and declare fullness after three asparagus stalks and 2 oz of grilled salmon.

KK, off to go eat a donut hamburger! Peace out b!tches!!!!!!!!
  13196471
November 20, 2012 6:15 AM
Some of those things make sense - small portions, no pigging out, talking during meals and eating slowly. Some don't. I am in my 50's, physically active, and only drifted into the bottom of the 'overweight' BMI category for less than a year, so I'd consider myself to be of 'normal' weight.

I LOVE to eat. But I actually enjoy eating more when I am careful about what I eat and only eat things I really enjoy. The first bite is always the best. More is not always better.

Food as 'fuel'. Yeah, if you've got nothing better to eat.
Edited by nxd10 On November 20, 2012 6:16 AM
  22310201
November 20, 2012 6:20 AM
I think the list shows how people who aren't concerned with losing weight or getting in shape eat - people that don't have any of that to worry about.

Whereas for us, we have a different relationship with food !
Edited by mareeee1234 On November 20, 2012 6:21 AM
November 20, 2012 6:26 AM
bump
November 20, 2012 6:28 AM
1. They eat small quantities of food.
I think you're confusing quantity and calories. The caloric density of foods varies substantially, and the bodies of healthy weight people tend to naturally compensate for this--so for example, people will generally eat more of a green salad (without fatty dressing, etc.) than they will a pasta covered in cream sauce. In chronically overweight people, this system appears to not work well.

2. They don't finish everything on their plate.
Again, finishing everything on your plate is relative. If your plate contains reasonable serving sizes, there is nothing wrong with finishing all your food. At home my (perpetually thin) husband almost always finishing his plate of food, because I plate small plates (we eat off salad plates), he even usually goes back for seconds, taking small portions of food until he is full. I think what you are trying to get at here is that they eat until they are sated, not to some arbitrary stopping point (like an empty plate)

3. They talk while eating instead of stuffing their faces.
It's also easy to get some wrapped up in talking that you don't realize how much you've eaten. The difference may be that the normal weight people you are observing are pausing to give their body time to realize when they are full--a good habit.

4. They move around more just because.
True on average I am guessing, but there are plenty of highly sedentary thin people.

5. They are able to save half their lunch (often times) as leftovers for the next day.
This depends entirely on how they are getting lunch. Restaurant portions are often way too large, so this would be a good practice. If you are bringing food from home, however, half of lunch might not be enough calories. I pack lunches for one day, if I don't eat the whole thing (and don't eat something else), I'm not eating enough.

6. They eat maybe one piece of candy, or a cookie, after a meal. Not 2, not 5, not 10.
In most cases, yes.

7. Food (as a couple explained to me) is not for pleasure, even tasty food. It's for energy.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying your food. Eating is a necessary part of being alive, and like other important functions (e.g. reproduction) we have evolved to find it enjoyable--there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The problem is when we substitute food for other sources of pleasure, or use it excessively in other ways.

8. Over indulgence just doesn't happen.
No, it just doesn't happen regularly.

9. They eat slowly.
This is what you meant by number 3. Although this is far from universally true. If you doubt me, you can come eat dinner with my perpetually thin husband sometime.

10. No pigging out happens and if it does, it's not the overweight person's version of pigging out.
You're assuming all overweight people binge.

Edited for typos.
Edited by Bentley2718 On November 20, 2012 6:29 AM
November 20, 2012 6:33 AM
QUOTE:

This is an interesting topic, which I hope more perpetually slim people add to. The OP's observations (other than 7) seem valid. I notice my son, who is and always has been an ideal weight, behaves this way. He is unlike the rest of the family who will eat a desired food until it is gone. A related question is why? Same genetics, same environment, and yet he is different than the rest of us.


Interesting. But I wonder if even children raised in the same 'environment' experience all things equally. I don't think they do. It is literally impossible for two people to have the same experience in the same home. I'm also pretty sure that having the same genetics is not indicative of everyone's womb experience either. I believe it goes to the nurture not nature part of the equation. Only my opinion.

ETA: Lots of twin studies that prove even with identical genetics, there is a difference in perception of environment.
Edited by beachlover317 On November 20, 2012 6:34 AM
November 20, 2012 6:34 AM
I think that you have to find your own "normal". It definitely differs for each person. If you are in weight loss, you have to watch calories and portions, eat healthier foods, exercise a little more intensely, etc. It's all the science of "calories in vs. calories out". This become your "normal". Then, when you reach your desired weight, I think you must then find a new "normal". Remember, it takes 3500 calories to gain a pound. The recommended daily calorie intake is set at 2000. Maybe increase to 2000 calories a day. Try to continue to make healthy food choices whenever you can and watch your portions. Continue exercising daily - cardio and weight training, but maybe only 30 mins a day rather than an hour. Keep focused on maintenance though and have a treat every now and then. Don't over-induldge. If 1 or 2 cookies, or a piece or two of candy, or whatever the food may be is still in within your 2000 calories for that day and you've exercised, have them. Don't worry about others and what appears to be "normal" from observing them...find your own "normal" and adjust it to work for you. This is my plan! Good luck to everyone!
  4840628
November 20, 2012 6:35 AM
#7--I freaking love my food. If it weren't for pleasure, I'd eat broccoli and kale all the time. Lame.
#10--If I've just been CRAVING a large portion of unhealthy food, I eat less, exercise more, and earn it. Once in awhile I want a fat night on my couch in front of my TV with my stretchy pants. I don't think that makes me a failure; it just makes me a happy little former fatty.

The rest I guess I can go with. I'm just a little nervous about your tone, like there are two types of people and it's more shameful to enjoy your food too much. Don't let yourself feel bad about eating; eating and sleeping are pretty much my two favorite activities. :)
  14483796
November 20, 2012 6:36 AM
My boyfriend is a thin guy, and I wouldn't say he's fit but he does have a physically demanding job so he's fairly muscular in his upper body.

I've seen him fold an entire pizza in half and eat it like a taco.

This post is now invalid.
November 20, 2012 6:37 AM
My co-workers are NOT in good shape. None of them. So I think I'm the one who's eating like the "normal" person around here. Except I get looks like I have two heads when I'm eating a tuna wrap, veggies, fruit and cheese for lunch....
  10825235
November 20, 2012 6:42 AM
QUOTE:

My co-workers are all in great shape. That doesn't mean they eat very healthy foods: some do, some don't. We have lunch together every day and since being on MFP, I've begun paying attention to how people of "normal" weight eat.

1. They eat small quantities of food.
I eat a lot of food

2. They don't finish everything on their plate.
I almost always eat all of my food, but I plan it that way. I don't bring more than I will eat.

3. They talk while eating instead of stuffing their faces.
I work while I eat because I go to the gym on my lunch break, but I used to talk while I ate, while I was obese or "normal" weight

4. They move around more just because.
I'm pretty sedentary all day at work

5. They are able to save half their lunch (often times) as leftovers for the next day.
Nope see number 2.

6. They eat maybe one piece of candy, or a cookie, after a meal. Not 2, not 5, not 10.
I rarely eat candy or cookies but I usually have one junky snack like crackers every day

7. Food (as a couple explained to me) is not for pleasure, even tasty food. It's for energy.
I looooooooove eating tasty food.

8. Over indulgence just doesn't happen.
Pretty much true

9. They eat slowly.
I've always been a slow eater, obese or "normal" weight

10. No pigging out happens and if it does, it's not the overweight person's version of pigging out.
Pretty much true


So 8 and 10 are true for me. I agree with those who said you are looking at a very small sample size that isn't very representative of "normal" weight people. smile
  5139654
November 20, 2012 6:42 AM
QUOTE:

1. They eat small quantities of food.
I think you're confusing quantity and calories. The caloric density of foods varies substantially, and the bodies of healthy weight people tend to naturally compensate for this--so for example, people will generally eat more of a green salad (without fatty dressing, etc.) than they will a pasta covered in cream sauce. In chronically overweight people, this system appears to not work well.

2. They don't finish everything on their plate.
Again, finishing everything on your plate is relative. If your plate contains reasonable serving sizes, there is nothing wrong with finishing all your food. At home my (perpetually thin) husband almost always finishing his plate of food, because I plate small plates (we eat off salad plates), he even usually goes back for seconds, taking small portions of food until he is full. I think what you are trying to get at here is that they eat until they are sated, not to some arbitrary stopping point (like an empty plate)

3. They talk while eating instead of stuffing their faces.
It's also easy to get some wrapped up in talking that you don't realize how much you've eaten. The difference may be that the normal weight people you are observing are pausing to give their body time to realize when they are full--a good habit.

4. They move around more just because.
True on average I am guessing, but there are plenty of highly sedentary thin people.

5. They are able to save half their lunch (often times) as leftovers for the next day.
This depends entirely on how they are getting lunch. Restaurant portions are often way too large, so this would be a good practice. If you are bringing food from home, however, half of lunch might not be enough calories. I pack lunches for one day, if I don't eat the whole thing (and don't eat something else), I'm not eating enough.

6. They eat maybe one piece of candy, or a cookie, after a meal. Not 2, not 5, not 10.
In most cases, yes.

7. Food (as a couple explained to me) is not for pleasure, even tasty food. It's for energy.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying your food. Eating is a necessary part of being alive, and like other important functions (e.g. reproduction) we have evolved to find it enjoyable--there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The problem is when we substitute food for other sources of pleasure, or use it excessively in other ways.

8. Over indulgence just doesn't happen.
No, it just doesn't happen regularly.

9. They eat slowly.
This is what you meant by number 3. Although this is far from universally true. If you doubt me, you can come eat dinner with my perpetually thin husband sometime.

10. No pigging out happens and if it does, it's not the overweight person's version of pigging out.
You're assuming all overweight people binge.

Edited for typos.


This post is so on point I feel like the thread should just be over.
November 20, 2012 6:45 AM
QUOTE:

10. No pigging out happens and if it does, it's not the overweight person's version of pigging out.


What is the overweight person's version of pigging out? I was at a "normal weight" (I was thin with healthy BF%) most of my life. I pigged out sometimes. When I gained weight I didn't pig out any differently.

Are you referring to binge eating? I would think that most people at a healthy weight rarely, if ever, binge eat. But IMO binging and pigging out are very different, with control being the differing factor.
November 20, 2012 6:50 AM
Normal weight people don't kill the entire king size bag of nacho cheese doritoes in one sitting and then eat an entire pie.

Normal weight people don't eat a fried seafood platter to the last crumb while drinking half a gallon of soda.

Normal weight people (those who have always been) aren't likely to bother joining a site such as MFP.

Normal weight people are (felines) too, and I don't like myself when I'm a weight that can be defined as "normal". I like being large and lean.
November 20, 2012 6:54 AM
Maybe I have a different perspective as I work with a lot of people at normal weight, but our cafeteria for the most part only serves healthy free food, so most everyone eats healthy lunch.

What do I notice? The healthy people drink a lot of water and tea, less coffee and soda. They endulge in treats, but won't usually do it day after day. They love food as much as the next person, but are better at knowing their limits and not overendulging as a routine. And, most importantly, since we work in a office, most of the healthy people are generally very active outside of work. Many will say that if they didn't exercise, they would feel deprived of the food they love. So, they ensure healthy muscle mass and routinely do cardio. They focus on more active hobbies, instead of sedentary behaviors outside of their sedentary jobs.

All that much they are not very different from me. Only differences I see is that they move more and eat less. Something that will definitely help anyone trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Some normal weight people are healthy, some are not. You can definitely pick out the healthy ones though. It is in their skin, nails, hair, muscle tone, posture, etc.
  12311892
November 20, 2012 10:55 AM
QUOTE:


Normal weight people (those who have always been) aren't likely to bother joining a site such as MFP.



Statistics? o_O I know way too many people who are using the site to bulk, monitor exercise, or just "eat healthier" who are a healthy weight. I would say nearly half of MFP is a normal weight here for other fitness purposes.
November 20, 2012 11:21 AM
I've been at a "normal" weight pretty much all my life but struggled to lose the last 10lbs of baby weight after my son, hence joining MFP. Have since lost it, just maintaining, don't even log all that religiously.

1. They eat small quantities of food. - Yup, usually true.

2. They don't finish everything on their plate. - Depends. Is it a portion I have given myself? I know about how much I want/need to eat and generally don't take more than that. Restaurant portions? Good lord, I almost never finish those; they're huge.

3. They talk while eating instead of stuffing their faces. - Sure, eating is a social event! :)

4. They move around more just because. - Probably, but I'm kind of type A / OCD person in general so I'm just fidgety. :/

5. They are able to save half their lunch (often times) as leftovers for the next day. - Again, depends on the portion size to start with, lunch from a restaurant I could probably get two meals out of.

6. They eat maybe one piece of candy, or a cookie, after a meal. Not 2, not 5, not 10. - True.

7. Food (as a couple explained to me) is not for pleasure, even tasty food. It's for energy. - NOT true! I love food. Seriously, seriously love good food!

8. Over indulgence just doesn't happen. - Not really true either. It happens from time to time but not that often. If I eat a really huge (for me) portion of something I just feel bloated and sick, so I try to avoid that, but nobody's perfect, it does happen sometimes.

9. They eat slowly. - Yes, probably. It takes me nearly twice as long to finish a meal as it does my husband. He scarfs it down.

10. No pigging out happens and if it does, it's not the overweight person's version of pigging out. - Well, I've been known to pig out on some favorite foods from time to time, but yeah, it might not be the same as someone else's "pigging out." See above about feeling bloated and ill.
Edited by mnstrpc On November 20, 2012 11:22 AM
November 20, 2012 11:28 AM
I did most of these things before I started losing weight, and trust me, 254 lbs on a 5'5'' frame is NOT normal. Ok, maybe I did #6 a lot. But I didn't get overweight by just eating 10 extra cookies a day. It was because I ate pasta and fast food for every meal (even if my meals were not that large), drank a ton of pop (soda, for you Americans), juice and alcohol with almost no water consumption whatsoever, and I was a huuuuuuge couch potato.
  7523753
November 20, 2012 11:30 AM
I'm on the very low end of the normal weight scale and I always finish the food on my plate...
No need to waste food! Just don't put too much food in it... :)
November 20, 2012 11:33 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I'm at my normal weight and none of those is true for me
and number 7 is just sad


Agreed.


I triple it!! Food is pleasure! There is no shame in that!
  5951508
November 20, 2012 12:02 PM
QUOTE:

How overweight people eat:

1. We horf it down so fast it looks to the average passerby like we're eating with a prison mentality
2. We want to finish eating as quickly as possible to as to get more food in before the 20-minute mark when we start feeling full
3. We eat so we can take a nap later- energy? Pffft.
4. If it's not tasty- well, we'll probably still eat it, but then eat something else to get the bad food taste out of our mouth.
5. #1 rule- when there is food on the table- NO TALKING.
6. We're disgusting, abnormal pigs who should probably be shipped off to an island with our own "kind" so as not to gross out the normies who delicately pick at their plates and declare fullness after three asparagus stalks and 2 oz of grilled salmon.

KK, off to go eat a donut hamburger! Peace out b!tches!!!!!!!!


I think I love you!
November 20, 2012 12:12 PM
QUOTE:

My best friend is "normal" and she eats like a pig...like it's the last meal she is ever going to have...ever....makes me crazy....I eat one piece of pizza she eats half a pizza. grrr...


This was me. Up until I was a certain age where I started gaining weight, I ate a lot of food. A Lot.
November 20, 2012 12:18 PM
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November 20, 2012 12:25 PM
Number 7 doesn't seem like a very good relationship with food... "normal" weight people with a normal relationship with food would enjoy what they eat.

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