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Watching others eat :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

In running, we're often encouraged to watch how others run, learn from their style, mimic. So, I decided to apply the same principle to eating. I've recently been up close and personal with two friends and these are my observations.

My first friend has always been a healthy weight, not too thin, doesn't use a scale, doesn't count calories, but just eats for fuel. Interesting. On a girlfriends weekend with her, I observed the following:

She always has breakfast and an afternoon snack, but rarely eats before bed. She doesn't really drink much water and her snacks are maybe more processed but she doesn't fill up on sugary drinks and she'll stop eating a snack once she's had enough, even if she's only had a few bites. The most interesting thing was how she portion-controlled her food. If she had a big breakfast, she would just have little snacks until supper. If she had a big lunch, she'd only have soup or a salad for supper. So, she only had one or two big meals each day and grazed lightly the rest of the time.

My second friend is quite thin, with a drop-dead gorgeous bikini-body even in her mid-30s and after a c-section. I observed that she was much more conscious of what she ate and how much. I even had the impression that sometimes she stops eating even though she's still hungry. Nonetheless, what I observed was that she always has a hearty breakfast and she doesn't eat "junk food". Her lunch is light, usually a salad with some cheese and nuts and a juice. Her supper is hearty but small in portions. She likes her red wine but stops at one glass, and she has one coffee each day. She eats lots of veggies for snacking throughout the day and has most of her fruit at breakfast.

With both friends, I feel I learned a lot about what I'm doing right and what I need to improve. If I want to be an average healthy weight, I'd probably eat more like my first friend. If I want to be on the slimmer side of healthy, I'd eat like my second friend.

As a result, I've been conscious to eat a lighter lunch or supper each day. If one meal is heavier, the other meal is a nice salad (with toppings like almonds and craisins, feta, etc, and light dressing). What I'm already doing well is eating my freggies throughout the day for snacks. Where I'm still struggling is to stop eating in the evenings, something that neither friend did.

So, it seems we can have the treats in moderation, but that portion control, especially at meals, and evening eating, and a hearty breakfast, are important components to weight control. Not that I didn't know that, but it sure helped to observe it.

Food for thought :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Very interesting. I can look back on certain times in my own life when my weight was under control and see some major differences in the way I was eating. I wonder why we drift away from something that works?? Human nature I guess.

    Thanks for posting this!
    3542 days ago
  • MINDA31807
    I will readily admit that I am a member of the clean plate club, my mom made us clean our plates growing up, but it is something I am working on.
    3542 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5826188
    It is interesting learning from others habit's
    3542 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6427585
    Great observations! I wonder if the day will ever come when I don't have to consciously THINK about doing all those things... if they will just come naturally. I actually had to teach myself to snack. I've never been a snacker. I just always ate 3 HEFTY meals... and with THAT who needs a snack? LOL! I'm learning... I'm learning!
    3542 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3008106
    Good observations! I think we can all take away a leeson or two from your observations.
    3542 days ago
  • SENZ2001
    I agree. I come from an Italian family and the biggest meal was dinner. If our bodies are winding down, why do we eat so much food. Since I married my husband, we've been into a protein, veggie, and light-on-the-carbs dinner. It seems most logic for our bodies, since they're fully developed. My young sons, on the other hand, they've got so much growing to do, they need the extra calories.
    3542 days ago
    Good observations. I think where I tend to fail personally is stopping when satisfied. If it's good ... I want to finish it ... even if I'm full ...
    3542 days ago
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