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 :)