If I were to write a book called The Seven Secrets of Successful Slimmers (and don’t worry, I’ve no plans to!) right up there at the top would be forgetting to eat. I would base my premise of successful dieting on not just following and sticking to a diet but mimicking the way slim people eat and the way they are.
For surely the one most notable difference between those who have no weight problem and those who do is attitude to food. Those of us who find ourselves overweight tend to like our food – yes, I know, d’oh! Those who are thought of a nature’s natural skinnies live their lives quite differently from us, from what I’ve observed. We live to eat; they eat to live. And sometimes, they can forget to eat. Could that ever happen to a dieter who lives for mealtimes? Well, actually, yes, it can. It’s happening to me more and more frequently.
Forgetting to eat
Yesterday in common with many days now I entirely forgot to have breakfast. I had planned to have it a bit later in order to continue doing this 16:8 thing or even 17:7 (ie 16 or 17 hours without any food but that includes the night). But as the clock ticked round and the phone kept ringing and the email pinging, I was distracted. I was blissfully busy. I forgot to eat.
I well recall years ago a friend who’s best mate was a model. A really gorgeous looking girl who’d rightly decided her face and figure were her fortune and thus she went on to make it. She used to model for the luscious bridal gowns made by Pronuptia. “She often forgets to eat,” her friend told me. Pah thought I. As if! But I think there might be something to this.
Models aren’t necessarily anorexic
Today we tend to assume models are slender because they’re all suffering from eating disorders. And perhaps some are. A psychiatrist who specialised in the treatment of anorexia once told me it wasn’t modelling or ballet dancing, both of which require reed-like figures, that caused young women and some men to become anorexic. They were already inclined that way and so were attracted to professions that required them to stay slender.
But some people really are naturally skinny. They may be born with a powerful metabolism that gobbles up everything they swallow. They may simply burn up whatever they eat like a very efficient fuel burner. Or they may forget to eat sometimes. Food is less important to skinnies, I think, than it is to us.
Food an evil necessity
I know it’s possible to think like this because for years I lived with a man for whom food was but an evil necessity. He even snapped at me once on holiday for daring to suggest, ever so gently, that having gone without a meal all day it might be an idea to get something to eat. “Will you SHUT UP about food!” he snapped back at me like an angry crocodile. “All you ever think about is food. You’re obsessed with it!”
Perhaps needless to say he was stick thin. Not because of his metabolism or glands or anything like that. He simply didn’t eat if he wasn’t hungry and hunger cues rarely seemed to trouble him. God was I eaten up with envy!
Now I find food inconvenient!
Well now I find food inconvenient sometimes. I don’t want my life ruled by it and I don’t, as I said the other day, want to eat to the clock. I want to listen to my body and eat when it tells me it wants and needs food. And that isn’t three times a day, not necessarily. Especially not when you’re eating the Paleo way. And when you’ve managed to uncouple eating for stress or just for the hell of it from eating for survival, there will be times when you’re simply not hungry.
If I’m busy, I don’t want to be worrying about food. It’s annoying to have to stop what you’re doing to go get something to eat. Sometimes I just want to work through and not bother! I NEVER thought this would happen to me, NEVER!
Stable blood sugar
It has happened though and I am utterly convinced it’s because my blood sugar is far more stable now I no longer eat grain or processed carbs. I do eat some carbs. I eat vegetables and salad and berry fruit. But that’s pretty much it. My diet now is mostly protein and fat. And it fills me fills me fills me up. It’s a very efficient way to eat. Yes it’s nice to punctuate the day with lunch and other meal breaks. And food is about much more than fuel for humans. It’s sociable, sensual and pleasurable.
But working alone at home all day, sometimes it’s nice to have the freedom just not to bother. How many people take a lunch break because they’re bored rather than hungry? I certainly used to. Well I’m not bored any longer. And I’m rarely hungry anymore. Food for thought?