Monday, July 13, 2009

Observations On Skinny People

I've made a lifelong study of skinny people. And not the kind who wage war on fat, no. I'm talking about the naturally thin, the effortlessly svelte, the slender types who've never dieted a day in their lives. Brentwood dieters may not be among their ranks, but they can learn something from the super slim. Here's what my unofficial research shows about them, including the different shades of skinny:
Eat Anything Without Gaining An Ouncers: These folks lucked into revved-up metabolisms and can down strawberry milkshakes and gobble up large orders of chili-cheese fries without super-sizing their waistlines. They are the happy few. Although, a subset of this group actually struggles to keep weight on. Some underweight individuals even suffer health problems. Others must endure unwelcome advice or snarky remarks about their skeletal status. Also, food-related medical conditions like high cholesterol can plague the Eat Anything Without Gaining An Ouncers. However, they don't have much to teach Brentwood Dieters.

• Cruise Controllers: They possess built-in common sense or an internal regulator when it comes to healthy eating. They can limit themselves to three potato chips. They can keep a chocolate bar for a week and nibble a small piece of it every night. And it would never occur to Cruise Controllers to eat an entire package of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies in a single sitting. They don't need willpower. Occasionally, they may tabulate what they eat. For example, if they want dessert, they'll forgo the Margarita and appetizer. But mostly, moderation in all things edible is automatic for them. The good news: Brentwood Dieters can compensate for the lack of natural-born culinary cruise control. Phase 1 is no problem: it's so structured and restricted, you don't have to think; just endure. It's like boot camp. Follow orders and you'll do fine. But, Phase 2 Brentwood Dieters can cultivate balance and accountability with good food choices, portion-control awareness and by adding exercise into the equation. 

• Sloooooow Eaters: They don't wolf down their food. They tend to be mindful eaters, savoring every morsel. They relax and converse at the table, too. Incidentally, since these people linger over meals, their brains send satiety signals their bellies in time to stop them from overeating. That's internal portion control in action. Slow seems like a good way to go, all around. (Hmm. There may be an overlap between Cruise Controllers and Slow Eaters. More study is needed.)

• Anti-Foodies: These freaks of nature could care less about food. OK, maybe that's a bit harsh. Perhaps, they're simply cursed with palettes that don't respond to flavor. It could be that the aroma of freshly baked bread does not arouse their appetites. Quite possibly, they are immune to satisfying textures like the silky frothiness of a chocolate mousse. It's almost as if Anti-Foodies lack the gene that permits the sensual enjoyment of food. Which is kind of sad, if you think about it. Certainly, these folks don't live to eat. They eat to live. Interestingly enough, Dr. Mizrahi mentioned "eating to live" when we first went on the Brentwood Diet. That notion didn't inspire me at the time. But, there is something to learn from the idea, on a whole lot of levels. 

Eventually, Brentwood Dieters enter the ranks of the skinny. But, Brentwood Dieters are converts: those skinny by choice, not by chance. And that's a big difference. Each and everyday, Brentwood Dieters consciously choose a better, healthier life.