Eat what you like without gaining weight? It’s possible, if you play by these rules. By Estelle Low
Photo: Innocenti and Lee/Image Source/Corbis
Everyone has that skinny girlfriend – the one who eats what she likes but never seems to put on weight. It can be frustrating going on foodie trips with her, because you wind up with a bulging belly, while hers is still flat.
That said, having such skinny girlfriends is also a good thing. When I’m with them, I pay more attention to my eating habits, as well as theirs. After years of observation, I realised that there are certain rules they go with when it comes to eating. No fad diets involved.
They never starve themselves.
Let’s start with the eating. These skinny girls seem like they’re munching every few hours or so. But that’s not a bad thing. My girlfriend T always has packets of plain crackers or almonds in her bag – “just in case I get hungry”. It may seem like a diet disaster, but having snacks on standby has kept her from being famished and bingeing later on. I know that, because she’d gladly (not grudgingly) order a no-dressing chicken salad during dinner while the hungry folks are hankering after steak and fries. And when everyone’s in a dilemma about which dessert to order, she actually says “I’m full – no dessert for me.”
They are deliberate eaters.
Watch your skinny girlfriends closely. They’re usually the last few – if not the last – to finish their food. They are excellent at pacing their meal, knowing just when to bring another spoon to their mouths, and when to put it down. Just because you see them hovering over their meal for a long time doesn’t mean that they’re eating a lot. They’re just taking their time to chew and savour food. When they’ve hit their satisfaction quota, they won’t hesitate to leave unfinished food behind. Because they know those calories are better deposited in a bin than on their waistlines.
They drink water.
Not just one cup after every meal, but enough to keep them substantially full. My girlfriend L never goes out without a water bottle in her bag. Whenever she’s feeling peckish, guzzling 200ml of H2O usually does the trick. Another, M, drinks only plain water and unsweetened green tea – and loves it. I like to think that this beverage rule has saved her lots of unnecessary calories from soft drinks and fruit juices.
They plan ahead.
When it comes to food, they are hardly the sort to go with the flow. When they say “I’ll let you decide where to go for dinner”, they already have something in mind. Back to my snacking girlfriend T: She’s almost guaranteed to order a sashimi or salmon don at Japanese restaurants, a salad or wholemeal sandwich at western cafes, an aglio olio pasta at Italian joints, and clear tom yam soup at Thai eateries. Special deals and promos hardly appeal to her. Boring? Perhaps. But hey, who am I to judge – she enjoys her meal just as I do mine.