With so much diet information available, it’s hard to know which book to buy or program to follow. If your goal is to lose weight or maintain a healthy relationship with food, then perhaps the best way to begin is by understanding the behaviors of naturally slim people.
Jill H. Podjasek tried to accomplish this feat in her book, The Ten Habits of Naturally Slim People (Contemporary Books). After 25 years of yo-yo dieting, ending up with 75 pounds more weight than what she started with and still no fulfillment of happiness in her life, Podjasek went on a journey to find what slim people were doing to maintain their weight and happiness. The book is a compilation of the ten behaviors that naturally slim people seem to follow.
Although the book was originally printed over 10 years ago, these habits still apply today. Here’s an excerpt from Jill Podjasek’s book but we encourage you to read the book in its entirety:
Habit 1: Keep Your Life Priorities Straight
Dieting and the desire to become or remain thin should not be your number one priority in life. Focusing on what really matters in life such as family, happiness and living a full productive and healthy life should be the main focus.
Habit 2: Love Yourself…Body, Mind and Spirit
It takes time to develop a new relationship with yourself, just as it would with another person. It is important to love yourself unconditionally, not just because you lost 5 pounds this week. That is merely conditional love.
Habit 3: Free Yourself from Judgment and Guilt
There is no such thing as “good” food or “bad” food just as choices made should not be considered “right” or “wrong”. Adopt the mentality that there is no win/lose in life, only win/learn. If you aren’t completely happy with a choice you’ve made, take note and learn how not to repeat the behavior next time.
Habit 4: Trust Your Body
Your body, mind and spirit are all working synergistically for you to keep you going. So trust them, don’t fear them. Over time you may have developed habits such as emotional eating to cope with your problems. If you find yourself in this position that’s perfectly OK. Your body is not betraying you. You just simply don’t know any other way to comfort yourself right now.
Habit 5: Eat When You’re Hungry
It is common and very easy to fall into the habits of eating when you’re tired, depressed, bored, alone, out socializing with friends or it’s “mealtime”. But, if you learn your body’s signals, you can learn to resist these harmful habits.
Habit 6: Be a Picky Eater
Don’t eat because you feel obligated because you’re someone’s guest, out with friends, or don’t want to cause a fuss at the restaurant. If the first bites aren’t satisfying or tasting as good as you’d like or remember from the last time, stop eating! The more you eat doesn’t mean the better it will end up tasting in the end.
Habit 7: Savor Your Eating Experiences
Learn the 9 easy steps to better savor your food.
Habit 8: Feel Satisfied Instead of Full
From the time you start eating to the time your brain receives the signals that your stomach is full, about 20 minutes will have lapsed. However, most people only take half that time – even less – for meals (e.g. think of eating a cheeseburger in the car). Slow down, take your time and savor your food.
Habit 9: Develop a Basic Understanding of Nutrition
The only way to get out of the unhealthy cycle of eating quantity and not quality (overfed and undernourished) is to take responsibility for knowing what you are eating. Take the initiative to learn the nutritional value of the foods you eat.
Habit 10: Play Every Day
Ever notice how much fun children have when they’re running around, playing and being active? Naturally slim people are much the same. Get away from the mentality that exercise is hard work, painful, and worthless if you aren’t consistent everyday. Be active for your health and longevity, not to fit into your “skinny jeans”.
The Ten Habits can easily be found on Amazon and for $10.00, may be the best investment in your health and well-being in 2009.
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.