In a quest to cultivate a healthier mind and body I accidentally stumbled upon The Truth About Slim People.
The premise of the show was an in-depth look at the private lives of slim people in the hopes of ending it with the big reveal of the truth about them.
…we all know that staying active, good eating and sleeping habits should keep us healthy.“
While the title may be exaggerated and triggering it does actually offer an insight into the lives of slim individuals (from UK). Perhaps the biggest reveal of all and the most obscure truth is that we hardly know the truth about how they spend their days.
Wow, sounds like the slim bodies are finally letting everyone else in on their secret but alas we quickly find out that they themselves are also perplexed by their ability to stay slim. While winning genetics and a fast metabolism can be a key factor in explaining how individuals stay thin with seemingly minimal effort, there are a great many other things that often contribute to maintaining a slim body (notice we use the term “slim” and not “fit” as the two, technically, do not mean the same).
It starts off by introducing two participants, both having slim bodies, a young man and a middle-aged mother of two. Both are working full-time. Both participants were found to have a normal metabolism (wait, what?) and from the outside appear to gorge on food and sit at their office desk the whole day. Basically, our average “lucky” skinny friends, as we often like to call them.
So what is so special about them? Let me summarize the show’s conclusion in one word: attitude.
It all boils down to our mindset: how we see our meals and treat meal times; how we build our daily routine to incorporate activity; and how much we value our health.“
First off, what we don’t see is that they do, in fact, exercise, but not necessarily at the gym. They walk to work and stay active while going about their daily routine. They don’t eat snacks often or at all (when they do eat snacks, they still opt for healthier choices) in between meals and almost all of their meals (consisting of a healthy varied diet) are made from scratch in their own kitchen (the act of cooking alone can make you burn calories). They rarely drink alcohol or not at all (alcohol affects the way we digest meals increasing our tendency to store fat). They sleep at a minimum of 7 hours every night (sleeping less than 6 hours would wreak havoc on our hormones thus making us feel hungry even when we are not).
All of these seem like basic stuff, we all know that staying active, good eating and sleeping habits should keep us healthy.
Surprisingly though, attitude towards eating and exercising can make a huge difference. They don’t know what they are doing differently from others to stay slim because they are operating on it at a subconscious level. It’s a learned behavior that coincidentally serves them well. To them, staying moderately healthy enough is not a chore that they have to constantly keep up with. They don’t keep lists, actively go to the gym and obsess over their food intake.
The participants opt for listening to their bodies when they are hungry or full, stretching their limbs and shaking off stress when their bodies feel stiff or lousy. When they eat a lot more in social gatherings, they simply cut down their food intake afterward, and also not necessarily miss meals but delay them. The mother of two confessed that she does not consciously regulate her food intake, she simply felt less hungry after an unusually large meal.
They are unknowingly practicing a basic form of intermittent fasting which has been gaining scientific credibility in helping people lose weight. By being in tune with their body, they become naturally predisposed to maintain their recommended amount of calorie intake in a week.
All of these factors lead to further healthy consequences (much like a snowball effect). Their healthy varied diet gives their gut a good mix of bacteria that regulate fat storage in their bodies. The more they are consistent, the more they condition their bodies to regulate itself naturally without having to constantly fret over their weight until it’s almost second nature to them.
Now, you might still be unconvinced that it’s that “simple.” And you are right, it’s not. A lot of these learned behavior start when you are young. A young child that does not get into the habit of having 7-8 hours of sleep is more likely to have weight troubles later on and so on and so forth. However, this is not to say that we cannot start conditioning our minds as adults.
It all boils down to our mindset: how we see our meals and treat meal times; how we build our daily routine to incorporate activity; and how much we value our health.
At some point, the slim young man, who walks to work daily, says to the camera, “You’ve got to live a little.” So take this article and this British documentary with a grain of salt if you will, as long as you take that along with a healthy varied diet too. *wink wink*
(Bonus article linked above related to weight and fitness and Channel4 link to the video of The Truth About Slim People)