Why People Stay Skinny and Don't Gain Weight When They Eat a Lot.
I Eat a Lot But I am Skinny
People tell me I eat too much and they often wonder why I am still skinny. They think I eat too much because I eat more than them. Since I am skinny it is assumed that I don't need very much food to feel full. It is also assumed that eating a lot of food should cause me to gain weight. If I eat more food than they do then I should weigh as much or more than they do. That would make sense but it is not always true.
I was skinny and light when I did not eat very much and now that I eat a lot I am still skinny and light. Skinny people often stay skinny and don't gain weight even though they eat a lot. Therefor eating a lot does not necessarily mean the person will be overweight or big. To make sense of it you need to consider more than just the amount of food a person eats.
Gaining or Losing Weight
People don't always gain weight because they eat a lot and they don't always lose weight because they don't eat very much. You gain weight when you consume more calories than you burn. You lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume. There are overweight people that don't eat very much and there are skinny people that eat a lot. If a skinny person usually consumes a lot of calories and they are not gaining weight then it means they burn a lot of calories.
If an overweight person does not usually consume very many calories and they are not losing weight than they are not burning very many calories. It is not just the amount of food you eat but what you eat and drink. Some foods and drinks contain a lot of calories and some don't. Most people don't think about the calories in their drinks or realize that their favorite foods are very high in calories. The junk food and high calorie drinks can really add up. I tend to fill up on healthy foods and drink mostly water. For the amount of food I eat I don't consume a lot of calories.
Reasons to Eat
People eat because they are hungry, stressed, sad, happy, tired, bored or because it is time to eat. When they are near food they may eat it just because it is there, to clean up their plate, to be polite or because they don't feel satisfied yet. Another reason people eat is because they have a food craving. Most of the reasons I mentioned can cause people to become overweight.
I eat to satisfy my hunger. I don't overeat so I am still skinny. The reason I eat a lot is because I burn a lot of calories. When I started exercising more I needed to eat more food to feel satisfied. If I started eating less than I do now then I would need to burn fewer calories. Otherwise I would lose weight and muscle. I would also feel less energetic. Since I am not overweight I don't want to lose weight. If I become less active then I eat less because my body needs less food. If I eat less because I am dieting then I become less active because I don't feel like exercising.
3,500 is roughly equal to one pound. Burn an extra 3,500 calories and you can lose a pound. That is assuming you don't consume extra calories. People burn calories throughout the day. The amount of calories they burn mainly depends on what they were doing. Men that are not very active need around 2,500 calories to maintain their weight while women that are not very active need around 2,000 calories. I am simplifying it but it gives you the general idea. Some people will need more or less. When a person is active they could easily burn another 1,000 calories.
I often burn an extra 1,000 calories when I workout. So lets say a guy needs to eat 2,500 calories to maintain their weight and I need to consume 3,500 calories to maintain mine. He eats a little and I eat a lot. We both maintain our weight by consuming as many calories as we need. It does not matter if he is fat and I am skinny. What matters is the calories we consume and the calories we burn. Heavier people burn more calories but only if the are as active as the lighter person. A 250 pound person watching TV is not going to burn very many calories compared to a 120 pound person running on an elliptical trainer while watching TV.
How To Eat a Lot Without Gaining Fat
- Drink mostly water. Avoid high calorie drinks.
- Fill up on healthy foods but don't overeat.
- Eat slowly so you can tell when you have eaten enough.
- Have a healthy snack if you get hungry between meals.
- Relax. Stress can cause weight gain.
- Exercise regularly and build up some muscle. Do a lot of cardio.
- Find ways to be active. Exercise while you watch TV.
- Get as much sleep as you need to feel well rested.
- Avoid boredom. It is one of the reasons people overeat.
- Keep thinking about your goals.
If you are overweight the tips will help you lose weight. If you are lean then they will help you stay lean. Don't focus too much on your weight. Skinny people that eat a lot are often heavier than they look. They have muscle. It is better to focus on getting rid of fat and building muscle than to focus on losing weight. If you focus on weight loss then you will probably lose muscle. That will make it a lot harder to keep the fat off. At 135 pounds it is easier for me to keep the fat off than it was at 115 pounds because I have more muscle.
© 2014 Michael H