The reason why some people are skinny and the rest of us are not

skinnyfriendWe all have that one friend, the one who can eat anything she wants, never counts a calorie, and never worries about her weight. She just looks good all the time. I have a friend like that (maybe more of a frienimy since I secretly hate her at times). We were recently shopping together when she was discussing how it can be hard to find clothes because many times everything in the store is simply too big on her. Did I kind of want to slap her –yes! But in watching her and listening to her, there’s a lot of takeaway messages we can all learn from these seemingly “effortless” skinny people.

For one thing, just because you are skinny doesn’t mean that you love your body or that your life is any better or easier than someone who is overweight. Sure, I haven’t experienced this myself, but I could see how it may be upsetting to try and shop for clothes and everything you liked is just way too big and doesn’t look right. It can be just as hard as when everything is too small and too tight. We all want to look our best, and when we can’t, it impacts our confidence. So, let’s not be too jealous of skinny people- they have clothes shopping problems too.

But the biggest thing I have learned from this friend as well as working with clients who are thin, is that being skinny isn’t something they were necessarily born with. There’s a reason they don’t gain weight easily. So here are the top three lessons you can learn from skinny people if you want to be one yourself:

#1: Skinny people are some of the slowest eaters you will ever find! The slower you eat, the sooner you feel satisfied on less calories. Give it a try- take at least 30 minutes to eat your meal or snack. Put the fork down in between bites and rest a bit before diving in for the next. You will be amazed at how much less you eat.

#2: Take smaller bites. Skinny people don’t just eat slower, they eat smaller too. My friend will go out to eat and order a burger, fries, and a regular soda. This meal probably has over 2000 calories, if she were to eat all of it. But does she? Well by the time she is done taking bites smaller than my toddler takes, after about 30 minutes she is full. And guess what, only about 1/3 of the burger has been eaten along with a few fries and a few sips of soda. It’s not always about what we order, it’s the portion size of it that matters the most.

#3: Skinny people are fidgety. My same skinny friend, if you weren’t already mad enough at her, she doesn’t go to the gym either. Or workout at home. Nope, she’s skinny, eats what she wants and doesn’t exercise. I know, I know- you want to smack her now too! But guess what she does do- she never stops moving! She doesn’t sit when she talks on the phone, she paces. She is animated when she talks. She takes the long way to the bathroom at work and she never uses the escalator or elevator unless she has to. She’s not doing this to burn extra calories, she’s doing this because she feels good when she moves. Even if you workout for a solid hour each day, if you sit the rest of it, you won’t burn as many calories as my friend. You have to make sure to fit in movement at every possible chance during the day.

So there you go. The next time you start feeling envious of your skinny friend, take a look her behaviors and you may just see some of these traits. If you start to adopt them yourself, you may find controlling your weight to be more “effortless” as well.


  1. Hi Julia! Thanks so much for your post! I agree, I am still jealous too, but it is good to know what genes predispose us to what issues. At least them we know what we have to work on (however unfair it may be!!) 🙂

  2. Awesome and funny article, loved it. I was surprised myself to find out that being skinny also has a lot to do with your genes. I took a DNA test through vitagene a couple months ago and learned that I possess a genetic variant that makes me more likely to gain weight after losing it, plus I am more likely to feel hungry even after eating because of my genes. That still makes me jealous of your friend, but hey, at least I know it’s not totally my fault!!

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