How Thin People DoIt!
Thin people don’t diet. They DoIt!
by Angela V. Woodhull, Ph.D.
Thin people don’t diet. Instead, “they DoIt!” DoIt is a term I have coined after observing literally hundreds of thin people while they are dining out or preparing their meals. I have interviewed them about their eating habits.
Being thin is a much different mindset. Thin people don’t feel calorie deprived, and they don’t feel cheated out of foods that are undesirable. They also don’t obsess about food throughout the day.
Instead, they just DoIt!
Here are ten simple tips I have observed the naturally thin engage in.
 They don’t devour their meals. They take their time.
I was recently at a Japanese hibachi restaurant where the food is prepared theatre style in front of the guests. The chef kept piling mounds of food onto our plates. All of us seated around his grilling show picked up our forks and dived into the mounds of food that had been heaped onto our plates. All of us, that is, except for one. One woman selected to use her chop sticks. She seemed to be spending more time playing with the food than eating it. She shuffled the rice and veggies from one side of the plate to the other, twirled the chopsticks in the top of the mound, engaged in a lot of conversation, and occasionally placed a small amount of food in her mouth. While the rest of us cleaned our plates, Ms. Delicate had to request a “to go” box.
 They eat on schedule.
Mari works at a local bookstore that includes a vegetarian café. All day long, she is exposed to the smells and sounds of delicious food being prepared in the adjacent room. Customers are required to bring their plates up to her cash register in order to pay for their meals. I asked her, “Aren’t you tempted by all of this food in front of you during your entire day?” Mari replied, “No, because I am full.”
Mari eats on time. When it is lunchtime, she sits quietly and eats a small portion. The same goes for her breakfast and dinner. The consistency of her eating schedule -- which has been Mari’s lifetime habit -- means that Mari is never tempted by the endless stream of pastries and steamy, aromatic meals that are presented at her cash register all day long.
 Some of them are grazers.
On the other hand, some people are naturally thin because they are in the habit of grazing. They actually eat all day long and rarely sit down for a regular meal. Mitzie is one of them. She is rather tall and very thin and has never worried about her weight. Mitzie works in a very busy office as a paralegal and oftentimes takes work home, as well. Every day is met with intense deadlines for the filing of court papers. Mitzie takes no time out of her hectic schedule to eat lunch. Instead, she continues to work through the lunch hour, grazing on a variety of healthy foods—a cup of yoghurt, a handful of raw almonds, a granola bar. “One time, my boyfriend, said to me, ‘I just don’t know how you stay so thin. I watch you. You are eating all day long.’” He then added up the amount of calories for her full day of grazing: It came to about 900 calories. Mitzie said her main secret is to graze on foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories, like fresh veggies, frozen yogurt, fruits, and whole grains. She feels satisfied after sampling just a small quantity of something. For instead, someone at her office recently returned from Canada with six large bags of “ketchup potato chips,” which are unique to that country. While everybody else in the office gorged themselves with multiple handfuls of the unusual ketchup-flavored potato chips, Mitzie was happy with just one handful and then went back to her work.
My cat, Nini, is also a grazer. Unlike my best girlfriend’s cat, Flowers, that cannot seem to get enough of the “good eats,” Nini can have yummy cat food sitting in her bowl for hours at a time before she will even touch it. When she does eat, it is only to nibble a few bites, similar to Mitzie. My girlfriend’s cat, on the other hand, cannot let a single morsel stay on her plate. The only way her eating is tamed is by keeping her bowl in the cupboard until it is eating time. Nevertheless, Flowers begs for food constantly, even if she has just eaten. Nini, the grazer, sniffs her food, and if not interested, just walks away.
 They have a routine.
David works as a professional courier and has odd, irregular working hours. However, he always makes sure that he eats his three basic meals at the same time every day. David prepares a lot of his favorite food items in a toaster oven. So, if he has to go out on a courier run to deliver a prescription to a local nursing home, he is soon right back and ready to eat his hot meal. The meal is always well balanced and includes a large beverage. In the morning, David always prepares for himself an egg sandwich and a large mug of coffee. This consistency means that David is taking in the same exact amount of calories every day. There is little deviation.
I also observed a woman who patronizes the Waffle House restaurant every morning. She orders the same, identical meal every time: one sunny side up egg with two pieces of toast, a side of hash browns, and a cup of coffee. While waiting for this meal, she reads the newspaper. One day, I approached her to inquire about her lunch and dinner habits. Those meals also consist of regular, well balanced, small portions. The routine works to keep her healthy and slim.
 Elia’s DoIt.
At one time, Elia was quite heavy but she made a firm resolve and has never broken it. She watches her caloric intake during the week. She prepares a lot of soups and other light meals. She keeps a mental journal of how much she has eaten for the day. Then, on the weekends, when she goes out to eat with her long time companion, she does not watch the calories at all. “I eat like a pig every Saturday. My boyfriend always wonders how I can stay so thin; it’s because of my weekly routine. I can then splurge on the weekends.” The memory of eating whatever she wants one day a week keeps her from binging during the week, says Elia. Elia is also an avid walker and she starts every day, whether it is hot, raining, or snowing, with a brisk three mile walk.
 Brad’s DoIt.
Brad also had an obesity problem in his “former life,” as he calls it. Brad invented for himself the “one bowl” DoIt. “If it fits into the bowl, I eat it; if it doesn't fit, it’s saved for another meal.” The bowl that Brad uses is about the size of a standard cereal bowl or an over-sized coffee mug. The Bowl DoIt allows Brad to watch his calorie intake without the drudgery of counting calories.
 Melissa’s DoIt.
Melissa also had a weight problem at one time. She likes to feel full, and so she starts her meal with a huge helping of raw vegetables tossed into a salad bowl with a light vinegar and oil dressing. She also consumes a large glass of lemon flavored water with this first course. By the time the meal comes, Melissa is already full, and so she nibbles on just a small portion of the meal and saves the rest for another day. Melissa also started her own garden. She feels that the combination of growing her own vegetables and consuming her hand grown veggies also helps to keep down her weight.
 Dr. Grim’s DoIt.
Dr. Grims was a professor in the psychology department back when I was earning my Ph.D. Nobody seemed to like him very much. Always openly sarcastic and insulting during class lectures, he was equally caustic with his commentary on students’ papers. He was overweight, seemed to have few friends, and was mostly hidden in his office where he stored a variety of snacks, candies, and soft drinks in a camper-sized refrigerator. Years later, I met a man at a vegetarian café and was surprised to learn that it was Dr. Grims. He looked so differently that I did not recognize him. He had dropped at least 200 pounds and was almost gauntly thin. His secret? He had taken up running, become a vegetarian, and had also gone through therapy. “I know I used to be a pretty insulting person,” he admitted. “But I’m not that way any more.” It appears that Dr. Grim’s DoIt was more internal and had to do with new thought process, as well as a dietary change. Dr. Grims also said that all of the snacks in his office had changed. “Now, I only keep a supply of fresh veggies and bottled water in that refrigerator.”
 They see food differently.
I have visited all- you- can- eat buffets with both thin people and overweight people. While overweight people pile the food high on their plates and go back for more, thin people always take a meager sample of the offerings. One time, I selected the foods for a friend of mine who was in a leg cast. She looked at the portion and said, “Oh, I can’t eat all that!” I looked at that same portion and thought it was quite meager.
My mother also became quite thin in her later years and I noticed that her perception of food had changed. One time, she asked me to run into a convenience store and get her something to drink. I came back with a small bottle of V-8. She looked at it curiously and said, “Oh, I can’t drink all that!” The bottle looked so tiny to me. To my mother, it seemed to be a monster portion. She drank a few sips, put the bottle down, and did not touch it again for several hours.
 Miscellaneous DoIts.
There are those who eat every other day and only consume liquids on the non-meal days. There are those who limit themselves to only one meal a day and consume a healthy shake or corn flakes as the other two meals. One woman I recently spoke with at a Halloween party said she had managed to fit into her very slim tango dress costume that had hung, unworn, in her closet by more than 20 years, by consuming only one container of yoghurt a day. I do not think that some of these ways that thin people DoIt are healthy and I personally would not do this or recommend it.
You may not like how thin people DoIt. A lot of us are still looking for that magic pill or that diet that allows us to eat all we want without gaining a pound. But that’s not how thin people DoIt. Just start watching them and see for yourself!
Angela V. Woodhull, Ph.D. is the author of The New Time Manager, Coping With Difficult Teachers, Easy Words: An Easy Way to Learn New Words, Private Investigation Strategies and Techniques, Police Communication in Traffic Stops, and the Broadway-style musical, “Remember Idora.” Dr. Woodhull is available for consultations, in-house training, seminars, retreats, speaking engagements, and private investigation services. Dr. Woodhull can be reached at (352) 327-3665.