Thin Dieter Versus Thin Mentality


I really appreciate all the Facebook comments.  And when people offer differing opinions, it is an opportunity for me to clarify my message.

One comment today was that naturally thin people are not always so carefree about what they eat.

I think you are mistaking  “thin dieters” for “naturally thin people.”  They are completely different.

And you are right that those “thin dieters” are not carefree at all because they are rigidly tracking every bite they consume!   They are part of that very small group of people (less than 5%) who are able to lose weight and keep it off by adhering to diet rules for the rest of their lives.

If that is how you want to be thin, despite constant yo-yo weight gain and loss, then that is your choice.   That is a choice I made myself… for decades.

I am telling you that there is a better way:

It IS possible to be thin and have a carefree, even joyful, relationship with food.


You must build your thin mentality where food isn’t the enemy and you work with your body instead of against it.  By reconnecting with the natural hunger, craving and satiety rhythms of your biology, you won’t have to worry about what to eat, when and how much.

You will simply tune into your body.  That is why I describe Naturally Thin people as carefree about eating. That is not to say that they aren’t picky.  But they don’t worry.  The know that whenever they are hungry, they can satisfy themselves with whatever they are craving.


Response to Email From New Bride



It is great to hear from you and I am so glad your wedding celebration and holiday was wonderful.   Now for the weight:

The first thing is I don’t know how tall you are-  just want to make sure you aren’t going for too small a size!  But assuming you aren’t…

Keep these thoughts in your head:

1.  Remember that yes, indeed, thin people do eat less.  So get really really picky.  Refuse to put anything in your mouth that isn’t up to your standards.  You want fresh, wonderful food that you are craving.  It is really powerful to be picky.  You feel in control, and like you are worth taking care of.  Some random snack off an old shelf is NOT good enough for you and your body.

I love it when people call me picky.  I take it as a complement.  Why wouldn’t I be a picky eater?  I am picky about other stuff!   I can not be persuaded by any circumstance or person to eat something when I am not hungry for it.  And that is a good feeling that I have protected and strengthened over the years, and you can too.

2.   And then, while you are eating, listen for your body to “put on the brakes” so to speak.  Be hyper aware of that.  See how soon you can stop eating and still feel good.  In other words-  let’s say your stomach, when it is busting full, is at a “10.”  Maybe you are doing really well and stopping at 5.  But maybe, if you want to lose more weight, you could try stopping at a 4.

This does not mean to stop when you are still hungry!  I cannot emphasize that enough!!!!.

It means just taking one or two bites less.   It does not mean suffering.  If you punish your body by denying food when you are hungry, you will pay for it.  You will have a backlash that includes those horrible binges.  This is really important because one day of bingeing can “undo” a couple of weeks of naturally thin eating.  Right?  Because if you are eating as a naturally thin person, you are probably diminishing your calorie count by 200-400 calories per day.   And we all know that a you a binge of 3000 calories takes a long time to counteract…

And as you learn about yourself and your hunger and where stopping at “4” is for you, you will make mistakes and stop eating too soon.  No big deal, just take a few more bites, right?  (Keep something with you, that you generally like, so if feel over-hungry and unhappy, you can take care of yourself.)

3.  Remember that you must continue to stay in the present.  I know losing weight is a goal that looms large in your head. I understand that and agree that is way more fun to be thin!  It is worth the effort  to get to a weight you like.

But don’t stop living and enjoying TODAY.  Putting off happiness because of your weight is a diet mentality.  Over time, as a naturally thin person, you will actually become more  and more comfortable with less food and that is how you lose weight.

It is hard to say that to a person who is new to building their thin mentality because it makes them fearful that they will be hungry and unhappy.

But, as I think you know already:

Delaying eating until you are hungry, and then enjoying what you are hungry for, and stopping when the pleasure of eating has diminished because you aren’t hungry anymore is NOT suffering.  It is really, really nice and we are lucky to have a whole lot of choices and delicious things available to us.   

But it takes time!  It took time to gain, it takes time to lose.  And your body is making adjustments along the way and that takes time to get used to.

For example- let’s say you weighed 170, and then your body had to get used to 160 and then it had to get used to 150.  This is taxing on your body, obviously.  Andy change, even good change, is stressful.   Give your body a chance to catch up!

4.  So, to sum up:

  • Be as picky about eating as you are about other things you really care about in your life (shoes?? ha!)
  • Trying eating a couple bites less- that adds up.
  • Stay in the present and enjoy how far you have come

And since I am an old married lady, here is a little piece of advice your husband might want you to have.  There is nothing sexy about a woman who is hyper focused on not eating food and losing weight.  It drains energy away from more important things…

Becoming naturally thin is about taking the focus off of denial and placing it on the joy of eating what you want, in harmony with your biology, not in harmony external forces-  (the clock, for example)

Your husband loves you and wants you to be happy.  Take care of yourself by being picky about what you eat, not by being obsessed with how quickly you can lose weight.  This is a lifetime change.  He will thank you for NOT being one of those wives who orders chicken with no skin and a dry salad.  He will be happy that you know how to enjoy food.

Hope you don’t mind that advice.  I just wish someone had told me that.    Thankfully, my husband put up with my dieting and grumpiness when my diet didn’t go well for a long time, but it is way more fun now.  🙂

Because I think you are not alone, I am posting this response on the blog- in an effort to help others-  thanks for the great questions and for contacting me.  I love to hear how you are doing !

Tally ho (my effort at being British for you!!)


Dieting Isn’t Glamorous

jennifer-hudson-for-weight-watchers-590bes123110Your diet mentality is reinforced everyday by our culture.  Do not underestimate how many pro-diet messages you receive everyday.

Weight Watchers makes Jennifer Hudson look so glamorous as she is singing away.

I don’t know about you, but I never felt glamorous on a diet.  I felt grumpy.

And after the first few days, when my body adjusted to whatever diet that I was on, I would feel better.  I would be on a diet “high” where this diet was THE ONE.

  •  I would lose weight.
  •  I would go off the diet.
  •  I would gain the weight back.
  •  I went through this cycle so many times.  I am sure that you have too.

It is awful.

Make sure you remind yourself how awful that was.  You need to keep that memory alive as you replace your diet mentality with your thin mentality.

Otherwise, you might bargain with yourself  that you will just go on a diet if this thin mentality thing doesn’t work out.

Stop.  That bargain will keep your diet mentality alive.

Fully commit to giving up dieting.  Eat for one reason only- hunger.  And you will learn that hunger takes different forms.  Having a “taste for something,” can be hunger.  The more you listen to your body and answer the various ways that real hunger expresses itself to you, the better you will get at knowing you are eating for your body, not your brain.


Hey Dieters– Lighten Up!


Sometimes I have to take a really deep breath when I end up in a conversation with an extreme dieter. (And remember, I used to be one!)

But even with my history of dieting, I still can get so frustrated with people who feel superior because they think they are “pure eaters.” No junk, no processed anything, no sugar. Whatever!! It is as if it has become a real badge of honor to deny, deny, deny yourself anything other than food with “perfect labels.”

Haven’t you overheard those conversations where people compare what they eat and they try to one up each other on how “healthy” all their choices are? You know what isn’t healthy? Spending a lot of time and energy agonizing about your food choices. Get that brain to simmer down and let your body come alive to guide you.

I am not saying it isn’t good to eat nutritious food. But the way a dieter arrives at eating healthful food is so much less enjoyable than the way a thin mentality person arrives at eating healthful food.

Do you see that the key is that with your thin mentality, you will eat healthfully, AND you will be so much more fun to be around!

There isn’t anyone much duller than the self-concerned dieter who measures every morsel, asks for special accommodations at parties and at restaurants, and then recounts, to any one who will listen, what they have eaten.

Here is my point: Beyond being more healthful for your brain, soul, and body, your thin mentality is simply MORE FUN!

Dieters will sip their perfect drink, eat the fad whole grain of the day, and stay in perfect control all evening. (Even if they end up letting loose at night when they get home by chowing down on ice cream before bed!!)

Thin Mentality people are open to enjoy all kinds of foods and special fun party drinks. And even if they don’t immediately dive into food because they are not presently hungry, their eyes sparkle when you show them a beautiful spread of food, they inhale the delicious aromas- aromas that don’t “torture” them, rather aromas that they enjoy because they know delicious food is available.

So as you develop your thin mentality, if you notice that you are becoming more fun- well maybe you are!

I am so glad I am not the rigid, calorie counting, exercise logging, measurement taking dieter I used to be. And guess what- the “fun me” is just as thin and in shape as the “rigid me.”

Who would have guessed that when you let your body lead you to food, (like it leads you to MANY other biological drives…) that you will feel good, and look good.


Artificial Sweeteners Are Counterproductive


This article is reprinted from Time Magazine by Mandy Oaklander on March 17 2015-  Please read!!!

More evidence that diet soda contributes to weight gain, not weight loss

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that people who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda. The study analyzed data from 749 people ages 65 and older who were asked, every couple of years, how many cans of soda they drank a day, and how many of those sodas were diet or regular.

Those answers ended up being extremely predictive of abdominal-fat gain, even after the researchers adjusted for factors like diabetes, smoking and levels of physical activity. People who didn’t drink diet soda gained about 0.8 in. around their waists over the study period, but people who drank diet soda daily gained 3.2 in. Those who fell in the middle — occasional drinkers of diet soda — gained about 1.8 in.

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That change in waist circumference is especially concerning because it highlights an unfortunate truth about weight distribution: the belly is a bad place for extra pounds. The kind that pads the abs from the inside, called visceral fat, is associated with increased cardiovascular disease, inflammation and Type 2 diabetes.

MORE Is Diet Soda Bad for You?

These results, which the study authors call “striking,” add to the growing body of evidence that no- and low-calorie sweeteners may come with health concerns. Though scientists are still puzzling through the mechanisms by which diet soda seems to have the unintended consequence of weight gain, they have some ideas. Sugar-free sodas contain substances that sweeten up soda at 200-600 times the sweetness of sugar.

“Regular sugar has caloric consequences,” says the study’s senior author Dr. Helen Hazuda, professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. And one of those is that it triggers satiety — a sense of fullness or satisfaction. “Your body is used to knowing that a sweet taste means you are ingesting energy in the form of calories that, if you don’t burn them off, is going to convert to fat,” she says. Artificial sweeteners, however, confuse our bodies and weaken the link in our brains between sweetness and calories. That, Hazuda says, can lead to weight gain and cravings for sweeter and sweeter treats.

There may be something else at work. A recent study in mice showed that artificial sweeteners actually changed the gut bacteria of mice in ways that made them vulnerable to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance — both of which can lead to weight gain. And other mice research suggests that artificial sweeteners are associated with a drop in the appetite-regulating hormone leptin, Hazuda says. Leptin is the hormone that inhibits hunger.

MORE 13 Ways to Stop Drinking Soda for Good

The Calorie Control Council, an association that represents the reduced-calorie food and beverage industry — including alternative sweeteners — disagreed with the study’s findings. “The use of low-calorie sweeteners (LCSs) in weight management has been shown to be beneficial,” the group said in a statement. “While approaches to treat obesity in older individuals is controversial, diet modifications can be a successful part of a weight-management program for older adults.”

Researchers in the new study found that belly-fat gain was most pronounced in people who were already overweight. “People who are already at cardiometabolic risk because they have higher BMIs are really in double or triple jeopardy,” Hazuda says. “When they think they’re doing something good by drinking artificially sweetened beverages, it’s actually totally counterproductive.”


Don’t Let A Fat Doctor Tell You How To Lose Weight

fat doc

Where I live in Cincinnati, there is an ad playing on TV about a medical weight loss program.  You see vignettes of people dancing around happily holding up big pants they used to wear, and throwing away bottles of prescriptions that they used to need.

As I watch this I wonder if I am the only one noticing that the doctor himself is overweight?  Am I the only one noticing this extreme irony and thinking that he must have a lot of you know what to put himself out there as a weight loss doctor?

I think this is evidence of how desperate we are to believe that if we just find the right diet, we will get thin.  We want this so badly that we gloss over the images of the heavy doctor, and concentrate instead on the happy people celebrating their weight loss.

Isn’t this strange?  Would you go to a dermatologist who had skin cancers all over her face due to sun exposure without sunscreen?  Would you go to a hair stylist with damaged ratty hair?  Would you go to a dentist who didn’t brush his teeth??

Geez? Yet this doctor has no problem getting clients to over look his large belly and come join his weight loss program.  If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.

People!  If the doctor selling the weight loss program can’t do it himself, don’t you see a problem?

Stop listening to so called experts and start listening to your own body.  The wisdom in your body is invaluable.  And YOU are the only one who can pay attention to YOUR body’s signals to eat and to not eat.

Have a little faith in good ole Mother Nature.  I know it seems crazy to believe that your body knows when to tell you to eat- but think how normal it is.  And think how strange it actually is to eat according to some list of rules instead of paying attention to hunger and non hunger.  I mean, honestly, does someone tell you when to go to the bathroom??  Yea it would be weird.  That is a message from your body that we have not been trained to ignore!  Why not? I guess no one has figured out how to make money from giving you a “bathroom program” to follow!!

But, giving you an eating program, now that is a whole different story…  Lots of fortunes have been made there.

Okay, if I have  been able to make you see the light of WHY you should stop dieting, you need the HOW.

Here is the main principle:

Eat when you are hungry and delay eating more until hunger returns.

And in order to facilitate this:

Stay in the present- no deal making with the future, and pay attention to your body, not experts.

Making the transition from dieter to thin mentality person is the best gift you will ever give yourself.  It is worth the effort.  Peaceful. Joyful. Slimming.



Don’t Stoop To Throwing Food Away!

throwing food out

Diets teach us to:

  • Throw away “bad” foods so we won’t be tempted to eat them.
  • Buy expensive portion controlled foods so we won’t be tempted to eat more than a single serving.
  • Eat vegetables and salads first so we won’t be tempted to overeat the higher calorie foods.
  • Etc., etc., etc…

Folks, I used to live like this.  I would avoid fattening situations at all costs!  Even skipping events if I thought I would be “sabotaged” by food I would not be able to resist.

But people, this is a backwards way to look at “overeating.”

Instead of building a life that keeps you from being “tempted”  to overeat, build a life, a Thin Mentality, where food has ZERO power over you.

I know that if you are new to this blog or this idea in general, that you may believe that it is not possible to gain power over food, instead of food having power over you.   When I finally realized that dieting was making me a miserable dieter, not a happy thin person, I had my doubts too.

But, when you exile all the self-talk that dieting promotes, you can replace it with a much healthier, happier, and normal approach to food and eating.

Do you really believe that Mother Nature intended eating to be such an angst-filled part of life?

We were given the sense of smell, taste, and the wonderful joy of eating when hungry as a pleasure, not as a punishment.  With time and a strong commitment to rejecting the diet industry, you can reconnect to this joy, and to your ideal weight and destress your relationship with food.

Instead of avoiding the temptation of overeating, as diets recommend, you look forward to all the wonderful opportunities we have, in our culture, to eat and to eat a wide variety of delicious foods.  Food becomes a positive, not a negative.

And you will never stoop to throwing away food because you are afraid of it.  Doesn’t that sound nice?  And by the way, isn’t that a truly sad suggestion- throw away good food??? How people starving in other countries would shake their heads at us…


“How Much Food Do I Need?”

how much food

As you begin to replace your diet mentality with a thin mentality you will undoubtedly ask yourself, “how much food do I need?”   I have to tell you that, for most of us, the the answer is, “not as much as you think.”

Does that worry you?

That is because you are imagining going hungry.

But learning to behave like a thin person instead of a dieter does not mean tolerating hunger.  It means that whenever you are hungry, you eat what you crave until you are no longer hungry.

No, you will not be good at this at first, but give yourself a chance!  As you pay attention to your body’s voice, you will tap into your hunger signals and learn how much to eat and when.

As you make this adjustment you will realize the simple beauty of this.  And, eating without hunger will start to seem strange to you. “Why would I eat when I am not hungry?”  And you will no longer “pig out” or “binge” because there is zero motivation to do so when you can always eat what you crave when you are hungry

When I was a dieter I was completely disconnected from my hunger.  I had no idea how much to eat or when.  I followed some rule book or diet instead of listening to my own body.  And dieting taught me to fear hunger because as a dieter, I was taught to eat without regard to my own body’s signals.  And hunger would wreak havoc on me!  I would not be able to concentrate, I would be in a bad mood, and I would eventually succumb to my hunger and eat foods I didn’t even like.  And then I would feel so awful, I would just eat more.  And then the next day, or the next week or month or whatever, the cycle would start again.  And I would always blame myself.

But that is because the powerful messaging from the diet industry told me that I should eat without regard to my own body’s voice. I was at war with my own body and with my own hunger for food!

But when I ditched my diet mentality, 14 years ago,  I realized that I my hunger is a supreme gift.  It makes everything taste better. It guides me.  It rewards me.  I can trust my hunger, and I can trust my non-hunger.  Both are good.  There is no more war.  I am at peace and my body is a reflection of that.

You can get to where I am.  You can have a peaceful, joyful relationship with food.  And you can be at your ideal weight.  Yes.

Step one is to stop dieting and reacquaint yourself with the wisdom of your own body by listening.  Your body’s voice is very quiet at first, because you have ignored it for so long.  But as you listen, it will strengthen and will start guiding you.

My book explains more, and I have written tons of blogs to help you do this.  I am still working on the workbook to help you with this as well.

Please feel free to post questions here or on FaceBook- Diets are fattening!




Thin Mentality Quiz Answers Explained

cake best 500

The first question of the thin mentality quiz that I put out Wednesday Aug 21 2014 was:

As a thin mentality person you wait until you are really, really hungry, and you can’t think of anything else before you eat.  True or False

The correct answer was false.

If you are wondering why, let me explain:

The fundamental premise of living with a thin mentality is using common sense.  It is NOT common sense to let yourself get miserably hungry.  (And I feel I have to interject here that we need to remember how lucky we are that food is abundant.  It is not a “curse” as some diets would make you believe, it is a gift)

So why isn’t it wise to let yourself get so hungry you can’t think of anything else?  Because if you get to that point, which I call stage 3 hunger, you are no longer in the happy zone where you can calmly enjoy some food that you are craving.  You feel desperate and you end up behaving desperately.  You just grab any old stale cracker, you throw back some chips that you don’t even like.  Your eating experience isn’t pleasant.  Yes you are over hungry.

Stage two is the stage to eat.  The markers of this stage:

1.  You start to have some specific thoughts about what would be good to eat,

2.  When you think of eating you salivate

3.  You are distracted from your day by your hunger.

But remember we all must take the time and effort to learn about our hunger and how it manifests.  Remember, we are all different, so this will vary too.   These are mine.

But the idea here is your thin mentality is about taking care of your hunger happily, and with an eye toward joy and satisfaction, not deprivation and angst.  And of course, when hunger is calm and quiet, stop eating.  Why?  because feeding yourself beyond hunger is a huge betrayal of your body’s voice.  Don’t do that to yourself.  The reward?  A body that you love, and a joyful relationship with food.

It would seem so odd to our ancestors that we make such a misery out of eating.  Well I did!  Do you?  I used to lament over choices and buy foods I didn’t love so I wouldn’t over eat and sometimes eat something because I knew the calories and I could track my day better-  what craziness!

14 years into my Thin Mentality and I desperately want to share this focus with you.  I know how much misery a diet mentality yields.  You can get your thin mentality back, the normal healthy attitude toward food that you were born with.  Yes You CAn  You just need a cheerleader.  And I am here.

Get normal!  Get healthy- and I am talking mentally too-  think how much food stress impacts your mental health- ugh!!

The next question on the quiz will be explained tomorrow!!

Have a great weekend.


Thin Mentality Quiz

testIf you have been trying to build a thin mentality, take this quiz and see how you are doing- five quick questions!

1.  As a thin mentality person you wait until you are really, really hungry, and you can’t think of anything else before you eat.

 True or False

2.  If you are eating something and you realize it is not “hitting the spot,” what is the Thin Mentality thing to do?

  • a.  Just eat it anyway, another meal is around the corner
  • b. Stop eating it and if at all possible, get something that does hit the spot.
  • c. Stop eating it and just stay hungry.

3.  If you are worried that you won’t  be able to eat later when you are hungry, what is the thin mentality thing to do?

  • a.  Realize that it would be smart to pack a little something to take the edge off your hunger until you can get something that you really want and need for your next meal
  • b. Just realize that sometimes you must suffer.
  • c.  Avoid this siutation

4.  Whenever possible, try to convince others who are on a diet and losing weight that they should stop.

True or False

5.  If you want french fries, try having a baked potato first to see if that satisfies you.

True or False

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Answers:  FBAFF How did you do?  Question?  Scroll down and use the comment board and I will answer!