Being a foodie but staying managing to stay thin or at a good weight

I love this site and the cook books. Cooking has changed my life. This question is a bit off topic but I would love to have any advice. How are you all foodies but manage to stay at a great weight? Especially with wonderful baking. Any answer or idea would be much appreciated.



Pegeen June 23, 2013
There is no magic to reducing weight. You either 1) eat less and exercise more or 2) have one of the methods of "weight reduction" surgery. Pretty much any doctor or reliable healthcare professional will tell you to work hard on #1 before you consider #2, unless you have significant health complications that require attention and possibly surgery sooner rather than later.
Stephanie G. June 23, 2013
Same here. Great perspective!
Sarah D. June 22, 2013
I think being a foodie has actually helped me to remain thin. I have developed a taste for flavorful, interesting, fresh, high quality foods. I'm not interested in the normal, fried, sugary bland, processed and flavorless things most people crave. Having no taste for those cheap, ubiquitous foods cuts out a lot of every-day temptation, and eating more interesting and satisfying things also helps me eat smaller portions.
Linn May 4, 2013
NancyfromVictoria says sometimes it is hard to know when she is full. Excellent observation! In my observation, knowing when to stop is really challenging, especially to people who struggle with weight loss. I am one of those lucky intuitive eaters who can leave really good food on the plate because I have had enough. To help my clients, I use a hunger scale from 1 to 10 and teach them how to gauge their hunger. The objective approach works well for them and might help Nancy gauge when to stop.
jsdunbar April 30, 2013
Hilarybee, thanks for explaining; it makes sense to me now. My husband, too, often bought lunch once a week with his colleagues, before retiring (I always packed my lunch because lunch at the cafeteria seemed so expensive). When I was growing up, we had dinner out as a family 2 or 3 times a year as I recall, until we reached aged 15. I remember well as a small child going to our favourite place in Chinatown (Montreal) & being invited into the kitchen: it was all sparkling stainless steel, with huge drawers - chest high to me at the time. One was opened & was filled with dried Chinese noodles. The Chinese cooks were probably amused to see a wee blond girl in a smocked dress whose eyes were so wide at the site. At age 15 each of us 3 children could choose our favourite meal at home or choose a restaurant for our birthday dinner. I remember choosing a Spanish place I'd heard of, which my parents were delighted to go to, but I wasn't as sophisticated as I pretended to be & didn't like it much. My mother was a good cook, but this was beyond the North American, French, Chinese & Italian my palate was used to.
My husband grew up with frugal, practical parents, who ate at home & grew a huge vegetable garden that fed them for months. One day when we visited them when they were in their in their late 80's, we picked up sandwiches from Subway, so Grandma wouldn't make us lunch. They were surprised & quite pleased to find out one could buy a sandwich on whole wheat bread with lots of vegetables, which suited them. So you can see that dinner at home is natural for us. This is a perfect example of the truism that every family is it's own culture. BTW, one of my sons grew up loving to cook & became a chef. Thanks for responding to me.
SeaJambon April 30, 2013
"Foodie" is such a funky term. I recently hung out with a group of self-proclaimed "foodies" and discovered what they were was really "food groupies" (if they weren't talking about the last meal they had at XYZ, or did anyone know how to get them in to French Laundry? or the exquisite cinnamon notes in the wine, they had nothing to say -- frankly, not very interesting). As far as the staying reasonable weight piece, it is well discussed above -- it is the personal calculus of calories and activities, modified for metabolism. The actual numbers and variations, tips and techniques will vary widely (as is clear on the diversity of "how I approach" above) just as all of us differ widely. It is a good question, as there are so many possible takes on it all. And I mean no disrespect for folks here calling themselves "foodies" -- I considered myself one until I hung out with these folks; now I'm just someone who enjoys good food, no matter where I encounter it.
jsdunbar April 29, 2013
I'm fascinated by the idea of one time per meal per week going to a restaurant. I find going out to eat is a big treat that I really enjoy but I am careful about, because I am not in control of ingredients or method of cooking, so the meal is usually richer &/or higher calorie, as well as saltier than what I cook at home. My husband & I try to go out to eat once a month, but we don't always remember to do it.
Hilarybee April 30, 2013
jsdunbar, it was an idea we had mostly to save money. My husband comes from a family where cooking never occurred, and if it did, it was often boxed/canned. In my family, my mother made everything homemade and we ate at a restaurant on Friday evenings, every Friday evening--and that was our family "outing". Eating at home has been an adjustment for my husband, while eating out that much is not beneficial to my waistline-- so I try to reward him with one breakfast, one lunch with his work colleagues and one dinner.
HalfPint April 29, 2013
I'm a grazer. I just nibble a little of whatever food and that's enough for me. Plus I do the 10 minute rule: eat my modest portion of any food and then wait 10 minutes. If I'm still hungry after the 10 minutes, I'll have a little more and repeat the rule. I find that after the 10 minutes, I'm not as hungry or that I'm adequately satiated. Then I'm not inclined to overeat.
HalfPint April 29, 2013
Also, there's research showing that it takes your stomach 10-15 minutes(?) to realize that your stomach is full. This supports my belief that a slow leisurely meal is much better for you than 'fast food'. Plus I'm a 'foodie' too and I just love savoring really good and lovingly prepared food.
NancyfromVictoria April 29, 2013
That is so true. Some people their brain tells them they are full and they stop eating. For most of us it does not kick in until 20 minutes after the fact and meanwhile we have had seconds. I noticed that with my "skinny" girlfriends that just stop eating. Some won't even eat their desserts (that I find truly amazing). My kids will stop eating when they are full - in the middle of a meal. I guess getting older the brain delays the signal.
darksideofthespoon April 29, 2013
Try to moderate, no seconds.. and if I'm still not full, I fill myself up with as much water as my stomach can handle!
Bevi April 28, 2013
I agree with all things in moderation. And how clothes fit is a great guide to follow.
By the way, I think the term "foodie" means different things to different people. To some it may mean they love food, to others that they love to cook food, to others that they watch what foods go into their bodies. It's not for me to judge, and I don't mind the term at all.
petitbleu April 28, 2013
I'm definitely an all-things-in-moderation gal. I'm still young enough (and blessed with a fast metabolism) to get away with certain indulgences, but I go by how my body feels. I feel best when I eat lots of fruit and veggies, whole grains, and protein from a variety of sources--not just meat. I also feel best when I get exercise, which usually amounts to taking a brisk uphill walk every day. If I start to feel poorly from too much overindulgence, I scale back and concentrate on wholesome and filling whole foods until I stop feeling bloated and my pants fit like they should again.
I don't own a scale simply because I hate the idea of weight as a metric of health. Health cannot be reduced to a number. I go by how my clothes fit. I find this to be somehow less demoralizing than standing on a scale.
I also completely eschew processed foods. This includes store-bought cereal, drinks other than water, coffee, and tea, and even "instant" foods like instant oatmeal or rice. I cook a lot, and have come to appreciate the experience of cooking just as much, if not more than, eating. Eating great food is the icing on the cake, if you will.
I've also found that while I love the occasional croissant (the real deal, not the supermarket stuff), I really appreciate the incredible flavors of fresh produce so much that I'd rather eat those "healthy" foods anyway. I also love the challenge of finding new ways to cook veggies that I take for granted. I'm still enthralled by finding new preparations for kale, which is totally dorky, but I love it!
But really, my secret is letting my body be my guide. I eat when I'm hungry, do exercise that I find enjoyable, and go by how I feel. For a society so food-obsessed, most of us are terribly out of touch with our bodies. Finding that connection with our physical selves is so important to health that I really don't think you can be healthy without it.
Hilarybee April 28, 2013
I struggle with this but I go with "all things in moderation." There is so much judging on the internet and fad eating-- I try to ignore all of it. I really worry about restrictive diets and eating disorders. I grew up with an anorexic parent, so I know first hand what fad diets and judgment can do to someone with a type-a personality striving for control. So I have to avoid any system that tempts me with extreme control. I've gone overboard in the past, with really restricting my diet, going with fads and I landed myself in a hospital for over a month and had to withdraw from two semesters of college. I've also done the opposite and let it all go out the window--and both sides are just not an option for me.

Here is what I do: I try not to eat too many carbs and too much meat, a struggle for me because I love them both. I buy one kind of meat a week. If we want beef hamburgers or I want to try a beef recipe, that is what we get for the whole week. I treat pork, chicken and fish similarly. If I want bread, I have to put the work into making it. The rest of the week I go with salads with dinner, always and vegetarian meals. I love to bake, and I recently found a coffee shop that sells my cookies. It satisfies my need to bake, I taste the baked goods (but don't each much!) and sell the rest. I also try to limit eating out. My husband and I have an agreement- only one time of each meal a week. And we try to walk there. We'll often walk to a bistro if we want brunch; walk to a restaurant if we agree to go out to eat. But every once in a while, it is a treat to have a blow out and I try to remember that too. I take a long walk every day, and I run about 4 times a week. I try to mix in stretching and other fun-- into the mix. If I want to do something with friends, I'll often suggest rollarblading, bike riding or ice skating. We get to hang out, talk and have fun, while still being healthy.
lloreen April 28, 2013
I had to cut out gluten and sugar except for rare special occasions - I am envious of those who can eat bread and cake and stay thin. Exec rices doesn't help much. You only burn about 100 calories per mile you run! It is good for you in other ways, but unless you exercise for hours a day and don't over eat as a result, it won't actually help you lose weight.
I get plenty of foodie pleasure making veggies, eggs, and meat, though, so I don't feel deprived. Luckily, my favorite meal is a big salad with contrasting veggies, herbs, and a protein....there are infinite ways to prepare that.
NancyfromVictoria April 28, 2013
Do you eat brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread?
NancyfromVictoria April 28, 2013
Do you eat brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread?
boulangere April 28, 2013
Sometimes, but not exclusively. I bake my own breads, so I know what goes into them, and I love a sandwich made on wild yeast sourdough, so I'm not going to ditch it entirely. Too, some pasta dishes are simply iconic in my memory as made with white pasta. The same goes for rice. Brown rice in a burrito just doesn't do much for me. I don't like to think of food as a punishment, but rather as a pleasure, so sometimes I let myself have something I truly love. In reasonable portions, of course.
Bevi April 28, 2013
I find that all of the above works. Cutting down on alcohol and carbs works well for me, coupled with lots of exercise. By exercise I mean something everyday, but that can be gardening, a walk to town to pick up groceries, a bike ride, whatever.
Drinking lots of water is the one component I feel is important to add to the list.
amysarah April 28, 2013
Portion control, exercise, ditto ditto. (Personally, the plate trick never worked for me.) But most important for me is balance, not any one meal. If I'm going out, or cooking something rich, I try to eat very lightly the rest of the day - or the next, if an unanticipated rich risotto or irresistible steak frites pops up. I also try to serve a higher proportion of salads/veg's (not dripping in butter/cheese) for every carb-laden dish I serve. Avoid the bread basket (unless it's a particularly fabulous one, in which case, eat one piece and skip dessert.) Also, wine can add a lot of calories - if available, I find a very good wine by the glass (1) can do the trick. (If not, maybe skip the buttery potatoes...balance.)
ATG117 April 28, 2013
calories in < calories out, eat mostly healthfully, exercise regularly, and most importantly, pick good genes!
ChefOno April 28, 2013

Now then, I will attempt a comment about Cynthia's "studliness" when it comes to exercise. And I thought I was a crazy year-round cyclist. Way to go Cynthia!

ChefOno April 28, 2013

I should remember some people view the term "foodie" in a positive light. My comment was intended as a gentle nudge and I meant no disrespect to anyone here who identifies with term.

NancyfromVictoria April 28, 2013
In Canada it is considered someone with a high appreciation of good food made well. That is me! I also eat way too much of a good thing and have to learn to stop. :-)
paseo April 28, 2013
Wonderful explanation of what you meant, thank you - I feel the same way about the term.
Linn April 27, 2013
Agree with ChefOno about portion size and exercise. Understand too metabolisms are not created equal. Some of us look at an piece of cheesecake and gain 5 pounds. Most experts agree that calorie intake is the deciding factor. In my observation, however, if you find yourself struggling, keeping an eye on the carbohydrates can be helpful. A real challenge for foodies like you who love the wonderful baking! Remember too weight is only one indicator of health. What you decide to put on the plate is just as important.
drbabs April 27, 2013
When it comes to baked goods (and I do love sweets), I choose quality over quantity. I bake (a lot), and I bring my baked goods to work where they're usually gone by lunch time. I taste a lot, eat a little. Like Cynthia, I have salad with most meals. I've also been known to cut back on the oil or butter used in a recipe. My job keeps me on my feet a lot of the day, and I exercise about 3 days a week.
NancyfromVictoria April 27, 2013
Just read some negative remarks about the term foodie. Ooops ... I just like good food :-)
boulangere April 28, 2013
Absolutely no need to apologize for how you see yourself!
boulangere April 27, 2013
Eat less, move more! Regardless of the size of the plate, I try to be certain that I can see the plate through the food. I always start with a generous salad and eat all of it; I usually don't finish what comes next, which is good because it leaves my lunch the next day (along with that salad). I ride a bicycle 12 months out of the year; I have paniers on the back so I can carry whatever I need, including groceries, and I put studs on it during the winter. I also walk or hike with my dogs 7 days a week. Another benefit of all of the above is that I sleep like a baby.
SeaJambon April 30, 2013
Wow! I'm totally in awe. You go, girl!!

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno April 27, 2013

Excellent question with many answers, effective and otherwise. In summary: Portion control and exercise. A smaller portion of good-tasting high calorie food has the same number of calories as a large portion of low-calorie food which cannot truly satisfy your hunger nor your soul.

+1 for the plate trick. Observe the size of a typical American plate compared with a European version.

-1 on the use of the term "foodie".
NancyfromVictoria April 27, 2013
You are right. I lived in France for 15 years and when I moved back to Canada that is when I put the weight on. Having 4 kids didn't help either. What is wrong with the term foodie??????? I thought that was a good term.
jsdunbar April 27, 2013
No seconds, ever, is a good start. Sharing food, or trading food for services has worked for me. Another trick is using a slightly smaller plate. Oh and never letting food overlap the edge (flatter often patterned part) of the plate. I know how hard it is. Every little daily decision helps.
ZombieCupcake April 27, 2013
I go to the gym four times a week and run 2 to 3 times. Also I pawn off alot of stuff I make on friends and family lol.
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