On my last post about eating a primal diet, many people seemed to express the fact that they want to eat healthier, and they particularly want to eat primal, but they don’t want to lose weight! Should they have to choose between their bodies and their skin??
Being “too skinny” is something that doesn’t get a lot of attention as a real issue, especially for women.
For men, there tends to be unfortunate societal expectations that you should be big and muscular, and therefore, being skinny is usually seen as an undesirable trait and is often discussed in the context of body building. Not that this is helpful to everyone, but there does seem to be some information out there for the skinny man.
For women though, we’re supposed to be skinny right? Supermodels and celebrities are “skinny”. So you should want to be skinny too and if you are complaining about being skinny, you are just a whiner.
In reality, being too thin (whether you’re a man or a woman) can be very distressing. If you’ve read my life story, you know that I have always had a complex about looking young, and part of the reason I look so young is not just because I’m very short, but mostly because I’m very thin. I hardly have any curves and I don’t feel very womanly sometimes. It bothers me a lot and if I happen to lose some weight and my pants start feeling a bit loose, I really don’t feel good about myself.
I definitely felt the same way when I first started eating healthy for my skin. Skin or body? It seemed like I couldn’t have both! But my weight seems to have stabilized and isn’t much lower than it was before.
Here’s the thing:
Many people who are naturally thin eat poorly and don’t exercise because there is no danger of getting fat. This is how I used to be… I never thought twice about living a healthy lifestyle because… hey… I can worry about that when I’m older! But the thing is that even though it’s not very obvious, skinny people actually do have layers of fat on their body that are comprised of unhealthy tissue.
Whenever you change your diet to something healthier and begin to detoxify, you will, unfortunately lose some weight. Your body is shedding and releasing that unhealthy layer of fatty tissue. If you are already underweight, I know this can be very scary and upsetting. But once your body is done detoxifying, it will begin to build back up again with healthier cells and tissues. You’ll start looking like you used to and stabilize at a healthy weight for your body.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to look any less skinny than you did before. \
Some of us are just naturally more thin than we’d like.
Of course, you can change your body. If you really want to be less skinny than you have make sure that you are eating above and beyond your calorie requirements and doing strength training.
Wait… strength training? I bet you are envisioning Arnold Schwarzenegger doing bench presses at the gym right now. While guys can usually wrap their heads around this concept of working out and building muscle (although not necessarily wanting to look like Arnold), girls, I find, are like ‘huh? But I want to be soft and curvy…. I don’t want to be hard and muscular!”
Yes… I understand the fear, but the facts are… women don’t get all crazy muscular like that because our hormones are different. When we build up our bodies with strength training, we end up looking ‘fit and toned’ not ‘big and bulky’ (unless you’re on ‘roids).
You don’t have to go to the gym…
Just develop yourself a simple 30 minute full body workout that you can do at home – no equipment required. Do it every other day, and while you should get some cardio in as well, make sure the majority of your exercise is focused on strength training. This is what I do.
The other thing is that you must make sure you are getting enough calories to stay at an even weight and even more if you want to gain weight and build lots of muscle. Vegetables are less dense and calorific than most unhealthy foods, so when people switch to a healthier diet, they end up eating what looks like the same amount of food that they’d eat before and then end up hungry and dissatisfied. If you’re doing paleo, really make sure you are eating lots and lots of good fats. Fats have twice as many calories per unit as carbohydrates or proteins, so it’s easy to get lots of calories in this way.
How am I personally doing with all of this?
I’d say I currently look as thin as I used to before all the healthiness, but not more thin. Maybe I’d be fuller if I had been more consistent with strength training, but I am making a point to stay on track with it now. I’m also eating enough calories to feel full and satiated, but I don’t know if it’s enough to really fill out the way I want. I also don’t know if eating intense amounts of food every day is worth it to me to bother. I guess we’ll have to see what happens! In the meantime, I am working on accepting my total self, skinny or not!
Ugh, this has been one of my biggest issues while trying to switch over to the primal diet. I think alot of people misunderstand how being underweight can effect a girl’s self esteem, especially with how hollywood seems to idolize the skinny body type. But all through highschool, I got made fun of alot and accused of being anorexic. Even teachers would ask to talk to me privately and then try and talk to me about proper eating habits. It was so frustrating!!! But like you, I’m trying to come to terms with the way my body is. I’m actually surprised I haven’t lost too much on the primal diet, so I’m pushing forward, one meal at a time. I’m really getting into it and I love the way it makes me feel.
I know.. it drives me nuts that no one ever has an issue with pointing out to someone how skinny they are… yet no one would ever go around to an overweight person they hardly knew and say ‘Hey. You’re pretty fat. Try eating less’. It’s really hurtful 🙁
true that. i’ve always been the skinny one – easy to lose weight, tough to gain it – and saying anything negative about this somehow becomes an attack on all women who are trying to slim down. just another reason it’s been great finding your site (besides the realistic, holistic acne advice): realistic, holistic notions about weight!
such a nice post! it gives me hope!. i definitely have to start strength training.tracy are you still on the candida diet? i think i might have to try and start a strict candida-primal diet as i, like you, have yeast problems. my naturopath said i shouldnt because i would have to cut out fruit, but at the moment i am having a huge breakout all over my chin area thats very persistent. i dont know what else to do.by the way, as i can see in your videos you re not skinny at all.you are thin but in a nice way!
Well, you dont have to cut out all fruit if you do a candida diet, but just make sure the fruit you are eating is low sugar… stick with berries and granny smith apples and you’ll be fine!
oh about the fats.if we start eating more good fats, isnt there going to be an imbalance in the omega3-omega 6 ratio? most of them (like olive oil,coconut oil, avocados, nuts etc) are high in omega 6.
Coconut oil really doesn’t have much Omega 6s. Only about 250mg for a large tablespoon. That’s less than the amount of Omega 3s in 1 fish oil pill which is usually anywhere from 300-600.
Also there’s evidence that the omega 6s in olive oil and possibly grapeseed oil (if I remember correctly) doesn’t actually affect your Omega 6 balance because of how its metabolized by the body.
Ugh, I really wanna find that study again to show you.
Sampson, if you ever come across this study please post! I’d be interesting in taking a look.
thanks guys for the replies!
tracy: do you think that 2 weeks on this diet will be fine? also, if i dont take the anti- candida supplements, willi i not be able to take my yeast levels down? what about beans and lentils? am i allowed to eat them? its such a shame i have an intolerance to eggs and blueberries. they would make a good breakfast! by the way i am thinking of supplementing with l glutamine (possible leaky gut). have you tried that?
sampson:so is it ok to eat olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and nuts everyday and also some fish oil or is this too much fat?
In my personal opinion, it’s ok to eat coconut/olive/fish oils and avocados every day, but not nuts. Most nuts are quite high in omega-6s as well.
I agree! Or just a small handful of them but not endless snacking. And make sure that if you are eating nuts Magda, that you are taking a good fish oil or cod liver oil with omega 3s to balance it out.
Also, I can’t tell you how long you need to be on this diet for to get your yeast levels down because I don’t specifically know how bad a candida problem you may have – so I also don’t know if you will have success without the supplements… I’d at least make sure you were taking good probiotics. You can probably eat beans and things – better to soak them and cook them yourself. And yes, L-glutamine is fantastic for repairing the gut (like leaky gut syndrome)… although I haven’t tried it myself, I would recommend it!
I have an idea for a future video topic…the BED (body ecology diet)/GAPS (gut and psychology syndrome). They seem interesting but I don’t know anything about them. I believe they are similar to the paleo/WAP diet.
tracy i am sorry for asking so many questions but here’s another one : the supplements that are supposed to kill bad bacteria and candida, wont they kill good bacteria also? so do i have to wait first to kill the candida and then supplement with probiotics?
I think the candida killers probably do kill some of the good bacteria, but not all. It’s basically a balance game… we want to get the good guys up and the yeast down, although in the process there may be some give and take. Once the good guys get enough of a step up, they will naturally keep the bad guys in check. Basically I would recommend taking your antifungals and your probiotics at different times of day so that it doesn’t cancel out your probiotic benefit.
Just wanted to thank you for addressing this topic. I’m learning everyday to love myself no matter how skinny I am or what people say about my weight. I take comfort in hearing you say the body will build itself back up after detoxifying and weight will stabilize.
To start off this was really great, I just wanted to say that I’m 19 going on 20 and I want to eat healthier, but I don’t want to lose any weight while doing it, I’m skinny enough as it is, I can’t lose much more.
Thanks for doing this post. I am now 23 and have been bullied all of my life for my weight. I am naturally thin but love myself! It amazes me how rude people are to a skinny person and also how they treat you like an outcast, but if you make a comment about how fat they are, your the bad person….
LOVE YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT (:
Yes, I’ve also never understood how it’s not socially unacceptable to harass skinny people like it is to harass fat people. My mom always said that “no one should have any right to comment on your body”.
Good for you for loving yourself no matter what 🙂 That is awesome, keep doing that!!!
Oh gosh, I relate to this. I’m a naturally thin person and a tad thinner now that I’ve been eating whole foods and exercising regularly for a little over a year. I frequently get accused of anorexia for not eating big slabs of cake at every office birthday party. I’ve also been accused a few times of faking my food allergies as a cover for being weight-obsessed. So freaking rude – and untrue, of course. I could accuse an overweight person of faking hypoglycemia as an excuse to eat more often – would it be any different?
It’s so fricking rude… I really wish people wouldn’t do things like this. So insensitive
Heehee, try eating healthy while being pregnant and daring not to get fat….
The constant “What? But you are way too thin to be pregnant, the poor child, you should gain some fat!”
comments are very..unhelpful.
Or: “Try getting off your weird “diet” for a while and eat some normal stuff, you are pregnant now, so have a piece of custard cake, or some sausage….”
(My “weird” diet is eating whatever I like, and I dont like dairy or storebought sweets and stuff, I dont like meat from animals I did not meet and I love to try out new stuff like millet, quinoa and the like…)
So, now I am 8 month pregnant, I did not gain any fat, the kid is perfectly healthy (even “remarkably active” according to my ob-gyn, which is supposed to be very good), my blood (which is regularly tested) shows absolutely NO deficiency whatsoever and both my midwife and my doctor tell me that I am doing it absolutely right.
But: Even if I tell this to the people who are commeting they are still not satisfied and keep commenting on how I should eat “normal” stuff.
So, I dont think ist about me, nor is complaining about generally too skinny people about the skinny people themseles, its about the issues and the bad conscience the commenters have about their eating habits.
Its their problem, not ours.
It really is – people only point out things about others because they feel bad about themselves :/ it’s annoying, but you’re right – it’s their problem
Firstly I am so so happy that I found your blog, you are actually amazing!! I know you are busy, so I guess you may not respond, but…I have as of today totally revamped by diet and skin care regime (using honey, oils and apple cider vinegar etc – I have also cut out dairy to see what happens). Basically I am a skinny girl with a history of Anorexia. 5 years ago I was seriously sick and though now I am managing fine and my body is fully functioning, I don’t want to lose weight and freakout my family!!I want to be healthy and have great skin. When I was seriously ill my skin (though dry) was almost completely clear, so I do think dietry changes will help.
Is there anyway I can make sure I get calories without compromising my skin?
Thank you so much, I love reading all your advice,
Sarah x 🙂
Hi Sarah 🙂
It’s a bit of a tricky situation because restricting your diet for acne can easily slip into eating disorder behaviours if you aren’t careful, so it’s not something I really want to recommend too heavily to those who have a history of that. My advice would be instead to focus on healthy foods that you are interested in incorporating more of in your diet and those that you want to eat in abundance, and think of it less in terms of what you’re taking away or restricting. This article might help explain what I mean: https://thelovevitamin.com/3413/changing-your-diet/
Just never restrict your diet in any way, when it comes to how much you eat. Eat healthy foods, but eat them liberally (include lots of all the macronutrients, good fats including saturated fat, carbs, and protein), and if you’re with your family, just have what they’re having and don’t stress about it. This is honestly advice I’d give to anyone, not just those with past history of eating disorders. Eat a lot, eat mostly whole foods, give yourself slack and don’t be too strict
Iv’e been thin my entire life in elementry school I was accused of being anorexic. I want to eat healthier but am definitely afraid of loosing more weight but I want to get rid of this dang acne. I’m almost 21, 5’3″ and weigh 104. I used to weigh 118 (but that was due to the beer and late night fast food in my partying days). I think my healthy weight is between 112 and 115. What are some high calorie foods I can eat but are safe for acne?
Hi Ashley – as I said in the article, you may lose a little at first, but then you’ll go back to the same weight soon after. Just eat a lot of good healthy food – that’s really the only way to do it! lol. Actually, look up something called RRARF if you’re interested in gaining weight
Thanks for the article. It sounds as though you would still like to put on some size. Seems many have advice that sounds good, but then must add that while putting it in practice, they are still not at their ideal weight themselves. And it really is difficult! So far, I’ve scoured the web for anyone who has cracked this code, to no avail. As far a fats go (good or bad ones) Dr Atkins proved that fats not only do not put pounds on, but take pounds off, am I wrong?
If nutrition is as individual as we now know it to be, is it inconceivable that perhaps some of us actually NEED more carbs to function optimally? Maybe MANY more? I’m a mixed who leans hi-carb. Due to a recent cancer scare, I’ve tidied up my diet only to watch my weight plummet. (Yet twice before when my BMI went that low, it devastated my neuro system.)
Today I must choose between insulin spikes (which cancer loves) or the risks of low BMI. I hope non-skinnies can see why this is so frustrating to some of us.
Here’s my plan to clean up my diet and not be eating so often that I have a life:
Meals: protein/fats/veg, juice. Immediately after: whole-grains/healthy sweets
Between meals: veg/fruit
Bedtime: whole grain cereal or nut bread
Best to all-thanks again!
I am 19 and am going to college and I work as a server at a restaurant. I work a lot of hours and have unwantingly lost weight. People tell me im to skinny and anorexic. I feel fine, but one day i woke up really sick. I was hot, tingly all over, light headed, dizzy, nauseous. My aunt told me it’s because I don’t eat right, i don’t eat healthy.
How should I eat a healthy diet. To me I eat fine. please give some advice!
and some tips on how to eat healthy again.
I‘ve always been very skinny and for a certain period my mum thought that I was anorexic. I wasn‘t, it was mainly genetics. At my age, my father has been very skinny too.
The key to gaining weight is eating. Eat healthy, but nutrient dense whole foods, eat several foods at once and aim for at least three food groups in one meal. Fat is extremely calorie dense, so it’s easier to increase calories with fat. How? Well, that depends on you: you could try fatty fish, grass-fed meat and (if you do dairy) butter, cheese or cream from grass-fed animals. If you like it, try to use plenty of coconut oil/milk in your recipes. Avocados and walnuts have a good amount of calories as well.
Carbs help a lot too, so eat sweet potatoes/potatoes, fresh (and dried) fruits – especially bananas, peaches, dates, figs, persimmons, grapes, cherries or pomegranates. Try to integrate a few grains into you diet (it doesn‘t have to be wheat).
Don’t be afraid to put a million slices of avocado on top of your 6-egg-omelet fried with extra bacon and butter or to have a few grass-fed butter + cheese wholegrain sourdough sandwiches and an enormous fruit salad topped with walnuts and dried figs for breakfast!
And don‘t forget to workout!!!
Hi Tracy, I’m trying to gain weight and its extremely hard to get calories from lots of different foods because I can’t afford a lot of things, plus I’m allergic to quite a lot of foods and I’m wondering if 10-15 tablespoons of olive oil a day is bad for my body and my skin? This just seems like the only way to gain weight. A reply would be really helpful
I am not against healthy fats to add calories. Make sure you are also eating plenty of whole carbs as well as the fat, I think the combination will help you gain weight. Make sure you’re strength training too.
Oh and I don’t mean drinking it straight, I mean drizzling onto omelettes, salads, soups ect
So will a lot of oil not make me break out? That’s what I’m scared about.. :/
I have been the same size since 7th grade. Iam now 41. I don’t eat salads. do you have any advice ? Because Iam steadily going down hill due to a resent brain surgery, plus many other surgeries.I need some kind of help or advice.
hi Tracey, I am naturally slim
And always have been, since eating healthier I notice iv lost weight. What are good fats to eat and also how can I do strength training at home?? X
Recently I visited a website. I have found an article on foods that can help me lose weight and be slim. Here is this article- http://www.thetwoangles.com/superfoods-for-skinny-body/. The foods they mentioned are apples, kiwi, grapefruits, kale etc. Is it possible to be slim and skinny through eating those foods?
Please let me know. I will appreciate.
Thank you SO much for this blog. It came just at the right time. xo 🙂
Its nice to know that you’re not alone in this cruel world . As a genetically/(hormonally?) skinny college student on a tight budget but trying oh so hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle(lots and lots of wholesome food + strength training ! ) while battling acne and at the same time getting tormented and accused of being anorexic can get really frustrating. And sometimes I would have people convincing me that I have allergies and that I’m just too stressed out cause I wouldn’t touch the cheeseburger or whatever ‘unhealthy’ food out there. Oh the ignorance of mankind -.-
Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for sharing love !
hi Tracy .my name is ashad Khan and I am from Nepal.
my problem is that ,I am too skinny .my age is 17,height- 5’11″(nearly 6ft) .and weight -50 kg u can imagine my body posture .
PLZ HELP ME WITH PROPER INSTRUCTION .
That what diet should I take at what time .I will be very thankful too your Reply .
Great article. I have always had curves(not bragging) and when i switch to healthy eating i lost alot of weight (good bye curves). My point is we all have this problem having and maintaining a nice tone body. Why can our body be like the guys ?