So how do skinny people do it ? Chances are you know of someone who seems to effortlessly control their weight, while you may struggle with yours.
So what healthy eating and healthy lifestyle habits do these individuals have that keeps them slim with seemingly very little effort?
Would you like to control your weight for good? These are the common lifestyle habits that these people share:
1) They do not ‘diet’
They are not concerned with the latest diet fad. Evidence suggests that slim people consume a basic healthy and balanced diet.
The problem with diets is that they tend to create a feeling of restriction and deprivation.
This can lead to an excessive focus on food and eating, fueling binges and an obsession with food which basically negates any benefits associated with the original diet.
The bottom line here is that if a diet feels restrictive, it is unlikely to help you with weight control in the long term. It is best to create healthier eating habits for life. Diets don’t work. An authentic Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating.
2) They exercise, a lot
Skinny people and individuals who lost weight and kept it off, exercise for at least an hour each day. That may equate to a 2000- plus calorie burn every single week.
3) They eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
No surprises here — they eat 7-10 servings or 3 1/2 - 5 cups of fresh fruits and vegetables every single day. The daily recommended intake is a minimum of 2.5 cups of vegetables.
The more fresh produce you add into your diet, there is far less room for other high calorie foods. You naturally eat less of them and in smaller quantities.
4) They think quality over quantity
This is one to note! Long term weight control is not about focusing on what you should not eat. It is about enjoying good quality food, high calorie or not.
It means enjoying a small serving of good quality cake, rather than eating an entire packet of biscuits. Good quality dark chocolate or a glass of red wine.
Practice mindful eating … stop and think before you put something into your mouth. Is it worth the calories? It is not just the calories that we should think about. Is it beneficial to our health?
5) They shop smart
Inspecting your grocery bill is one of the easiest ways to check the quality of your diet. If processed, high fat snacks in colourful packaging are about 2% of the items then you’re doing well!
On the other hand, if you regularly buy these junk foods, then you’ve lost the battle. If you buy them, then you’re eating them.
If you know you should not be eating them for either weight loss or health reasons, then you’ve got to get honest with yourself and stop buying them… and don’t use the kids as excuses. They shouldn’t be eating them either!
6) They cook at home
Meals prepared at home are healthier and have considerably less calories than take-out meals.
Many popular lunches bought in restaurants or take-outs can contain almost double the calories of the same meal you prepare for yourself, while restaurant meals can contain an entire day’s worth of calories. If you simple must buy food, make sure you make healthier choices and get a quinoa or tuna salad.
Cooking at home is an easy step towards weight control.
7) They stick to their healthy eating habits
It does not matter if it is Christmas, a major birthday, or winter time. Individuals who control their weight maintain diet structure.
There is no such thing as taking a day or even a week off their diet, rather there is a one off heavier meal or occasional treat, and the normal diet resumed straight after.
8) They eat healthier snacks
Forget packaged snacks, low fat treats and processed foods. Snacking means something light and nutritious for those in control of their weight. Fruit, veggies nuts and goat’s yoghurt or cheese are all great choices for snacks.
9) They don’t do food guilt
Forget diet talk and cycles of deprivation and bingeing depending on what you have eaten.
Food is not used to soothe emotional states and there is an understanding that at times we will overindulge and consume higher fat, higher calorie foods, but it all evens out eventually.
There is no guilt or compensatory behaviours associated with eating. It all comes down to healthier habits, the occasional treats and balance.
10) They watch their weight
Skinny people watch their weight. They may weigh themselves or, just simply feel how their clothes fit on them.
This means that you notice when you start putting on weight and you do something about it. You can respond quickly and take the steps required to reverse weight gain, before it becomes significant.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !