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Sunday, August 7, 2016

What are the Habits of Slim People?

We all know people who have been slim for life.  Those who never seem to pile on the pounds, never seem to gain the extra weight as they age.  So is it just genetics or do slim people have habits that we can learn from?  Many of you have read the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  So what are the highly effective habits of slim people?  To find out researchers at Cornell University have asked those who have been slim all their lives to volunteer to register at:  Cornell is compiling a registry of slim people to find out what are their habits that help keep them slim?  You can go to this registry to read more about what they have found out to date.  And if you are one of those people who have been slim for life, then you may be interested in volunteering to join this registry and participate in this research study. 
What do they ask these slim people?  They ask them about food preferences, dining habits, hobbies to see what are their tricks and secrets to staying slim. 
What are 4 healthy habits slim people have?
Habit 1:  Eat Breakfast
I always tell my students that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Now I can add that “eating breakfast keeps the pounds away”.  Apparently so, according to the habits of slim people.  The registry found that a whopping 96% of the registrants of slim people ate breakfast every day.  Not just any old foods but a healthy breakfast.  To get some good ideas on eating a healthy breakfast, visit some of my previous posts such as Eat Breakfast for Better Health from 5-22-16.    In general, avoid the refined carbs like doughnuts and choose whole grain cereals, whole grain rolls and add in some protein like milk, yogurt, or eggs.  Or, have a smoothie made with yogurt and fresh fruit.
Habit 2:  Eat More Whole Foods and less Processed Foods
So many people are eating fast food and highly processed foods all day, every day.  The closer the food is to the farm, orchard, the better.   Eating at home is healthier than eating at fast food restaurants.  Make your lunch and take it to work at least a few days a week for a healthier habit.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.   I always tell my students to aim for at least “5 A Day”, 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.  Eat some fruit at breakfast every day and fruit and vegetables at lunch and dinner every day.  The registry found that 657% of the skinnies eat vegetables at dinner every day.  And 35% have a salad at lunch.  Rather than some highly processed snack food like Cheetos, the skinnies are feasting on fruits and nuts.   My daughter often has a snack at work of hummus and carrots.  So very healthy. Plan ahead and pack ahead to eat healthier at work. 
Habit 3:  Aim for Physical Activity Every Day
The skinnies aren’t couch potatoes.  They exercise.  Many overweight people are jealous of those who have lost weight but they are not jealous of the effort many people make to lose the weight or keep it off.  Exercise is a very important component of getting slim and staying slim.  It doesn’t mean you are running a marathon but it does mean you need to make exercise a habit.  A walk at lunch, a walk before or after work.  Many gyms now offer short classes at lunch time to fit into your day or classes right after work.  My daughter often goes with a friend to the gym after work to take an aerobics class or a pumping iron class.  Almost 70% of the slim people on the registry reported participating in exercise at least 3 times and week and 50% reported participating in some form of exercise 5-7 days a week.
Habit 4:  No Deprivation
So many people who go on diets, focus on the negative and on depriving themselves.  I can’t have this cookie, this piece of cake will spoil my diet, I can’t eat out, I can’t have fast food.  Wow! Is it any wonder they don’t stick to the diet with all this deprivation?  The website has a great video on hints to eat out at restaurants.  I like Joyce Meyer’s saying, “eat the cookie, buy the shoes”.   You can eat a cookie but not the whole box of cookies.  So what diet are slim people on?  None – they aren’t going on the latest fad diet to lose weight.  Rather, they stop eating when they are full, not when the plate is empty.  They eat when they are hungry, not when they pass a bakery. 
Conclusion:  The website and habits of slim people provide an interesting resource and guide to a slimmer you. 
You can watch a short video about using these research tips when eating out at a restaurant. 

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