Fit people aren’t fit because of good luck, birth order or something they’ve inherited. They’re fit because they’ve adopted healthy habits and do things differently than most. During my 20-plus years in the fitness industry, I’ve worked with thousands of individuals and paid particularly close attention to the ones that seem “naturally” fit. You know, the ones most people refer to as genetic freaks when, really, they’re just people who have adopted good habits. Although some of these tips may go against popular opinion, they work. Learn, adopt, practice and stay disciplined in the following 11 healthy habits, and you will enjoy being a successfully fit person for life!
1. Stick to the same daily menu.
Most diet books provide you with a variety of food, so you don’t get bored. However, most fit people have only a handful of healthy spreads that are their go-to meals. They find something healthy they love and look forward to, and they stick to it.
2. Eat breakfast.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. By fueling your body with a healthy meal first thing, you jump start your metabolism. When you skip breakfast, your metabolism slows and ends up holding on to fat when you do eat.
3. Stay hydrated.
Our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated helps you avoid overeating and unnecessary snacking. More importantly, water enables your mind and body to function properly.
4. Eat small and eat often.
Having small, frequent meals is proven to facilitate weight loss. Eating every 2-3 hours keeps your metabolism running and your energy in balance. Going hours without food simply slows your metabolism.
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5. Eat whole foods.
Whole foods should make up 80 percent of your daily caloric intake. Processed foods, even the low-fat/low-calorie, seemingly healthy options, have unhealthy ingredients. Aim to eat clean 80 percent of the time, and keep processed foods to a minimum.
6. Educate yourself.
Become a food expert. Read up on nutrition, learn what you’re putting in your body, and start reading labels. The more you know about ingredients, calories and serving sizes, the more likely you are to make healthy choices.
7. HAVE a diet instead of going ON a diet.
Be a careful (not obsessive!) eater. Find healthy foods you enjoy and maintain a diet you can live with, rather than restricting yourself to a rigid diet.
8. Buy healthy food.
This one’s simple! If you can’t resist it, STOP buying it! Fill your home with healthy options you enjoy. Have them readily available–fruits and veggies washed, cut, etc.–to make healthy choices easy.
9. Close the kitchen.
Choose a time that you will officially stop eating at night. Food is fuel, and you don’t need to fuel your body for rest. Stop eating 2 to 3 hours before bed for a better sleep and a flatter tummy in the morning.
10. Be a polite, yet picky eater at restaurants.
Don’t be afraid to ask for adaptations to your meal when ordering out. Substitute a side of fries for a side of veggies, or ask that the chef hold the butter when preparing your food. If you ask politely, restaurants are usually happy to oblige.
11. Don’t eat your feelings.
Most often, we eat for reasons other than hunger. Figure out what feelings, emotions or situations trigger unnecessary eating, and find an alternative activity to replace eating.
Chalene Johnson is a SpryLiving.com healthy living expert. Click here to ask her your healthy-living question.