How do thin people stay thin? 10 tips.

Diet product marketing hype typically comes packaged with images of thin, fit people in work-out clothes, with an emphasis on 6-pack abs and toned thighs.  The message is: if you want to be thin, you have to buy our product.


I know plenty of thin, fit people.  And not one of them ever:

  • Followed a restrictive fad diet.  No Paleo, low carb, low fat, gluten-free or anything that comes with a special name attached.  Not even healthier plans like Weight Watchers, DASH or Mediterranean.
  • Uses diet pills
  • Eats or drinks special weight loss or meal replacement products, like Slim Fast or Nutrisystem.
  • Fills up on artificially sweetened or fake fat diet foods and soft drinks.
  • Uses a cleanse or detox program.  Never.  Ever.

So are thin people just lucky?   Can they gorge on piles of junk food and never gain an ounce?  That’s a popular myth, but completely false.

How do they do it then?  They:

  1. Stay physically active every single day in some way: walking, running, bicycling, swimming, dancing, horseback riding, skiing.  Some of them go to gyms to work out.  Many don’t.  It’s not about a special type of activity.  It’s about activity, period.
  2. Eat a varied and mostly balanced diet.
  3. Eat three meals/day.
  4. Stay away from junk food, especially super sized sugary drinks.
  5. Stick to modest portions.
  6. Not get hung up on good/bad food beliefs.
  7. Listen to their hunger signals.  They don’t just mindlessly eat because the food is there, or because they’re stressed or bored or angry.
  8. Never think of food as a reward.
  9. Don’t automatically associate eating with some activity, like watching TV or driving.
  10. Obsessively weigh or count calories every day.

While people who easily regulate food intake by listening to hunger signals may not bother with weighing and calorie counting (#10), I do think both of those give dieters a reasonable way of monitoring intake.  Especially during the initial phase of a lifestyle make over, it may be helpful to have those external signals to help you track food intake and weight loss progress.

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