We all know those kind of girls who are thin and have the perfect body without diet. They eat whta they want without looking at the calories. How is she so thin, and why doesn’t she have to go on a diet? So what’s the secret to getting and staying skinny? From getting plenty of rest to eating healthy to going out with the girlfriends, here are some rules your diet-eschewing pals live by—without having to think about them.
Not only is staying hydrated important to maintaining overall health (especially when exercising), but also sometimes, we confuse the feeling of thirst for hunger.
Staying hydrated is key for weight management and for health overall.
While it can be tempting to turn to sugary beverages such as soda, juice, coffee with sweeteners, and cocktails, try to drink plenty of water instead. Keep a pitcher of water at your desk to help remind you, and carry around a reusable water bottle when on the go.
EVERY DAY ISN’T A SPECIAL OCCASION
Office doughnuts, a decadent restaurant meal, cake at a friend’s birthday party. These events happen so regularly that it’s easy to justify any day as splurge-worthy. While occasional treats are must-haves, your diet as a whole is what keeps your weight steady.
So choose your treats wisely and cut out the rest. Maybe split a crème brûlée with your husband on date night, but pass on the cookies at the meeting during the day. Or celebrate your birthday with cake, but not everyone’s.
TALK A LOT OVER DINNER
Yes, you’re at the table to eat, but you’re also there to catch up with your fellow diners, so make them the star of the show. The gabfest can slow you down so you naturally eat less.
In one study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,researchers asked people to consume a bowl of ice cream in five or 30 minutes. Those who enjoyed it slowly excreted more of the “stop eating” gut hormone called peptide YY and reported feeling fuller. So relish the lasagna, but love the company more.
DON’T WASTE TIME ON DIET FOODS
Foods with low-fat or low-calorie labels sound good in theory. The problem is that these are often heavily processed and high in carbs. These will convert to sugar in your body, potentially contributing to weight gain. What’s more, companies enhance these products after removing fat by pumping them with sugar, salt and other additives.
Women who don’t diet are still reading ingredient labels. But they do that to cut through the tricky health claims splashed across the front of the package to find out what’s really in the food.
NO FOOD IS “BAD”
It doesn’t pay to refer to brownies as “bad” and kale as “good.” In a University of Toronto study, women who were deprived of chocolate for a week experienced more cravings and were more likely to eat more chocolate.
A later 2010 study confirmed the results: If you tell yourself you can’t have chocolate and try not to think about chocolate, you obsess over…chocolate. And find yourself scarfing Snickers. It ties back to thinking you’re a dieting failure, which makes you feel guilty and overeat as a result. For a happier relationship with food, ditch “bad” from your vocabulary.
GET YOUR BEAUTY REST
When you’re busy, the first thing that takes a hit is sleep. But if you want to maintain a healthy BMI, research is showing that sleep takes top priority. In fact, on days when you’re sleep deprived and you have to choose between an extra hour of shuteye or waking up early to work out.
Lack of sleep has hormonal effects that create weight gain and alter your appetite to prefer high-calorie foods. Besides, you won’t have the energy to exercise effectively.
LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK
You’ve just eaten a cheeseburger and polished off the fries. Even if it wasn’t reflective of your healthy eating goals, forgive yourself and move on, promising to eat better at the next meal. Self-compassion can lead to a better relationship with food and a healthier BMI, reveals new research from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
Lower self-esteem may lead to disordered eating (like bingeing) that causes weight gain. Treat yourself like you treat a loved one: with encouragement and affirmation.
AVOID DIET SODA
Artificial sweeteners are controversial. While some studies show that they don’t affect weight, other research suggests that calorie-free drinks may cause weight gain by stimulating hunger.
Diet sodas set the brain up for wanting more sugar, and many people get addicted to them. Plus, ordering a diet soda can make you think you’re saving calories there, so you might as well get the mac and cheese instead of a salad.
EXPERIMENT IN THE KITCHEN
Healthy eating is never boring if you’re jazzing up your meals with herbs and spices. They amplify any dish’s flavor and replace fat while still being just as satisfying, says research from the University of Colorado in Denver. And adding spices like red pepper flakes and cayenne has been shown to boost metabolism, helping you burn a few extra calories from your meal.
So add a dash of smoked paprika in place of butter on steamed broccoli. Rather than plain roasted chicken breast, sprinkle on a variety of dried herbs, garlic powder, and chili flakes. Bon appetit!
DON’T COUNT CALORIES
There’s a huge difference between how your body uses 1,000 calories of junk food and 1,000 calories of whole foods. Getting wrapped up in calorie counts could make you deny yourself calorie-dense, yet nutritious, foods like fatty fish, avocado, oils like olive and coconut, nuts, and dark chocolate.
Focus on filling your plate with real foods with an emphasis on protein (fish, chicken, tofu), vegetables, and a source of healthy fat. Well-rounded meals coupled with heeding your hunger cues can keep you at a healthy weight.