Want to know what habits can help you slim down and reach your health goals? Cornell University’s Global Healthy Weight Registry can help shed some light on it. This ongoing registry was created to survey adults who have successfully maintained a healthy body weight throughout their lives.
You probably have a friend or coworker that seems to never worry about their weight and stays effortlessly slim, that is exactly who the Registry is tracking. That person, and others like them might unknowingly possess secrets to helping those who struggle with their weight. An analysis of Registry participants unveiled some common routine behaviors of those who stay healthy and slim
- Eating high-quality foods (losing and maintaining weight loss is about quality of your food as well as quantity or calories)
- Cooking at home more often
- Listening to inner cues for hunger and fullness
- Being wise at restaurants. Things like scouting out the buffet offerings before picking up a plate, avoiding sauces at restaurants, having coffee for dessert, or choosing just their favorite food (not everything) at dinner parties
- Eating soups and stews and protein rich snacks like hard-boiled eggs, salmon or tuna, and Greek yogurt to feel full.
- One-third eat salad at lunch every day and most eat vegetables at dinner every night.
- Don’t feel as guilty about overeating. (Everyone overeats from time to time. Beating yourself up over it only fuels the cycle of overeating)
- 96% report eating breakfast
- 42% exercised 5+ times a week
- 50% weighed themselves at least weekly
- 74% never or rarely dieted, but 92% reported being conscious of what they ate
According to the study’s co-author, Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab and author of the book Slim by Design, what stood out most in these findings was that: “Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight. Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues.”
It’s all about lifestyle and everyday habits, not diets, fads, and temporary restriction that is bound to end in a failed attempt. Strict diets don’t work. Waging war on those unhealthy habits, just one or two at a time versus all at once, is a more productive, achievable way of getting and staying healthy.
Do you have healthy daily habits, say 80% of the time? If not, what could you do to gradually change those daily habits? If you struggle with your weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine a few at a time. Make a list and commit to working on one or two a week. You may be surprised how easy it can be to be healthy.