THE SECRETS OF HEALTHY PEOPLE

 

Everybody knows the type: those lucky humans who seem to eat whatever they want, aren’t slaves to the gym, and yet always look lean and energized.  Studies show they all share many of the same habits: embrace them or get your own wellness plan on tracK. 

 

  1. They don’t diet.  The majority of adults who maintain their weight either rarely or never diet.  And that makes sense, because diets usually don’t work, at least not in the long term.  Diets are temporary, and diets often lead to weight gain.  Out of 10 people who have deliberately lost weight, five years later one of them will be thinner than when they started, four will be heavier, and five will be back to the same weight.
  2. They weigh themselves often.  The scale is not your enemy.   Most healthy people weigh at least once per week.  Those who regularly weigh themselves are able to quickly catch any small weight gains and take action to reverse them.   Weigh yourself at least once weekly.  That way, you have information and get accustomed to coping with any of the negative feelings that are generated by getting on the scale.  Then this habit becomes easier.  Don’t let the number define how you feel about yourself or ruin your mood.  Rather, use it to demonstrate where you are in relation to your goal.  Daily fluctuations of a couple of pounds are to be expected due to changes in fluid balance, so don’t fret when the needle is higher.
  3. They eat mindfully.  Healthy folks are conscious of everything they eat.  The trick is listening to your body’s cues.  Pause before and after you eat, closing your eyes and thinking about how your body feels.  Start checking in halfway through the meal.  It may take more than 6 months of deliberate consideration, but eventually you’ll hear your body saying that you’re full and it’s time to stop.  It becomes automatic, and you no longer have to pay attention to it.  That’s why mindful eating works better than dieting.
  4. They walk if off.  Breaking a daily sweat pays off.   Healthy people exercise 5 or more days per week, and the majority exercise (walk) for about an hour per day.
  5. They keep the kitchen clean.  In a chaotic, messy kitchen, we eat twice as much.  That’s because the disarray primes us for a lack of self-control and also can cause stress, both of which make us want to eat.  However, when we have a meditative mind-set and feel in control, we’re better able to resist temptation.  You’ve got 2 choices: learn how to meditate, or clean your kitchen.
  6. They don’t feed their feelings. These folks report that they rarely overeat in response to internal or emotional cues.  Translation: they don’t reach for the pint of ice cream when they’re feeling down.  Eating your go-to comfort food doesn’t actually soothe you any more than when you eat something else, or nothing at all.  You’ll feel better even if you don’t eat it, so you may as well save it for a time when you can be happy and savor it.
  7. They start over every week.  Healthy people see Monday as a fresh start and kick off the week with a workout, nutritious meals and a positive attitude that helps to keep them on track in the days ahead.  Plus, people who diligently resume their healthy eating habits after a weekend splurge are more successful at maintaining a steady weight.  Consider each Monday a chance to hit reset, and make exercise and healthy eating your New Week’s resolution.

Lisa Haney