We all know people who lack good nutrition and fitness habits but have remained thin their whole lives. On the flipside, we know others (sometimes even ourselves) who do everything right and can't catch a break when it comes to weight loss.|
Scientists don't completely understand why some people seem to never struggle with their weight while others seem to gain weight just by looking at a slice of cake. But we do know that our habits are only one part of the equation along with genetics and environmental factors.
So do these "naturally" thin people really have any secrets to offer the rest of us (outside of their coveted DNA)?
While thin isn't synonymous with healthy, individuals who are both thin and healthy have a few habits in common. Adopting some or all of these behaviors won't guarantee that you'll reach your ideal weight, but they will definitely improve your health and well-being.
5 Secrets of the Naturally Thin (and Healthy)
1. They eat only until full.
Naturally thin people tend to listen to their bodies and eat only when they're truly hungry (rather than bored, sad or tired or just because food is around). They also stop eating when they feel satisfied (not after they've cleaned their plates). While this trait may be innate to the naturally thin, it's also something that can be learned over time. In order to know what being really full feels like, you first need to experience what it really means to be hungry. Look at the hunger chart below. Where do you fall on the chart when you usually eat? The best time to eat is actually when you're at a 3 or 4. If you wait to eat until you're so hungry that you become weak or cranky, you're more likely to choose an unhealthy food option. And if you eat when you're at a 5 or above, it's for the wrong reasons.
2. They get enough sleep.
Of course, there are plenty of naturally thin people who suffer from insomnia or always burn the candle at both ends, but sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight. Lack of sleep actually causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol that makes us feel hungrier than normal. And it effects other hormones that make it harder to metabolize carbohydrates, burn fat and build muscle. If you're struggling with getting enough sleep, take a look at your habits and lifestyle to find places to make changes. There are lots of ways to improve the quality of your sleep, including setting a regular bed time, using your bedroom is used only for sleeping (and sex), and managing the stress in your life. Even better, the number one way to improve sleep is also important to weight loss: exercise.