Have you ever known someone who seems like they can eat anything and never put on a pound? Or maybe you’re one of those people who swears that you’ll gain weight just by looking at a pan of brownies? There is some truth to the good versus bad metabolism – some people do tend to store more calories while others tend to burn more. But it’s not really as significant as you might think.
A person’s body composition plays a role in their metabolism – those with more muscle mass will burn more calories. A person’s need to fidget or move around more also plays a big role. We all know toe tappers, finger drummers and those who just can’t seem to sit still. People like that tend to have a better metabolism because all those little activities add up and burn calories. But there are other day-to-day healthy habits that those thinner people have adopted, and those are the things that distinguish the healthier eaters (and healthier bodies), from the rest.
Healthy eaters often keep a journal.
Not necessarily every day, but they have a good sense of what and how much they eat over the course of a week. Healthy eaters are aware of the calories and other stuff in the food they eat, because they check the labels, occasionally add it up, and know when they’re off course, so they can get back on track quickly. Keeping a food journal, or using an app like My Fitness Pal also makes you accountable. If you want that slice of cake, how much extra walking are you going to do for it?
Healthy eaters always eat breakfast and they snack a lot.
There’s overwhelming research that shows people who eat breakfast make healthier choices throughout the rest of the day, and contrary to what you would think, snacking is good for you! As long as you choose healthy snacks based around fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and lean protein, I promise you’ll get all your nutrients in, and you’ll feel satisfied throughout the day, which means no late night snacking.
Healthy eaters eat most of their meals at home.
It’s really easy to rack up far more calories and far more fat than you need when you eat out often. Just pull up any of your favorite restaurant foods on My Fitness Pal, or Calorie King, or Lose It. Get in the habit of packing a healthy lunch and snacks, and always have a dinner plan. I’m not saying you can never eat out, but limit it to once or twice a week, and you’ll notice a bit difference in your weight and the quality of your diet if you do.
Healthy eaters eat mindfully.
Eating more than your stomach can hold only makes you uncomfortable, and regret how much you’ve eaten. Healthy eaters eat slowly, savor every bite, listen to their hunger cues, and most importantly, they know there’s more where that came from, be it the grocery store, or the kitchen, so they don’t feel the need to finish it all in one sitting.
Healthy eaters are also more active.
OK this one’s not directly related to eating, but healthy eaters know that eating adds calories, and moving more subtracts calories. It’s important to keep a good balance, and this becomes harder as you get older. You see, we lose a little bit of muscle mass each year after our 30s, and that means our metabolism slows down just a little bit more each year. So just move a little more to offset that slowdown. Remember that if you eat just 100 calories more than you need, you’ll gain 10 pounds in a year. Just 10 minutes of brisk exercise can burn about 100 extra calories each day.
What healthy habits to you try to stick to each week?