No ‘diets’, ever
Can we agree that super- restrictive diet plans don’t work long term, never have and never will? Good. Instead of dieting, slim people live by the 80/20 rule. Eighty per cent of the time, they make wise decisions about what’s healthy and good to eat. The rest of the time, they know the world won’t end if they eat something decadent. Permission to go a little crazy sometimes? Granted.
Portion control is king
So often, the problem is that we simply eat too much, and slim people are mindful of this. Try using smaller plates and waiting at least 15 minutes before heading back for seconds. Also, practise being more mindful by eating without distractions like the telly or your tablet. Keeping your eyes on the plate rather than the screen is the only way to truly watch what you eat.
Slim people have long figured out that life is better with regular exercise, and they make it a priority. It promotes weight loss, helps with weight maintenance, tones your wobbly bits and makes you happy from the inside out. You don’t have to sign up for a gym membership, just lace up your shoes and head out for a brisk 20- or 30-minute walk. Every day. Do it instead of playing Candy Crush. Before too long, you’ll feel rather average if you don’t exercise. It’s like magic and it’s awesome! (Candy Crush will still be there waiting to drive you nuts when you get back.)
Recognise an excuse when you see one
Is your reason for not exercising just an excuse in disguise? Unless it involves illness or a real emergency, chances are your ‘reason’ (too tired, too busy, too cold, too hot, too dang lazy) is most likely just a plain old excuse. Slim people get their exercise in even when they don’t feel like it – and they almost never regret it!
Keep your pantry, fridge and freezer well stocked with nutritious ingredients and snacks and you won’t go wrong. Set aside a little time each weekend to cook and freeze meals you can simply defrost and heat later, or pre-prep meals to throw in the slow cooker during busy days. If you have good food waiting at home, you’ll be less tempted to call out for pizza or stop at the drive- thru. Calling out for a pizza or stopping at the drive-thru is okay when? Sometimes!
Drink water, lots of it, all the time
It’s a time-honoured tip and it sounds simple, but drinking more water really does work. Water is hydrating and cleansing, with the brilliant power to flush out your system and leave you feeling lighter. When you first increase your water intake, you’ll pee a lot. This is good. Just to be clear, we’re not talking about flavour- enhanced, specially fortified highfalutin water here – the plain old regular stuff is fine.
Listen to your body
How do you feel when you eat a steady diet of not- so-great food? After a little while, not so great! That’s your body crying out for fresh, nutritious food. Feeling like a slug? That’d be your body telling you to get up and move some. ‘Eat only when you’re actually hungry’ is another message it wants you to hear! Slim people have learned the lingo of their bodies, so pay attention when it speaks!
A Tim Tam is just a Tim Tam
It’s not the devil’s spawn wrapped in chocolate. Well, okay, it really is, but slim people know that eating one Tim Tam (or whatever your particular ‘downfall’ food is) will not render life as you know it hopeless for all eternity. See the 80/20 rule in number one, and remember that occasional indulgence is okay – so long as it really is only occasional!
The bathroom scale is not the boss of you
Has the number on the scale ever made you feel so lousy that you’ve said to heck with it and proceeded to throw every good habit down the drain? Never again assign it such power. Naturally slim people know a little fluctuation is perfectly normal, and that the number is never a representation of the entire story. However, they do check their weight often and use the information to their advantage, not as a number to be feared. If the number creeps too high for comfort, they double down on all of the above to nip weight gain in the bud. Use that number to motivate rather than intimidate!
Keep it simple
There's an increasing trend in 'diet' circles, particularly online, to craft intricate recipes using lots of exotic ingredients, presumably to trick the dieting brain into thinking it’s actually not on a diet. Research from Buffalo University in the US found that people who eat a relatively ‘boring’ diet actually consume fewer calories than people who eat more adventurously. Routine, it seems, helps prevent impulsivity around food and overeating. What does this mean? That a simple meal like meat and three veg can go towards shedding those kilos.