If we all did the things we are capable of,
we would astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison
By Laura Lewis

What secret habits do so-called naturally skinny people have? What things do thinner people do differently than those who are constantly fighting with the scale? It turns out that indeed those “naturally” skinny peeps may be doing things a little differently than their more “weighty” counterparts. So, instead of hating them for their lithe, fit physiques, let’s take a look at the secret lives of those skinny folks!

Below, I’ve pulled together what I believe are Seven Habits of “Naturally” Skinny People. Read on.

Move! The moment you wake up in the morning, consciously turn on that “get moving” button. When you awaken, actively stretch instead of just rolling out of bed. You can burn 10 more calories than usual by doing this. Take a few deep breaths and become aware of your muscles. “Feel” your body. It helps if the night before you place your walking or running shoes beside your bed. Then, upon getting out of bed, put them on right away. Then take a walk or hit the treadmill, which is one of my favorite ways to stay fit and keep my bones healthy and strong. Also, do what I do and perform lunges while you brush your teeth. Dive in and perform squats or sit ups while catching your favorite television show. Take the stairs instead of the elevator—every time. When lived on the fourth floor of an apartment building, I purposely took the stairs, often two at a time so I could feel my glutes and quads working. Small moves or big moves, no matter what. If you increase your activity level in every way, you cannot help but burn more calories. Tune into the fact the more you move, the more calories you will burn.

Bump Up Your Protein. Eating like a cave man and living thinner go hand in hand. So the rule is: Eat lean protein at least three times a day, whether it is in the form of cooked egg whites, lean chicken or protein shakes. Being lean and eating more protein helps our bodies to be lean too. Why does it work? When you consume more protein, you won’t be as hungry and hopefully you will eat less. And more protein helps build muscle, especially when you are working out with weights on a regular basis. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be. Is that motivation or what?

Eat Smaller Portions. Oh, how I love France. And it’s interesting to note that naturally thin French women are not opposed to eating real butter, cream, pastries and more. They typically eat very small portions of foods rich in calories, sometimes just taking a bite to satisfy a desire for a “taste.” This is where “naturally” thin people differ from those who are overweight. They know when to stop eating and how to eat in moderation. So, consciously choose to eat smaller portions of everything. Serve yourself on smaller plates with smaller utensils and your brain will actually be fooled into thinking you are eating more. And this my friend, is scientifically proven.

Don’t Snack. Yup. Snacking can actually cause weight problems instead of helping you reach the weight of your dreams. Eat three meals a day that include lean protein, lots of fresh veggies, “good fat” such as olive, coconut oil or nuts and seeds, and a moderate amount of whole grains. Eating your three “squares” per day without snacking can kick start a sluggish metabolism. You may be sputtering right now with surprise that I would suggest such a thing. Yet, there are those who believe you can actually eat too many meals. And, don’t get me started about intermittent fasting. Now that’s a pretty interesting strategy. More on that another time.

Overindulge? Then Eat “Skinny” Later. Participants in my HypNutrition courses as well as my coaching clients will often hear me say this: “If you over indulge, then you need to eat lean for the next day or two.” My Grandma Ruby was a big influence upon me in this area. She loved bread and mashed potatoes. (Yes, she was one of those that would grab the dinner rolls off of the table while dining out, and stuff them in her purse wrapped in a napkin. Like I said, she loved bread and was a depression-era baby) However, if she overindulged during one of our Sunday feasts, then she would end up drinking tea and having a simple piece of toast for her next meal or two. I found this really interesting. She was “naturally” thin in spite of her love for refined carbohydrates. She kept it in check by naturally cutting back later on. I have seen this pattern with many “naturally thin” people over the years.

Drink Water and Lots of It. In my book, water is “King.” Your body needs plenty of pure water to assist in flushing out by-products of metabolism. Water will keep your cells nicely hydrated, healthy and happy. I don’t think you’ll hear many credible health advisors say, “Go home and be sure to include plenty of soda in your daily diet!” Water is the preferred beverage of many “naturally” skinny people.

Stop Obsessing About Your Weight. Focus upon eating healthfully and staying active. Be sensible with your food choices, implement self-discipline and acknowledge your “good” behavior mentally. Think “I am at my ideal weight” and say it over and over again. “I have a healthy, fit body” should be your mantra versus “I am fat.” or “I am unattractive.” Affirming that you are at your ideal weight can actually help you to achieve your ideal health and fitness goals.

The Bottom Line? Implementing these “naturally” skinny habits can make a world of difference in your life. But you have to stick to them. I suggest printing out this list and taping it to your bathroom mirror, hanging it on your fridge or even on the dash of your car. Then each week, for seven weeks, integrate just one of these seven habits. Before you know it you’ll have the “bod” you always dreamed of having!

*Photo by Dear Max on Flickr