It would follow that if one would also adopt these 10 eating habits, he would be on the path to being a successfully fit person. As Covey says in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People anyone can enjoy success by learning the habits, adopting the habits and practicing the habits. The discipline it takes to do this is a precursor to success as one is rarely successful unless self-discipline is a mainstay of their character.
Highly successful and fit people:
1. Tend to stick to the same “daily menu” – They say they eat virtually the same meals every day to include not only mostly the same breakfasts, lunches and dinners but also the same snacks and beverages. No, they are not boring and eat the exact same entrees, rather they choose from three or four things they like for each meal.
The possible reasons this works so well is three-fold – a) it allows them to predict their daily calorie allotment without a lot of thought; b) the most fit people are entrenched in habits, including the habit of taste; and, c) they are in tune with the energy and calorie needs of their bodies. Once they find what they need and they enjoy it, why continue looking? Keep in mind, their diet is a habit and not an obsession.
2. Eat breakfast – This is almost universal in studies of people who have achieved and maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for at least a year. Besides that, people who eat breakfast regularly have better vitamin and mineral status and eat fewer calories from fat. Eating a healthy breakfast reduces hunger throughout the rest of the day which decreases the likelihood of overeating and making poor food choices at lunch.
3. Drink water – Not juice, lemonade, tea or soda. Just plain old water. This is huge. Drinking enough water is a vital part of any conditioning program as it keeps your body functioning in homeostasis and aids every aspect of bodily function. Highly successful fit people drink at least 6 – 8 12-ounce glasses of water a day, adding more as needed during exercise. However, it is possible to drink too much water because it dilutes the body’s electrolytes (chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium). Do not drink more than a gallon of water a day unless you are also replenishing your electrolytes.
4. Eat small and often – Eating small, frequent meals maintains our level of cortisol, the stress hormone that signals the body to store fat in the abdominal region when it is too high. Cortisol rises whenever we go longer than 3 hours without eating.
Eating small meals throughout the day makes your body efficient at keeping cortisol levels low, which helps both men and women reduce belly fat. Guided by their nutritional needs and deeply rooted habit of eating small meals throughout the day, the superfit are able to stand fit, even in the face of that order of supersize fries and huge drink containers.
5. Eat whole foods first – Successful fit people tend to eat mainly whole, unprocessed foods, including fruits, veggies and whole grains. While they enjoy an occasional treat, 80% of the time or more, their preference leads to whole foods. Whole natural foods – apples, steel-cut oatmeal, broccoli, salads, brown rice – are what food researchers call low-density foods. They take up a lot of room in your stomach because they contain lots of fiber, which satisfies hunger with few calories. High-density foods are the opposite; they are things like butter, oils, candy or ice cream. Eating mostly low-density foods is the easiest way to keep your weight in check without feeling like you are depriving yourself or feeling hungry.
6. Know their foods– Generally speaking, they know every food’s calories and approximate protein, carbohydrate and fat content. It’s not due to having superb memories but rather of having a knowledge of food that allows them to make an educated guess.
This provides them the skill of making better food choices on a moment’s notice. This includes knowing what one serving of a particular food really looks like. This is a skill you can master with a couple of weeks of label reading. There are even phone apps and Web sites that provide this information quickly and for free.
7. Eat their favorite foods, carefully – Successful fit people also have food they crave, just like the rest of us. Instead of eliminating that food from their diet, they enjoy a little taste. They know that eliminating the foods they love will set them up for failure when the temptation becomes too great. Instead they indulge every once in a while, savoring those moments instead of just gulping it down.
8. Don’t keep red zone food in the house – Those who are successfully fit do not keep cookies, crackers, chips, chocolate, ice cream or soda in their fridge, pantry or cupboards. After all, you cannot eat what you don’t have. This will make it easier for you to kick the junk habit.
9. Close the kitchen after dinner – They eat their final meal of the day at a reasonable hour, as opposed to having a lavish dinner later followed by a late night snack and possibly another dessert. Most often they go to sleep on an empty stomach, allowing them to wake up feeling thin, rested and hungry for breakfast. This keeps your body’s metabolism in a fat-burning state. It also improves your sleep, allowing your body to repair cells through the night.
10. Resourceful and picky at restaurants – Of course successfully fit people eat out, either due to work commitments or scheduling issues. They know how to find healthy alternatives to selections on any menu, whether they are at a five-star restaurant or at Wendy’s. Where you eat does not make you unhealthy, your food choices do.
Reference: Charlene Johnson