Stay Well Secrets: 10 Tips from Skinny Women
Stay Well Secret: Eat Until You're Satisfied -- Not Stuffed

“Naturally slim women tend to be really in tune with their bodies,” explains Cynthia Sass, registered dietitian in New York City and author of the book, Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches “so when they eat, they honor their body’s natural signal of fullness and put their fork down, because it doesn’t feel good to be overly full.” Unfortunately, she adds, many of us are so used to dieting that we’ve lost touch with that internal cue -- and ignoring it can lead to overeating.

To better tap into this power, eat more slowly, savor your food, minimize distractions (turn off the tube) and stop munching when your level of fullness is a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (this number being uncomfortably stuffed to the gills.) The reason: By the time your brain gets the message that you’re satisfied that number will have gone up a few, since it takes about 15 minutes for your stomach to relay the “I’m full” message to your noggin.
Stay Well Secret: Be Picky About What You Put On Your Plate

“It’s a characteristic I see all the time among thin women. They’re very aware of their likes and dislikes -- and are unwilling to nibble on something just because it’s available,” says Sass. “If they don’t love it or find it worthwhile, they won’t eat it.” Your body is worth the best, most delicious food possible. And that sad-looking leftover cheese Danish in the conference room does not quality.
Stay Well Secret: Don't Deprive Yourself

“Many women are stuck in a diet mentality, where foods are either good or bad. But naturally slim women don’t think that way. They eat what they like at all times and just have less of it than the mega-portions we’ve been programmed to expect, which naturally keeps calories under control,” says Sass. A little good chocolate? Why not! A small chunk of flavorful cheese. Yes, please! It’s the all-things-in-moderation idea in action. Decide if you really want it, eat a small amount, and enjoy it. The key words here are small amount. One piece of pizza, not three. A deck-of-cards-sized steak, not a jumbo filet. A modest bowl of spaghetti, not a piling platter. Adds Sass: “When you give yourself permission to enjoy reasonable portions of the foods you crave, you feel more satisfied and won’t binge eat as much.”
Stay Well Secret: Snag Quality Sleep

“There’s such strong evidence now that inadequate sleep boosts hunger and slows your metabolism, both of which can have a huge impact on weight,” explains Los Angeles celebrity nutritionist Ashley Koff. How, exactly? Research has shown that lack of sleep alters levels of hormones in the body that cause appetite to increase and satiety to decrease, so you keep eating long after your brain should have gotten the message that you’re full.

Experts also say the average woman needs about seven and a half hours of sleep a night. To make the most of your winks, turn off the tube, your computer and any other electronic devices an hour before bedtime; all of them amp your brain up and keep you from nodding off. And avoid alcohol for several hours prior to snooze time. Yes, it's a sedative and may help you initially get to sleep, but booze has a rebound effect that can actually disrupt winks -- leaving you unrested in the morning.
Stay Well Secret: Squeeze in Exercise Whenever You Can

Sure, regular workouts can keep your weight in check, but recent research reveals a few simple routine tweaks (like using the stairs rather than the elevator and walking to grab lunch instead of driving) can also whittle your middle. An Iowa State University study recently found that heavy women spent half as much time on their feet as lean gals, and that if they moved more they would burn about 300 extra calories a day -- just naturally, without breaking a sweat. Do the math and that’s equivalent to a 30-pound loss over the course of the year. The lesson: Sneak in a little activity whenever you can to win your weight war.
Stay Well Secret: Don’t Eat Your Emotions

“Naturally slim women have outlets for stress that don’t involve food,” says Koff. It might be exercise or venting to a friend, but it’s not a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough. In addition to avoiding serious caloric excess, research shows that people who are able to keep anxiety at bay tend to have lower levels of body fat than their frazzled counterparts. Why? Stress hormones have been solidly linked to weight; cortisol causes your body to go into fat storage mode and create fat cells specifically around your middle.
Stay Well Secret: Pile Your Plate With Produce

“What I’ve noticed over the years with clients is that the ones who are healthy and able to maintain their weight fairly easily are those who eat lots of fresh produce. At least five servings a day -- the more, the better,” says Koff. The reason a lot of us choke down salads and steamed broccoli as if it were punishment, she adds, is that we haven’t learned how to make them delicious -- with herbs, spices, a squirt or citrus or other flavor-boosting ingredients (and we don’t mean butter). It’s a trick that many of our skinny counterparts have figured out. So look up some recipes online and start experimenting. Bonus: You get to eat more when you load up on fruit and veggies (bite for bite they have fewer calories than other foods) and their filling fiber will keep you better satisfied. A recipe for natural slimness!
Stay Well Secret: Break For Breakfast

“You’ve heard this a million times before, but you can’t argue with the research. Women who skip their morning meal are more apt to make poorer food choices and overeat later in the day than those who have a good breakfast,” says Sass. In fact, a recent British study found that people who make time to eat in the morning nosh, on average, 17 percent less at lunchtime than skippers -- and they had healthier metabolisms. Other research shows that people who blow off breakfast are over four times more likely to be overweight. Convinced? Good! Go for a mix of protein, a little healthy fat and fiber, says Sass. Think: Fat-free Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of slivered almonds and a handful of berries and crunchy, high-fiber cereal sprinkled on top.
Stay Well Secret: Don't Be Scared of the Scale

According to recent research by the National Weight Control Registry, keeping tabs on your digits is key to successful weight maintenance. It allows you to catch yourself if you go up a couple of pounds (and make changes right away to drop them) rather than letting it get to the point where suddenly your favorite jeans don’t fit, says Sass. Because hey, it’s far easier to lose two pounds than 10! On caveat, she adds: Don’t obsessively weigh yourself; limit your scale time to once a week, ideally at the same time of day, like in the morning, before breakfast.
Stay Well Secret: Don't Worry About Your Weight

Naturally slim gals don’t place any value on being slim. “They don’t see it as any form of a solution -- for, say, getting a boyfriend or being happier,” says Koff. “They don’t look at weight as being either a help or a hindrance. Success is all about intellect, having great friends, doing well in their career. It doesn’t come down to the size of their waist.” A sentiment worth remembering whenever you find yourself obsessing about the number on the scale.

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