Successfully fit people are successful not because of good luck, birth order, or family heritage, but because they adopt the right habits. I’ve spoken to thousands of successfully fit people who feel obliged to share their practices with others. So today, I share with you, what they have shared with me, their healthy food habits.
By emulating the habits of successful people, anyone can enjoy the life he or she desires. Learn the habits, adopt the habits, practice the habits, and enjoy the success. It’s really that basic! Want more tips on how to develop successful habits and live the life you deserve? Check out the 131 Method!
On the menu today, an unbiased look into how the successfully fit approach food. I’ve done the hard part for you by compiling the secrets into one quickly accessible place.
10 Food Habits of the Successfully Fit:
1. They tend to stick to the same daily menu.
I will go out on a limb and tell you what approximately zero weight-loss experts are willing to share with you. If you Google “weight loss tips,” nearly every blog and article you find will suggest that you “eat a variety of healthy foods to prevent boredom.” Though I don’t disagree with this, my job is to tell you what fit people do, not what they “should” do or what sounds good to a registered dietitian. I’ve spent nearly 20 years studying people with exceptional eating habits, and the majority tell me that they eat virtually the same meals everyday.
2. They eat breakfast!
This one common characteristic is not only universal in my experience, it’s nearly universal in statistical studies of people who have achieved and maintained a large weight loss. The theory is that eating a healthy breakfast reduces hunger throughout the rest of the day. Therefore, decreasing the likelihood of overeating and making poor food choices at lunch.
3. They drink water.
Drinking enough water is a vital part of any conditioning program because it keeps your body functioning in homeostasis and aids every aspect of bodily functions.
4. They eat small and often.
Eating small frequent meals is the best way to go! When we go longer than 3 hours without eating, our levels of the stress hormone cortisol rise. High cortisol levels signal the body to store fat in the abdominal region.
5. They eat whole foods first.
Successfully fit people tend to eat mainly whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains at least 80% of the time.
6. They know their foods.
Fit people know, generally speaking, every food’s calories and approximate protein, carbohydrate, and fat content. It’s not a case of being an idiot savant, but rather of having an understanding, and knowledge of the foods they’re putting in their bodies. I want to motivate you to start being curious about your food. Take the time to read labels and take a protective approach to selecting the best fuel for your body.
7. They eat their favorite foods, carefully.
Despite knowing everything about their foods and tending to stick to the same foods day in and day out, fit people rarely report eliminating foods. If it’s something they crave, they enjoy a little taste. They know that simply eliminating foods they love will just set them up to fail when the temptation is too great. It’s okay to indulge every once and while.
8. They don’t keep “Red Zone” foods in the house.
Red Zone foods, best described in my book Push, are the types of foods that cause us to stop and evaluate the consequences of putting them in our bodies. They’re unhealthy, highly processed, and typically contain ingredients that aren’t pronounceable. If you look into a successfully fit person’s fridge or cupboard, you won’t typically find these red zoned foods such as cookies, buttered popcorn, candy, ice cream, or soda. They know they can’t eat them if they don’t have them!
9. They close the kitchen after dinner.
Not only do they close the kitchen after dinner, but they eat dinner at a reasonable time so as to go to bed with an empty digested stomach…what a concept! Eating dinner late, or snacking late after dinner, causes you to go to bed with food that is still being digested. This can cause restless sleep and can distract your body from doing important things such as repairing cells!
10. They’re resourceful and politely picky at restaurants.
Successfully fit people find alternatives to selections on the menu. They know that it’s the food choices they make, not the restaurant choices, that make them slim and healthy. They’re not afraid to speak up at restaurants and ask politely for healthier requests. Like asking that their dish be prepared with little to no butter or sauces, or getting dressing on the side.
My helpful tip – choose 5 of the 10 healthy food habits listed above that you can begin practicing immediately! Once you’ve conquered those, start integrating more into your daily habits. Remember to set yourself up for success! If you have a smartphone, use it to keep you on track by adding each habit as a note in your smartphone’s reminder system. If you don’t have a smartphone, write each healthy food habit on a post-it note and post them in your kitchen.
Want even more information on how to develop the habits of successful people? Check out the 131 Method blog.