When you’re trying to lose some weight, it can be tempting to jump on a juice cleanse, try a trendy diet, or work out like a Victoria’s Secret model in November, but sticking to a few basic rules might actually get you better results.
In a recent study, researchers from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab analyzed the lifestyles of 147 people who maintained healthy weights through most of their lives—and it turns out they had several habits in common.
The study authors found that, overall, people with healthy weights focused on their body’s hunger cues instead of seriously restricting themselves, which is a strategy that can help you keep weight off for the long haul.
Here, six other simple and seriously effective tips you can steal.
We’ve all heard this one a thousand times, but the healthiest among us have taken it to heart. According to the study, a whopping 96 percent of those who maintain a healthy weight eat breakfast every day. Also worth noting: Fruits, veggies, and eggs were mainstays in their first meal of the day. So bust out those kale smoothie and egg white omelet recipes.
Not to be all Captain Obvious here, but exercise was a routine fixture for the healthy adults surveyed. Forty-two percent reported exercising at least five times a week. If you can’t dedicate that much time to your sweat sessions, you can make the most of your workouts by tweaking them to burn more calories.
We’ve got a little bit of a love/hate relationship with the scale (it’s not a totally accurate way to measure your progress), but according to the survey, it’s a fixture in the lives of those who stay slim. Half reported weighing themselves at least once a week.
Not a fan of those little blinking numbers? Try using this strategy to track your progress instead of weekly weigh-ins.
The healthiest participants weren’t fans of dieting and almost 75 percent said they never followed a specific diet trend. But that doesn’t mean they’ll eat everything and anything: Ninety-two percent said they paid close attention to the foods they ate.
Those who stay fit and healthy are more likely to cook at home. A majority of those surveyed eat their veggies with dinner every night and opt for lean meats like chicken. Interestingly, only seven percent were vegetarian.
These healthy humans also made a habit out of paying attention to what their bodies were telling them. Forty-four percent copped to non-restrictive strategies like listening to their hunger cues and only eating high-quality, non-processed foods.