50 Habits of Naturally Thin People

Make these weight-loss tips a part of your daily routine!

By Cynthia Dermody from Reader's Digest

24. Eat like a kid You don’t have to give up that quick lunch if you order smaller portions: Instead of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and large fries, opt for the cheeseburger Happy Meal. You can even play with the toy. Saves 390

25. Recharge yourself Anytime you’re waiting in line, stand evenly on both feet, clasp hands behind your back and squeeze shoulder blades together to open your chest, an energizing yoga-based move that stimulates the nervous system. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds while slowly breathing in and out, taking longer on the inhale. Burns 5

On the Home Front

26. Jog for junk mail Turn clutter into a challenge: For every piece of junk mail you pull from the mailbox each day, do one lap around your house or building, or up and down a flight of stairs. Burns 35-140

27. Use better butter No, you don’t have to give up the real deal — instead of a tablespoon of stick butter, use a tablespoon of whipped and cut half the calories. Saves 30

28. Step on it Before you lug those backpacks upstairs, stop and stand on the bottom step for these calf toners. Hold the banister with one hand. Bend your right leg and place the toes of your left foot on the edge of the step. Let your heel drop down, press into the ball of your left foot and rise to your toes. Pause; repeat with each foot for 8 to 12 reps. Burns 10

29. Start with soup Order a clear soup instead of a salad soaked with two tablespoons full-fat ranch and you can save twice the calories. Plus you’ll feel fuller, so you’ll eat less when the entrée comes. Saves 100

30. Play footsie After dinner, while you’re still sitting at the table, extend your right leg out and slowly bend it up and down, squeezing and holding in the up position for at least five seconds. Repeat on each leg five times. Sculpts quadriceps. Burns 10

31. Make perfect pasta Substitute whole-grain pasta for semolina and you’ll be satisfied with a smaller portion (1.5 ounces instead of 2). Saves 50. Or use the same amount of oat-bran pasta. Saves 90

32. Climb up! Taking the stairs for a total of just two minutes, five days a week, gives you the same calorie-burning results as a 20-minute walk. Burns 100-140

33. Fill up with fruit Like pie? Here’s how you can cave to the craving: Sprinkle fresh fruit — some cut-up apple, pear or a handful of cherries — with some Splenda or Equal, cover and nuke for a minute or so. Tastes just like pie filling. Saves 275

34. Have your cake Pick up an angel food cake for dessert. It’s packed with air and has fewer than half the calories of, say, pound cake. Saves 70

35. Ease into evening Sitting with feet uncrossed, grab your wrist and raise your hands above your head to lengthen the spine. Take a deep breath in as you reach and hold the position, breathing slowly in and out for 20 seconds, taking longer on the exhale. Instant relaxation. Burns 5

36. Get your chocolate fix Instead of a candy bar, try a sugar-free, reduced-calorie Jell-O chocolate pudding snack with a squirt of nonfat whipped cream topping. Eat it with a baby spoon to savor it longer. Saves 185

37. Crunch for your clicker The average half-hour TV show has eight minutes of commercials. Make reaching for the remote control worth it: Place it out of reach on the coffee table or, if you’re lying down, on the opposite arm of the couch. Every time an ad comes on and you reach for the remote, crunch until the show comes back on; you should reach 100-150 or so. Tones abs. Burns 24

38. Lift those hips Before you tuck yourself in, lie on your back on the floor with your legs up on the edge of the bed or a chair. Slowly bend your knees, lifting your hips off the floor. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat 10 to 12 times. Firms up hamstrings and core. Burns 10

The Weekend

39. Sing a song Spend Sunday morning belting it out in the church choir. Burns 70 per service

40. Make it bacon At the diner, order three slices of crisp bacon instead of two sausage links, and pat off the extra grease. Saves 90

41. Move it, Soccer Parents! After every quarter of the game, get up from the bleachers and take a lap around the gym or field. Four or five times around a typical one is about a mile. Burns 75

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