50 Daily Habits of Naturally Thin People

Balance calories in tiny ways that add up to big benefits: You just adopt some tricks naturally lean people do. Pick the ones you like, stick with them, and you’ll slim down and tone up—for good.

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Work out when you wake up: Burn 10 calories


When your eyes open, sit up slowly without using your hands. With legs straight out, lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your back and hamstrings. Hold; then, using your abs, lower yourself flat. Rest and repeat two more times. This strengthens your core. These are other morning habits of naturally thin people.

Go for the grains: Save 100 calories


Not ready for Twigs & Rocks cereal? Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of wheat germ or oat bran to a healthy cereal you already have. Work up to 3/4 cup of low-sugar whole-grain cereal with at least three grams of fiber per serving, and you’ll pass on that Danish.

Pick something with protein for breakfast: Saves 200 (or more) calories


The more you eat earlier on, the less you eat as the day wears on, research has shown. So after your cereal, add a hard-boiled egg or a part-skim mozzarella cheese stick to keep you feeling full—and away from that pre-lunch brownie. Check out these high-protein breakfast ideas.

Balance while you brush: Burn 10 calories


While you brush your teeth, alternate standing on one leg as you switch mouth quadrants (every 30 seconds). Balancing develops your core muscles and may even be good for your brain. Here are other weird brain boosters that really work.

Be a ballerina: Burn 10 calories


As your coffee drips, stand sideways, put one hand on the counter, and lift the outside leg straight out in front of you, keeping it extended. With upper body straight, hold for a few seconds and move it to the side; hold and extend it behind you. Do five to 10 times on each leg. Tones outer thighs, hip flexors, and quadriceps.

Lighten up your coffee: Save 60 calories

iStock/Kris Hanke

Instead of pouring that 1/3 cup of half-and-half (a whopping 105 calories!) into your mug, replace it with the same amount of 2 percent milk.

Better your bagel: Save 300 calories


You can walk 10,000 steps to justify your 500-calorie bagel with cream cheese, or try this: low-fat spreadable cheese like Laughing Cow Light on an English muffin.

Tone in traffic: Burn 10 calories


Use the time spent bumper-to-bumper to develop your buns of steel: Squeeze your derrière each time you tap the brake, holding for 10 seconds. Shoot for 10 to 15 squeezes a trip. Here's what successful people do on their commute.

Snack smarter: Save 175 calories (over two snacks)


Portion out the day’s snacks into pint-size zip bags, or buy single-serving portions. For example, four regular Oreos have 200 calories versus the 100-calorie snack bag version. Go for the lower fat chips: a Lay’s Light bag has only 75 calories, while the regular has 150.

Dress casually for the day: Burn 25 calories

iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

You will blast more calories during the day wearing comfy clothes like jeans or khakis, sport shirts, and soft-soled shoes than donning constricting suits, skirts, and heels. Why? Because you walk more, a study found. Now you just have to convince the boss.

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