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5 Healthy Habits of Skinny People

Skinny people have several things in common, and adopting the top 5 healthy habits of skinny people helps you achieve or maintain a healthy weight. Knowing which strategies are effective will help you achieve body weight goals -- and look and feel your best!

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Skinny people get plenty of -- but not too much -- sleep. A review published in 2013 in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night decreases your risk for weight gain compared with getting 6 hours or less of sleep nightly. Getting too little sleep stimulates appetite-regulating hormones, according to a review published in 2010 in Environmental Health Perspectives, so people who get plenty of sleep often feel less hungry.

2. Avoid Sugary Drinks and Artificial Sweeteners -- Drink Water

Skinny people often avoid high-calorie sugary drinks like soda and artificial sweeteners found in diet food products, but drink plenty of water. A review published in 2013 in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism found that sugar substitutes, though calorie-free, appear to increase the risk for excessive weight gain. Artificial sweeteners are found in diet drinks, some protein supplements, and low-calorie desserts -- and can make you crave sweet foods and fuel sugar addictions. Skinny people tend to drink water over sugary and diet drinks.

3. Consume Protein and Veggies

Focusing on protein foods and vegetables is something many skinny people have in common. Protein boosts satiety, according to a 2008 review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Furthermore, getting too little dietary protein increases hunger and food intake, says a study published in 2007 in The Journal of Nutrition. Because veggies contain mainly water and fiber, they too help you feel full from fewer calories. Try a vegetable salad with leafy greens and grilled chicken, salmon with asparagus, grilled veggies and tofu, or chili with tomatoes, beans and lean ground turkey meat.

4. Eat When You Feel Hungry

Skinny people rarely skip meals, and only eat when they feel hungry. Emotional eating, or eating due to stress, sadness, loneliness or boredom can lead to overeating, weight gain, and obesity, according to a study published in 2011 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Harvard Health Publications notes that long-term stress releases cortisol, which is an appetite-stimulating hormone. If you find yourself eating for emotional reasons rather than because you’re truly hungry, you might benefit from professional counseling or talking with a friend or loved one you trust.

5. Exercise Regularly

Most skinny people, at least those who have muscle definition, exercise regularly. Exercising helps prevent unwanted weight gain, allows you to eat more calories without gaining weight, and increases muscle mass, which boosts metabolism. While exercise won’t keep you skinny if you overeat, being physically active helps prevent weight gain, even when you’re eating more calories than you should, note researchers who conducted the 2011 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin's work is published on popular health websites, such as TheNest.com and JillianMichaels.com.

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