10 Things Fit and Happy People Do Differently

Courtesy of Together Counts

Well, it really is no secret that fit people do things a little differently from the average person, but why does it seem like a secret? It might be because it takes a motivated person to get fit and stay fit. As a member of the Together Counts™ program for active, healthy living, we know that it’s a lifestyle, not a cut and dried list of what you need to do to get fit. BUT, here are a few things that may help you figure out how you can change your lifestyle to be a more fit one.

1. Stay hydrated!
Making sure you are keeping yourself hydrated will help keep your body working at its optimum pace. While there are a number of benefits to staying hydrated, a few particular ones that help lose weight include: reduces hunger, reduces food intake (if you consume liquids before meals you will feel fuller faster and eat less), raises your metabolism.

2. Move!
People who are fit usually just like to move throughout the day. Sitting on the couch all day is not going to help you stay fit. Stretching and doing a few small exercises when you wake up in the morning, parking in the back of a parking lot to walk a little further, taking the stairs whenever possible, and taking a walk break around your office when you’ve been sitting at your desk are just a few ways you can get moving a little more throughout your day.

3. Exercise regularly.
This should be a no-brainer, but fit people ENJOY exercise. They find what they like and stick with it. If you are having an issue with your exercise routine, try something else! Yoga, running, high-intensity interval training, other training programs, whatever it may be, find something you enjoy and you will look forward to working out more.

4. Eat smaller portions.
Smaller portions = less food = fewer calories. Pretty simple equation, but overeating can be a major issue for some. A few ideas to eat smaller portions? Use small plates and bowls and small utensils. When eating out, immediately portion half of your meal to go, which will help you to not overeat if you feel the urge to clean your plate.

5. Eat slowly.
Eating too quickly can add to overeating, as you won’t feel full until you have already eaten more than enough food to be full. If you eat slowly, you will start to feel full when you have consumed the proper amount of food and your body will be able to tell you to stop.

6. Cook things from scratch.
Cooking your meals from scratch allows you to control what all goes into them. Healthy people enjoy making their own meals in order to enjoy the true flavors in the foods.

7. Don’t snack mindlessly.
Find yourself grabbing an extra granola bar a few times a week at work? Or maybe you eat a little too much trail mix a few days a week? Snacking mindlessly can be one of the most concerning things you can do for your waistline. Snacking is NOT a bad thing, but when you don’t plan ahead for your snacks or don’t portion them out properly (like eating trail mix straight from the bag), it’s harder to keep track of how much you are eating and in turn, you will have probably added an extra 200-500 calories over the course of a day just in snacks.

8. Plan your meals.
The biggest part in making healthy food choices is to prepare ahead of time. If you can plan out your dinners for at least the upcoming week, that is a great start. Planning to make extra so you have leftovers for lunch the next day works, as well. Just be sure to make a list before going to the grocery store each week, and grab some extra fruits and vegetables for healthy snack choices while there.

9. Don’t obsess about weight or “dieting.”
Losing weight isn’t a quick fix; it’s a lifestyle change. If you focus more on choosing healthy foods and less about losing weight, you will feel better and you will see the results.

10. It’s not about being perfect!
Enjoying a treat from time to time can be a good thing. It’s about finding your balance. Don’t feel bad if you want to go have an ice cream cone or a brownie occasionally, just remember not to do it every night, and you will be fine.

Shannon Miller is the most decorated American gymnast in history and is the only female athlete inducted into the U.S. Olympics Hall of Fame – twice! Her tally of five medals at the 1992 Olympics was the most won by a U.S. athlete. At the 1996 Games, she led the “Magnificent Seven” to the U.S. Women’s first ever Team Gold and captured Gold on the Balance Beam for the first time for any American gymnast. Launching her company Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women in 2010, Shannon is now a highly sought-after motivational speaker, advocate for the health and wellness of women and children and a proud partner of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. As an Olympian, wife, mother and cancer survivor, Shannon is dedicated to helping women make their health a priority. Be sure to check out Shannon’s memoir It’s Not About Perfect: Competing For My Country and Fighting For My Life which published last year! Please visit http://www.shannonmiller.com/ for more info on her book and other projects.