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The 6 Secrets of Skinny People

author image Sarah Metzger
Sarah Metzger joined Demand Media in April 2009 as a Studio editor. Prior to joining the Demand Media team, she worked in development for a social media Internet start-up in Los Angeles. Metzger also has experience in entertainment public relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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The 6 Secrets of Skinny People
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When it comes to living your healthiest life, staying within the ideal body weight for your age, gender and height is only one way to ensure you're on the right track. Because let's face it, being fit and healthy certainly feels great, too. We've been looking closely at the habits of our healthiest LIVESTRONG.COM members to extract some of their tricks and tips. What are the essential eating and fitness habits of the most toned and trim? Here are some from the top of our list.

1. Always Be Prepared
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1 Always Be Prepared

Our healthiest members plan their weekly meals in advance, using their grocery runs to select unprocessed foods for the week. The best bet for getting a healthy start each day? A balanced breakfast. Los Angeles-based nutritionist Alyse Levine recommends setting aside time in the morning to create a well-balanced breakfast that includes unprocessed carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats. "Doing so will give you extra energy and jump start your metabolism," she says.

Read more: 14 Protein-Packed Breakfasts to Power You Through the Morning

2. Snack When You're Hungry
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2 Snack When You're Hungry

Denying yourself food when you're hungry is rarely a reliable long-term weight-loss strategy. It can lead to overeating and drag you down throughout the day. Many of our members who've experienced weight-loss success swear by snacking between meals. They opt for healthy, balanced snacks in small, sensible portions. Nutritionist Alyse Levine recommends always keeping a "snack survival kit" at your workplace or in your car. "Snacks will prevent you from going into your next meal starving which can lead to overeating," she says.

Listen now: Why America’s Obsession with ‘Happiness’ Is Totally Stressing Us Out

3. Be Calorie Conscious
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3 Be Calorie Conscious

In addition to snacking, our fittest users watch their calories. LIVESTRONG.COM's MyPlate makes being calorie cognizant easy — the tool will do all the work for you, and the app offers tracking on the go. Knowing your calorie goal based on your weight-loss or maintenance goal is essential. It allows you to make smart meal choices to get to where you want to be.

Read more: Try LIVESTRONG.COM's MyPlate Calorie Tracker for Free

4. Indulge and Get Back on Track
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4 Indulge and Get Back on Track

Staying slim doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself. In fact, a majority of successful eating plans include daily or weekly indulgences. The key is to eat a healthier meal or meal(s) post-indulgence. Nutritionist Alyse Levine challenges her clients to rethink, in general, the "good food, bad food" mentality when they do indulge, noting the importance of mindfully enjoying foods that might be a deviation from their regular eating plan.

Read more: The Art and Science of "Cheat Meals"

5. Do Something Active Every Day
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5 Do Something Active Every Day

Don't overwhelm yourself with impractical fitness goals. Think simple. Or rather, think "doable" and "consistent." Committing to just 30 minutes of cardio a day creates powerful habits that can keep you feeling and looking your healthiest. "Find an activity that actually brings you joy and you'll have a much greater chance of sticking to it," says nutritionist Alyse Levine.

Read more: 13 Everyday Activities That Burn More Than 200 Calories

6. Stay the Course
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6 Stay the Course

One of the most common philosophical cornerstones we see in our success stories submissions? "Stay the course." Reaching your healthiest, best-looking self is a work in progress, and one that often comes with plateaus. Our most successful members acknowledge roadblocks and plateaus and then power through them with a reaffirmation of healthy habits.

Read more: 10 Signs Your Workout Isn't Working

What Do YOU Think?
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What Do YOU Think?

Are you trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight? What healthy strategies do you employ? Did any of these on the list spark ideas? Which of these will you try? What would you add to the list? Share your suggestions and questions in the comments section below!

Read more: 8 Habits of Highly Fit People

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