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5 Healthy Habits to Live Fat-Free

Make them part of your daily routine to start looking and feeling better now.

1. Keep a food log

We’re not asking you to count calories, but you do need some record of what you’re taking in. Write down all the foods that pass your lips in a day, every day, along with the approximate times you eat them.

“Keeping a food log is a great way for a beginner to get a handle on exactly what he’s eating each day,” says Shelby Starnes, a nutrition coach who helps bodybuilders get ready for competitions.

After a week or so, you’ll probably see a pattern develop. You may tend to skip meals when you’re stressed, or eat low-quality foods at night. “Two of the biggest problems I see are overeating and undereating,” says Starnes. “A log makes you accountable and helps you figure out where you need to make changes in your diet plan.”

2. Drink lots of water

Two liters (about half a gallon) per day is the bare minimum. Drink another 500 milliliters (about 16 ounces) for every 30 minutes you spend performing intense exercise.

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3. Chew your food

Eat more slowly and grind each bite to a soft pulp before swallowing. The more slowly you eat, the more time your brain has to recognize feelings of fullness.

4. Eat breakfast

A 2013 study published in the journal Appetite found that eating breakfast before exercise improved cognitive function.

5. Exercise

Plan to weight train four days a week. You can do two upper-body days and two lower-body days. If you can only exercise three days, train the whole body each session.

According to Starnes, cardio is best done four to six hours before or after weight training or on separate days entirely. Mix high-intensity interval training and slower aerobic training for three to six workouts per week.

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