7 Habits That People in Perfect Shape Live by ...

Are you ready to get into shape? If so, there's a lot you can learn from people in perfect shape. Losing weight or toning your muscles might seem like a major struggle, but you can do it. So stop doubting yourself. It takes patience and hard work. However, these seven habits can put you a step closer to physical fitness.

1. Eat Your Heaviest Meal Early in the Day

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If you want to get into better shape, it's important to monitor what you eat and when you eat. Getting into perfect shape doesn't require starving yourself, but it's better to eat your heaviest meal early in the day, perhaps around lunchtime. This way, you'll have plenty of time to burn off extra calories. As a rule of thumb, eat a light dinner and have light snacks in the evening hours.

2. Eat Breakfast Every Day

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Understandably, you're busy and always running out the house. But if you want to get into better shape, it's important to eat breakfast every day. Breakfast not only gives you a nice energy boost, it can jumpstart your metabolism. It doesn't have to be a lot of food. Grabbing a muffin, toast or even a granola bar is a good start to your day.

3. Don't Skip Meals

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If you're trying to drop a few pounds, skipping meals might sound logical. But this approach can hinder any efforts to lose weight or get into better shape. Skipping meals can slow your metabolism. It's better to eat 3 to 5 small meals a day.

4. Look for Fun Ways to Stay Active

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Going to an exercise class or watching a workout DVD might be boring and grueling. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun ways to stay active. Find an activity you enjoy and you'll look forward to your workouts. I've known people to lose weight by simply biking, swimming and even taking dance classes.

5. Drink Plenty of Water during the Day

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Water is your best friend if you're trying to get into better shape. It not only combats water retention -- which can add pounds -- drinking a glass of water before meals fills your stomach, and you're less likely to overeat.

6. Enjoy the Occasional Indulgence

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There's no rule saying you can't enjoy the occasional treat while getting into shape. The key, however, is moderation. It's okay to have cake and ice cream, just don't eat the whole box or carton. And if you're craving a burger, choose the smallest one on the menu, or only eat half of the burger and save the other half for later.

7. Sleep at Least 6 to 8 Hours a Night

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Sleep is important to weight loss and better shape. It might come as a surprise, but sleeping less than six hours a night can increase your appetite and increase cravings for high-calorie foods. Establish a good sleep routine and make sure you're getting at least 6 to 8 hours of shuteye every night.

People in excellent shape typically have good eating habits and an active lifestyle. Yes, you might need to adjust your routine and make better choices. But once you start to tone your body or lose extra pounds, the results will be well worth any sacrifice. What adjustments did you make for better shape and health?

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