Sure, healthy eating and exercise often go hand in hand, but a new study found that certain habits help people stay slim, regardless of their exercise regime.
Published in Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN), the study found that habits like eating four meals a day, and oftentimes eating slowly, are associated with a lower body fat percentage.
Researchers measured the body fat of 1,978 subjects between the ages of 13 and 18. They measured the skin folds and waist circumferences of the kids (probably did wonders for their self image) and compared those statistics with their eating habits and exercise habits.
The resulting numbers indicate that body fat is lower when adolescents eat mid-morning snacks, afternoon snacks, and/or more than four meals a day. Kids who ate fairly quickly, however, showed higher levels of body fat.
For both girls and boys, numbers measuring body fat fell into the same range if they ate breakfast every day. For boys, the waist circumference median hovered slightly above 75 centimeters if they ate breakfast, regardless of exercise. Non-exercising males who skipped breakfast in the morning had a waist circumference mean of slightly less than 85 centimeters, a 10-centimeter difference.