If weight-loss is your resolution this year, you’re not alone. Year after year, it remains the top goal people set for themselves. Getting to – and staying – a healthy weight is also one of the single biggest steps you can take to reduce your risk of cancer, along with other chronic diseases.
So this year we’re here to help you with our top healthy habits for successful weight loss.
1. Set Realistic Goals
If your resolutions are overly ambitious or vague you may find yourself overwhelmed and slipping up early in the year. Make concrete, measurable goals and schedule tasks into your day to help you achieve them.
MAKE IT A HABIT: AICR’s guide to making effective resolutions
2. Veg Out
Instead of denying yourself the foods you love, focus on replacing some with nutritious, healthful foods. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber to keep you healthy and feeling full. They’re also low in calories so filling up on these can help curb your appetite while you’re watching your weight. Plus, research has found that a plant-based diet is also a cancer-protective one.
MAKE IT A HABIT: Join the New American Plate Challenge
3. Get Moving
Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure, control cholesterol and improve immune function. It’s also a key component when trying to maintain or lose weight. On top of that, get at least 30 minutes of activity a day to help lower cancer risk.
MAKE IT A HABIT: 5 Indoor Workouts
4. Get Smart about Portion Sizes
Portion sizes are big in America. Recent studies suggest that several strategies using portion awareness can all result in meaningful weight loss over a year’s time. Get to know your portions and find the right amount for your goals.
MAKE IT A HABIT: Guide to Portions
5. Don’t Drink Your Calories
Sugary soda and alcohol both add extra calories without beneficial nutrients. For each sugary drink that you swap out for water or another zero-calorie choice, you’ll save 100 to 300 calories. Plus, alcohol by itself is linked to increased risk for several cancers, including breast and colorectum.
MAKE IT A HABIT: Add Up Your Sugar
6. Snack Smart
Snacks can help supplement your meals and provide another opportunity to add healthful food to your day. The best snacks contain complex carbohydrates like veggies or whole grains with a little healthy protein and fats to stave off hunger in-between meals. Just remember to keep portion sizes small and serve your snack on a plate, never right from the package.
MAKE IT A HABIT: Energy-Boosting Snacks
7. Stay Strong
Working strength training into your schedule a few times a week can help you build muscle and burn calories. It’s a great way to mix up your fitness routine and prevent injuries.
MAKE IT A HABIT: Get Started Strength Training