Ten Trim Tips
American Institute for Cancer Research
February 18, 1999
Americans spend billions of dollars each year on bad diet advice and phony, sometimes dangerous weight-loss products. The American institute for Cancer Research has issued new guidelines which tell us to maintain a healthy weight to help prevent cancer. Here are ten tips.
1. Eat your F's and V's. Satisfy your hunger with fewer calories and more nutrition at mealtimes by eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. You won't want larger portions of higher-calorie foods like meats, cheese and desserts.
2. Move every day. Think of physical activity as a part of your daily health routine, like brushing your teeth. Physical activity can increase the amount of calories you burn today, and will speed metabolic rate for good by building muscle. Being more active may also help you control food cravings, have a more positive outlook and feel better about yourself - no kidding!
3. Debunk the "fat-free" myth. Cookies, candies, chips and frozen treats may be labeled fat-free, but portions count and calories can mount. A "fat-free" label is not a license to reach the bottom of the bag. Eat these treats in moderation.
4. Give your food the attention it deserves. Don't munch while watching TV, driving or doing chores. Slowly savor your food and you will feel satisfied with less.
5. Snack from a plate, not a package. Absentmindedly snacking from the pack can lead you to eat more than you realize.
6. Lend your stomach an ear. This simply means asking yourself if you're hungry before you eat, and asking yourself if you're satisfied so you can stop eating. If you haven't listened to your body for a long time, keep practicing - the signal will become more clear.
7. Address emotions. Eating to deal with stress, emotions or boredom won't solve your problems. Find other ways to relax, cope or entertain yourself. Call, write to or e-mail a friend, go for a walk, soak in the tub, read, do crossword puzzles - try to meet your needs and address your emotions without food.
8. Resign from the "clean plate club." Refrigerate leftover for tomorrow's lunch, take half of large restaurant portions home or try planning something enjoyable to do after meals so you don't keep eating just to procrastinate. If you enjoy lingering at the table, remove your plate so you won't be tempted to nibble.
9. Avoid the "Now I've blown it!" syndrome. A large meal, an indulgent treat or a day without exercise doesn't mean a thing. Just try to make choices over the weeks and months that add up to a healthy diet. You don't have to feel guilty after enjoying a brownie, just make more nutritious snack choices for the rest of the week.
10. Take things one step at a time. Research suggests that even modest weight loss can benefit our health, so focus on slow weight loss, instead of trying to lose too much too fast. Better yet, try making your lifestyle healthful - the weight loss will eventually follow.