Home Improvements for Cancer Prevention
This challenge is important because the environments where you live, work and socialize affect your decisions about eating and being active. By optimizing your surroundings, you set yourself up to succeed in losing weight and being healthy. Let’s Set UP for Success.
- In your kitchen: look for ways to arrange food and beverages on counters, shelves and in the fridge to make healthier choices convenient
- At work: pay attention to how your workplace supports or doesn’t support your healthy choices. Make a plan to help it work for you
- With friends: ask for their support to make choices that will help you reach your goals
Wind Down with an Evening Stretch
Conquer this Challenge: Take Control of your Environment
Healthy Home Strategies:
- Place plant foods front and center in the refrigerator, freezer, cabinets and pantry. Revamp your refrigerator with this makeover.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t buy foods and snacks you are trying to avoid or limit. Even with healthier versions, tuck them in harder to reach places.
- Keep walking shoes, hand weights and resistance bands where you can see them. In view, will do! Accumulate 30-60 minutes of physical activity throughout each day. Include activity bursts!
Healthy Workplace Strategies:
- Assure healthy foods and beverages are available. Bring your own. Swap the office junk food dumping station for a fruit bowl.
- Track steps with others in your office and try to register 10,000–12,000 steps daily.
Healthy Social Strategies:
- Start restaurant meals with a salad or vegetable-based soup.
- Request a take-out container or share a meal at restaurants with big portions. Order half plate or small plate for better portion sizes.
- Trade-in coffees for walks. Swap sedentary sit down coffees and lunches for walks in scenic parks, nearby neighborhoods, malls, community centers, and museums.
Exploring “why” (the cues) we eat and being mindful about eating and being active helps us to make better choices.
Hunger. Be in touch with your hunger signals. Your goal is to feel comfortably hungry before a meal or snack.
Satiation. Stop eating once comfortably satiated, but not overly full.
NAPC Cooking: Check out the NAP Challenge Cooking Resources page. Easily grow herbs at home and get kids cooking.
Emotions. Sadness, stress, anger, lonely, boredom, and tiredness.
- Be aware of your emotions that trigger overeating and disassociate eating for relief or comfort.
- Find non-food related “treats” to comfort, celebrate, reward and rejuvenate yourself and others – walk, plant flowers, take a bubble bath, watch a movie, read, play cards, dance… remember relaxation and creativity are essential to your well-being.
Taste. It’s easy to overeat both great tasting food and foods that taste ‘meh’. So – be a Food Snob. If a food tastes really good and is made with quality ingredients, eat it and enjoy in proper proportion and portion. Otherwise, don’t bother.
External cues. We see and smell food everywhere. Super Sizes. Value Meals. Bulk Deals. Be mindful of how these cues affect your desire to eat. Just HALT. Ask yourself, am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?
The bottom line – be a Mindful, Savvy Eater, Food Snob & Active Person. Be a food snob. Ask, “Is this food good for me? Are the calories worth eating?” Be active in some way every day!
Set UP for Success with The New American Plate Challenge ~ where weekly challenges become lifelong healthy habits!
Congratulations! You completed The New American Plate Challenge!
Share what you’ve learned with AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention infographic!
- Eating out? Check out how to enjoy sweet treats.
- Test your whole grain knowledge! Take the fun quiz.
Learn more about our Mindful and Intuitive Eating Discussion for this week: 10. Honor Your Health.
**Update (October 1, 2018): At least a dozen publications co-authored by Brian Wansink, have recently been retracted in several journals, as the scientific validity of his research was unable to be independently validated. He is the author of this book and although his work is in question, many of his suggestions in this book may be helpful for setting up a healthier kitchen environment.