Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Simple tips to maintaining a healthy weight

Making lifestyle changes, modifying your eating habits and incorporating physical activity into your daily life takes commitment, but the rewards are well worth the effort for cancer survivors – and everyone else!

Many people try their best to eat right and exercise as often as possible, but sometimes it is hard to find the time, or even the motivation. Here are some tips to help you reach a healthy body weight, which can be beneficial for both your mind and body:

  1. Make exercise fun – Exercise doesn’t have to be tedious and boring. Find activities that you enjoy and you’re more likely to want to do them. Take long walks, go shopping at the mall or take a dancing lesson. Even some video games can help you get moving without even leaving your house, such as Wii Fit, Dance Dance Revolution or EA Sports Active. 
  2. Skip the escalator – Whenever possible, skip the escalator and take the stairs instead. If your office is on the third floor, forgo the elevator and take the stairs daily for a short and quick workout. 
  3. Drink more water – Drinking water is crucial for any weight loss program, and staying hydrated is important for your overall health. Substitute a can of regular soda a day for a glass of water and you will eliminate nearly 850 calories a week. 
  4. Load up on antioxidants – Foods and drinks with antioxidants can help boost your metabolism and burn fat. Instead of potato chips or fries, reach for yummy snacks that contain antioxidants, such as beans, berries, pecans and even dark chocolate. Ask a dietitian for advice about incorporating other healthy foods into your diet. 
  5. Find a support system – Whether you are embarking on your weight loss journey with a friend, family member or organized support group, having others to assist you along the way can be a huge motivational boost. 
  6. Try a group sport – Unlike solo sports – running, swimming and biking – a group activity like softball, basketball or kickball can help motivate you, and can also be a great social outlet. Consult with a physical therapist to determine which sport has the right level of activity for your needs. 
  7. Indulge, but not too much – Eliminating all the things you love to eat is going to make the process of losing weight seem like a chore. Be sure to indulge in a small treat from time to time. 
  8. Keep laughing – Laughter really is the best medicine for many ailments. A study from Vanderbilt University found that laughing increases the heart rate 10 to 20 percent, and 10 to 15 minutes of laughter could help you burn an extra 10 to 40 calories a day. Laughter can have numerous other health benefits, including relieving physical and emotional stresses or discomfort. 
  9. Create achievable goals – Speak with your doctor or a dietitian to create reasonable goals. Weight loss can take a little time, and celebrating milestones along the way can help boost your mood and motivate you to continue on toward the ultimate goal. 
  10. Think positively – Losing weight can take hard work, but it is certainly a goal that anyone can achieve. There may be some setbacks along the way, but try not to dwell on them. Instead, focus on starting anew the next day. Staying positive throughout the process can make it easier to find success during your weight loss efforts.
*Before starting a new exercise routine, consult your doctor first to make sure you are participating at the right level for you.