Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Kristen Trukova, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, CSO,

Avoid fad diets, get healthy with these tips

blog healthy newyear

Did you eat a little more and exercise a little less during the holidays? If you’re like many of us, the answer is most likely yes. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year.

It’s often tempting completely overhaul your diet or try a quick weight-loss plan. But diets claiming you can “lose weight fast” typically result in rebound weight gain once the plan is completed. One of the best ways to balance your diet is to use MyPlate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a guide. This model sets out an easy formula for all your meals: half fruits or veggies, a quarter protein and a quarter grains (such as pasta, rice, potato or bread). Here are a few more ideas to help you lose any weight you gained over the holidays.

Get active: Choose an activity that you enjoy and will continue on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be something difficult like training for a 5K run. If you haven’t been active in a while, pick something simple to get you in the habit of exercising regularly. Try taking a walk with family, go outside to toss a football with friends or challenge others to a Wii sports contest.

Work on portion control: As MyPlate demonstrates, you can make any meal healthier by choosing the right portion. Even if you pick a high-calorie or high-fat food, eating 1 cup instead of 3 cups will save many calories. A diet shouldn’t be about depriving yourself of the foods you love but making recipe substitutions to make those foods healthier and eating smaller portions of indulgent foods when you do eat out.

Eat lots of fruits & veggies: By making half of your plate fruits and/or vegetables at each meal you instantly create a filling, low-calorie meal. In addition, you’ve just upped your intake of antioxidants, which can prevent or delay cell damage as well as improve your ability to fight infection and disease. A high intake of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce risk of many chronic diseases. Choose fresh when you can, but stock up on dried or pre-cut fruits and vegetables to make life easier on hectic days.

Learn about nutritional support at our hospitals and get tips to stay nourished during cancer treatment.