Month: March 2017

3 Keys to Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Two women at the gym working out

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the key components to a healthy and cancer preventative lifestyle, but, despite the prevalence of health and fitness information, many people find this difficult to achieve. The primary reason for this is that, while basic human physiology is the same, every person is different. We have different body types, different motivations, different preferences, different natural ability, and different methods of learning.

The key is to find what works for you, but don’t get discouraged if the first thing you try doesn’t work. Think of it like trying out a new restaurant. If you like it, you’ll go back. If you don’t like it, you don’t swear off all restaurants, you just don’t go back to that one. When you’re creating a healthy lifestyle routine, don’t get frustrated just because the first things you try don’t work or because you don’t enjoy them. Just try something new!

A Little Direction

While you have to find what works for you, research is the first step. With the right information, you can create a beneficial routine and we want to help!

One of the components of achieving a healthy weight is fat loss and, according to BodyBuilding.Com, there are three key factors to effective fat loss that applies to everyone: 1) Goal Setting; 2) Nutrition; and 3) Exercise. Without all three working in tandem, it will be harder to keep weight lost off.

Set Goals

The first step is to figure out what you want to achieve. This is your long-term goal. Identify where you are now, where you’d like to be, and when you’d like to get there. It is important to be realistic about your goals and the timeframe it will take to meet them. You can’t rush weight loss and good health. There are no shortcuts. For it to be permanent, you have to do it right.

Once your long-term goal is set, you need to set smaller, short-term goals. These will help keep you motivated on the way to your long-term goal.

To make sure this goal-setting works, they need to have several qualities:

— They must be specific.
— They must be measurable.
— They must be adjustable. (If you get the flu and your timeframe gets thrown off, just update it)
— They must be realistic.
— They must be time-based.

Look at Your Diet

Nutrition facts and measure tapeOnce your goals are set, it’s time to address nutrition. Diet is the most important component to fat loss (80-90 percent) and we’re not talking about fads and trends. Your diet is your eating lifestyle, which you should be able to maintain all year-round. The only thing you should change about it is the amount of calories consumed, based on what your goals are.

Your weight loss diet should include the following six principles:

Adequacy: Get the amount of energy (calories) and nutrients you need.
Balance: Don’t overdo it with any specific type of food.
Energy Control: Know how many calories you need to consume for your energy level and allow for that without going over.
Nutrient Density: Choose foods that provide the most nutrients for the least energy.
Moderation: Be aware of and moderate portion sizes. Keep high fat and sugar foods to a minimum.
Variety: Eat a variety of foods each day.

Time to Exercise!

Exercise helps you to build muscle, which, in turn, helps you burn more calories and lose more fat. It also encourages self-confidence and gives you a way to destress. The best exercise program for losing fat combines cardio (mostly high intensity), weights, and flexibility. There are a variety of factors that must be considered and specified when creating such an exercise plan. These include:

Frequency: How often you exercise in a given time period.
Time: How long your exercise sessions last.
Intensity: The level of exertion of your exercise.
Type: What form of exercise is being performed.
Specificity: Performing the specific exercise to achieve your goals.
Overload: Increasing intensity to increase/improve ability.
Adaptation: Exercise/training must progress via overload or performance may start to decline.
Progression: Intensity must become progressively greater.

Can’t I Just Start Running Everyday?

The answer, yes, you can, but it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve your goals with running alone. Taking control of your health is more complicated; while this may be discouraging at first, it is really the only way to do it right. There are a great many factors associated with good health and taking an analytical approach to each of them will help you achieve your greatest potential!

Not All Cancers Have a Lifestyle Link

An image of a chain

The link between lifestyle and cancer has been long established and government agencies and medical professionals have been trying to encourage healthy choices as a way to significantly lower one’s cancer risk. According to an article published back in 2008 in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes,

…5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle. The lifestyle factors include cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity, and physical inactivity.

The link between cancer and lifestyle is not new, but it’s not the whole story. It is true that the lifestyle choices we make can lower or increase the risk of cancer, but did you know that this does not necessarily apply to EVERY cancer? At least not yet…

Evidence of a Lifestyle Link

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), our risk for many types of cancer correlates to physical activity, diet, and weight, however, for some cancers, it is uncertain whether these three factors play a role. A link to lifestyle may, in fact, exist, but more research is needed to present concrete evidence of it. For the following cancers, there is evidence that choices regarding physical activity, weight, and diet can lower or raise risk:

— Breast Cancer
— Cancers of the Mouth, Pharynx, and Larynx
— Colorectal Cancer
— Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer
— Esophageal Cancer
— Gallbladder Cancer
— Kidney Cancer
— Liver Cancer
— Pancreatic Cancer
— Stomach Cancer
— Ovarian Cancer

The Missing Link

While AICR/WCRF reports found evidence connecting the lifestyle factors of diet, physical activity, and weight to the above cancers, they did not find strong evidence of a connection between lifestyle and the below cancers:

— Bladder Cancer
— Cervical Cancer
— Nasopharyngeal Cancer (rare in the U.S., common is Southern China – Cantonese-style salted fish is probably the cause of this cancer)
— Skin Cancer (while excessive sun exposure is directly related to skin cancer, there is no strong evidence to link diet, physical activity, or weight, with the exception of arsenic in drinking water)

Not Enough Evidence… Yet

Unfortunately, evidence was too limited to examine for the following cancers and more research is needed to determine the presence of potential lifestyle links:

— Cancers of the Musculoskeletal System (Myosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Fibrosarcoma, Liposarcoma)
— Cancers of the Nervous System (Central Nervous System Lymphoma, Spinal Nerve Tumor, Cranial Tumor, Sellar Tumor, Meningoma, Glioblastoma)
— Leukemia
— Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s)
— Multiple Myeloma
— Testicular Cancer
— Thyroid Cancer

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the healthier choices you make and the more informed you are of your health risks, the better off you are. At reveal23, we offer inherited cancer risk testing, analyzing up to 94 genes, so that you have all the information you need to take full control of your health. We can help you find out what your DNA is saying about you behind your back so you know exactly what’s going on. Buy your easy-to-use testing kit today!

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