7 Great Ways to Support a Friend Who Has Cancer

best friendsIf you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to be there for her during the journey through treatment, recovery, and beyond. Your friend or loved one needs friends, supporters, a shoulder to lean on, and people around them that will keep their spirits high, keep fun in their lives, and take their minds off of their battle.

It’s important to help your friend have some fun, let loose, and keep her positive and happy during this difficult time. Here are some fantastic ways to support a friend with cancer during her journey:

1. Be a great listener.

This is a learning experience, not only for your friend, but for you, too. Most people want to give unsolicited advice to friends when they’re going through rough times, but the best thing you can do for a friend with cancer is to listen.

If she wants to talk about her diagnosis, her fears, her dreams, and her worries, then let her. It’s important to be a confidante and a trusted friend who will listen, no matter what subject may come to light. Let her talk out her decisions. Let her cry to you, laugh with you, and get frustrated with her cancer. Don’t give advice, rather sit there and let your friend talk out whatever is bothering her.

Consider taking notes for her and ask if she needs someone to come with her to appointments and treatments. You can help her document important information so she can focus on other things.

2. Create a Facebook page for her fight.

Social media is so powerful. Create a Facebook page that’s dedicated to your friend’s fight and her journey. Celebrate her milestones, gather support, and ask your friends to share their well wishes on the page. Take photos of your friend at different stages in her journey, having fun with her family and friends, trying new things, and doing whatever makes her happiest.

If you don’t want to create a Facebook page, there are dozens of websites that are created for cancer support, survivor networks, patient websites, and more. You can even start a blog, too! Be a cheerleader for your friend during this difficult time.

3. Send her daily inspiration and surprise her with gifts.

Sometimes the smallest gestures make the biggest impacts in someone’s life. While your friend goes through this journey, send her small gifts every week. Don’t just send her gifts on special milestones or goals; every day is a special day for someone who’s battling a disease like cancer. These gifts will take her mind off of the cancer and will boost her spirits.

Send her a vase of her favorite flowers. Write cards, send emails, and drop notes in her mailbox. Text her inspirational quotes when she wakes up and before she goes to bed. Create special gift boxes, such as spa gifts to pamper herself, a stack of classic novels, fun magazines to take to treatments with her, a handmade blanket, or a basket of wine and chocolate. Sending her favorite things will make her feel loved and cared for.

4. Throw a head shaving party!

If your friend is going through rigorous treatments and needs to shave her head, don’t let her do it alone. Do it together! Consider shaving your head in honor of her and invite your friends to do the same. Host a head shaving party so everyone can be together and celebrate the occasion.

Bake a cake, invite your friends, and ask them to donate to a fund in her name to support her treatment and medical costs. Host a potluck and ask everyone to bring one of your friend’s favorite dishes. Buy beautiful scarves and wigs you can all try on and take home as party favors. Snap some photos of the group and post to your Facebook page for support!

5. Take a cooking class together.

Grab a group of friends and attend cooking classes together with your friend who’s battling cancer. Don’t feel like going out to learn the art of cooking? Create your own home cooking party with your favorite ingredients.

You can help keep your friend’s strength up with healthy, hearty meals that are full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Include as many organic, seasonal ingredients as possible. Help your friend plan ahead and create meals for the next few days or the week. Food prep will help keep her life less stressful, and when she’s hungry, all she has to do is heat up her meal and go!

6. Exercise with her.

Exercise is very important for those battling cancer. It’s important to keep your body—and your mind—strong and stress-free. Go for long walks together. Jog or run together around the neighborhood or in the park. Take yoga and practice meditation. Try a unique or one-of-a-kind fitness class, like paddle boarding or something that’s relaxing, fun, and a great workout! Whatever you choose, try to get your body moving, have some fun with your friend, and keep her mind in the present moment.

7. If she has kids or pets, help her out.

For someone battling cancer, it can be difficult to keep up with everyday tasks and help keep everyone’s minds off of cancer and her battle. If your friend has kids or pets, ask if you can help her with making life a bit more normal for her.

Take her kids out for meals or fun activities. Give her a “girls night out” and arrange for childcare for her. Take her pets for walks and to get groomed. Go with her kids to their appointments, pick them up from school, and get them out of the house when she just needs some time alone or needs to rest. Be her go-to person when she needs to make life more normal.

Have you helped out a friend with cancer? Share your favorite ideas to help someone who’s battling this disease below!

5 Fun Ways to Reduce Stress

For many of us, stress is a permanent part of our lives, and all too often, we feel consumed by the tension and anxiety. We don’t take the time to release or relieve stress as we should, or we use unhealthy coping mechanisms such as eating or drinking too much. Suggestions for relieving stress sometimes aren’t much fun, so we thought we’d change that.

Sometimes feeling better is as simple as going back to an easier, more carefree time of life. Look below for some entertaining ways to release tension.

Dance, dance, dance!

Put on your favorite music (tunes from high school are a good choice), and dance like no one’s watching. Spin your kids or your spouse around, and feel yourself let loose. The more you release your inhibitions, the more you let go of tension and anxiety.

Sing, sing, sing!

Singing releases endorphins and helps you feel better, and you also breathe in more oxygen during each song. Belt it out at the top of your lungs if you wish! If you prefer, take it to the next level and go to a karaoke bar with some friends.

Make fun food.

What was your favorite food growing up? Which foods do you find completely silly? Whether it’s jello or grilled cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off, make some simple, fun food you love. Remember those simpler times, and feel the stress melt away.

Go outside and play.

What do you truly enjoy doing? We’re so engrossed in our daily lives that we forget how to have some good, clean fun. Playing doesn’t have to stop just because we’re adults. Do you enjoy roller skating or hula hooping? How about simply lying on a chaise in the back yard reading a book? Do something you enjoy but haven’t been able to do for a while.

Pamper yourself.

That could look like a massage, yoga, acupuncture, a pedicure and manicure, or spending a couple of hours in the bathtub with a good book. Decadent is the name of the game. Indulge yourself in luxury, and stress won’t dare to stick around.

Visit our Facebook page and give us some of your stress-busting tips!


Push-Ups: Any Way You Want ‘Em

Did you have to do push-ups in school gym?

Did you hate them?

When starting out this exercise, push-ups can “feel” harder than other arm workouts–but they’re a simple and safe move that everyone should do.  Integrating push-ups into your workout every other day can quickly improve the strength and tone of your shoulders, arms and your chest, and put you on the path to a strong and sexy upper body.

Check out our three ways to get started with push-ups, followed by a couple of fun variations to challenge your workout!

Key Tips for Push-ups:

-If  you feel the muscle tiring and shaking a lot, stop. NEVER over-exert yourself on push-ups–this can lead to injury.

-Stop to rest any time you need to; we recommend 30-60 seconds of rest time between sets.

-Keep your neck and body straight.

-Remember to keep your core abs tight!

-Grab a friend and challenge each other to do push-ups! It will keep the rep numbers up where they need to be.

-Listening to a good music beat will keep you in push-up rhythm and complete your set.

Knee Push Ups are Easy Breezy

Push-up #1: The Easy Breezy

Step 1 Lower yourself to the ground facing the floor. Lift yourself up and position your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your legs together, bend the knees and cross your ankles in the air for extra support. Your body is now at a gentle angle to the floor.

Step 2 Keeping your abs tight and your body straight, lower yourself slowly, then push back up. Don’t bend at the waist or stick your, ahem, behind in the air.

Step 3 Repeat the move. Aim for 3 sets of 10 push-ups, but DON’T WORRY if you can’t meet this goal right away. You can build up with push-ups! These are fun and you can do them at home, in the office or at the gym.

A Little Elevation Stair Push ups

Push-up #2: A Little Elevation 

Step 1 Stand facing a staircase with both feet flat on the floor a few inches in front of the bottom step. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the front edge of a step so your body is at roughly a 45-degree angle to the floor. Keeping your abs tight and your body straight, lower yourself slowly, then push back up. Do 1 set of 10.

Step 2 Position your feet about 6 inches away from the stairs and place your hands one step lower. Aim for 10-15 pushups, and take breaks as you need them. We recommend 30 seconds.

Step 3 Repeat the move, but this time back your feet a few more inches away from the stairs and lower your hands another step. Repeat until you run out of stairs and can do 10 on the floor.

Gimme Ten Standard Push-ups

Push-up #3: Gimme Ten! 

Step 1 Lie down on the floor face down with your feet close together. Place your hands shoulder-width apart.

Step 2 While maintaining a straight body–keep your abs tight!–lower yourself down until your chest touches the ground. Do not lock your elbows and let your weight go.

Step 3 Push yourself up. That’s one rep! Now repeat, going a little faster. Complete a set of 10 standard “military-style” push-ups, and aim for three sets.


  • The Diamond Push-up: Start in standard push-up “Gimme Ten” stance, but using your forefingers and thumbs, bring your hands together, palms flat on the floor, to form a diamond shape with the fingers. Lower per standard push-up. Aim for a set of 10.
  • The One-Handed Push-up: Cue the theme to Rocky and get ready to show the world what you’re made of! Starting in standard push-up position, place one hand behind your back and lower yourself to the ground. Raise your body back up. You can try a set of 5 on each side or alternate arms.
  • The Back Elevated Push-up: This requires lifting your legs higher off the ground on an elevated surface, such as a weightlifting bench. It adds a little more “oomph” to the standard push-up. Check out the instructional video at the bottom of this post!

You don’t have to follow these suggestions exactly—find the push-up stance and variation that works for you. There are plenty of instructional videos out there to show you ways to do push-ups indoors and outdoors. You’ll be on your way to a beautifully toned upper body in no time!

8 Tips to Instantly Boost Your Energy

Are you feeling lethargic and fatigued before it’s even lunch time? Do you notice yourself daydreaming more and more about a mid-afternoon nap?

If you’re searching for ways to feel more energized throughout the day, look no further than these 8 tips. In no time, you’ll be amazed at how bright-eyed you feel!

  • Embrace the midday yawns: Turns out, yawning is your body’s way of cooling down the brain, which helps wake it up. So enjoy your workday yawns, and recharge your brain naturally!
  • Take a 10-minute walk:You’ll feel revved up a whole two hours afterward, and it’s good for your heart.
  • Have a good laugh: Laughing raises your blood pressure and boosts your heart rate, too, which can pump you up when you’re feeling lackluster.
  • Start seeing red: According to research from the University of Rochester, spotting the color red makes your muscles move faster and work harder, giving you a burst of energy when you need it most. Keep crimson flowers in your sight line to pep up a jam-packed day.
  • Sprinkle on the energy: Forget the espresso shots that can make you crash after a few hours.Instead, get your energy from chia seeds. They’re packed with a revitalizing combo of B vitamins, fiber, and protein, so they pick you naturally. Simply stir them into your morning bowl of oatmeal and enjoy!
  • Take time for an invigorating stretch:Stretching warms up your muscles and gets your blood moving, both of which will make you feel more alert. Raise your arms above your head, and then touch your toes. Stand up, and spread your arms out, pushing your chest forward. Hold each pose for 30 seconds.
  • Hit the gym: Before you head to work in the morning, consider carving out a little time to get in some exercise. Most women feel energized the rest of the day after a good workout.
  • Eat nutritious food: Load up on healthy foods throughout the day—especially foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, which improve mood and brain function. Try incorporating a little more salmon or avocados into your diet, and start reaping the benefits of in your workday.

What are some ways you fight fatigue during the day?

How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution

It’s hardly surprising how quickly most of us tend to break our New Year’s resolutions (some before the end of January!). Yet each year, we take the time to reflect on our aspirations and set goals to improve our lives, even though less than 12% of resolution-makers succeed.

So what’s the secret to actually seeing these goals through?

If you really want to see results this year, it’s critical that you set your goals with sincerity, and concentrate on the intention of your resolutions. Read on to discover 5 ways to create attainable resolutions—and keeping them:

1. Be specific. A common mistake people make is setting ambiguous goals like, “I’ll lose weight.” Instead, make your resolution specific, with a tangible, achievable outcome. Determine how much weight you want to lose and what diet or exercise regime you will begin. Ask yourself, why do you want to lose weight, and what will you do once you reach your goal? Remember to visualize the good that will come when your desires are met.

2. Put it in writing. Write down your goals and outline the small, manageable steps you’ll take in order to achieve them. When you set a big goal, like learning how to silversmith, it can be overwhelming and frustrating if you don’t have a plan that lays out smaller steps toward achieving the larger goal. Plan ahead and focus on accomplishing one small thing at a time to keep yourself on track and optimistic.

3. Give yourself enough time. Be sure to set aside ample time for yourself to achieve your goals. If you want to exercise more, plot out time in your weekly schedule for runs and time at the gym. Additionally, you’ll want to make time to track your progress, either with monthly measurements, heart rate monitoring, or weigh-ins.

4. Find a partner. Having someone to keep you accountable is one of the key ingredients to changing your life. Try finding a friend who has a similar resolution, and check in with each other every week to talk about your progress and challenges. Or, ask a family member or significant other to keep you accountable—just make sure they’re supportive and encouraging. You can also seek professional assistance, such as a personal trainer to help you meet your fitness goals, or a tutor to help you finally learn French.

5. Take a deep breath. When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, it’s easy to get off track from your goals. Spend time every day collecting your thoughts and getting centered. You may try a breathing exercise, a scenic stroll, or even a little yoga. Be sure to push away self-sabotaging thoughts, such as: “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it.” The truth is, you can do it, but you have to fully channel all your intentions into achieving what you want.

What are your resolutions for 2013?


10 Easy Health Tips to Start the New Year Right

With 2013 right around the corner, it’s time to gear up for a year full of optimism and good health!

If you’ve been waiting to write your resolutions until last minute, consider incorporating any—or all—of these health tips into your plan for a shining new year:

1. Drink more water. Many of us may not even realize that we go through our entire day dehydrated. If you feel tired often, take a look at what you’re drinking during the day—dehydration is known to cause fatigue and muscle cramps. This coming year, make the resolution to drink more water. After all, it’s calorie-free and readily available.

2. Cut down on caffeine. Caffeine is fine for an early morning boost, but if you need a cup of joe, tea, or soda just to get your through the day, you’re training your body for dependence. In addition, too much caffeine can disrupt your sleep and lead to dehydration, so consider replacing one caffeinated beverage each day with a healthier alternative, such as water.

3. Get more beauty sleep. Make 2013 the year of feeling bright-eyed and busy-tailed by getting more sleep at night. A number of experts agree that we need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel adequately rested.

4. Celebrate in moderation. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, choose to celebrate in moderation and reduce your alcohol consumption.  Not only will you help keep your liver happy, but you’ll also avoid extra calories. Try to limit your intake to no more than one drink of alcohol per day (1 drink = 12oz. of beer, 5oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of liquor).

5. Quit smoking. We’ve written extensively about how smoking can increase your risk of breast cancer and generally wreak havoc on your health. But a new year is as good a reason as any to finally kick the habit for good. If you need help, click here to read more about tobacco quitlines.

6. Walk more. Walking is a great and easy form of exercise. Not only does it burn calories, but it helps build muscle as well. It’s also low impact and most people can do it comfortably and effortlessly. If you’re looking to improve your health in the New Year, you don’t have to walk much; only 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace will dramatically improve cardiovascular health and help maintain a healthy weight.

7. Lift weights. Make the resolution to build your body’s strength this year with moderate weight training. Not only will you help protect your bones, but you’ll also prevent the muscle loss that occurs with aging. Try lifting weights or doing resistance exercises for 20 minutes 2 to 3 times per week to keep your body healthy and active.

8. Focus on eating in moderation. Forget the diets that pervade most people’s new year. If you deprive yourself too much and remain hungry all day, you’re more likely to overindulge, particularly in the evening. Focus on moderate eating by enjoying healthy, mini-meals every few hours to keep your energy up throughout the day.

9. Cut back on the sweets. Last year, nearly 2 million people were diagnosed with diabetes. Eating too much sugar or carbohydrates floods the body with insulin in response to the spike in blood sugar. In turn, this can lead to a condition called “insulin resistance.” Over time, insulin resistance may develop into type 2 diabetes. In 2013, do your body a huge favor by cutting back the sweets and increasing fiber to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.

10. Take vitamins. Ask your doctor what nutrients you may be missing and how you may benefit from nutritional supplements. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, it’s important to make sure you get plenty of vitamin B12. You may find a daily multivitamin can help fill in the nutritional gaps within your diet.

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Share your aspirations in the comments section below!


How to Reduce Stress During the Holiday Season

According to the American Institute of Stress, more than 110 million Americans already take medication for stress-related causes each week, and the holidays only tend to perpetuate anxiety. Even if you’re one of the lucky people who don’t ordinarily feel stressed under the pressure of deadlines or events, the holidays have a way of sneaking stress into the most carefree lives.

There are your children’s wish lists to tackle, the holiday expenses to wrangle, the gifts to wrap, parties to plan, cookies to bake and cards to write—all in addition to your normal responsibilities.

Don’t let stress ruin your holidays. Here are some quick tips for how to keep calm during the bustling festivities:

1. Take some “you” time. If there were ever a time to get a massage, this is it. Book one for December to diffuse the chaos of last-minute frenzies. If you’d rather stay in, pamper yourself with a little dark chocolate and red wine—and for solidarity, invite your best friend over to enjoy a much-needed break.

2. Focus on fitness. Not only is exercise  good for the body, but it also releases endorphins that make you feel happier and more content. Frustrated that you couldn’t find that impossible gift for your niece? Take it on the treadmill! You’ll burn calories, improve your state of mind, and give yourself some time to gain perspective. Remember, a fast-paced walk through the mall also counts as an aerobic activity!

3. Volunteer. Consider volunteering at a local charity. In addition to benefitting from what experts identify as “helpers’ high,” you may also meet new friends and make lasting connections that will enrich your life throughout the entire year.

4. Rethink gift giving. Streamline the hectic process of gift giving by buying fewer gifts, doing all your shopping online, or making modest online donations to the favorite causes of friends and family. No matter what the catalogues tell you, the best gift you can give is your time—so spend it with your family and friends and relish every minute of it.

5. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Remember, you can always say “no.” Consider this an absolute necessity for protecting your health and sanity during the holidays. As a bonus, it works well the rest of the year, too! Stay positive, anticipate happiness, and you’ll make it through the holidays with the right attitude in place for the coming year.

What are some ways you combat your holiday stress?

Reducing Risk: Common Factors that Affect Your Risk of Breast Cancer

breast cancer risksThe American Cancer Society estimates that the lifetime risk of a woman developing breast cancer to be 13% in 2012—more than one in 8. Furthermore, 75% of all women with breast cancer today have no known risk factors, or anything that would potentially increase a person’s chance of developing cancer.

Though having a cancer risk factor, or even several of them, does not necessarily mean that a person will get cancer, it’s always a good idea to reduce risk as much as possible. Some of the factors associated with breast cancer—such as being a woman, age, and genetics—can’t be changed. Other factors, like maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, not smoking cigarettes, and eating nutritious food, are dictated by a person’s choices. By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options, you can make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible, and find empowerment in your good decisions.

Family History: Though you cannot change your heritage or genetics, being aware of your family’s history means you’re more inclined to protect yourself against diseases that are prevalent in your family tree. Research shows that women with close relatives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancerhave a higher risk of developing the disease. If you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. If two first-degree relatives have been diagnosed, your risk is 5 times higher than average. A family history of cancer of the ovaries, cervix, uterus, or colon increases your risk. Female descendants of Eastern and Central European Jews (Ashkenazi) also face increased risk. Caucasian women are at a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer than are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women. The exception to this is African-American women, who are more likely to have breast cancer than whites under the age of 40. If you inherited risk, you can minimize its development by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as not smoking, adhering to a nutritious diet, exercising, and abstaining from alcohol.

  • Alcohol Consumption: Compared to nondrinkers, women who consume one alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk, and those who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have a 15% higher risk than women who do not drink. That risk goes up another 10% for each additional drink women have regularly each day. (Note: one drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor). Research shows that alcohol of any sort can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol also may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells. The bottom line is that regularly drinking alcohol can harm your health, even if you don’t binge drink or get drunk.
  • Smoking: Smoking causes a number of diseases and is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women. Research also demonstrates that there may be link between very heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Smoking also can increase complications from breast cancer treatment, including damage to the lungs from radiation therapy, difficulty healing after surgery and breast reconstruction, and an increased risk of blood clots when taking hormonal therapy medicines. To reduce your risk associated with smoking, the only solution is to quit smoking [http://breastreconstructionnetwork.com/stop-smoking-series-all-about-tobacco-quitlines/] immediately.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Diet is thought to be a main contributor for about 30% to 40% of all cancers. Though no food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer, some foods can boost your immune system and help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible. Getting the nutrients you need from a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can give your body the energy it needs to fight off infection and disease. Eating food grown without pesticides may also protect against unhealthy cell changes associated with pesticide use. Additionally, avoiding high-fat diets can also decrease breast cancer risk factors. Overweight women are thought to be at higher risk for breast cancer because the extra fat cells produce estrogen, which can cause extra breast cell growth and lead to the development of breast cancer.
  • Exercise: Research shows that exercising regularly at a moderate or intense level for 4 to 7 hours per week can lower the risk of breast cancer. Exercise consumes and controls blood sugar and limits insulin spikes in the bloodstream—an important preventative measure considering insulin is a hormone affects how breast cells grow and behave. People who exercise regularly tend to be healthier and are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. As we mentioned earlier, extra fat produces more estrogen. When breast cells are exposed to extra estrogen over time, the risk of developing breast cancer is higher Limiting fat in your diet is necessary for good health, and it is equally important to burn extra fat cells with exercise as an additional preventative measure.

What are some ways you combat the risk of developing breast cancer?

The Perfect Outdoor Workout Spots in Charleston

Outdoor workouts

Hampton Park, Charleston SC

With the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® just around the corner (October 20, 2012—mark your calendars!) and fall in full swing, the outdoors are a great place to get in shape for the upcoming 5k! Let Charleston’s natural beauty guide you to a fitter version of yourself and help you meet your exercise resolutions this fall. Whether you enjoy walking, running, or cycling, these incredible open-air venues will keep you inspired and coming back for more workouts:

Hampton Park: Though Hampton Park today is a sprawling 60-acre public park, it was once part of the Orange Grove Plantation owned by John Gibbes in 1769. In 1835, the South Carolina Jockey Club, a group that developed the Washington Race Course on the site, acquired part of Gibbes’ plantation. Though the racetrack once attracted thousands of spectators, today the park is used for scenic outdoor recreation and events. The park is an especially popular venue for walkers, joggers, and cyclists who use the one-mile perimeter road for exercise while taking in the park’s natural serenity.

  • Ravenel Bridge: The Arthur Ravenel Bridge, also known as the Cooper River Bridge, is the perfect destination for runners and walkers who thrive in a more urban setting. The eight-lane cable bridge stretches over the Cooper River, connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant with a total span of 13,200 feet. As you run over the tranquil river, you can watch ocean freighters pass under the bridge on the way to the Port of Charleston.
  • James Island County Park: Enjoy the natural beauty of James Island County Park while you train! Just a short drive from downtown Charleston, the 643-acre park offers an abundance of natural beauty. Take in the grassy open meadows and explore the miles of paved trails perfect for walking, biking, and skating. The park even has an off-leash dog park for your four-legged companion. Park hours in October are from 8:00 A.M. ET until sunset.

So get outside and enjoy the fall weather! After all, exercise is one of the easiest ways to maintain your health after breast cancer or to lower your chances of developing cancer.

Small Things Add Up: How to Stick to Your Diet

Image Taken From: www.womensonlinemagazine.com

Weight gain is often the cumulative effect of a series of small decisions: do you take the stairs or the elevator? Do you walk to the corner store, or drive? Sit in front of the TV, or walk the dog? Fortunately for those who want to stick to a diet, the small decisions we make every day can help us to reach our goals without feeling as though our lives have been dominated by the desire to lose weight. Here are some ways you can focus on the small things that have a huge effect on the success of your diet:

Mentally prepare yourself every day: When you wake up in the morning, consciously think about your diet. Before you even enter the kitchen, remember your goals, and mindfully select food that will fuel your body for the day. Whole grains and fruits are the perfect way to get your metabolism going without spiking your blood sugar levels.

  • Enjoy every bite: Take time during your meals to fully chew and savor every bite. Even if you are only eating your dish because you know it’s good for you, remember it’s healthy for a reason—those vitamins and minerals help your body perform the functions that sustain your very life! Rejoice in your body’s incredible machinery, and give it the fuel it deserves.
  • Stay accountable: Even if it pains you, step on the scale every day. It keeps you honest, and reminds you that the decisions you make throughout the day are leading you to your goal. You can even keep a food diary to chart your progress and keep track of the foods you eat throughout the day.
  • Regularize your eating: Eat at the same time every day, and plan meals that are both nutritious and help you feel sated. When your body gets in the habit of an eating schedule, you reduce hunger and the midday temptation to snack too much.
  • Exercise with a friend: Accountability can be the deciding factor in whether or not a diet succeeds. Plus, exercise is much more enjoyable when in good company.
  • Take the stairs: Remember, everything matters, and small adjustments make a world of difference when it comes to losing weight. Every opportunity you see to burn more calories or eat healthier, take them.  Get acquainted with the stairs, and be sure to break up the hours at the desk with a stroll to the water fountain, or just stand up for a few minutes. Really, anything burns more calories than sitting.

Do you have the secret to a successful diet? Feel free to share in the comments section below!