About Sonja
Thanks to Sonja Goedkoop for guest blogging.

Sonja Goedkoop, MSPH, RD, is a clinical dietitian at the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center. She has a passion for promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. You can follow her on twitter @SonjaGoedkoopRD.

The Shocking Truth About Portion Sizes

Since being overweight increases risk for nine cancers (including breast and prostate cancer), maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk. When I’m counseling clients and giving tips to help them lose weight, one thing always seems to surprise people the most: what a true serving size is.

Did you know the serving size of cooked pasta is ½ cup? Most restaurants will dish out close to 2 cups of pasta, the equivalent of 4 servings. We live in such a portion-large environment that we all (including registered dietitians!) tend to have a distorted view of what a serving size is.

Seeing super-sized restaurant portions causes us to have a skewed perception of how much to serve in our own homes, leading to larger portions all around. Continue reading


Superbowl Chicken Wings, A Healthy Makeover

It’s that time of the year again… we’re just days away from the big game! I love the excitement, rivalry and game-day food that comes with Super Bowl Sunday. Some of the most popular edibles are chicken wings, pizza, chips and dips. While they may be tasty, these foods are also loaded with saturated fat and salt while lacking in nutrition. 26373410_s

If you’re hosting this year, try making something new that is just as delicious and cancer-protective: chicken skewers with a zesty peanut dipping sauce. This recipe is a definite crowd pleaser – something that can help ease the competition-driven tension.

Using all white-meat chicken tenders on a grill keeps the fat content low and the portion size right. By marinating the chicken ahead of time, you will infuse flavor into the meat while also reducing the formation of cancer-causing substances caused by grilling.

Chicken Skewers Continue reading


Resolutions Slipping Away? Reset, Recharge, Remain Positive

You started the New Year with ambitious plans to be healthier and lower your cancer risk: you swore you’d give up desserts, exercise daily or lose 15 pounds in a month. Now it’s three weeks into 2015 and you realize your resolutions may not have gone as planned. What do you do now?34611286_s

It’s easy to set New Year’s resolutions that are overly ambitious, vague, or unrealistic, as described in AICR’s recent Resolve This; Not That. If working long hours has prevented you from going to the gym daily, that same barrier is probably still going to limit your progress in the New Year.

Instead of harping on what you haven’t achieved, focus on the positive. Remind yourself of the healthy behaviors you have engaged in over the past couple of weeks. Research shows that just thinking positively is enough to make you more successful and likely to achieve your goals. Even if you’ve hit some road bumps, challenging times can help us reassess our goals and avoid the same setbacks in the future. Continue reading