How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off (In 3 minutes)

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I attended a fast-paced session at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Denver last week. Titled “Energy Balance: Where Nutrition Meets Exercise and Medicine,” presenters were given 3 minutes to answer a nutrition and exercise question.

James Hill began with this question: What are the relative roles of diet and physical activity in weight loss and weight maintenance?

His answer: Research shows that diet is key to weight loss and physical activity is key for weight maintenance.

Why: Eating fewer calories works best to achieve a large enough calorie deficit for weight loss, but over the long-term, most people can’t sustain such a low calorie level to keep the weight off. Once weight is lost, those who successfully keep it off do so by being more physically active.

How much physical activity? 60-90 minutes a day to keep off any significant amount of weight loss. That translates to about 10,000 – 12,000 steps daily.

What to do: To lose weight focus on what and how much you eat first. Gradually incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, so that once you’ve achieved a healthier weight, you’re exercising enough to keep it off.

Check out our New American Plate Challenge and see how 8 people made diet and exercise changes through a weekly challenge from AICR.

Green Thumbs and Green Transportation for Cancer Prevention

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This month’s eNews offers ideas for a variety of activities in the yard, in the kitchen and on the road to help you get moving and jazz up your diet.

Plant a seed.

If you’ve ever thought you might like to try growing a few herbs or salad greens, this article can help you get started. Visit some community gardens or just go to the garden store for inspiration and perhaps even more advice.

Then Dress it up.

Make your own salad dressing and add pizzazz to your fresh greens. The Cucumber, Feta Cheese and Dill Dressing was a big hit at the AICR Test Kitchen tasting.

Go for a Spin.

In our Coach’s Corner article, a triathlon coach answers questions about bicycling, safety and how to “get back on the bike.” If there are two adventuresome people in your home wanting to get started, how about a tandem bicycle?

Let us know how your garden is growing and if you’ve tried “getting back on the bike.”

Dig in the Dirt for Health

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In yesterday’s blog, Mya wrote about the growing problem of type 2 diabetes in the United States and the link to cancer risk and to many other serious health disorders.

And you may have seen news reports about how doctors are finding type 2 diabetes in children – everyday more than 10 Americans under age 20 are diagnosed with this disease. Ten years ago type 2 diabetes in this age group was extremely rare.

Adults and children who are overweight or obese, have a family history of type 2 diabetes and are inactive are at high risk for the disease.

There’s no one answer that will solve this problem, but here’s an idea that is timely and can get children active and interested in healthy eating.

Try growing some vegetables or herbs and do it with a child or young person. About 1/3 of Americans who garden say one reason they do is to teach kids about gardening.

You don’t have to grow a garden as large as the White House garden (they grow over 30 varieties of vegetables) – you don’t even need a “garden.” Most Americans have a small growing space.

Kids (and adults) love to dig in the dirt, watch plants grow, harvest and eat the crop. Two for one – a little physical activity and interest in vegetables!

For step by step information on how to get started, visit The Taste Buddies, our website for children.

So far, I’ve planted lettuce (it’s up already!) in a window box and spinach in a large clay pot.

Let us know what you’re planting this year!