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21 Days to Wellness
During this month dedicated to prostate cancer awareness, we take the opportunity to encourage you to make small changes to improve your overall well-being.
Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is essential for your quality of life, regardless of your prostate cancer diagnosis. Below, we present five beneficial behaviors for your health. We invite you to consider which one you find most achievable to incorporate into your daily routine over the next 21 days, at a time that suits you best. Each of these behaviors is accompanied by additional information and practical advice to guide you in your journey and facilitate your choice.
Balanced Weight, Balanced Life
Weight management is important, especially before, during, and after prostate cancer treatment. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, a healthy weight promotes overall well-being, energy, and mobility. In summary, it helps you feel better on a daily basis and gives you more strength to cope with health challenges, including the side effects of cancer treatments.
If you are considering starting a weight management program, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have pre-existing health issues.
COMMITMENT #1 : I commit to taking a 5-minute break to walk or stretch before eating anything to avoid impulsive eating.
Modifiable behavior : Emotional Eating
It is essential to recognize that emotional eating can be an instinctive response to stressful situations. Understanding that food should not be used as a way to cope with our emotions is the first step in changing this behavior. Becoming aware of our emotions, expressing them, and finding more appropriate ways to manage them, such as relaxation or walking, helps maintain a healthy relationship with food and promotes lasting emotional well-being. Of course, it may sound easier said than done, but let’s go over some basic principles to guide you below.
Emotional eating can lead to impulsive eating habits and an imbalanced relationship with food. When we use food to cope with stress, anxiety, or negative emotions, it can result in overeating, less healthy food choices, and potentially weight gain.
Here are some simple tips to avoid eating impulsively:
- Before eating, ask yourself if you’re truly hungry. If not, find other ways to distract or occupy yourself.
- If you feel the urge to eat out of boredom or stress, find a positive distraction like taking a walk, engaging in a creative activity, or reading.
- Sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger. Drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see if you’re still hungry.
- Plan in advance what you’ll eat and when. This can help avoid last-minute impulsive choices.
- Avoid eating in front of the television, computer, or phone.
- Focus on your food to better recognize satiety signals.
- Refrain from eating directly from the packaging. Serve yourself a portion on a plate to better control quantities.
- Keep healthy snack options on hand to avoid turning to impulsive and less nutritious choices.
Blog posts to read
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COMMITMENT #2 : I commit to drinking a large glass of water before each meal to help control my appetite, stay hydrated and prevent overeating.
Modifiable behavior : Neglecting hydration throughout the day
Hydration plays a crucial role in weight management as it can influence appetite and satiety regulation. Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can help prevent confusion between thirst and hunger, which can reduce the risk of impulsive snacking and overeating. Of course, it may sound easier said than done, but let’s go over some basic principles to guide you below.
Not drinking enough water can lead to issues like fatigue, decreased concentration, and headaches. Your body’s functioning can be disrupted, and it may also lead you to eat more than necessary. Therefore, maintaining proper hydration is essential to stay energetic, focused, and healthy.
Here are some simple tips to help you stay hydrated throughout the day:
- Carry a water bottle with you: Having a water bottle on hand will remind you to drink regularly.
- Establish a schedule: Set specific times for drinking water, such as before meals or whenever you take a break.
- Add flavor: If you find plain water boring, add slices of fruit, cucumber, or herbs to give it a subtle taste.
- Drink tea or herbal infusions: Unsweetened tea and herbal infusions also count towards your hydration.
- Set a rule: For example, drink a glass of water every time you get up or every time you check your phone.
- Add ice: A glass of cold water can be refreshing and encourage you to drink more.
- Last but not least, avoid filling your fridge with sugary drinks (sodas, fruit juices, etc.).
- Instead of choosing a sugary beverage, opt for a healthier alternative of your choice.
- Do you usually have a soda with your work lunch? Lemon water pairs nicely with a good sandwich.
- Do you often try to combat afternoon drowsiness with cola? A bit of sparkling water with fresh mint will wake you up just as well, if not better!
- If you have no other option but a carbonated beverage, such as at the movies, don’t be discouraged. Treating yourself to a soda from time to time is not a problem. The important thing is to break the habit of regularly consuming them.
Blog posts to read
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COMMITMENT #3 : I commit to using smaller plates for all my meals for 21 days to better control portions and avoid overeating.
Modifiable behavior : Poor Portion Control
Poor portion control occurs when we consume excessive amounts of food compared to our actual needs. This can lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain. By paying attention to the size of our portions, we can better manage how much we eat, avoid overindulging, and maintain balance in our diet.
Poor portion control can lead to issues such as digestive problems, bloating, and gastrointestinal discomfort. Additionally, it can contribute to a lack of food control and even episodes of cravings. Ultimately, it can affect our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Not sure where to start? Here are some tricks and tips for effectively managing portions:
- Serve yourself a reasonable portion and avoid automatically going for seconds.
- Use measuring utensils to assess portions of cereals, nuts, and sauces.
- Start with vegetables or salads to fill a portion of your plate.
- e mindful of your hunger and satiety signals by listening to your stomach.
- Avoid eating directly from the packaging. Serve yourself a portion in a bowl or on a plate.
- Steer clear of all-you-can-eat buffets, as they can encourage overconsumption.
- During your meals, replace screens (TV, tablet, phone) with soft music.
Blog posts to read
COMMITMENT #4 : I commit to setting down my fork between each bite to take the time to recognize the sensation of fullness.
Modifiable behavior : Ignoring Hunger and Fullness Signals
It is important not to ignore hunger and fullness signals because they allow us to better understand our body’s food needs. These signals help us determine when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. By listening to them, we can establish a healthier relationship with food and maintain a balanced weight. Of course, it may sound easier said than done, but let’s go over some basic principles to guide you below.
By recognizing the sensation of hunger, we can provide our body with the energy it needs to function properly. Similarly, by identifying when we are full, we avoid eating beyond our needs, which can contribute to weight gain and digestive issues. Whether we are in the process of losing weight, gaining muscle mass, or simply aiming to eat healthily, it is important to pay attention to these signals.
Not sure where to start? Here are some practical tips:
- Turn off the TV and eat without a phone, computer, or tablet at the table.
- Take the time to prepare your meal or snack and pay attention to their presentation.
- Eat slowly and take the time to savor each bite. This gives your body time to signal when you are full.
- Take the time to chew your food thoroughly.
- Don’t force yourself to finish your plate. You can always keep the leftovers for later.
Blog posts to read
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COMMITMENT #5 : I commit to keeping a food journal to record what I eat and drink throughout the day, my physical activities, and any changes in weight.
Modifiable behavior : Not tracking progress
Keeping a food journal helps raise awareness of what one truly eats, better understand eating habits that may be detrimental to health, and track weight loss progress.
A food journal can be especially helpful for those trying to lose weight, manage a chronic condition, or improve their overall health. It also helps identify dietary deficiencies and excesses, as well as potential digestive or allergy issues.
Don’t know where to start?
- Look for online food journal templates for inspiration and ideas.
- Set aside a regular time each day to update your journal.
- Use simple descriptions for dishes (e.g., grilled chicken, green salad).
- Record your quantities: Did you go for seconds? In what exact amount?
- Note your emotions during meals, such as pleasure, guilt, joy, sadness, anxiety, or relaxation.
- Weigh yourself only once a week.
- Do not hesitate to consult a nutritionist to support you in this process.
Blog posts to read
Click the links below to access more information to help you achieve your commitment: