AICR’s new Healthy10 Challenge is a free, 10-week online program designed to help you improve your diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight for lower cancer risk and better overall health. Once you sign up for the challenge, the challenge materials will be unlocked, and you will begin to receive a series of emails to help guide you over the 10-week period. Each weekly challenge incorporates a component of AICR’s 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations, which are based on the latest research and evidence to reduce cancer risk. Each week, there are tips, tools, resources and recipes that are provided to help you meet the weekly goal.
The challenge is a simple and fun way to get healthier —it is engaging, inspirational and accessible for all.
Is the Healthy10 Challenge only for cancer prevention? Can cancer survivors benefit from this?
AICR has designed the challenge to provide a step-by-step guide towards a healthier lifestyle – either for cancer prevention or for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. After a cancer diagnosis, AICR recommends following as many of the Cancer Prevention Recommendations as possible to help reduce risk of recurrence and encourage healthy survivorship. The Healthy10 Challenge meets you where you are, even if you have a cancer diagnosis or have completed treatment.
You can read more on the research and studies that have shown, in general, following AICR’s diet and lifestyle recommendations links to lower cancer risk and a longer life. Fewer studies have focused on cancer survivors, but they too suggest that adhering to dietary recommendations is linked to lower risk of dying and improved health-related quality of life.
Can the Healthy10 Challenge help with weight loss?
The Healthy10 Challenge is a great program to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The combination of healthy eating and physical activity has been shown to help individuals succeed in their weight loss goals. Weekly emails, tips on moving more and healthy recipes are some popular tools of the program to help people not only stay motivated, but also be successful.
AICR’s New American Plate is also an integral part of the Healthy10 Challenge and a vital component in helping people structure their meals to achieve a healthier weight.
AICR’s New American Plate illustrates the 2/3 to 1/3 plate principle—filling 2/3 or more of your plate with colorful plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds and filling the remaining 1/3 or less of your plate with animal foods such as poultry, seafood, lean red meats, eggs and dairy. We know that choosing a diet that puts plant foods first supports a healthy weight.
Many dietitians have used the New American Plate and previous New American Plate Challenge within their communities and have seen positive behavior changes with participants.
I rarely exercise or participate in physical activity. Will I still be able to do the Challenge?
Absolutely! We know that one specific plan doesn’t work for everyone, that’s why this Challenge was designed to help people start where they are. Each weekly physical activity challenge and tips gradually builds throughout the 10-week period. So, if you are new to activity and movement, we encourage you to start slowly and at our own pace.
Many people avoid carbohydrates when trying to stay healthy. Why are whole grains included in the Healthy10 Challenge?
The week five of the Healthy10 Challenge is all about whole grains and how they are a vital part of a healthy, cancer-protective diet. It starts with helping you understand what a whole grain is, and the health benefits associated with eating them regularly. According to the latest AICR report evaluating evidence on diet and cancer, there is strong evidence that consuming whole grains reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. In the challenge, there will be tips on how to enjoy whole grains by making healthy swaps in your diet along with delicious recipes.
What is a plant-based diet? Do I have to stop eating foods that I like such as red and processed meat?
A plant-based diet is simply a diet built around mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Researchers, dietitians and other health care professionals widely agree that a plant-based diet offers powerful health benefits, including lower risk for cancer and many other chronic diseases. AICR’s evidence shows that eating whole grains, vegetables and other plant foods contribute to cancer protection.
The Healthy10 Challenge shows how easy it is to make meals more plant focused, and each week helps encourage individuals to do so. This challenge focuses on fun and simple ways to help individuals look at what they are eating every day and make meals more plant focused with built-in flexibility—meaning you do not have to give up foods you like, but rather eat less of the unhealthy, less nutrient dense foods (such as red and processed meat). Our research shows that eating high amounts of red and processed meats is linked to colorectal cancer.
Should I continue to follow the Challenge after the 10 weeks are over to stay healthy?
We recommend that you continue to practice the healthy habits that you developed during the Healthy10 Challenge and continue to make them part of your everyday lifestyle, even after the challenge is over. Remember, lifestyle changes can take time and the process is all about being consistent and making small steps. If you didn’t completely meet your goals or master each challenge after 10 weeks—that’s OK! It’s about progress, not perfection.
How can I track my progress during the Challenge?
Before starting the Healthy10 Challenge, we recommend taking AICR’s Cancer Health Check. This 5-minute assessment is a fun, easy-to-use tool that helps you determine how your lifestyle habits align with AICR’s Cancer Prevention Recommendations. At the end, you will be provided with a summary showing you which areas you are doing well in and areas that you can improve upon. Knowing your strengths and how you may need to improve is the first step towards making life-changing improvements for your health.
We recommend that you take the Cancer Health Check again after you’ve completed the challenge to see how much your health has improved and the areas that may still need improvement.
How do I sign up for the Healthy10 Challenge?
Anyone who would like to participate in the Healthy10 Challenge can visit www.healthy10challenge.org. Click “Accept the Challenge” on the homepage and then enter your first name, last name and email address. Once you sign up, you will receive your first email explaining the challenge and how to get started!
Can I do this challenge with others?
Absolutely! Encourage your family and friends to take the Healthy10 Challenge with you. You can help keep each other accountable and check in with each other. It’s always fun to create healthy new behaviors with others. You can share the challenge by clicking here. (share challenge button).