Together we will beat cancer


We’ve been asking people to share their tips and tricks to make being healthy just a little bit easier. Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, cutting back on booze, eating a healthy diet and being more active are all important components of a healthy lifestyle. And they could all cut cancer risk. But sometimes we need a little nudge to get us on our way.

Here are our favourite ‘health hacks’:

1. Posh your squash

It’s the end of a hard day, and all you want is a drink to help you wind down. Keep the ritual but cut the booze – make yourself a fancy soft drink instead. Go on, posh your squash!

2. Water down your cravings

Sometimes when cravings for a cigarette strike, all you need is a distraction. Drinking a big glass of water can help quench those cravings.

3. Homemade microwave popcorn

Homemade popcorn can be a healthy high-fibre snack, and it’s as simple as putting a bowl of kernels in the microwave. You could also add some tasty toppings, like cocoa powder or mixed herbs, instead of sugar or salt.

4. Prepare your kit and get fit

Habits are all about cues. Put your kit out the night before to remind yourself to exercise. Plus it makes it as easy as possible to just grab it and go!

5. Scale down your portions

Curb your carbs by weighing portions of rice and pasta. Take the guessing out of dinner to help you stick to the right amount. You could even leave the scales out to remind you to do it every time.

6. Freeze leftover booze into cubes

You’ve shared a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and there’s a bit left in the bottle. Rather than drink it just to save it going to waste, you can freeze it to use it for cooking sauces another time (this also saves you opening a bottle then too).

7. Beat your cravings and make some savings

It’s easy to let how much you spend on cigarettes pass you by. Put the money you would have spent aside for a month, see it build up, and then treat yourself to something you really want.

8. Reshape your plate

To get yourself on the way to your 5-a-day, try filling half your plate with veggies before any other food. It can help you get more of the good stuff.

9. Memo to move

It can be hard to do enough exercise. So a simple reminder on your calendar or phone to take a break and walk can be a good start to getting you to your 10,000 steps a day. The more steps the better.

10. Size matters

We naturally want to fill our plate. And our brain thinks a full plate means we’re eating more. So trick your brain into eating healthier amounts by switching to a smaller plate – smaller plates mean smaller portions.

Try one, or try them all. Small changes can all add up to have a big impact. 4 in 10 cancer cases in the UK could be prevented, largely through things like not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, cutting back on booze, eating a healthy diet and being more active. So where will you start?

Sophia Lowes is a health information officer at Cancer Research UK


Adam June 26, 2018

Lots of good tips in there! – although I don’t agree with the tip on cutting down carbs. It makes it sound as though they’re a bad thing which should only be consumed in small amounts. When balanced with the right amount of exercise, carbs are actually an incredibly important part of a diet.

Roy Bradley April 18, 2018

Common sense advice – the obvious is not always obvious or conversely, easy to accept. A reminder does not go amiss!

Rebecca April 17, 2018

Why is exercise only 2/10 of these?
Evidence is higher

Elizabeth Matthews March 17, 2018

Thank you for this. We all need reminding from time to time.

jan March 17, 2018

I do not smoke , drink ,alcohol,or fizzy drinks.I am not over weight. I exercise daily. eat very little salt and sugar. What else can I do to help prevent cancer, please.

Anne Henney March 17, 2018

Im a bit confused with regards to whether we should avoid asparagus after reading your email earlier this week and now seeing it served as part of a healthy eating plan ?
I thought all veg was good for us.

Alan stobart March 17, 2018

Peter, do you know who these fat cats are and what they get?

Peter March 12, 2018

I am shocked by such trivial and standard advice from an apparent leading Cancer Research organisation.. what is CR doing with the huge amount of funding that only a portion goes into actual research after paying all the fat cats.. disgusting and from going through this journey from advanced oesophageal cancer, seen a whole new aspect to these charities..

Susan phillips March 5, 2018

Exelant vldio tips