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Tag Archives: eating

Weight Maintenance Strategies

Posted on August 29, 2016 by

“It’s ironic that we foinspiredcus on weight loss, when the longest phase of your journey is maintenance!”  

Your road to weight loss was challenging and required tremendous discipline.  Now, you’ve reached the Maintenance Phase.  This phase is a bit different than weight loss and requires some different skills. Here are a few weight maintenance strategies to help keep that weight off for good!

The 6 Keys to Long-Term Weight Control:

EATING:

*Think PROTEIN first because it’s satisfying and harder to digest. Protein also increases the release of hormones that promote weight loss:  growth hormone (helps to preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up) and glucagon (tells the body to mobilize fat).

*Follow a structured pattern of eating:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper with small snacks in between.

*Don’t swear off dessert entirely.  Use the 3-bite rule.

*Avoid banking calories:  It’s ineffective to starve all day so you indulge at your favorite restaurant for supper.  This is a recipe for disaster because going hungry for several hours sets you up for a pig-out.

*The Scale:  Weight yourself twice a week.

*Go back to basics:  If you’ve put on weight, try doing a mini jump start (Weight & Inches shakes).

*Remember the CONCEPT of eating:  “How little can I eat and still be satisfied?”

DRINKING:

*We can’t survive without water and should be drinking throughout the day.  Surgical patients, however, shouldn’t drink and eat simultaneously. Staying hydrated with water can prevent mindless snacking/overeating. Carbohydrates and calories in alcoholic drinks add up quickly. Drink in moderation.

VITAMINS:

*Everyone should take pharmaceutical grade vitamins, especially if you’re restricting your calories.

*1st Tier Vitamins:  Multivitamin and Essential Fatty Acid (EFA’s.)

2nd Tier Vitamins:  B-Complex, magnesium, and Vit. D (about half the population is deficient).

SLEEPING:

*The most successful patients who have lost weight and maintained get 7 or more hours a sleep every night.

*Sleep is needed to recover from the day.

*Cortisol levels will remain elevated from sleep deprivation and make weight loss even more difficult.

EXERCISE:

*Exercise becomes even more essential during the maintenance phase of weight loss.

*It helps you preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up (especially resistance training).

* Concentrate your workouts:  quality is more important than quantity.  Even 15 minutes of out-of-your-comfort-zone exercising can help maintain your fitness level.

*Pick activities you enjoy:  If dancing to Latin music in a zumba class sounds nightmarish, choose another format like Boot Camp or a High Intensity Interval class (HITT).  If you’re an avid outdoors person, find good running/walking trails, go hiking, or biking.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY:

*Make a conscious decision every morning to stay on track and focus on staying healthy.

*Surround yourself with supportive people.

*Reward Yourself:  It’s fun to set personal goals and reward yourself along the way. But, it’s too risky to reward yourself with food.  For every 3 months of weight maintenance, you could go to the movies, buy a new outfit, or take a little vacation.

Weight maintenance is often more challenging than weight loss.  Ultimately, no one can do this but you.  We will help you and support you, but we can’t do the work for you.  If you’re continuing to struggle, call and set an appointment with one of the CFWLS counselors to get back on track.

Fajita Kabobs with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Posted on August 05, 2016 by

chicken fajita kabobsIngredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sweet peppers
1 large onion
½ cup lime juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Bamboo or metal skewers

Creamy cilantro sauce:
1 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice

Directions
1. Cut chicken into 1” pieces.
2. Cut peppers and onion into 1” chunks.
3. In a large re-sealable bag, combine seasonings and lime juice. Add chicken breasts, onion and peppers and allow to marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour.
4. Thread chicken, peppers, and onion onto skewers.
3. Place each skewer onto grill. Allow each to sear and flip to other side. Brush each skewer with any remaining marinade.
4. Grill over high heat for 5 minutes, flip, and let cook for an additional 3 minutes or until done.
5. In a bowl, combine all creamy cilantro sauce ingredients. Stir well to combine.
6. Top with the creamy cilantro sauce, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 250
Total Fat 6g
Total Carbohydrates 13g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Protein 39g

Print Recipe Chicken Fajita Kabobs with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Sauce

Ditch the Sweet Stuff

Posted on July 18, 2016 by

Ditch the Sweet StuffWhat’s Hiding in Your Pantry? Go ahead – open the door.  It’s in there and you won’t have to look too far. Take the first package you see and turn it around. Find the nutrition label and look about two-thirds of the way down the list.  What do you see?  Total Carbohydrates – eeeek!  Sugar is hiding in places that you would least expect and may be the prime culprit in your battle of the bulge.

Carbohydrates tend to be mostly empty calories and leave us wanting for more almost as soon as we’ve finished whatever was in the package.  These sugars cause an excess blood sugar surge and trigger an insulin release in your body. Insulin, also being a fat-storage hormone, promptly sends these calories packing – right where you don’t want them – around the mid-section (aka Belly Fat!)

Cutting back on carbohydrates may help you do more than just lose weight.  Studies show that there are dozens of additional health benefits when eliminating extra sugar from your diet.  Here are 10 of our favorites!

1. It lowers your chance of diabetes

Just 2 sodas a day increase your chance of becoming one of the millions with Type 2 diabetes by 26%.  Steady sugar intake can result in insulin resistance. Easy decision – drink water!

2. It reduces your risk of certain cancers

Research suggests that risk of certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, can be attributed to excess sugar intake. Why take chances?

3. It may lower your blood pressure

Excess weight has long been considered the major factor in hypertension. New studies indicate that sugary foods can also increase blood pressure. When the heart and arteries are taxed over long periods of time, damage can occur in the whole circulatory system.  This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage, artery disease and other coronary conditions.

4. It promotes healthy skin

Added sugar can leave the skin looking dull and wrinkled. Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, a process called glycation, that results in damage to your collagen and elastin. It may also leave your skin more prone to sun damage.

5. It improves brain function

Sugar can eat away at your brain cells much like it does your tooth enamel! Research shows a correlation between impaired cognitive function and excessive sugar intake. It has also shown to reduce the proteins that are necessary for memory and responsiveness.

6. It decreases your bad cholesterol

Consuming too many carbohydrates may lead to lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as higher triglycerides (blood fats).  Clogged arteries can lead to heart disease!

7. It may help you avoid fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease is very common in this country and is directly related to the excess sugar in the American diet.  High blood sugar results in excess insulin in the system that drives fat into the liver cells. This disease can increase your risk of diabetes, heart attacks and even cancer.

8. It makes for easy breathing

Those that partake in a high carbohydrate diet may be more likely to suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  COPD is the third leading cause of death in the country!

9. You’ll have more energy

Carbohydrates give you energy – right?  Wrong!  Excess sugar actually decreases the activity in our orexin cells. These cells help keep us awake and lift our metabolism – that could explain the need for a nap after a carb-filled lunch.

10. You’ll have more $$ to spend on the fun things in life!

We recently talked with a surgical patient who had added up the cost of all the sodas and junk food he had been buying compared to what he was now spending on good food.  Even we were amazed!  You can save hundreds of dollars each month – and spend it on something to celebrate your healthy life!

If you bite it, you must write it…

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

Weight Loss Mobile appYour food diary is a vital tool on your journey to lose weight.  Technological advances have made journaling so much easier and convenient.  Have you downloaded our free mobile app?  It tracks your food & fitness as well as water & weight loss progress!  Don’t have a smart phone? Good old fashioned pen and paper work just fine too. Some people claim that journaling is time-consuming and cumbersome.  The facts are that people who keep daily food diaries are much more successful with weight loss than those who don’t document.

Keeping a generic diary to record feelings and events can help with expressing emotions, aid in self-growth, and appreciating success and mistakes. Use a food/drink journal to increase awareness of your emotions in addition to what you’re putting in your mouth.  Here’s our top 5 reasons to keep a food diary:

  1. Helps to identify areas where changes need to be made
  2. Makes you cognizant of stressful, mindless eating
  3. Helps to pinpoint patterns of over-eating
  4. Provides an understanding of the source of calories
  5. Reveals where the surplus or deficit (protein or carbs) is

Dr. Clark and the counselors at the Center for Weight Loss Success especially want our patients to document protein, carbohydrates, and calories. We’re better able to provide support and assistance if we know exactly what you’re ingesting.

Don’t let the amount of calories you consume and where they’re coming from be a big mystery. Knowledge is power, and hiding from the truth isn’t going to bring you any closer to your ideal weight.  A recent study revealed people who kept a food journal six days a week lost almost twice as much as those who only recorded one day or less. This information is very impactful and advantageous. If you’re walking through the kitchen and feel like reaching for a cookie, you might think again if you have to record it!

Be accurate and honest when recording in your food diary.  If it goes in your mouth, it must be recorded.  All the “extras” add up.  For example, we recently had a medical client who was faithfully recording everything he ate daily, or so we thought.  It turned out, he had neglected to write down the dried cranberries he was sprinkling on his salad every day.  Those additional 25 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar made a big difference with his weight loss. Once discovered, the scale started moving again!

Tracking your intake may seem a bit time-consuming but pays big dividends and becomes easier with each passing day.  Take charge of your health!

Download the CFWLS free mobile app for iPhone at the App Store or for Androids at the Marketplace.

Fresh Finds – Seasonal Selections

Posted on June 27, 2016 by

If, on a hot summer day, you can’t stop eyeing that hunk of watermelon; or you start craving  pumpkin spiced treats in October, you’re eating with a seasonal mind. It’s just intuitive! Holistic medicine and science agree, seasonal eating promotes overall well-being, helps fight infection and may act as a natural whole body cleanse.

This theory has existed for many years in both Indian and Chinese medicine. As the weather shifts, animals behave differently; they eat according to what they can find. Humans used to follow the same pattern but with the ability to preserve fresh foods by canning, drying & freezing, we are able to enjoy most foods in any season. Researchers studying the underlying effects of seasonal eating have found that there is an increase in vitamins and antioxidants in the seasonal fare that isn’t matched by out of season harvest.

raspberriesSummer: During these hot and humid days, think bright colors. Summer foods tend to be colorful reds, pinks, yellows and blues – and tend to be sweet! Staying hydrated in these summer months is important so choose water-filled vegetables and fruits to add to your meals! Berries and melons are fairly low in carbohydrates – add them to salads topped with plenty of protein.  Don’t forget about the herbs in your garden – basil, mint, cilantro, parsley and sage!

Roasted pumpkin and carrot soup with cream .Fall: Welcome to harvest time! Ancient Chinese medicine believed that the body contracts and begins cooling in preparation for the winter. You will find yellow and gold foods in abundance. Root  vegetables and squash (carrots, beets, pumpkins, butternut & acorn squash) are hearty, filling and warming! Cooking methods like baking and roasting are best since these hearty root vegetables can stand up to them, don’t forget to season- sage, thyme, and rosemary are fresh!

cinnamonWinter: With frost in the air, the end of the seasons is in sight! Carrots, turnip, kale, and collard greens are just picked in these cold months! They are perfect for roasting and stewing with warm spices like cinnamon, curry and turmeric. Even though we don’t think of meat as seasonal because our stores are always fully stocked, it is seen as the most warming of foods due to its high nutrient density.

asparagusSpring: With increased sunlight, our tastes reach out to fresher foods. Tender foods like sprouts, greens, asparagus, and chards are back! Steaming and grilling your fresh finds will preserve the flavor of these light vegetables!

Tips & Tricks:
•    Look for reasonably priced produce in the supermarket. In-season prices are lower than out-of- season prices.
•    Think back to seasonal childhood favorites. There’s a reason why Mom always fed you melon in the summer, pumpkin in the fall and beef and barley stew in the winter.
•    Visit your Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning!

Contributed by Lindsey Bryan, CFWLS Summer Extern

Low Carb Lasagna with Zucchini!

Posted on May 06, 2016 by

Even the kids love it!

zucchini_lasagnaIngredients

4 medium zucchini

1 lb. ground beef (or use turkey for less fat)

2 cups baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jar pasta sauce (look for low sugar)

8 oz. tomato sauce

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

1 egg, slightly beaten

15 oz fat-free ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Slice zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch planks. Spray each side with cooking spray and place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Broil for 10-12 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  4. Brown ground turkey, onion, garlic and mushrooms in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in seasonings, pasta sauce and tomato sauce.
  5. Combine egg and ricotta cheese in small bowl.
  6. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce into greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with zucchini slices and half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the process ending with sauce on top.
  7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Makes 12 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 209

Total Fat 8g

Total Carbohydrates 15g

Dietary Fiber 3g

Protein 20g

Print Recipe: Zucchini Lasagna

Crunchy Almond Chicken

Posted on March 18, 2016 by

Great crunch without the carbs!

crunchy almond chickenIngredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup almonds
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp water
2 eggs

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line large baking sheet with parchment or aluminum.
3. Crush almonds in food processor to a fine mix. Pour into shallow dish.
4. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and almond flour to crushed nuts and blend well.
5. Whisk eggs and water in shallow dish.
6. Dip each chicken breast into egg mixture and dredge in crushed nut mixture. Coat each side evenly.
7. Place each piece of chicken on lined baking sheet.
8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes (until juices run clear).
Makes 4 large servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 383
Total Fat 33g
Total Carbohydrates 13g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Protein 39g

Print Recipe Crunchy Almond Chicken

Healthy Holiday Tips

Posted on December 07, 2015 by

healthy-holidaysMost of you know me as a pretty quiet guy.  Although this is true, I still like to attend parties with friends/family.  I am a firm believer in working hard…and playing hard.  When you attend parties, you should focus on the “fun” aspect and not the “fear” aspect of how you may end up derailing your best weight loss efforts and have regrets the next day.  Here’s my “do’s and don’ts” for attending holiday parties with confidence and no diet regrets:

1. Don’t go to parties because you have to…Do go because you want to.  There’s a big  difference and you have a choice.  Surround yourself with the people you love.  If excess baggage comes along with the ones you love…minimize your exposure…I know – easier said than done sometimes!

2. Don’t go to parties hungry…Do have a bottle of water before you attend and a healthy snack such as cheese wrapped in turkey, handful of almonds or a protein bar before you get there so you are not ravenous.

3. Don’t eat the first items you see…Do take the time to peruse what’s on the buffet table and determine which have the highest quality protein (beef, chicken, shrimp, cheese, fish) and select these first.  Combining these choices with your pre-party snack can fill you up so that other temptations don’t bother you so much.

4. Don’t exclude items you desire this time of the year…Do take a very small portion of them so that you can avoid feeling deprived and move on.

5. Don’t be a wallflower…Do mingle and talk with others.  If your mouth is busy talking, it is harder to keep if full chewing and swallowing.

6. Don’t drink excessively…Do have a drink if you desire.  Too much alcohol isn’t good…period.  It also lowers your resistance to “go wild” and sabotage yourself which is sure to cause regret.

7. Don’t select your spot for fun right near the food…Do mingle around and settle in a location where you can talk with everyone but not have food ‘staring you down’.

8. Most importantly, relax and have fun.  Try to take a deep breath as the stress begins and focus on enjoying this time as much as possible and those you may not get to see on a regular basis.

Enjoy this holiday season!  From our family to yours…Merry Christmas and Cheers to a Healthy New Year!

How Healthy Are Your Holiday Traditions?

Posted on November 30, 2015 by

Holiday traditions are often based on recipes that have been handed down through generations and those memories that cling to the scents and sights of particular foods. Why should this year be any different? You’ve sifted through your favorite family recipes and all you see is sugar, butter & flour, right?  Don’t get discouraged – by making some substitutions, you may be able to enjoy them after all!

Using artificial sweeteners is tholiday_traditionshe most obvious switch. It seems like there are new options on the shelf every week but, not all sweeteners are the same!  If the dish you are making will not be cooked or baked, you are safe to use your favorite no-cal sweetener.  Baking or cooking is another matter – Splenda is one of the few that holds up under heat. Use the type that is specifically made for baking and cooking as it measures differently than what’s in the little yellow packets.

You might be able to cut back on the butter or shortening in some of the recipes.  Butter used for cooking shares its flavor well and you may not miss the extra fat.  Applesauce or other pureed fruits are a common substitute for butter and oil in recipes but watch out for the extra carbohydrates, it may not be worth the switch. Using a low-fat dairy product in place of the heavier one is generally okay but you may notice a bit of difference in the texture of your dish.

Flour may be one of the trickiest to switch out and you may have to do a bit of experimenting before you are truly happy with the results, but there are many options on the market today.  Flour made from nuts has a forth of the carbohydrates that wheat flour has and has the benefit of added protein as well. Soy flour is a great option too, it contains just one third of the carbs in all-purpose flour. You can substitute (both nut & soy flour) 1/4 – 1/2 of the amount of flour in most muffins, cakes and cookies.  Whole wheat flour has more fiber than white flour so it lowers your effective carbohydrate count but cannot always be substituted one for one in recipes. Crushed nuts or some of our protein Biscotti work great as crusts for pies or cheesecakes!

There are several low-carb baking mixes available either online or in health food stores. The reviews are pretty good but I have not tried any of them.

Check out the recipes that we have already tested!  Many of them may be similar to what you are trying to recreate.  You will find a great selection on our blog at www.cfwls.com/blog/, website (search recipes) or on our Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/cfwlsva/.

 

Flounder with Olives and Tomatoes

Posted on October 02, 2015 by

A great balance of flavors – a side salad makes it a perfect meal!

 

cfwls flounder with tomatoes and olivesIngredients

8 oz. flounder fillets

1 Tbls butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. black & green olives

½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

Pinch of dried oregano

Pinch of dried basil

Pinch of dried parsley

Salt & pepper

 

Directions

  1. Preheat skillet and add butter to melt.
  2. Add minced garlic and allow to soften.
  3. Dry flounder fillets and add to skillet. Cook 2 minutes on one side and turn.
  4. Add olives, tomatoes and seasonings.
  5. Heat through – it helps to spread out the tomatoes & olives.

 

Makes 2 servings

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 312

Total Fat 19.5g

Total Carbohydrates 7g

Dietary Fiber 6g

Protein 20g

Print Recipe  Flounder with Olives and Tomatoes