Four Healthy Snacks for the Whole Family

In the weight loss and weight management industry, two commonly asked questions are, “What should I eat?” and “What should I feed my family?”  One thing is clear: people are concerned, and confused. We all want our family to have a healthy diet but TV, Internet, magazines and advertisements bombard us with choices and conflicting advice. Brands spend billions of dollars every year marketing non-nutrient-dense foods to the public.

The bottom line is that you need to take control of your children’s and your own diet and the first step is understanding why we need to feed ourselves and our family’s healthy food. Fueling your body is important; it will help keep your body energized and your brain alert. Soft drinks and sugary snacks will not provide you with the nutrients to keep your body and brain going. What you need is protein, fiber, healthy fats and fluids.

Check out these four smart options that are not full of preservatives, are full of nutrients and great for both kids and adults.

  1. Sunflower seeds and pistachio nuts
    Kids love these because they are fun to “crack” open and are delicious. Parents love them because, being non-perishable and portable, they are great for after school and the office. Plus they are a great source of protein, fiber and healthy fats; a single serving is sure to satisfy. Get the shelled kind to slow down your ingestion and help keep your eating “mindful.”
  2. Grapefruits, oranges, pummelos, mandarins and tangerines
    Not only are citrus fruits rich in minerals and vitamins, their tough skin makes them durable and portable. Cut them into wedges and chill for a fun after school snack.
  3. Apple slices with peanut butter
    Sliced apples with a thin layer of peanut butter on them make a tasty snack, full of fiber and great nutrients like vitamin C and folic acid.
  4. Hummus and veggies
    Add some fun to veggie sticks with hummus, a food dip made from chickpeas, olive oil, salt, lemon juice and tahini (sesame seed butter). You can add garlic or roasted vegetables to hummus for a richly flavored dip, perfect for carrots, celery sticks, sliced cucumbers or cherry tomatoes. Because hummus is made from chickpeas (as opposed to sour cream or mayonnaise) it is much healthier than other dips and high in fiber, protein, folic acid, zinc and magnesium.

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Slim Gym Style

When you work out, your blood gets pumping and your muscles fill, giving you that “pump” that makes you look firmer and shapelier. Even so, it is common for people recovering from weight loss surgery to be self-conscious about their body, which could make the full-length mirrors at the gym pretty intimidating.

Not to worry. It’s easy to be fit and fashionable when you play up your “better” body parts and downplay the ones that you’re less fond of. Here are a few fashion tricks that can help give you a leaner look without sacrificing the comfort and support you need when working out.

Sports bras

Sports bras are notorious for being unflattering. Combat this by choosing a sports bra with molded cups and a V-shaped neckline. This will add length to your neck and give you a leaner look.

Tummy-taming tops

You don’t have to hide your figure under baggy sweatshirts or oversized T-shirts. Now you can find fitted tops that provide extra support in the tummy and around the waistline. Choose tops with snug side-ribbing; textured tops can also go miles in disguising unwanted lumps and bumps.

Sleek silhouette

A little-known secret to a slender look is color blocking. Dark paneling down the sides of a shirt or pants can help nip in curves by creating long, slender lines.

Color diversion

While brightly-colored socks or shoes won’t whittle away your thighs, they do help divert attention from body parts that are still works in progress. Luckily, these days it’s easy to find shoes in bright blues, oranges, yellows and reds that still offer the balance, stability and support you need.

Skorts slenderize

A skort is a hybrid between a skirt and shorts. The right skort will provide ample coverage and is still feminine. Plus, the under-the-skirt-shorts provide give extra support, helping to reduce jiggle.

Compression fabric

Whether you are sporting workout “skinny pants” or capris, look for what is called “compression fabric.” It gives your body extra support while smoothing bulges. If you opt for compression fabric in pants, look for high, wide waistbands that fit over your waist. This will help keep the compression fabric from pushing extra flesh over the top of your pants, preventing that “muffin top” look.

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Do I Need Protein Shakes After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Generally speaking, gastric bypass surgery patients are recommended to use protein shakes postoperatively, at least at first. Every patient is different and while some are advised to use protein shakes to supplement their diet during the first few weeks after surgery, other patients are recommended to use them for life.

The reason many gastric bypass surgery patients are recommended to use protein supplements postoperatively is because, depending on your unique body, you may no longer be able to absorb nutrients from your food as efficiently as you used to. So, while the average adult needs to eat about 50-55 grams of protein per day; gastric bypass surgery patients are often recommended to ingest between 60-80 grams of protein daily.

How long will I have to use protein shakes?

You will work with your primary care doctor, dietician and surgeon to create a plan that works for your unique needs, but gastric bypass patients are generally advised to keep a liquid-only diet for at least several days postoperatively. Some patients stay on a liquid diet for up to a month after their surgery. If you are on a liquid-only diet, it is difficult to maintain healthy protein levels without a protein shake supplement. That is because most liquid foods do not contain ample protein in them. For example, one cup of skim milk contains a mere eight grams of protein and one cup of chicken broth contains just one gram of protein.

Even after you are ready to eat small amounts of pureed foods, you will most likely still need to supplement your diet with a protein supplement. Whether you take your protein supplement in the form of a shake or you add protein powder to your pureed foods to boost the amount of protein that is in your pureed meals, it will most likely be the only way that you can get enough protein in your diet.

Are protein shakes better than real food?

While your body treats the protein from shakes the same way as it treats protein from real foods, you should be aware that because protein shakes are liquid, they will not stay in your pouch very long. You may feel hungry again soon after drinking your protein shake. For this reason if hunger is an issue for you, once you are able to eat pureed foods or solid foods again, consider taking your protein shake with some real food to slow digestion and help you feel full longer.

If you live in the Melrose or Medford areas in Massachusetts and are considering weight loss surgery as an option for controlling your obesity, come to one of our free weight loss surgery seminars. Hallmark Health System Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery hosts a free one every month.

The Center is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Considering Weight Loss Surgery In Medford?

Watch this video to get more information about Hallmark Health Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery.

 

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Slimming Foods for the Fall

Eating seasonally is a growing trend across the U.S. It helps to eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping across continents and your dollars goes directly to the farmer. Plus, eating fresh, unprocessed vegetables and fruits has many health (and flavor) benefits over eating foods that are canned, bottled or boxed.

Autumn is almost here and to help you eat seasonally we’ve put together this list of seasonal foods that you can integrate into your meal plan. These foods are healthy, packed with nutrients and will help keep you on track with your weight loss goals through the end of the year.

Oh, and we’ve linked to some great healthy recipes to help you work these foods into the menu!

Slimming Foods (and Recipes) for Fall

Apple
Healthy Apple Recipes to Celebrate the Season

Pumpkin
Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin seeds
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Butternut squash
Super Healthy Easy Butternut Squash Recipes

Concord grapes
Sugar-Free Concord Grape Spread

Cranberries
5 Healthy Cranberry Recipes

Parsnips
Healthy Parsnip Recipe

Sweet potatoes
25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

Beets
Roasted Beets and Sautéed Beet Greens

Dates
Frosty Almond Date Shake

Cauliflower
Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

Kabocha squash
Award Winning Roasted Kabocha Squash

Turnips
Braised Turnips, Carrots and Onions Recipe

Rutabaga
Rutabaga Oven Fries

Pears
5 Healthy Pear Recipes

Pomegranate
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Quince
Warm Quince and Hazelnut Salad

Tangerines
Spinach and Tangerine Salad

If you live in the Melrose or Medford areas in Massachusetts and are considering weight loss surgery as an option for controlling your obesity, come to one of our free weight loss surgery seminars. Hallmark Health System Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery hosts a free one every month.

The Center is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Beat Midday Fatigue with These 5 Techniques

When in weight loss surgery recovery, you may find yourself feeling fatigued midday. Many people suffer from what is also known as the “afternoon slump,” “midday doldrums” or the “lunchtime lazies.”

What causes midday fatigue?

Some studies say that our bodies have a natural “clock” that makes us feel sleepy at around 2-3 p.m. Other studies say your body experiences a dip in core temperature in the afternoon — similar to what happens before you go to sleep at night — which tells your brain to release the sleep hormone melatonin.

Internal clock or not; eating habits can compound midday fatigue, making what would have been a slight dip in energy a massive energy crash.

Beating midday fatigue starts first thing in the morning.

If you have a case of the lunchtime ‘lazies’, ask yourself these questions:
– Did I eat breakfast?
– What did I eat for breakfast?
– What did I eat for lunch?

Here are five techniques that you can use to beat midday fatigue and stay motivated throughout the afternoon.

  1. Eat a nutritious breakfast.
    Nutrients and calories in your breakfast are what jumpstart your metabolism and carry you throughout your day. Instead of coffee and a pastry, try an English muffin topped with a scrambled egg and a slice of low-fat cheese or one of these easy, high-protein meals.
  2. Don’t skip lunch
    As well as not skipping lunch, you need to eat the right things during lunch. Topping your salad greens with some diced egg, turkey breast or beans will add high-quality protein to your meal. A carb-protein combo will give you the fuel you need to boost your energy and concentration levels.
  3. Move.
    Walk or jog up four or five flights of stairs in your office building. It will get your blood pumping and give your brain a break. Anything that gets your muscles moving and makes you breathe a little quicker will help to energize you for the second half of your day.
  4. Drink water.
    Dehydration contributes to a host of modern-day maladies, including persistent fatigue. A slice of lemon, cucumber or mint leaves will add flavor to your water without adding calories.
  5. Take a nap.
    Sometimes you really just do need some rest. Taking cat naps can be a great way to reboot and energize during the day. Be mindful of how long you nap. Length of sleep can affect how you feel — studies have shown about 20 minutes works well, but much longer may cause you to wake up feeling terrible.

If you live in the Melrose or Medford areas in Massachusetts and are considering weight loss surgery as an option for controlling your obesity, come to one of our free weight loss surgery seminars. Hallmark Health System Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery hosts a free one every month.

The Center is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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What Post Weight-Loss Surgery Supplements Should I Be Taking?

We need food to give us energy. Food contains the vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients we need to have a healthy, well-operating body.

Being well-nourished is an essential part of maintaining a healthy weight. That is why it is always important, but especially important after bariatric surgery that you eat the right kinds of foods and supplements to your diet when necessary to be sure your body it getting what it needs nutritionally. If you:

  • can’t lose weight even though you have restricted your caloric intake
  • have uncontrollable hunger, even directly after meals
  • lack energy
  • have late- or mid-night cravings, you may be undernourished.

People who have had weight loss surgery are, generally speaking, ingesting about one-third of their typical food intake. This fact puts you at a greater risk of being undernourished.

Each patient’s needs differ, depending on the individual and the type of surgery they undergo.

The dose and type of vitamins, minerals and protein will vary depending on the kind of weight-loss surgery you undergo and your unique body. For example, patients who undergo operations where the part of the gut that absorbs fat-soluble minerals and vitamins is removed (such as gastric bypass surgery) may need higher supplementation than someone who undergoes gastric banding or sleeve procedure.

In fact, your dose may vary considerably from that of other individuals so it is crucial that you work closely with your primary care doctor and weight-loss surgeon after your weight loss surgery to create a plan that includes the correct amounts for you.

Your physician and health team will work out a nutrition program with you to meet your comfort level and weight loss goals. However, generally speaking, most weight loss surgery patients need a protein supplement as well as vitamin and mineral supplements in order to avoid becoming malnourished. Besides a good multivitamin, your physician may recommend you take extra supplements of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron and calcium.

Patients who join support groups do better long term.

Studies show that post weight-loss surgery patients who join weight loss surgery support groups, have a significantly higher success rate than those who do not. If you have undergone weight loss surgery and live in the Melrose or Medford areas in Massachusetts and are looking for a weight loss surgery support group, Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery hosts a free one every month.

The Center is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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High Fiber Foods for Weight Loss

Studies have shown that foods high in fiber not only lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, but high-fiber foods also keep you full longer and help you cut the number of calories you consume daily. Here are 10 figure-friendly high-fiber foods that are great for breakfast or snacks and are easy to grab and go.

  1. Popcorn: 3.5 grams of fiber per 3 cups
    Pop some kernels in a pot with no butter, throw some pepper or hot sauce on it and you’ve got a savory snack.
  2. Pears: 6 grams of fiber in 1 medium pear
    Juicy and sweet, pears have some of the highest fiber content of any fruit.
  3. Spelt bread: 2 grams of fiber per slice
    Spread a little almond butter on spelt bread for a quick, filling snack.
  4. Apples: 5 grams of fiber per 1 medium apple
    Apples are a storehouse of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  5. Black beans: 5 grams of fiber per 1/3 cooked cup
    You can make a host of delicious dishes with this super food.
  6. Raspberries: 8 grams of fiber per 1 cup
    Raspberries are rich in fiber as well as nutrients that play an important role in heart health and lowering the risk of heart disease, obesity and age-related health declination.
  7. Barley: 3 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup
    High in healthy fiber, barley is also a high-protein grain boasting numerous health benefits.
  8. Split peas: 5.4 grams of fiber per 1/3 cooked cup
    Split peas are low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Plus, they have the added advantage of cooking quickly without the need for soaking.
  9. Broccoli: 5.1 grams of fiber per 1 boiled cup
    Not only high in fiber, broccoli is also high in calcium, making it a great food for people who do not consume dairy products.
  10. Lentils: 5 grams of fiber per 1/3 cooked cup
    Brimming with soluble fiber and low in fat, lentils can help lower blood pressure; it is also relatively quick and easy to prepare.

Are you battling obesity? We can help you. Come to one of our free weight loss information seminars to have your questions about weight loss surgery answered.

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The Three-Step ‘Love Your Shape’ Confidence Guide

You are working very hard to get in shape and lose weight. Along the way you will run into mishaps, missteps and doubts that your ideal weight is attainable. It’s time to silence the naysayers and negative voices in your head telling you, “you can’t” and listen to the signs that say, “I will.”

Step 1: Cut out negative thinking

Pick one day and record all of the negative things you say to yourself about your body, then, ask yourself: 1) where the thought came from, 2) is it logical and 3) whether it contributes to your stress.

Step 2: Establish a set of rules to build self-respect.

Define in writing what you will and will not acknowledge in respect to your body, your appearance or the appearance of others. For example, 1) I will not tear myself down or speak badly about myself, even in casual conversation (“I look like an elephant,” “I can’t believe I ate that, I’m so stupid.”) 2) I will not speak negatively about the appearance of others (“She shouldn’t be wearing that shirt,” “He really got big.”) 3) I will consider ending relationships with men or women who cause me to feel stressed about my appearance or weight.

Step 3: Make peace with food and living an active lifestyle.

Take the shortcut to a positive body image by learning to trust your body and the knowledge that it is designed to work with fully developed muscles. When you recognize that being active leads to being functional, capable and strong, you will adopt a state of mind and self-image that will help you overcome adversity in any stage of life. Also, change your relationship with food. Recognize what pushes the emotional buttons that cause you to overeat, then, establish alternate responses like listening to relaxing music, taking a walk or a hot shower. Remember that food is what fuels your body; there is no “good” food or “bad” food and the more you can stop brow-beating yourself for eating, the better you will be at controlling your weight.

Are you battling obesity? We can help you. Come to one of our free weight loss information seminars to have your questions about weight loss surgery answered.

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Seven Post-Workout Recovery Techniques

Did you know that your strength and repair gains happen in the time between workouts? In fact, neglecting proper rest and recuperation can actually weaken even the strongest of athletes. Getting ample rest after a workout can be as important as the workout itself and is vital to improve your recovery and overall performance. Here are seven post-workout recovery tips you should keep in mind whether you are a beginner or seasoned athlete.

  1. Get high-quality sleep.
    Quality sleep is important to short-term recovery. Make sure you are getting ample quality sleep, especially if you are doing intense training.
  2. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
    After strenuous physical training, one of your biggest adversaries to recovery is dehydration. Try to drink at least 20-24 ounces of water for each hour of exercise that you do.
  3. Cool down.
    A short cool-down after your workout will help draw out excess inflammatory fluids from your muscles.
  4. Compression.
    Compression techniques such as foam-rolling and massage can help move soreness-generating fluids out of your muscles as well as loosen tight spots from your fatigued muscles.
  5. Get your blood flowing again.
    Good blood circulation of stressed muscles will help speed your muscle recovery. Besides doing post-workout cool-downs, try walking, taking an easy bike ride or light stretching. Other techniques that can help stimulate blood flow include alternating between cold and hot water in your post-workout shower, ice compression or ice baths after long runs or hard weight-training and doing light extended cardio the day after a strenuous workout.
  6. Eat protein in the morning.
    After your night-long fast, your body will need nutrients to repair and recharge itself. Eating a high-protein breakfast will give your muscles what they need to repair and rebuild — and, it may help reduce cravings later in the day.
  7. Cut back on your alcohol intake.
    Research suggests that more than one or two drinks post-workout can reduce your body’s ability to recover.

Are you battling obesity? We can help you. Come to one of our free weight loss information seminars to have your questions about weight loss surgery answered.

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