Tuesday, April 9, 2019

How To Stay on Diet Track When Traveling

With warmer months around the corner, you may be gearing up for some well-deserved vacation days. Whether sunny beaches, thrilling mountains, exciting new cities or a quiet retreat awaits you, this may be the moment of weakness that leads you to cave on your diet. When you travel, you eat out for the majority of your trip, which makes it very easy to break your routine. While many decide to forgo their diet and indulge in every food while on vacation, this decision makes it much harder to get back to your daily routine when you get back. An unhealthy diet can lead to fatigue, a bad mood, stress and even oversleeping. Therefore, you should never forgo your diet simply because you are traveling. Just a few days on a poor diet can make you lose weeks’ worth of progress. You may think that sticking to your diet is extremely hard - and while it does require discipline and self-control, it is not impossible. Here are some tips on how to stay true to your diet while you are traveling.

Shop & Eat Local - Stay away from that McDonalds, Starbucks, Subway and other fast food restaurants that are available all over the world. While this may be a quick and easy option to satisfy your hunger while you travel, it is detrimental to your diet goals and your traveling experience. Instead, opt for shopping at a local grocery store and making a meal or two a day at home. Not only is this a much healthier option, but it will save you money so that you can enjoy other traveling experiences and bring home more souvenirs! Plus, ingredients from a local grocery store or restaurant will be a lot fresher.

Pack Snacks - This is especially important since you may not have the luxury of buying groceries or even having a kitchen in your lodging accommodation. Even if you do have a kitchen, odds are the only meal you may have the time to prepare is breakfast. Healthy options are limited when you eat out, and you don’t necessarily have the time to look for a healthy restaurant if you have a full itinerary. Therefore, it will help you immensely to pack plenty of healthy snack options such as protein bars, desserts, chips, and other nutritious foods for your vacation. All of our snacks are low in calories and sugar and filled with protein to keep you full and curb your appetite.

Bring Your Own Meals - If you are traveling locally, it is feasible and ideal for you to bring your own healthy meals. Even if you just pack one healthy meal per day, this small step can go a long way in keeping you on track. We offer plenty of healthy microwavable options for lunch and dinner, including classic favorites such as beef stroganoff, lasagna, chicken enchiladas and more so that you don’t miss out on your favorite foods. Plus, all you need is a microwave and you have a nutritious meal in a matter of minutes so you don’t have to waste precious vacation time on cooking.

Stay Hydrated - This is a given when you are traveling. But at Bariatric Health & Wellness we offer a variety of delicious fruit drinks that keep you hydrated and raise your protein intake. Featuring an assortment of refreshing flavors such as grape, kiwi melon, peach mango, lemon razzy, grapefruit, wildberry and pineapple orange, our powder drinks contain up to 15g of protein and no more than 2g of sugar. Packaged in small individual envelopes, these drinks are perfect for traveling. Plus, they are lactose free and will provide you with the extra protein you need to remain energized on long days of traveling.

Don’t Over-Restrict Yourself - This is the most important precaution you can take to stay true to your diet, but it is especially important when you are traveling. After all, part of the fun is having the opportunity to try exciting and unique new foods. Your Europe trip would definitely be incomplete without wine, pasta, gelato and crepes! So go ahead and allow yourself to indulge in a few restricted foods; just remember to exercise proper self-control. Plus, you’ll easily be able to burn all those extra calories with all the walking around a new city.

Staying on track with your diet is a task that requires discipline and self-control, but it does not have to require sacrificing your favorite foods. At Bariatric Health & Wellness, we offer a variety of healthy alternatives so that your healthy weight-loss diet doesn’t feel restrictive. Browse through our site to find delicious, low-sugar, protein-packed foods. We stock a variety of drinks, smoothies, snacks and desserts for a well-balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Loving your body: How To Treat Yourself While Celebrating Valentine's Day Alone

Valentine’s Day may be just around the corner, but showing love (for yourself) doesn't have to stop at the end of the month.

The importance of self-care is gaining traction as those in the scientific community focus on understanding the important contributions mental and emotional health have on our physical health. This means if you want to be healthy, you have to treat yourself well - cultivate good habits such as staying in touch with those close to you, finding one thing to be grateful for each day, eating well and exercising. Feeling good about yourself helps keep you motivated to reach your goals and maintain progress. This is especially useful if you are trying to lose weight and keep it off!

Appreciate Yourself

Do something for yourself that makes you feel special. Maybe you take yourself out for a really nice dinner or light some candles and soak in a relaxing bubble bath. However you decide to treat yourself, make sure you do something you don’t do on an ordinary day.

Valentine's Day is about love and care, so you deserve to treat yourself to something really special. Even though this holiday only comes once a year, it’s a good idea to take time out of your schedule every month or week to check in and do something nice for yourself. Self-appreciation is a wonderful way to remind yourself how amazing you are so you stay motivated to lose weight this year!

Keep Loved Ones Close

When it comes to self-care, having people in your life you’re close to can be a good break from the stressors of everyday life. Life feels a lot easier when you have someone to share funny stories or bits about your favorite show with. This February, take a few minutes to chat with or visit those in your life who make you happy, and don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you for friendship or support. Seeing friends is always a nice way to take care of yourself because it gives you space to unwind and have a good time.

Express Gratitude

Take time out of your day to be truly thankful for something - anything that makes you content or helps you smile. Nothing is off limits or too small. If you are unsure what you are grateful for, now is a great time to explore all the things you like. Maybe you’re grateful for waking up next to someone who really cares about you, such as a partner or a child. Perhaps you’re thankful for having a job that allows you to buy the necessities you need to live. Maybe you’re just happy to have a warm sunny day. Have no expectations and see what you can come up with, and do be sure to compliment yourself for just trying. Being able to express gratitude is an important step in being kind to yourself.

Eat Healthy

Don’t underestimate the effects certain foods have on your mood. Eating a lot of processed foods that don’t nourish your body can make you feel as empty as those calories you consume. Opt for fresh fruits and veggies when possible, and consider taking up a diet meal plan to help you lose weight if you’re wondering how to keep weight off. You’ll be surprised how feeling lighter can help you feel more active and help you find the energy to work on the hobbies you love.

Exercise

Eating right and exercising go together like two peas in a pod. As you begin to shift your habits, you’ll begin to learn how fitting a life-changing diet into your lifestyle to lose weight can be simple when you complement your eating habits with the right types of exercises. From walking around your local park to hitting treadmills at the gym, it’s important to add movement to your life. As you establish a routine, exercising will help you feel more energized and can even improve your mood. Though it may be hard to get started, the benefits will certainly keep you motivated to keep working hard and have you feeling your best yet!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

How To Stay Committed to Losing Weight This Year in 3 Simple Steps

All those leftover holiday candies and treats on sale in the stores can feel like a conspiracy against your diet. You stay strong and make it out of the first aisle without being tempted by the marked-down holiday candy, but after a few laps around the store getting groceries and other necessities, those 75-percent-off chocolates start to become more tempting, and all of a sudden, that New Year’s resolution to lose weight begins to yield to the temptation.

Resolving to eat less sweets or reduce your sugar intake and lose weight for an entire year can feel daunting and unrealistic unless your lifestyle already supports those behaviors. Losing weight is something most of us constantly need to work at to avoid the bad habits that brought us here in the first place. The most successful weight loss strategies involve being fully committed to losing weight and giving yourself realistic goals to hit along the way.

If you quit snacking cold turkey, that is the best way to fail. Your body is used to eating a certain way. It is not realistic for most of us to just give up the foods we love in lieu of carrots and celery sticks. But what if we don’t view weight loss as a sprint, where we exhaust ourselves and deplete our energy to lose 20 pounds as quickly as possible? Instead, what if we view it more like a marathon, where we pace ourselves, moving at our own speed toward the goal? Suddenly, those little temptations begin to feel less daunting, and the goal of losing weight begins to feel accessible.  Keep reading to find some quick, easy tips on how to lose weight at home.

1.Set Yourself Up for Success

It’s usually best to make simple lifestyle changes to lose weight by setting realistic goals to change one habit at a time.  Resolve to drink one less soda a day. Switch out a bag of empty-calorie potato chips for some protein-packed chips. Trade a few chocolate chip cookies for healthy triple-chocolate cookies. Making simple switches in your life doesn’t feel like work but still helps your body lose weight. It’s important to break down your goal into smaller components and make sure you’ve stocked up on easy, healthy meal plans for when hunger strikes. Rather than say what you won’t eat this year or month, say what you will eat more of and make sure you don’t skip on adding those items to your cart when picking up groceries. Delicious diet meals are a wonderful way to support your goal.

2. Success Isn’t easy, but Forgiving Yourself Is

Resolve to forgive yourself when you slip. Weight loss is not easy, and going off your diet once or twice is not an excuse to give up. We are all fallible. We are bound to make mistakes, and learning from them is key. Understanding why you gave into your craving may be the biggest weight loss tip you discover this year. Self-reflection may not sound appealing, but understanding what triggered you - the crunch of a chip, the nostalgia of a tasty childhood snack, the comfort of a warm cake after a rough day at work - will help you understand what you can do differently next time. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake, but do make an effort to avoid making that same mistake twice.

3. We Didn’t Forget the Most Important Step Toward Success… Exercise

The most important way to keep your resolution involves the one thing you were probably hoping we’d avoid mentioning - exercise. We don’t mean you need to sign up for the most expensive gym membership and work out like a bodybuilder (though it’s awesome if you’re able to), just move around a little each day and you may soon discover yourself subconsciously working out. This might mean starting with a 10-minute walk on your lunch break for a few weeks as you gradually build up to walking more. Maybe you park further away from your office to get a few extra steps in. Maybe you decide to use inconvenient routes while shopping because that means getting in more steps. Get creative and find movement that works for your lifestyle. You may even want to take a few laps around your local park. The key is to be consistent. Once that movement begins to feel easy, gradually move on to bigger challenges. The more you can move, the better.

Being committed to losing weight is going to be the most important factor to success. If you’re motivated to do what it takes to reach your ideal weight, you will get there. Believe in yourself. No diet is going to be effective if you don’t follow it. Even if you end up losing 1 pound a week, that’s 52 pounds by the end of this year. Pretty good results without making drastic changes!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Healthy Alternatives to Unhealthy Holiday Favorites



The holidays are the time of the year to indulge in your favorite delectable home-cooked meals. There’s nothing like enjoying a warm plate of chili, pot roast or whatever your favorite holiday meal may be - and after all, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without comfort food.

But all too often, our favorite comfort dishes are the ones that contain the most calories, refined sugars and other unhealthy ingredients that cause us to put on weight. Ignoring that plate of scrumptious brownies or delicious pot roast is especially hard when you are flooded with holiday food everywhere you go during the season.

Luckily, staying healthy and on track with your weight loss goals doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of delicious food. In fact, complete restriction of certain foods is the primary reason people fall off the wagon and throw their diets out the window. It is imperative that you allow yourself to indulge in your favorite foods every once in a while if you want to stay on track with your health goals.

So go ahead and indulge in all of your favorite traditional dishes with the large variety of healthy alternatives available here at Bariatric Direct. They will help you get through the holidays without putting on that dreaded seasonal weight.

Our delicious homestyle chicken noodle soup is the perfect dish to nourish you when you’re dealing with a cold. Ward off the winter blues with our creamy tomato soup that will help you warm up on a cold and gloomy day. Try our delicious turkey chili with beans to add a whopping 22 grams of lean protein to your diet! Delight in one of our rich and savory beef pot roast with gravy and vegetables meals. This protein-packed dish only has 3 grams of added sugar and will leave you feeling full until your next meal.

We also have your favorite scrumptious holiday sweets available in a healthier, low-sugar version. Our sweet fudge brownie squares contain only 4 grams of added sugar but 15 grams of protein, making them even healthier than many protein bars. Pair any of our desserts with your favorite holiday drinks like our pumpkin spice latte and our marshmallow hot chocolate, which only contain 4 and 3 grams of sugar respectively.

Creating long-lasting weight loss results requires you to develop healthy habits, such as replacing your favorite meals with healthy alternatives. This is a small yet crucial change that is bound to deliver results and help you get one step closer to achieving your health or fitness goals. Whether you are following a diet to lose weight, gain muscle or improve your health, our holiday alternatives will help you every step of the way.

As always, remember to limit your sugar intake and increase your protein intake so you’ll feel full for longer and have less of a tendency to nibble on unhealthy foods. Having the self-discipline to eat healthily doesn’t have to be a challenge. With a wide variety of healthy alternatives to all of your holiday favorites, there’s no reason your diet should feel restricted this holiday season.

So go ahead and indulge in all of your favorite holiday dishes without having to worry about a calorie guilt-trip. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort food for your health - and with all the right resources at your disposal, staying healthy during the holidays can be a breeze. Don’t wait until the New Year to come up with a weight-loss plan. At Bariatric Health & Wellness, we can help you get a head start on your health goals today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bariatric Beef Stroganoff: Healthy Comfort Food During the Holidays

One of the best parts of the holidays is the comfort food. There’s nothing quite like going back home for Thanksgiving and Christmas to an array of hot, delicious homemade meals waiting for you at the dinner table. After all, some of the best family memories are made over a shared meal while enjoying old favorite recipes.

But the holidays are also the time of the year when most people put on a little weight. A cheat meal here and there doesn’t hurt, but during the holidays, it can be hard to avoid having a cheat meal at least once a day. Between office holiday parties, kids’ school functions and visiting relatives, you’re bound to sneak in more than just one cheat meal a week in the months of November and December.

But delicious meals don’t have to be calorie-laden. You can still follow a balanced, low-calorie, high-protein diet without having to miss out on your favorite holiday dishes. At Bariatric Health & Wellness, we understand the difficulty in healthy meal planning during the holidays. So we offer a wide variety of low-calorie takes on delicious holiday favorites, like our hearty, healthy beef stroganoff. A savory, mouthwatering treat that contains only 260 calories and 4 grams of sugar, this protein-packed dish is the perfect comfort meal replacement. You’ll get a whopping 23 grams of protein from this meal, leaving you feeling full and satisfied for hours.

Enjoy an all-American classic this holiday season without all of the added calories.
Chunky slices of juicy, savory, tender beef are drowned in a creamy mushroom sauce. They sit on top of a layer of tasty noodles for the perfect combination of rich taste.

Ready in just two minutes in the microwave or eight minutes simmering on the stovetop, this savory dish will remind you of your favorite home-cooked meals this holiday season. Treat yourself to a flavor-rich comfort food without having to worry about the post-meal calorie guilt-trip. You’ll delight in eating the same foods you always have during the holidays - only this time, you can ditch the sugar and fat without having to sacrifice all of the traditional flavor.

You shouldn’t have to choose between enjoying delicious holiday comfort food and maintaining a healthy diet. Effective weight loss dieting should not feel restrictive. If your diet is solely focused on restricting certain foods, you’re more likely to fall off the wagon under the pressure of temptation. This is especially true during the holidays when there are tons of sweets and comfort dishes - like this delicious beef stroganoff - readily available everywhere you go. It is imperative that you allow yourself to indulge every once in a while in order to stay on track with your healthy eating goals.

Healthy eating does not mean sacrificing all of your favorite foods but rather making better food choices. With our delicious, calorie-conscious meal options, healthy eating is made easy. Delight in the freedom to indulge in all of your classic favorites with our nutritious and savory recipes at Bariatric Health & Wellness.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Healthy Smoothie Hacks, Tips & Recipes

Trying to keep to a healthy diet with a busy schedule can seem like an impossible task. However, getting the nutrients you need doesn’t always have to take hours of cooking and preparation. For busy mornings or late-night cravings, filling your stomach with a healthy smoothie is a quick, easy way to get what you need. If you’re new to the smoothie trend, here are some tips on how to make a smoothie before throwing everything you have into a blender.

Consider Your Goal 

Depending on your health goals, certain ingredients may be better for you than others. If you’re looking to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is accidentally make protein-packed smoothies meant for bulking. It’s important to keep in mind that each and every ingredient should have a specific purpose, whether it be for vitamins, thickness or sweetness. This way, you can be sure that you’re adding exactly what you need and nothing that you don’t. 
Although throwing in a bunch of your favorite fruit may seem like a safe choice, this is actually not best if you’re trying to lose weight or follow a bariatric diet. Of course, fruit is nature’s candy and a great source of vitamins, potassium and fiber, but too much fruit can just mean extra sugar and calories. Limiting your smoothies to 15 grams of sugar, 20 grams of protein and 300 calories will ensure that you meet your weight loss goals. 

Use Frozen Fruit

When making smoothies, give frozen fruit a try. There’s no question that one of the best things about a refreshing smoothie is the temperature. Although adding ice is an easy way to keep your smoothie cold, blending ice can change the taste or texture, watering down your delicious drink, and it can be hard on your blender. Using frozen fruit will keep your smoothie tasting great - plus, it’ll last a lot longer.


Instant Smoothies & Quick Preparation

In the spirit of keeping things as quick and easy as possible, you may want to consider instant smoothies. These smoothies will fill you up, and they come in convenient packages ready to go. With flavors like Caffe Latte and Aloha Mango, you can choose your favorites and enjoy their great flavors in no time. These specific instant smoothies are already packed with healthy weight loss ingredients and essential vitamins so you don’t have to plan what you’ll put in your smoothie - all the good stuff will be there already. 

Or perhaps you’re not into smoothie mixes. Try your hand at making your own (almost) instant smoothies. Fill ziploc bags or Mason jars with a single serving of all your smoothie ingredients and stock them in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy your smoothie, just dump the bag in the blender and blend away! This smoothie hack will save you loads of time when you just want something quick without sacrificing your health. 

Switch Things Up

The beauty of smoothies is that there is no limit to the number of combinations that you can make. Eating the same thing every day can get boring - but smoothie variations are countless, so you can change up your go-to with ease. Here are some of our favorite easy smoothie recipes from a wide range of smoothie realms. 

Green Smoothie: Green Dream

Ingredients:
1 banana
1½ cups baby spinach
1 cup frozen mango
Juice from 1 lemon

Directions: 
Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Use any leftover mango for garnish & enjoy!


Fruit Smoothie: Strawberry & Peach Smoothie

Ingredients:
½ cup of coconut water
1 cup of plain yogurt
½ cup of frozen peaches
1 cup of frozen strawberries

Directions: 
Add all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Use strawberry as a garnish as needed. Enjoy!


Fruit & Spice Smoothie: Chia Seed, Beet, Mint, Lime & Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup grated beet 
¾ cup frozen blackberries or blueberries (as preferred)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon of honey
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds 
¾ cup of almond milk (or preferred milk)

Directions: 
Blend all ingredients together until smooth & creamy. Enjoy!


Chocolate Smoothie: Chocolate Banana

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water 
¼ cup flavored protein powder (vanilla or chocolate) 
½ cup of cottage cheese or tofu cheese (plain flavored)


Directions: 
Blend all ingredients together until creamy & smooth. Enjoy! 

Now that you have a few smoothie hacks, tips and recipes, you’re ready to start your smoothie journey! Even if you don’t drink smoothies every day, these delicious drinks are the perfect thing to cool you off and give your body the nutrients it needs. Have a favorite smoothie recipe or new hack? Share it with us in the comments below!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Top 4 Stretches for Better Sleep

Quality sleep is something we often don’t think about until we’re feeling the physical symptoms of sleep deprivation. Sleeping is often underrated, and it’s no surprise that the majority of Americans don’t get enough of it. Various studies show that around 41 percent of the U.S. population needs to sleep longer; and for a good reason, too. It turns out that sleep deprivation is highly correlated with higher rates of obesity and mortality. Turning to high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods like candy and energy drinks to get through the day is common among people who don’t get enough sleep. Although these foods spike energy temporarily, the high sugar content makes it harder to get to sleep at night.

Because your brain and body need sleep to recharge and restore themselves from the cumulative stress that your daily activities place on them, it’s important to take proactive steps to manage your sleeping habits and maintain control of your overall health. Learning techniques for sleeping better is a good place to start.

If you have trouble sleeping at night, you’re not alone. In fact, with so many distractions nowadays, it can be hard to reconcile sleep with our minds' over-stimulation. And being tense due to our busy lives has become the new norm, making matters worse.

Fortunately, one of the most effective ways to improve our sleep is through stretching. Either on its own or paired with exercise, stretching promotes blood circulation and soothes muscles from tension. Not only is it important that we regularly strength train our muscles, but stretching also helps keep our muscles flexible. Bear in mind, it's even more important for obese people to stretch consistently because their motion range is already limited.

Considering these implications, here we present you with four relaxing stretching techniques, which can be used to promote muscles health and prevent muscles from tightening or shortening. Most importantly, these stretches will help you unwind and get ready for a night of well-needed restorative sleep.

1. Standing Forward Fold      

This stretch will specifically target your back and neck, as well as increase blood flow to the back of your head. To begin, stand with your feet six inches apart from each other. From the hips, fold your torso forward. Reach toward the ground, or bend your arms and grab opposite elbows over your head. Exhale and lengthen down through the crown of your head. Hang and hold this pose for approximately 15 seconds. When you return to standing, do so very slowly; otherwise, you may become dizzy. Visualize stacking your vertebrae, starting at the base of your spine and working upward. Bring your head up last.

2. Happy Baby

A favorite among yoga practitioners of all levels, the happy baby pose is a motion for stretching and relieving tension from your back, hips and hamstrings. First, lie down on your back. Bend your knees and grab the outside edges of your feet with your hands. Next, raise the soles of your feet to the sky and let your knees fall out to the sides. Then lower your knees toward your armpits, keeping your heels above the knees with your feet flexed. Hold this pose for 15-25 seconds, gently rocking from side to side. Holding the happy baby pose may take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, this stretch will become a go-to for relieving stress.

3. Nighttime Goddess Stretch

For a calming exercise you can try as you're about to drift off to sleep, the aptly named nighttime goddess stretch is easy for anyone at any fitness level to do. To perform the nighttime goddess stretch, simply lie on your back with your arms at your side. Touch the soles of your feet together while keeping your knees bent outward. For additional stress relief, form your fingers into a calming mudra (relaxation movements done with the hands) by bending your thumb and middle finger together so that they form a circle. While in the nighttime goddess pose, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Try clearing your mind, or you can find audio recordings of guided meditations online.


4. Legs Up the Wall

This final stretch can be done while listening to music, meditating or reading a book. Legs up the wall is very easy to do and requires little physical effort. Find a spot on the floor where you can spread out comfortably. Walk your feet up the wall until your hamstrings stand flush against it. Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds. If you desire a deeper stretch, slowly spread your feet apart so your outstretched legs travel down the wall. This stretch targets your hamstrings, hips and inner thighs.

Do you have a favorite stretch to do for stress relief or relaxation? Tell us about it in the comments below!