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Your Guide to the Weight Loss Munchies 0

Whether they are a regular companion or an occasional visitor, the munchies can strike any of us at any moment. They can sneak up on you and give you an urge for a little crunch, something sweet, a salty bite, or a creamy treat. If you are caught off guard, you can end up eating way more than you should. You know what that can lead to: bad news for your weight loss.

You can take control when you get the munchies, though. With some planning and focus, you can keep the calories and sugar within your limits, and keep shedding the pounds. Not only can you avoid weight loss disasters, but you can also get some necessary nutrients such as protein and fiber as you give into the munchies. Here are some ideas on how.

Don’t Crunch the Carbs

Some of the best “crunchables” are carb-laden foods that will not do you any weight loss favors. Pretzels, cheese puffs, chips, and cereal are fun to munch on, but they are nearly pure carbs. They may be off-limits for your weight loss diet, but you can choose a better option.

Instead of crunching pure carbs, choose low-carb alternatives such as Protein Pretzels, Protein Cheese Snacks, Protein Chips, and Protein Cereal. When you get options that also have tons of protein, you’re giving yourself a nutrient that helps fight hunger and boost metabolism. That’s making your munchies work for weight loss!

Make Creamy Treats Your Ally

Sit down with some peanut butter and crackers, and you can wind up with hundreds of calories in a few minutes. The same holds true for ice cream and smoothies because of their combination of sugars, fat, and oversized portions.

You can get your creamy treat without going off your diet with easy swaps. Indulge in some spoonable Protein Pudding, or opt for any number of Protein Smoothies or Shakes. Find chocolate, vanilla, and fruity flavors. They are all low in calories, and creamy to satisfy your cravings.

Sweet Ways to Cut the Sugar

Sometimes you just want sugar, whether you feel like cookies, a candy bar, or some hot chocolate. Unfortunately, caving in too often can lead to effects that show up on your waistline. A single chocolate chip cookie or candy bar can have 200 to 300 calories, for example, not to mention an excessive amount of sugar combined with a lack of protein.

It is hard to deny yourself when those sweet cravings strike, and you do not have to. There are ways to get your sweet fix while staying on your diet. A Protein Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Cookie is a safe and satisfying bet, while a protein bar flavored with chocolate, caramel, peanut, toffee, or cheesecake can easily do the trick instead of a candy bar. Feel like hot chocolate? No problem – whether you like classic, vanilla cappuccino, mocha, or mint, you can get your protein while you sip your nearly sugarless drink.

Try Your Own Recipe Swaps

You can always take control by making your own version using healthier ingredients. For example, you can satisfy an ice cream craving by savoring some frozen pureed banana. Or skip the tortilla chips and creamy dip, and instead dip your Protein Chips into salsa or a dip made with Greek yogurt instead of full fat cream cheese.

The urge to snack can be one of the biggest challenges to losing weight since all kinds of snack foods are high in calories, sugar, and fat, but you can still come out ahead when the munchies strike. Choose small portions of delicious and convenient substitutes to satisfy your cravings for unhealthy choices, and you will be well on your way to easier weight loss.

How Your Diet Can Survive Your Social Life 0

As you work to lose weight and eat healthy, social events can seem challenging. Since so much socializing seems to revolve around less-than-healthy food, may feel a conflict between hanging out with friends and family and staying on track with your diet.

Luckily, you can solve this dilemma. There is no reason to sacrifice fun or your healthy weight intentions. With a few considerations, it may be safe to say you can have your cake and eat it, too.

Just Hanging Out

What happens when a group of friends hangs out? Whatever other activities are going on, there is probably a certain amount of noshing, too. The standard fare may be chips and dip, crackers with cheese, and cookies. Translation: calories, starch, sugar, and fat to drive up your blood sugar and the scale.

You can nibble without gaining weight, though. Just make a few easy swaps. For example:

Healthy Recipes for a Crowd

If you are a guest, your best bet to make sure there is something for you to eat that is on your diet is for you to bring it yourself. Kill two birds with one stone – being a polite guest and fending for yourself – by bringing a dish to share that you are happy to eat. These are some simple ideas that are tried and true.

  • Green salad with chopped vegetables, fresh berries or pieces of fruit, nuts, and grilled chicken breast, shredded cheese, hard-boiled egg slices, or beans.
  • Fruit salad served with cottage cheese (this works well for dessert, lunch, or brunch)
  • Skewers with protein, such as shrimp, mozzarella cheese, or tofu, and vegetables or fruit such as cherry tomatoes, pineapple, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

You can find plenty of other ideas and recipes at The BariatricPal Store.

Entertaining on a Diet

You can be a good host and stick to your diet at the same time. It is not that difficult to put together a meal that you can enjoy guilt-free, and that your guests can enjoy without accusing you of feeding them “diet food.”

For a casual brunch or lunch, you can put out a buffet and let guests serve themselves. As you serve yourself brunch, skip the bagels and breakfast pastries, and opt instead for eggs, cottage cheese, and fresh fruit. For lunch, you can offer a range of soups, salads, cold cuts, and breads. Base your own meal around broth-based soups, lean meats, and a green salad, and save the mayo-based salads and creamy soups for your guests.

A sit-down lunch or dinner can be just as easy and healthy for you, and delicious to your guests. You could serve a piece of salmon with teriyaki sauce, baked pecan-crusted chicken breasts, or Portobello mushrooms stuffed with cheese and spinach. Always have a green salad on the table, and roasted cauliflower can be another elegant side dish. You can offer any kind of starch from fresh bread to rice pilaf to mashed potatoes without serving yourself more than a spoonful or two.

Seasonal fresh fruit is always a good choice for dessert. You can serve it with whipped cream. Guests might actually appreciate the lighter dessert after the feast you just served, but if you think they will want more, you can offer chocolate cake or sponge cake to enjoy with the fruit.

Weight loss can require a lot of sacrifices, but fun times with friends and family are not among them. Whether you are hosting a get-together or you are someone else’s guest, you can take simple steps to be able to enjoy yourself and the company without sacrificing your waistline.

What Should I Eat to Lose Weight? How to Get Started 0

Okay, so you are committed to losing weight and keeping it off. You know you need to eat right, and you are ready to do it. But then you run into a problem. What does “eat right” even mean?  

Eating right when controlling your weight means balancing calories while getting in protein and other nutrients that keep you full and healthy. With a little practice and some guidance, you can get in the habit of eating right and staying in control of the scale.

Schedule Your Meals and Snacks

When it comes to weight loss, it pays to have a plan. You (and your nutritionist, if you have one) can decide whether you should aim for three more substantial meals without snacks, or 3 smaller meals with 1 to 3 snacks throughout the day. Figure out when and what you will eat, and you have a better chance of staying on track.

Build Healthy Meals

If you are a weight loss surgery patient or you like to feel full, protein is likely to be the centerpiece of most of your meals. Go lean (think chicken breast, cottage cheese, eggs, beans, and tuna) rather than fatty (think hot dogs, ribs, and salami).

Then fill out most of the rest of your plate with vegetables. They are low in calories but high in filling fiber and tons of nutrients. Add a small portion of a whole grain or other healthy starch such as sweet potato, and choose healthy fats such as avocado or olive oil when you use fats. These are a few examples.

Salmon with asparagus and brown rice

Omelet with low-fat feta cheese, spinach, and mushrooms

Baked tomatoes stuffed with lean ground turkey and barley

You can find more easy meal ideas at The BariatricPal Store

Choose Filling and Nutritious Snacks

Some nutritionists suggest choosing smaller meals and adding snacks to your day. If you choose well, they can keep hunger down so you are not tempted to overeat at your next meal. Keep calories under control, and include a filling nutrient such as protein or fiber (or both) at every snack. These are some high-nutrient snacks to consider.

  • Nuts or peanuts
  • Peanut or nut butter with apples or raw veggies
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Fruit and cottage cheese
  • Yogurt and oats

You can find more easy snack ideas at The BariatricPal Store.

Snacks can be even more convenient and portable than meals. You can stock up protein bars, protein snacks such as chips, pretzels, and cookies, and non-perishables such as nuts and peanuts. Store them in your purse, pantry, desk drawer, or gym bag. If you’re too busy to eat, you can always opt for protein shakes.

Take Help When You Can Get It

Sometimes, it can be difficult to come up with the ideas you need to put together a few days or a week’s worth of meals and snacks. The BariatricPal Store has some inspiration in our meal planning section, with suggested daily and weekly menus of calorie-controlled, high-protein meals and snacks.

  • Liquid Diet to help you get a quick start on weight loss or for your pre-op or post-op weight loss surgery diet.
  • Pureed Foods Diet to help you transition from a liquid diet to a solid foods diet.
  • Solid Foods Weight Loss Diet to help you lose weight while getting in your protein every day.
  • Maintenance Diet to help you keep off the weight you fought so hard to lose.
  • Back-on-Track Diet to help you fight regain or break through a plateau if you have slipped a little in your eating habits.

All of the motivation in the world will not be enough to let you lose weight and stay nourished if you do not know what to eat. You will be far better off if you are able to plan the right kinds of meals and snacks. With a bit of guidance and helpers such as instant meals and protein snacks, you can be sure of having the tools you need to control your weight.

Fabulous Finds at The BariatricPal Store 0

If you are like a lot of shoppers at The BariatricPal Store, you are a pretty efficient shopper. You know why you visited the store, and which are your favorite products. You may quickly chase them down, fill your cart, and head to the checkout page.

We love your efficiency, and value the choice you made to spend your valuable time with us! But we have a suggestion to consider next time you shop: browse the aisles. You never know which new products and different flavors you may find. For a start, here are a few fabulous finds at The BariatricPal Store that you might want to take a look at next time you are shopping.

Brownie

You are definitely not alone if you know that brownies can be your downfall. A single brownie can have 200 or more calories and 30 or more grams of sugar, not to mention no more than a scarce gram or two of protein. Worse, you are not likely to be able to stick to a single brownie when you pull a pan of brownies from the oven.

Enter BariatricPal Soft Baked Brownie Mix. It is your ticket to fresh-based brownies without all of the calories and sugar of regular brownies, plus they are packed with protein. Each brownie has 120 calories and 12 grams of protein, along with 5 grams of filling fiber. In other words, these brownies are your guilt-free ticket to a chocolatey, decadent treat. There is no need to fear eating the entire pan, either, since each packet of mix contains only a single serving.

Facon Bacon Sipping Broth

What?! It just may be time to celebrate, because now your liquid diet can include the irresistible flavor of bacon. You may be on a liquid diet before or after weight loss surgery, or when you are trying to jumpstart weight loss or go through a cleanse. Shakes, juices, and water can get pretty boring pretty fast, and leave you struggling to stay hydrated.

Millie’s Smoky Facon Sipping Broth may deliver exactly the help you need to get through your liquid diet with a smile. It is a green tea beverage infused with bacon flavors and herbs and spices. It has 20 calories, and is vegan, natural, and gluten-free. Millie’s Sipping Broth also comes in flavors such as tomato basil, Thai lemongrass, curry spice, and spicy tortilla.

You may love them so much that they become a regular part of your day, even when you are no longer on a strict liquid diet!

We hope you love these fabulous finds as much as we do, and find them to be powerful allies in your weight loss journey. Let us – and other shoppers at The BariatricPal Store – know what you think of them by leaving a product review once you try them. And don’t forget you can always contact us with a product request if you don’t see what you’re looking for.

Ready-to-Shake Protein Drinks

A protein shake is a protein shake, right? Well, not so fast. Some are higher in protein and lower in sugars than others, making them better choices after weight loss surgery and The protein drinks at The BariatricPal Store are the low-sugar, high-protein type.

But there’s one type of shake in particular you might want to check out: our ready-to-shake protein drinks. A single serving of protein powder comes in its own bottle. All you have to do is fill up the bottle with water or milk, shake it, and drink it. These shakes are ideal for when you are on the go or in a hurry, since you do not need to measure anything or clean a blender. Each shake has about 80 to 100 calories and 15 grams of protein, and they come in delicious flavors such as coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry banana.

Happy Labor Day from The BariatricPal Store! 0

Happy Labor Day from The BariatricPal Store! We hope you get the chance to enjoy a little extra leisure time this holiday weekend, whether you spend some quality time with friends and family or you take a few well-deserved peaceful moments for yourself.

If you do find yourself with a little down time and you are wondering what you can do for your weight loss, The BariatricPal Store has a few ideas for you! After all, this may be the last long weekend you get for a while as you dive back into your everyday busy schedule after a relaxed summer.

Set Your Goals

A long weekend marking the end of summer can be an ideal time to set your fall goals. If you had goals for the summer, you might want to start by thinking about them. Did you hit your goals? Which strategies worked, and what could you have done to get even closer to your goals?

Then set some goals for the next few months. For example, you might want to lose a few pounds or a few dress sizes, schedule your weight loss surgery, or participate in your first 5k fun run. Remember to make your goals challenging but realistic so you are motivated to keep working hard towards them as you see your progress.

Plan Some Menus

They say that failing to plan is planning to fail. There is a lot of truth to that saying, including when you are talking about weight loss. When you plan your meals ahead of time, it can be easier to get in the protein you need while sticking to your calorie goals. It can also be easier to shop for the healthy foods you need, and set aside the time you need to prepare them, and stash healthy snacks to use whenever you need them.

Even if you are not into regular daily meal planning, thinking about some possible menus that you could use in the future could actually turn in handy in a pinch. That way, you can know which healthy, high-protein meal or snack to turn to when you didn’t have time last night or in the morning to plan and pack for the day. You are far better off grabbing a yogurt from the fridge instead of a doughnut from the secretary’s desk, or heating up your own Protein Spaghetti and Meatballs for lunch instead of turning to the fast food restaurant down the street from work.

Menu planning is not always easy, but The BariatricPal Store is here to help. You can check out our meal plans complete with calorie and protein counts so you can be sure to stay within your nutrient goals. We have plans for each stage of the weight loss surgery diet, from liquids and mushies to solid foods. Weight loss surgery or not, you can also take advantage of our maintenance and back-on-track plans.

Stock Your Pantry

What happens when your kitchen cupboards are bare and your fridge is empty? You could end up with a carb-laden bagel or muffin from a drive-through coffee shop for breakfast, a burger and fries or oversized burrito for lunch, and Chinese take-out or a pizza for dinner. That is not your best bet for weight loss!

Instead, keep your kitchen well-stocked so healthy choices are always on hand. With a quick trip to the grocery store, you can end up with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables plus lean proteins such as chicken, yogurt, fish, and nuts. In the space of just a few extra minutes, you can stock your pantry with shelf-stable protein entrees and breakfasts that are ready within minutes. Omelets, oatmeal, pasta, and chili are just a few meals you can have at a moment’s notice. Just order them from The BariatricPal Store!

This Labor Day can be your chance to set yourself up for solid weight loss for months. With some goal setting, meal planning, and kitchen stocking, you can make sure you have what you need to start or keep losing weight just as you want. That’s cause for celebration, so Happy Labor Day!

Mushies Boring? No Way! 1

When you’re on a liquid diet, there’s nothing more exciting than the thought of progressing to “mushies,” or pureed foods. And those first tastes of real food can be heaven after a liquid diet. But within days, you might get bored, and feel that your solid foods stage just can’t come fast enough.

At The BariatricPal Store, we have plenty of solutions for your pureed foods diet. They’re not only varied and great-tasting, but ready within minutes so you can continue on with your day. Plus, they help you meet your protein goals, so you can keep your lean muscle and metabolism up and feel stronger and healthier as you lose weight.

Why Eat Pureed Foods?

Pureed foods, or “mushies,” are a great bridge between a liquid diet and a soft foods or solid foods diet. You might be on a liquid diet if you’re trying to jumpstart weight loss or kick some cravings as you start a weight loss diet. You might also be on a liquid diet for days or weeks before weight loss surgery, and for days or weeks as you recover from procedures such as the lap-band, gastric sleeve, or gastric bypass. After so long on liquids, your gut may do better with pureed foods.

Standard Pureed Food Choices

Your surgeon or nutritionist should give you a list of allowed foods if you’re being supervised on your diet or if you are a weight loss surgery patient. Otherwise, you can have many nutritious foods that are of a pureed, baby food-like consistency. They should require a spoon to eat, and should be smooth – no bumps and chunks! If you’re not sure if they’re smooth enough, just run them through a blender before eating them.

Examples of foods on most pureed foods diets include the following.

  • Cottage cheese, yogurt, and ricotta cheese.
  • Scrambled eggs, pureed canned tuna and chicken, and pureed ground turkey.
  • Cooked non-fibrous vegetables, such as canned carrots and green beans.
  • Applesauce, ripe mashed banana and pureed cantaloupe.
  • Watery mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and cream of wheat or rice.

Foods that you need to chew or you can eat with a fork are probably not allowed. Also, don’t cheat with high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like ice cream and butter. They are easy to swallow, but they won’t help you lose weight, get over your sugar and fat cravings, or hit your protein and other nutrient goals.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Yogurt, cottage cheese, and tuna may be delicious and nutritious, but they can get kind of boring when that’s all you eat for days on end. BariatricPal Protein Breakfasts and Protein Entrees may be the answer to vary your diet while you stick to the rules and hit your protein goals – all without spending more than a minute or two in the kitchen.

Start the day off with 100 well-spent calories and 14 to 15 filling grams of protein when you opt for Protein Omelets in Southwestern, Veggie, or Bacon and Cheese flavors, or for Protein Oatmeal in Maple Brown Sugar, Apples and Cinnamon or Peaches and Cream. You can even stir in some ripe mashed banana or peanut butter powder to your oatmeal.

Use BariatricPal Protein Entrees for an easy lunch or dinner for work or home. They’re shelf stable and ready in minutes in the microwave or on the stove; all you need to add is water. Puree choices such as Sloppy Joe Mix, low-carb Protein Fettuccini Alfredo or Creamy Chicken Pasta to feel satisfied without going off your mushies meal plan.

Delicious Desserts and Snacks

The days when you can munch on an apple, chomp on some nuts, or down a handful of chips or pretzels may seem far away, but the alternatives are not so bad! All of our Protein Shakes, Protein Fruit Drinks, Protein Hot Drinks, and other Protein Drinks are perfect for the pureed foods diet to supplement your other choices.

We also have treats to get you through your day – within your diet restrictions.

  • BariatricPal Protein Pudding in flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and cheesecake.
  • Protein Gelatin in raspberry and strawberry banana.
  • Protein Soups in flavors to suit your mood, whether you want familar Chicken Pasta, comforting Cream of Tomato, or creamy Broccoli and Cheese.

They are not only high in protein, but they are ideal for the calorie-conscious and the carb-conscious. We’re rooting for you to lose weight!

 

The pureed foods diet can get boring faster than you expect, but don’t worry. The BariatricPal Store is here to help you out! We have shakes and easy-to-prepare instant meals and snacks that can keep you nourished, keep you interested in your meal plan, and bridge the gap to solid foods.

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