Behavior and Lifestyles: Making Smarter Choices

Posted: Apr 01 in Weight Management Strategies by

Pay Attention: Mindful Eating Habits

Let’s face it; we live in a society of rushing, multitasking and trying to squeeze more and more into our schedules. Do you ever find yourself eating a meal in the car, in front of the TV, or at your desk? Right after your done eating, do you still feel hungry? Do you remember what you ate? Mindless munching can be part of your daily routine and you may not even know it.

Paying attention to how you eat is just as important as paying attention to what you eat. Certain messages such as sensation of taste and satisfaction occur during eating, but when mindless eating is takes place; your brain may not receive these messages. As a result, your brain sends additional signals of hunger out, which can lead to health problems such as digestive distress, overeating and obesity.

Mindful eating means eating with awareness or awareness of the experience of eating. You can achieve this by paying close attention to what you’re eating and stopping when you’re full.

Take a moment and enjoy your food. For dinner, try Vegetarian Sloppy Joe or Fettuccine Alfredo, and since they are easy to make, use the extra time to sit down and enjoy your meal. The appropriate portion size will help you decide when to stop. If you are really in a hurry, don’t put just anything in your mouth; take something nutritious with you. Grab a Crisp n’ Crunch Cinnamon or Fudge Graham nutrition bar; they have enough nutrients to replace a meal and, since they’re ready to eat, they are the perfect grab and go treat.

Sources: www.brighamandwomens.org, Wall street Journal—Health Journal


Snacking Done Right

When you feel the rumble in your stomach in between meals, it may be hard to resist grabbing a snack. Filling up on processed foods or snacks with refined sugar, preservatives or that are high in fat are a bad idea for you and your diet. Eating a low calorie snack in between meals is healthy and part of a well balanced diet. Instead of eating greasy chips that will leave you feeling guilty, try our Cheddar Double Bites or our new flavor, Honey Mustard Double Bites, they’re only 130 calories. This healthy snack will keep you satisfied until your next meal.

3 Steps to a Healthy Lunch On-the-Go

As you dash from errand to errand this holiday season, don’t succumb to the fast food drive-thru just because you’re short on time. Instead, take lunch with you before you leave the house. You can do it in just three simple steps.

Step 1
Choose from our tasty line of meal replacement pudding shakes in flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate mint and mocha.

Step 2
Fill an insulated travel cup with 8 oz. of cold water and pack it along with a pudding shake mix.

Step 3
When hunger strikes, simply empty the shake mix into the cup and shake vigorously until blended, then enjoy a smooth, satisfying lunch!

Eating Healthy on Vacation

If you plan to shake off your cabin fever with a spring getaway, keep these nutritious eating tips in mind during your travels.

  • Don’t be at the mercy of vending machines, fast food stops and airport cuisine. If you want healthy, convenient meals and snacks, take along a variety of our no-fuss weight management products. Many products simply require water to mix, such as our creamy puddings (Double Chocolate, Lemon Chiffon). Other products provide a truly grab-and-go treat, such as our delicious nutrition bars (Peanut Butter Crunch, Crisp ’n Crunch Fudge Graham) and our hit-the-spot snacks (Pretzel Twists and chocolate flavored Mini Crisps).
  • If you’re traveling by car, pack a cooler filled with a variety of fruits, cut-up vegetables, milk for cereal (such as our Cinnamon Crisp or Cocoberry), ice cold water, etc.
  • If you’re traveling by plane, ask about special menus available, such as low-fat, sodium-restricted and vegetarian selections. (Note: You’ll need to make this special request when you book your flight.)
  • Consider eating breakfast in your room instead of heading for the hotel restaurant. It will save you calories and free up extra time to enjoy more of the sights.

Remember, when you take a vacation from the daily grind, don’t take a vacation from your healthy lifestyle.

Surviving Those Errand-Filled Days

It’s Saturday. You’ve got to get the kids to soccer practice, pick up the dry cleaning, buy stamps at the post office, swing by the video store, drop off books at the library and head to the auto shop for an oil change. What can you do to fuel your body on those errand-filled days?

Jump-start your day with a bowl of our old-fashioned Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon or our Cinnamon Crisp or Cocoberry Cereals. Then pack some healthy snacks for the ride. While you’re at it, pack your lunch, too. For snacks, grab an apple, banana or carrot sticks to munch on. And throw in a Crisp ’n Crunch nutrition bar. For lunch, don’t succumb to the fast food drive-thru. Instead, pack a bottle of water and some packets of “just-add-water-and-stir” pudding shakes. Or prepare one of our delicious soups at home and pour it into a thermos. Simply choose your favorite flavor, perhaps Homestyle Chicken with Noodles or Cream of Chicken, add boiling water and stir. Enjoy with a bag of Pretzel Twists or Chocolate Flavored Mini Crisps on the side.

With a little planning, you’ve got healthy, ready-made snacks, drinks and lunch foods you can eat on the run.

Avoid These Grocery Store Blunders

Eating smart starts with shopping smart. Take a look at these common shopping missteps, and review the helpful strategies to ensure you fill your grocery cart with sensible solutions instead of calorie-loaded cravings.

  • Shop when you’re full. You’re more likely to make impromptu, unhealthy food choices when you hear your stomach growling. Eat a healthy meal or snack (like our Crunch O’s, Double Bites or Pretzel Twists) before you go shopping so you’re less likely to cave in to cravings.
  • Shop with a list. Write down what you need at home when you’ve got the time to use good judgment and make healthy choices that fit into your meal plan. Then stick to this list once you get to the store.
  • Beware of bad bargains. Just because the store is running a "buy-one-get-one-free" special on 2 lb. bags of cookies doesn’t mean you should buy them. Stick to the healthy choices you wrote down on your shopping list.

Bottom line: You can’t eat what you don’t buy.

Old Habits Die Hard

Passing by a candy dish, seeing scrumptious pict
ures of food on TV, or the aroma of freshly baked cookies can tempt you. Unfortunately, there are many visual cues and situations that could lead to relapse. The sight or smell of food, time of day, social events and activities, and certain feelings or moods can trigger the urge to eat even when we’re not physically hungry. It’s important to recognize triggers to prevent yourself from relapsing into old habits.

Common triggers include:
Time of Day—When the clock strikes noon, you want lunch. Or at 3:00 pm you routinely head to the vending machine.
Event or Circumstance—When you walk into a movie theater, you must have popcorn. Or every Saturday after your son’s baseball game, you stop for ice cream.
Activities—Eating while you watch TV or work on the computer.

Take the time to identify the triggers that urge you to abandon your weight maintenance plan. Once you recognize your triggers, plan in advance for how to deal with these challenges to prevent yourself from relapsing. Here are a few strategies to help you gain control:

  • Keep problem foods out of sight. Hide tempting foods in rarely opened cabinets or in the back of the refrigerator. Remove the candy dishes around the house or from the desk at work. Designate a cabinet for your kids’ snacks and make the contents off-limits to you.
  • Keep healthier foods within easy reach. Place nutritious foods, like cut-up raw veggies, fresh fruit or nonfat yogurt in the front of the refrigerator. Keep lower-calorie substitutions of tempting foods on hand. For example, have sugar-free fudge pops instead of a chocolate bar, or a mini bagel with light strawberry jam instead of a jelly donut.
  • Limit the number of times you eat daily. Try to structure your eating around three meals a day. If you prefer a between-meal snack, build it into your eating plan. Stick to your schedule as much as possible to minimize unplanned eating and unwanted calories.
  • Limit the number of places where you eat. Decide on a few specific places to eat, and try to eat only in those places. For example, choose a specific spot at the kitchen table or at the office. Make the TV room a "no eating" zone. Finish watching the show and if you still want to eat something, do it at your designated eating spot.
  • Watch out for danger zones. Side-step situations that will entice you to eat. For instance, if fresh pastries are your nemesis, choose a walking route that doesn’t pass the bakery. If you can’t avoid a danger zone, decide that you won’t let it control you. For instance, refuse to enter the bakery if you pass it on your walk.

Sometimes old habits die hard, and despite our best efforts, we sometimes go back to our unhealthy behaviors. If you do slip, remember that relapse is not a failure. It is just a sign that you may not have a workable plan in place. Acknowledge that you can start over again that very day, or even the very next meal. Good luck.

Treat Your New Figure Well

You’ve done the hard work, now it’s time to treat your new body well. Here are a few great tips to follow so that when you look in the mirror you can say to yourself, "I look fabulous!"

  • Moisturize. Applying moisturizing cream every morning makes skin look fresher and firmer. Massaging areas where you’ve lost weight can help reduce the excess skin. Use a cream that contains Vitamin E and sun protection (SPF 15 protects against 93% of UV rays.)
  • Update your wardrobe. Buying yourself new and stylish clothes is good motivation to be conscious of your eating and exercise habits.
  • Try out some new makeup tricks. A dusting of shimmer eye shadow over your lids refracts light and brightens the eyes. Also, rim your lids with an eye pencil to define your eyes and plump lashes—smudge the line a bit for a more flattering, soft effect.
  • Make sensible eating choices. Beware of processed foods. Make it a habit to prepare your food from its raw, natural state. Keeping low fat levels in your everyday diet will keep your metabolism smooth.
  • Drink lots of fluids. Keeping your body well hydrated helps cleanse your body of toxins and helps to decrease headaches and stress.
  • Vary your exercise to keep it fun. Get some new exercise videos, go for a walk or a swim or take a new dance class. If exercise seems like a chore, it will be easy to procrastinate. Plan ahead or exercise with a partner so that you can provide encouragement for one another.

Use these tips or "booster shots" for continuous motivation and enjoy your new healthy lifestyle.

Oops! You Did It Again!

Should you give up on your weight loss efforts? Absolutely not! Like millions of other people, you experienced a temporary relapse. While this often happens during the December holidays, it could happen any time, to anyone. So how can you get your weight loss efforts back on track?

First, don’t beat yourself up. It’s a common occurrence in the weight loss process for many people.

Second, put it in perspective. A relapse simply means you took one step backwards. Now that you recognize the setback, you can begin to take two steps forward.

Third, realize that a relapse can provide a positive opportunity to change a bad habit or pinpoint problem areas.

Fourth, remember that you need to follow your weight loss program completely–from start to finish–to get the long-term results you seek. Weight loss doesn’t end the process and neither does an occasional relapse.

Fifth, get the support you need. Talk with a weight loss buddy, a close friend, or your spouse. And don’t forget to call your counselor at the weight loss center–they’ll give you the step-by-step strategies you need to get back in the game.

Cut Out the Cola

You’ve heard the warning that soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup will sabotage your diet. And as part of your weight loss plan, you probably eliminated soda and began drinking more water and our thirst-quenching Fruit Drinks—like our delicious Cranberry Grape, Mixed Berry, or Pineapple Apricot drinks. Now, new findings from a recent research study will make you very happy that you did.

Research has found that cola may be tied to lower bone mineral density, a risk factor for osteoporosis, especially in older women. Bone mineral density refers to the mineral density, such as calcium, in one’s bones and helps determine their overall strength. When bones become lighter, less dense, and more porous, there is an increased risk of fracture. The research study, conducted by Dr. Katherine Tucker from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, compared the bone mineral density of more than 2,500 men and women. Researchers found that for women in the study, cola consumption was strongly linked to lower bone mineral density in their hips, no matter what kind of cola a woman drank on a regular basis. However, there was no link
between cola and bone strength for men.

Dr. Tucker notes, “Everyone should realize that what you eat has potential to affect your bones. Women concerned with osteoporosis may want to steer away from frequent consumption of cola until further studies are conducted.” The 12g of protein in our 60 calorie serving Fruit Drink also keeps your bones healthy, as recent research shows protein can actually slow down the bone loss that leads to osteoporosis.

Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 84(4):936-42


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