Have a Healthy Halloween

Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner! This festive holiday often gets a bad reputation for its emphasis on sweets and junk food. Here are our tricks for treating yourself during this time of year while still remaining on track toward reaching your health goals.

Limiting the Treats

  • ›Don’t buy Halloween candy too early. You will likely tempt yourself into eating it before the trick-or-treating even starts. Treat the stragglers with the remainder of your bowl so you won’t be tempted with the leftovers.
  • If you do decide to buy candy, try to buy something you don’t like yourself.
  • ›Instead of handing out candy this year, consider giving out other small treats/toys like pencils, stickers, or other fun party favors. Or, try candy alternatives like raisins, nuts, seeds, crackers, all natural fruit snacks, and popcorn.
  • ›Granola bars or different protein bars are a healthier alternative to candy bars. They are still sweet but typically provide additional protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • If you feel like you must purchase candy for Halloween…
    – Try the sugar-free alternatives that many candies now offer.
    –  Select dark chocolate over milk chocolate.
    –  Swap 100% fruit chews for high sugar fruity candies.
    –  Pick a candy that takes a while to finish like lollipops or hard             candies so you will be less likely to find yourself reaching for             seconds and thirds.

Pumpkin-Fall-forweb

Healthy Fall Activities

Fall is a great time of year to get outside and active. Here are a few ways you can enjoy the fall and Halloween in a healthy way.

  • The leaves are changing! Get outside and take a walk around your neighborhood and notice the change of seasons.
  • Go to the pumpkin patch. Walking around the field and picking up pumpkins is great physical activity.
  • ›Cooling temperatures is a great time to plan a bike ride or plan a fun outing to a corn maze with your loved ones.
  • It’s football season. Get outside during halftime and toss the ball around with your friends, family or neighbors.
  • ›Ever been apple picking at an apple orchard? Check to see if you have one locally and try making some healthy fall recipes with your picks!
  • › After carving your pumpkins, rinse off the seeds, lightly season, and bake them in the oven for a tasty and healthy fall snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in healthy fats, omega-3 and protein.
  • ›Do you still have veggies growing in your garden? Have you ever tried canning? This is a great way to store leftover veggies for a longer shelf life.
  • ›If you have kids, make sure to get involved in their trick-or-treating! Walking up and down to each doorway while trying to keep up with their excitement and carrying bags filled to the brim with candy can be an excellent workout!

 

Importance of Hydration

Water takes up half our body weight, so it’s important to make sure we’re staying properly hydrated. Water is important for every cell and organ in our body to function properly. It helps us regulate body temperature, lubricate our joints and rids our body of waste. The problem is, how do we know were getting enough water for our body to function normally?

Here are some tell-tale signs of dehydration:
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Darker than usual urine

Typically you want to stay well enough hydrated so you do not experience any of the above symptoms. Most people drink only when they are thirsty but thirst is one of the first signs of poor hydration. Most recommendations say to stick between 6-8 glasses of water a day but each person has different hydration needs. Some factors to consider about hydration are exercise, temperature, and certain medical conditions that deplete our bodies of water faster than normal.

water-bottle-pouring

To keep your body hydrated without these symptoms,
try these simple steps:
  • Start your morning right by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up.
  • Keep a water bottle with you everywhere you go and mark each time you have to fill it up.
  • Add flavor like slices of lemons, cucumbers or limes to your water so you don’t get bored with it.
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal to help when hunger sets in and to keep you feeling fuller. A lot of times we may think we’re hungry, but we’re actually just thirsty!
  • Make sure to drink water before, during and after your workouts so that dehydration doesn’t lead to dizziness or a possible injury.
  • Eat something spicy! The increased spice will not only help you to reach for more water but the spice can also help boost your metabolism.

Weight Loss Success Story: Heather

Heather lost 50 pounds or a 19% weight improvement. Listen to her success story and the great advice she has for others just starting their weight loss journey.

What do you like about the Weigh and Win program?

What I like about the Weigh and Win program is the way the program is designed. I’ve tried many different programs in the past and have been unsuccessful.  I like the quarterly weigh-ins. It really helped keep me accountable for my weight loss. I get to see my progress through data and pictures and it really keeps me motivated. I also enjoy the daily email reminders that I receive from Weigh and Win every morning.

How has your life changed?

Working in retail keeps me on my feet for several hours a day and I use to get really bad knee and lower back pains but since I’ve lost the additional weight these are no longer issues for me. I also have much higher self-esteem and feel proud of myself. If I can accomplish this, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and I can reach my goals.

What was your biggest motivation?

My biggest motivation would be my children and my husband. We are a very active family. I enjoy going for bike rides, going for walks, going to the park – anything that keeps us active, we enjoy. But being overweight made it very difficult. I would tire out very easily and would have to stop whatever activity we were doing and I would kind of let down my children. I also enjoy my family telling me how good I look and that they’re proud of me. They really keep me motivated, because I really do want to be here for my children as long as I possibly can and be around for my grandchildren.

What advice for others would you have?

Start out with baby steps such as cutting out your daily soda or sugar intake. To get into the routine of exercise maybe setting 10 extra minutes a day to exercise and gradually moving yourself up. I would also say that a good balanced diet and exercise are important for successful weight loss. Lastly, this is a total lifestyle change that takes time and effort. Slow and steady wins the race. You will have plateaus but don’t give up. With time, patience, and effort your goals will be attainable.

Healthy Vegetarian Protein Sources

The amount of quality protein that you consume is a key component to any healthy eating plan. In fact, Dr. Halton at the Harvard Medical School states that “Convincing evidence exists that protein exerts an increased thermic effect [calorie burning] effect when compared to fat and carbohydrate.” Protein helps you feel fuller for longer and on much fewer calories since the process of breaking down protein for energy alone burns calories! It also helps your muscles repair and recover, so if you are looking for ways to improve your body composition then increasing your protein consumption might be helpful.

Hold on, what about vegetarian sources of protein? If you are a vegetarian looking to incorporate more protein into your diet to maximize weight improvement benefits, Weigh and Win is here to help!

Dairy Options

Eggs are going to be a great and inexpensive option with 6 grams of protein per whole egg and almost 4 grams of protein in the egg white alone! Try adding a little egg white or whole egg to any meal for a protein boost. Greek yogurt and Cottage cheese are two more fabulous options!  With 15- 20 grams per 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt all under 10 grams of sugar, it’s a nutrient dense powerhouse. Then you have Cottage cheese bringing in about 15 grams per ½ cup serving– think of the delicious snacks you can create!

eggs in bowl-sm

Nuts and Seeds

Depending on the type, nuts have about 3 to 7 grams of protein per 1/3-cup serving. If you need a mid-day boost then follow the Weigh and Win meal plans and pair a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit for a quick, energized snack on the go. Seeds are also a great choice, highlighting Pumpkin seeds with about 7 grams and Hemp seeds with 6 grams per 1 oz serving.

Finally, my personal favorite indulgence, nut butters!  Two tablespoons of Peanut or Almond butter has about 7-8 grams protein. Here’s a little secret, pair your favorite nut butter with some plain low sugar Greek yogurt (Fage or Chobani) for a sweet and healthy snack.

almonds

Vegetables and Legumes

We recommend at every meal you fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables because the amount of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that you are consuming will help turn your body into a fat burning machine! Broccoli’s has it all and then some more– with 2.6 grams of fiber per half cup it’s also a great source of protein, with about 4 grams per cup. Peas have about 10 grams of protein per cup and Edamame has a whopping 17 grams of protein per cup with under 200 calories!

If you are looking to add some flavor to your vegetables, then hummus would be a dazzling option providing a little over 1 gram per tbsp.  To put it into perspective, that’s about 20 grams per cup! However, hummus is a healthy fat meaning it is calorie dense so we aren’t recommending using a full cup with your veggies.

Depending on the type, beans offer about 12-14 grams per cup of protein and lentils have an impressive 18 grams of protein per cup with only about 230 calories.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Other Protein Options

I have to mention a few more meatless superstars before closing the red curtain and please feel free to comment below on any key players I didn’t highlight above. Quinoa, often mistaken for a grain which makes it a great replacement, has about 9 grams per cup of protein. Seitan, also known as wheat meat, has about 21g per 3 oz serving and only about 120 calories. Tempeh, similar to a vegetarian burger patty, has an astonishing 31 grams of protein per cup.  Finally, we can’t forget Tofu weighing in at about 10 grams per ½ cup serving. Protein powders, such as Whey and Casein, are also a great way to replenish the muscles after a workout and can be a great option for vegetarians.

MCL_quinoa_101688153_Jay_Wilde

 

Weigh and Win has vegetarian meal options that are included each week in the Sunday emails (look for the tomato under the ‘Nutrition’ section). Feel free to use these suggestions or alter any of the other meals with your preferred source of protein.

 

Written by: Mallory McCormick, Weigh and Win Health Coach

 

Win an ipod in October!

Re-invigorate your workouts with music! Earn 300 or more HEALTHpoints in October and you could win (1) of (3) iPod Nanos ($150 value).

March-Healthpoints-image

 

Congratulations to the September HEALTHpoint drawing winners of Fitbit Flex activity trackers!

  • Mark – Thornton, CO
  • Genevieve – Thornton, CO
  • Kaitlyn – Denver, CO
  • Greg – Englewood, CO