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Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Falling off the wagon-GET BACK ON IT!

Okay, okay.... so you ate a few things that weren't healthy or on your healthy eating plan. It's okay! In fact, it's pretty fantastic that you recognized it and you are motivated to get back to your routine of eating healthy and daily exercise. Whether the bump in the road was a holiday party, a vacation, a celebratory election, your motivation to lose weight is great and you will continue to get on the path to heath and wellness. Here's a few tips to prevent these pitfalls and weight flucations from occuring:

1) Plan to cheat.
If you schedule a few slips, you won't completely fall off the wagon. If you know you are going to your favorite restaurant with that fabulous cake you love, plan accordingly. Take an extra 3o minute brisk walk and go light at lunch. Make room for these "cheating" sessions. Remember planning is key to eating healthy!

2) Eat breakfast
Eating breakfast will prevent you from overeating at your next meal and over snacking between meals. Reserach from the National Weight Control Registry found that people who lost 60 pounds and kept it off for 6 years ate breakfast EVERYDAY. It's easy, try it. Here are some quick breakfast ideas to get your started:
-Whole wheat toast with 1 table spoon of peanut butter
-Low fat cottage cheese with cut apples, bananas or citrus sections
-Banana with handful of mixed nuts
-Fiber One Raisin Bran cereal with 1% or non fat milk
-Hard-boiled egg and an apple
Low fat yogurt with added flaxseed (ground) and a handful of blueberries

3) Be a good role model
If you are going to a party, eating with family or friends, or have little ones in your house, all eyes are looking at you! It's easy to make healthier choices when you know other people are watching what you eat. Opt for the healthiest choices first, stick to veggies, fruits and lots of water.

4) Water, Water, Water
Eat your calories don't drink them. Always carry water with you. Sometime thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Leave water in your purse or car so you always have it available.

5) Split the sugar.
Suggest sharing dessert or an entree. You eat less than you normally would plus you save money. No one to split it with? Take a carry out container home with you.

6) Get over it
You cheated, you know it's OK, but you still feel guilty (and bloated). Your response will play a big role in how you handle food down the line. Just remember the three rules of healthy cheating:
* Don't binge and starve. "Depriving yourself of food is like breathing constantly through a tight straw," says Goodrick. "Eating less to lose weight leaves your body gasping for food." If you really feel like doing penance for your misdeed, hit the stairclimber and burn off some of those calories.
* Just say no more. Some people have a tendency to use cheating to justify further cheating. ("I've already blown my diet by eating these three Doritos, so I might as well finish the hag.") "One slip isn't any reason to continue to fall," says Goodrick. "Instead, accept that you've fallen and move on."
* Play the numbers. "Before you judge one meal, critique the whole week," says Polk. If you fall off your diet 10 percent of the time, fine. If you're totaling 30 percent or higher, you may have to cut back on your dietary freedom. Still, as Polk puts it, "Counting these numbers instead of counting calories can help you recognize that what you've done isn't as bad as it seems."

So to sum it up, get back on that wagon! You can do it!

Adapted by P. Myatt Murphy "The cheat is on: falling off your diet is the best way to stay on it". Men's Fitness. . 11 Nov. 2008.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Bean Salad Number of Servings:4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 minutes (the way we like it!)

Ingredients :

1 cup beans, black, canned rinsed

1 cup beans, kidney, all types, canned, solids + liquid

1 cup corn, sweet, yellow, frozen kernels off cob, boiled, drained

4 celery stalks raw, diced

0.25 cup pepper, sweet, red, raw, diced

3 tomato(s) tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, diced

1 tbsp cilantro, fresh, diced

2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp vegetable oil, olive

1. Combine ingredients. Best if made the day before (or at least 4 hours prior to serving) for increased flavor.

Nutrients per Serving (per one serving of recipe)

In this chart you’ll see the amount of nutrients for one serving of your recipe. Compare these numbers to the recommended daily intake for your age and sex.
Calories (kcal) 244.6
Folate (μg) 143.2
Protein (g) 10
Fat (g) 8.1
Carbohydrate (g) 36.1
Calcium (mg) 70
Sugar (g) 6.2
Iron (mg) 2.7
Fibre (g) 10.1
Sodium (mg) 241.8
Vitamin A (μg) 82.9
Potassium (mg) 796.9
Vitamin C (mg) 38.9

Food Guide Servings (per one serving of recipe)

Vegetables and Fruit

Meat and Alternatives

Guilt Free Spaghetti Number of Servings:6

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

12 cup spaghetti squash, baked, raked with fork

4 Clove garlic, raw, chopped

2 cup onions, raw, chopped

6 tomato(s) tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, chopped

1 tsp pepper, black

2 cup Beans, white, raw

6 Leaves basil, fresh


1. Poke spag. squash (summer squash in recipe) in 3 or 4 places with a fork and place on plate, loosely covered with microwave-safe plastic wrap, and cook at full power for 9 minutes. Let stand still covered for another 5 minutes.

2. Combine minced garlic and onion with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive garden in nonstick skillet for 10 minutes (or until onions look translucent). Fork or rake out spag. squash (removing seeds) and add to pan.

3. Add chopped tom., basil, squash, and any other veggies you wish. Cook until veggies soft but dente.

Nutrients per Serving (per one serving of recipe)
In this chart you’ll see the amount of nutrients for one serving of your recipe. Compare these numbers to the recommended daily intake for your age and sex.

Calories (kcal) 370.1
Folate (μg) 395
Protein (g) 22.4
Fat (g) 2.2 (LOW FAT!)
Carbohydrate (g) 72.2
Calcium (mg) 311
Sugar (g) 17.9
Iron (mg) 9.5
Fibre (g) 18.8
Sodium (mg) 28.1
Vitamin A (μg) 99.4
Potassium (mg) 2514.8

Be Food Label Saavy

What's the easiest way to tell if a food product is healthy?

Flip it over and look at the Nutrition Facts or the Food Label and the ingredient list. Remember you want to look at the servings first. Don't be mislead by smaller or larger than normal serving sizes. Then look for low-fat items (3 grams of fat or less per serving). Pay notice to the Daily Value %, remember anything that is 10% or higher you want to limit in sodium, total fat, sugar and cholesterol. As for fiber, the more of it, the better (10% or higher)! A great goal to strive for is 25-35 grams of fiber per day, but remember to drink water or you'll be sorry! A high fiber cereal with fruit (like FiberOne Raisin Bran) is a great breakfast to start your day.

The Food and Drug Adminsitration (FDA) has a great website with fantastic pictures of labels, available at It even has quizzes to test your food label reading knowledge!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Portions Sizes, My Have Things Changed!

As you recall from our slide show, the rates of Americans who are overweight and obese have increased dramatically in 20 years. Not surprising is our portions sizes when dining out have also increased. So what can we do about this?
1. Become portion size savvy.
When dining out, share with a friend, use the other half as lunch the next day, or simply ask for the "kiddie size". Remember if you do indulge, how much exercise will it take to burn those extra calories?
2. Know what your calorie "allowance" is. Use to keep track.
3. Write it down.
Remember you are twice as likely to lose weight if you write it down!
4. If you fall of the wagon, get back on.
Everyone has their days, but remember it's all about moderation and eating healthy. Fill out your behavior chain to see if you can identfy what triggered your unhealthy behavior. Focus on your fruits and vegetables and water intake. Make sure you exericise, do it in 15 minute bursts if you don't have time. Remember you have to move to lose!
You can do it! Keep up the great work and remember the outcome....a healthy you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I ate 3 McDonald's hamburgers and a large milkshake!

Always remember my "Walmart Story" and the day I got a Christmas tree. What led me to eating the hamburgers and milkshake that day? Not eating breakfast, letting emotions dictate what I eat, using food to satisfy negative emotions, and improper triggers. What could I have done to break my behavior chain?

2. Take a walk, if you are feeling stressed, vs eating
3. Carrying a healthy snack, such as whole grain crackers or an apple with me
4. Fill out my beahavior chain if I "fall of the wagon"

Need a behavior chain sample? Check out the one at the Brigham and Women's Hospital

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Write it'll lose more weight!

Did you know that by writing everything you eat and drink in a food diary you can DOUBLE your weight loss? Instead of 8 pounds in 8 weeks, imagine 16 pounds in 8 weeks! If you are having trouble keeping track on a peice of paper, try the website, The Daily Plate, available at

Write it down!

Have a healthy day!

Jennifer Barr, MPH, RD