Successful Weight Loss Begins with Support

Written by on March 29, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

What’s one thing that sets successful dieters apart from everyone else? One of the biggest factors, one that many don’t even consider, is support! It doesn’t matter how many expensive trendy health food items you buy– if you don’t have the support to help to keep you on track, you may have a tough time sticking with your plan.

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Help, helps.

Yeah, that sounds a little redundant, but it’s true! The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published and article studying the effects of support on weight loss, they focused on three test groups: personal support, technological support, and self-directed (the control group). This study found that those with personal support lost, and kept off, more weight than either of the other groups!

Personal support from friends, family, and professional counselors can help keep you accountable and on-track with your goals.

How can you keep yourself accountable during weight loss?

 

Make your goals public. Tell and friend or family member about your weight loss goals and talk to them about your progress. Even better, share on social media! Choose one day of the week to post about your progress on Facebook, Instagram, or whatever your platform of choice! If you’re really feeling brave, share some before-and-after or progress pictures!

 

Keep a food journal. There are tons of smartphone apps out there for keeping track of your food, like MyFitnessPal or Lose It!. Or you can just choose to keep it simple with a notebook and pencil! If you don’t feel like counting calories, even just keeping a log of what you’re eating can help you become more mindful of what you’re putting in your body.

 

Keep track of your weight. We’re not just talking about stepping on the scale, we’re talking about measuring your in inches as well! Once a week measure your waist, hips, neck, and arms. If you’re working out and building muscle, you have to remember that the number on the scale might not be going down as quickly as your body fat is since muscle weighs more than fat—that’s why we measure more than just weight!

 

Make it a contest. Have a friend that also wants to loose weight? Make a contest out of it! Whoever wins pays for the next concert or event, whatever would motivate you to loose weight.

 

Get to your appointments. If you’re using Medifast as part of your weight loss plan, keep your appointments (remember the JAMA study?!). There’s no better motivation than meeting with a professional. Plus, your counselor can help get you through any rough times you may be having with your diets and give you suggestions to get you through and keep on track!

 

A Recipe to Stop Those Sugary Snack Cravings

Written by on March 22, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

 

Do you ever get in a mood where all you want to do is snack? You’re not particularly hungry, but you just need something, some kind of snack? Of course you have, unless you’ve become a master at curbing your cravings, we all get cravings and feel like snacking at some point! What do you usually crave, salty or sweet? If you’re anything like me, it’s usually sweets!

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It can be hard to stay on track with your Medifast plan when those sweet cravings hit, but that’s where this handy snack recipe swoops in to save the day (and your waistline).

 

This Cinnamon Sugar Trail Mix combines not one, not two, but three Medifast products to create a deliciously sweet and crunchy trail mix!

Cinnamon Sugar Trail Mix

3 Servings: 1 Medifast Meal, 1 Healthy Fat, ½ Condiment

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 packet Medifast Oatmeal (any flavor, but Apple Cinnamon works best)
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 bag Medifast Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks
  • 1 bag Medifast Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Cereal Crunch
  • 1 oz nuts of choice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine Medifast Oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice and water in small bowl.
  2. Drop oatmeal mixture in very small globs, to resemble size of granola chunks, onto lightly greased baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes, until browned and crispy, but not burnt.
  4. Once cooled, combine oatmeal pieces, and remaining ingredients in large bowl, and serve!

Do you get more of a craving for salty snacks? Try out these Fresh Mediterranean Cucumber Cups, the feta cheese adds a bit of saltiness that will put an end to those cravings in a healthy way!

Good For You St. Patrick’s Day Recipes!

Written by on March 15, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and whether you’re Irish or not, being on a diet doesn’t have to mean missing out on fun! Although, I’d suggest limiting yourself when it comes to that green beer that pops up at this time of year—whose idea was that anyways?

We’ve gathered up some delicious Medifast-approved Irish-inspired recipes for you to enjoy this St. Patty’s day!

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Black Currant Cider Sparkler: The perfect non-alcoholic pairing for your hearty Irish meals. The key to this recipe is finding natural juice with no added sugar—be sure to check the labels!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4-cup black currant juice*
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled sparkling cider
  • Lemon peels, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine black currant juice and lemon juice. Add sparkling cider. Divide between 2 glasses, and garnish each with a lemon peel.

*If you can’t find currant juice, substitute with cranberry, grape, or pomegranate juice, just be sure, again, that it has no added sugars.

Corned Beef and Root Vegetable Hash: Hearty yet healthy, this recipe is perfect for the dieter that wants to get their Irish-food fixing without gaining weight!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 8 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 8 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 8 ounces parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 8 ounces turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 8 ounces corned beef, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 4 to 6 eggs, fried (or cooked any style)
  • Freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, bring stock, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and turnips to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and keep 1/2 cup liquid; set aside.
  2. While your vegetables are coming to a boil, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the boiled vegetables and the reserved 1/2-cup cooking liquid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned, about 25 minutes. Stir in corned beef and mustard.
  3. Serve with two over-medium eggs on top and season with pepper.

Irish Soda Bread: Carbs? Yes, carbs. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that carbs are okay in moderation, plus this recipe uses healthy ingredients!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3-cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1-teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4-cup caraway seeds
  • 1-cup (5 ounces) raisins
  • Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use parchment paper to line a baking sheet. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with either a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds and raisins; stir to distribute.
  3. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 16 equal pieces and, with floured hands, roll each into a ball. Transfer the balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet in 4 rows of 4, making sure each dough ball is touching the ones around it. With the tip of a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep X on each ball. Because the pull-apart rolls are smaller than a full loaf, the baking time is cut in half. Cool to room temperature before serving with plenty of salted Irish butter.

Now that you’re loaded up with the good-for-you Irish recipes, you’re ready to tackle St. Patrick’s Day with confidence, so get out there and celebrate!

All recipes via MarthaStewart.com

Spring Weight Loss: Clean Up Your Fitness Plan

Written by on March 8, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

March 20th, the first day of spring, is when we all start thinking about the next season — summer, which means swimsuit season. I know you started the year with all the best intentions to get in shape and lose weight by summer, but we all know that, sometimes, it’s not that easy to commit to those goals.

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So, how can you reach your goals by summer? Do a bit of a spring cleaning on your fitness plan!

1. Evaluate Your Diet

Are you eating the right foods and staying away from the wrong ones? If you are on our Medifast plan, are you sticking to it?

One key piece of advice is to cut out (or at least limit) starchy carbs like potatoes, breads, and many processed foods. Replace these items with fresh fruits and veggies prepared however you like!

Second, put down the diet drinks and reach for a water. Drinks, like sodas and juices, that are labeled diet really aren’t that healthy for you. That is why we advise sticking with water. To add a little flavor, just add some lemon juice or infuse it with your favorite fruits!

2. Switch Up Your Routine

You should be working out 30-40 minutes at least 3-4 days a week, but doing the same exact thing every single day may not be very effective. Our bodies are amazing things — if your go-to workout is jogging, your body may learn to adapt if you do it every single day, making it less effective.

Take control again by changing up your workout and alternating the intensity every couple of days. Try walking one day, weight-training the next day, and biking another day! Don’t get repetitive — keep your body guessing.

3. Keep The Stress in Check

High levels of stress can cause the body to release hormones called cortisol, which increases fat storage, and, when you are trying to lose weight, makes it that much more difficult for you.

Stress can also be a trigger for mindless snacking for some people. If you’re starting to feel stressed, do some deep breathing, or try out a short yoga routine! Check out these yoga for beginners videos on YouTube.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is so important, not just for weight loss, but for your overall health! Not getting enough sleep can cause an increase in appetite and increase your stress levels! Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night to keep your body healthy.

Follow these tips every day and you’ll be ready to spring into summer before the season is up!

Look and Feel Great on your Big Day

Written by on March 1, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

It’s your big day, eyes are on you, a moment you’ll never forget—look stunning and feel amazing as you’re walking down the aisle on your wedding day! Beauty starts from the inside so let Medifast help you get healthy and feel great for your upcoming wedding. We know you want to fit into that dream dress, but starving yourself isn’t the way to go, eat healthy, lose weight, and feel great!

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Whether you’re looking to shed a few, tone up your body, or get that beautiful healthy skin, we can help! Our York and Frederick Medifast Centers offer special weight loss programs for brides-to-be to help your prepare for your big day.

Our professional counselors will work with you every step of the way to help your achieve your goals before the big day arrives.

Want to learn more, or ready to start feeling great? Find a Medifast Center and get ready for your wedding day the healthy way!

Avoiding the Winter Blues: 5 Steps

Written by on February 23, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

That winter depression that seems to kick in before the season is even in full-swing here in Pennsylvania and Maryland isn’t your fault—its seasonal effective disorder (SAD)… even the acronym is depressing! Don’t let SAD get to you, you can fight it off and stay happy by practicing these 5 simple steps every day!

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Don’t Wake Up in the Dark

We know you have a job to get to and kids to get to school, so we’re not suggesting sleeping in (although that sounds nice), but waking up while it’s still dark doesn’t get your day started off on the right foot! Humans are “programmed” to wake up to light, so when we have to wake up while it’s still dark, it can be tough.

Here’s what to do: set a lamp in your room on a timer and schedule it to turn on 30-15 minutes before your alarm. It’s not as ideal as waking up to the sunrise, but it can help get your day started right!

Get Outside When the Sun Rises

When then finally rises, get outside, even for 5 minutes! The sooner you can bask in the sunlight, the better your body will feel throughout the day. But if you’re out for too long, don’t forget the sunscreen—just because its cold doesn’t mean you can’t get sunburn.

Get a Light Box

Light boxes mimic the light that the sun produces and increases melatonin levels (a hormone that affects mood and ability to sleep). Using a light box for 30 minutes a day can help put you in a better mood and help you fall asleep better at night!

Don’t Over-Eat

Just because you feel like hibernating, doesn’t mean you should, don’t over-eat during the winter months. As hard as it can be, try to stick with your Medifast plan!

Winters can leave you craving sweets and working out less, so over-eating can be easy to accidentally do. Sweets can help boost your mood for a short period of time, but can leave you feeling even more “bleh” than you started once it wears off!

If you’re craving sweets try snacking on fruits that are in season during the winter months such as oranges, pears, kiwis, and other winter fruits.

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Keep Active

Snuggling up under the covers after a long cold day sounds perfect, but it’s not the best thing for your mental or physical health! Exercise can help fight depression, both short-term and long-term!

You can workout inside, go to the gym or hop on the treadmill whatever you please, but getting outside for a workout can be even better for you. Find a winter sport you enjoy, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, fat biking—anything that will get you active outdoors!

Now go purchase that lamp timer, and make tomorrow (or 2 business days from now) a happier!

Fresh Mediterranean Cucumber Cups

Written by on February 16, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

How does eating fresh food make you feel? Full? Healthy? What about happy? Some research has shown that eating fresh veggies can actually make you feel happier! Do you get enough vegetables every day? To help make eating your vegetable easier, we found this great recipe, perfect for an appetizer, snack, or even a side to any lunch or dinner.

Incorporate this tasty recipe into a Lean & Green Meal by serving with 5oz grilled cod or haddock along with a small salad!

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Mediterranean Stuffed Cucumber Cups via Pinterest

4 Servings: ¼ Lean, 2 Green, 1 Healthy Fat, 2½ Condiments

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup diced bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 vine ripe tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 10 black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 English cucumbers, seedless

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bell pepper, tomato, onion, olives, feta, oregano, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Make the cucumber cups by peeling the cucumbers partially, alternating thin strips of skin with peeled strips, both of which go down the entire length of the cucumber. Trim the ends of the cucumbers and cut each cucumber into slices about one-inch thick. Scoop out the center of each slice with a melon baler to make a nest for the Mediterranean salad.
  3. Scoop approximately one to two tablespoons of the salad into each cucumber cup. Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate for later.

Stick with your Diet this Valentine’s Day

Written by on February 9, 2016 in Lancaster - No comments

Valentine’s Day has somehow turned into a day of food—heart shaped pancakes for breakfast, a fancy dinner out, and chocolates all day long! It sounds great, but this one day can really get you off track with your diet. So what can you do to make Valentine’s Day a little bit healthier?

Plan

Valentine’s Day is on February 14th every year; it shouldn’t be a surprise when the day arrives, so prepare for it. Here are a few things you can do to prepare:

  • Eat lighter calories meals during the days leading up to the 14th
  • Add an extra 30 minutes to your workout routine
  • Do an higher intensity exercise in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day

If you plan ahead you’ll feel a little better after indulging in your Valentine’s dinner or eating that whole box of chocolates (whoops!).

Opt for Sweet Fruits

Although chocolate are the most traditional Valentine’s Day sweet, a try of fresh ripe fruit can feel just as romantic and will satisfy that sweet tooth! If you’re feeling really ambitious, try making a DIY fruit bouquet.

Aside from the obvious nutrients benefit of having fruit instead of chocolate, fruit can actually energize yourself and your partner with out the crash that comes from processed sugars like those in chocolate.

If you really need that chocolate fix, try to drizzle fruit pieces with chocolate!

Get Active

Movies tend to be a top pick for Valentine’s dates, but (if the weather allows) try a nice walk instead—head to a local park for a romantic nature walk. Don’t let cool temperatures keep you away, look at it as a good excuse to snuggle up together.

Enjoy a Home Cooked Mealvdaymedi

Let’s face it; dinner out anywhere is going to be less healthy than cooking at home… even if you cook a very similar meal! Many restaurants add extra fats and oils to enhance flavor—good for their sales, bad for your health.

Try cooking a meal at home instead of going out to eat! Make a date out of it by cooking dinner with your partner and experimenting with new recipes together. By cooking at home you can control what goes into your food and know exactly what you’re eating! Plus, restaurants are always crazy busy during Valentine’s Day anyways, stay at home and avoid the crowds.

If you do choose to dine out, consider splitting an entrée with your date. Portion sizes are usually much larger than what we would normally eat, which causes us to accidentally over-eat. Share an entrée and you might even have enough room at the end of the meal to enjoy a small dessert together.

Enjoy Yourself

Above all, enjoy yourself! If you stress out about trying to eat right and exercise, it’s no good for your body, relax and enjoy yourself. If you end up eating a unhealthy, don’t worry, you’ll get back on track tomorrow.

From the Frederick and York Medifast centers, we hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Healthy Super Bowl Recipes Everyone Will Love!

Written by on February 2, 2016 in Frederick, Healthy Recipes, How it Works, York - No comments

Whether you’re rooting for the Panthers or Broncos, or just in it for the hilarious commercials, Super Bowl parties are always a good time… and don’t even get me started about the food! But, all those delicious game day snacks can be so unhealthy and can really get you off track of your Medifast plan!

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Yeah, it’s okay to give into your cravings once in a while, but isn’t it nice when you get to pig-out on food that is actually healthy without depriving yourself of what you really want to eat?

Chicken wings, cheesy dips, burgers… these are all staples to so many Super Bowls parties, and things that can be made healthy! We were going to share just a few healthy super bowl recipes, but they’re all just too delicious to choose. So, without further adieu, here are 52 super-healthy, super-tasty, Super Bowl recipes:

Greatist.com: 41 Guilt-Free Super Bowl Snacks

Health.com: 11 Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

Let us know if you try any of these great recipes during your Super Bowl party. If you have any healthy game-day snacks of your own, we’d love to hear those too!

 

Packing the Perfect Healthy Lunch

Written by on January 26, 2016 in Healthy Recipes - No comments

We get it—kids are picky eaters (if yours aren’t, consider yourself lucky) so it can be difficult to pack a healthy school lunch for them. When I was a kid I remember PB&J sandwiches and chips being staples in my lunch bag, but we’re encouraging you to go beyond that and incorporate healthy nutrient-packed food into your child’s lunch box.

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These guidelines will help you pack the perfect lunch every time without it getting boring. No one wants to eat the same thing every day! Feel free to follow these guidelines for yourself as well as you pack your lunch bag for work or need an on-the-go meal for those hectic days!

Start with a Fruit & Veggie

Pack your fruits and veggies first to make sure that they make it into the meal. Try vegetables that don’t need to be cooked: baby carrots, bell peppers, or sugar snap peas are a great idea. Tip: add in a scoop of hummus or 1-2 tables spoons of dressing to add flavor to raw vegetables!

For easy-to-pack fruit try these: bananas, grapes, kiwi slices, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Try mixing in either frozen or fresh berries with low-fat yogurt for a parfait-like dessert.

Are your kids not a fan of fruits or vegetables? Try sneaking them in! Add banana slices to a PB&J sandwich, or spinach and cucumber slices to a turkey sandwich.

Opt for Lean Proteins

Sandwiches are a staple of most lunchboxes, but make sure you’re using lean deli meat, like turkey or chicken. Other great options are grilled chicken strips or tuna for tuna patties.

Add Low-Fat Dairy

Milk and yogurt are perfect ways to add in some diary. Cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk… all great options! When you’re purchasing yogurt be sure to look for a brand that is low in sugar—some of them (especially the ones made for kids) can often be packed with sugar!

Use Whole Grains

When it comes to breads and wraps, look for whole grains. You can also add in whole grains with the Medifast popcorn and crackers.

Toss the Sugary Drinks Out

Add water instead of sugary juices and sodas. Want something a little more exciting than plain water? Add fresh fruit, like lemon, for flavor without having all that sugar. Check out this neat fruit infusing bottle perfect for your kids’ lunch bag.

And most importantly…

Involve Your Kids

Let your children help pack their lunches. What do they want to eat? Let them choose one food from each of these categories and prepare a meal together!