Ascension Wisconsin weight management team’s three tips to eat healthier | Ascension

Ascension Wisconsin weight management team’s three tips to eat healthier

Ascension Wisconsin’s weight management and bariatric surgery team shares three tips to promote healthy eating and weight loss in the new year and nutritional recipes to add to your routine.

The new year is a great opportunity to re-commit to healthy eating and take the first steps to achieve your weight loss goals. 

When it comes to eating healthier, it can be difficult to determine where to start.

If your 2024 goals include weight loss, consider these three tips from the Ascension Wisconsin weight management and bariatric team. Then, take what you learned and incorporate new, nutritional recipes into your routine. 

Three tips to eat healthier in the new year

Healthy nutrition is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and will be an important part of your weight loss journey. Try these three tips to start eating healthier this year: 

  1. Ensure you are covering the basic food groups. If you are looking to better manage your weight in 2024, having a balanced diet is key. Evaluate your current diet and ask yourself if you are consuming enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and unsaturated fats. Challenge yourself to add more of these foods to each meal.
  2. Incorporate more protein into your diet. Too often, people overlook or underestimate how important protein is to losing weight. Not getting enough protein in your diet can slow down your metabolism, resulting in weight gain. Foods high in protein you can add to your diet include chicken breast, eggs, greek yogurt and almonds. 
  3. Monitor your calorie intake. If you take in more calories than you expend, your body will store the remaining calories you consumed as fat tissue. Everybody requires a different number of calories. Measuring your metabolism is a great way to help determine the calorie intake that is right for you. Then, make it a goal to stick to consuming that number of calories each day.

If your weight gain continues to increase, or results in you developing weight-related medical problems, consult your primary care doctor who can refer you to a dietician or weight-loss specialist. 

Four nutritional recipes to try today

Winter WOW Salad

Category: Salad


  • 6 oz. of kale ripped into bite-size pieces
  • 15 Brussel sprouts
  • 4 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. of bacon bits 
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 4 oz. of cranberry white cheddar cheese 
  • Light balsamic vinaigrette dressing


  1. Place the kale in a salad bowl.
  2. Pour the balsamic vinegar and the bacon bits into a small pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low/medium and cook for about 20 min (this makes a balsamic glaze). Add to bowl.
  3. Chop the red onion and cheese into small, bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Mix well. 
  4. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette dressing onto the salad and serve immediately.


  • Cube and roast 1/2 sweet potato, and add to the salad.
  • Add cooked chicken to the salad to turn it into a full meal.
  • Add chopped walnuts. 

Yield: 6 servings


  • Calories: 120
  • Carbs: 8 gm
  • Protein: 8 gm
  • Fat: 6 gm
  • Fiber: 2 gm

Pineapple Pork Chops in a Crock Pot

Category: Main dish


  • 4 lean pork chops
  • Garlic powder, pepper and oregano to taste (about 1/4 tsp. Of each)
  • 1 can of pineapple chunks
  • 1 tbsp. of brown sugar, artificial sweetener 
  • 1/3 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup of craisins


  1. In a pan, sprinkle pork chops with garlic powder, pepper and oregano and brown them thoroughly.
  2. Transfer the browned pork chops to the crock pot.
  3. Add the chopped onions.
  4. Open the can of pineapple and save the juice. Set the pineapple chunks aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup of reserved pineapple juice, brown sugar artificial sweetener and tomato sauce. Pour over pork chops.
  6. Sprinkle craisins over the top. 
  7. Cook on high for 3 - 3 1/2 hours (until the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees).
  8. Add pineapple chunks to the crockpot and cook for 10 more minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition: (Per serving)

  • Calories: 285
  • Carbs: 33gm
  • Protein: 18gm
  • Fat: 9gm
  • Fiber: 2gm

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Category: Side dish


  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 drizzle of olive oil (or olive oil cooking spray)
  • ½ tsp. of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. of cumin
  • ½ tsp. of chili powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut into bite-sized pieces. Lightly drizzle (or spray) the olive oil onto the potatoes and mix until well covered.
  3. Combine all spices and sprinkle over the sweet potatoes. Mix well. 
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 (1/2 cup) servings

Nutrition: (Per serving)

  • Calories: 70
  • Carbs: 15gm
  • Protein: 1.5gm
  • Fat: 1gm
  • Fiber: 2gm 

Warm Cherry Delight

Category: Dessert


  • 1 cup of frozen, pitted cherries (with no added sugar) 
  • 2 tbsp. of low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. of toasted, slivered almonds
  • 1 dash of cinnamon


  1. Toast the slivered almonds in the oven for about 4 minutes at 400 degrees or until light brown. 
  2. Heat the cherries in the microwave until warm.
  3. Add the ricotta cheese.
  4. Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top of the cherries and ricotta cheese.
  5. Top with a dash of cinnamon.
  6. Enjoy!

Yield: 2 (1/2 cup) servings

Nutrition: (Per serving)

  • Calories: 100
  • Carbs: 14gm
  • Protein: 3gm
  • Fat: 4gm
  • Fiber: 2gm

Talk to a doctor who listens

Start a conversation with a doctor about weight loss today. Our weight-loss doctors, care teams, nutritionists and fellowship-trained bariatric surgeons provide nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. We start by listening to understand and then work with you on a care plan that’s right for you.

Learn more and schedule your appointment today.