Catholic Charities offers several health and wellness initiatives, as well as information, to employees throughout the year to help establish healthy habits in and outside of the workplace. Here is more about the Healthy Options Buffalo program, and a Healthy Weight Healthy Me meal plan guide.

The Independent Health Foundation created the Healthy Options Buffalo program to help our community make informed decisions about healthy eating, and as a result, help address the high rates of stroke and heart disease prevalent in Western New York. Through this program, the Foundation works with area restaurants to offer heart-healthy food options that are considered lower in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. To help make it easier for the community to find healthier options while dining out, we have compiled a list of more than 170 local restaurants and food trucks that participate in the program. You can find a full list of participating restaurants, as well as the items they offer with nutritional facts, in our restaurant guide.

Eating a balanced and healthy diet provides a number of benefits - from preventing disease to increasing your energy level. This meal plan provides an array of recipes to help you create healthy meals and snacks for four weeks. In addition, the information below will help you calculate the appropriate calorie intake needed to achieve your personal weight loss goals.

Most people will lose weight on a daily diet of 1,500 calories. If you want to be even more precise about cutting calories, this simple calculation will give you a daily calorie goal that can help you lose a healthy one to two pounds per week:

Your current weight x 12 = Calories needed to maintain your weight

• To lose 1 pound a week: Cut 500 calories a day
• To lose 2 pounds a week: Cut 1,000 calories a day

Ideally, you should both exercise to burn calories and cut back on calories you consume. Do not eat less than 1200 calories a day unless under a doctor's supervision.