Weight Loss Tips: Making Chinese Food Healthy

July 25, 2011 By: office 70 Comments
Chinese Food

It can be easy to turn Chinese food into a healthy meal by making good choices.

You would think that someone could make Chinese food healthful, considering the tons of vegetables, host of seafood options, and great potential to keep saturated and trans fats down. Almost all of the preparation uses vegetable oil. Brown rice is almost always an option, and usually a section of the menu focuses on steamed dishes, prepared with no added fat or sodium. Still, navigating a Chinese food menu is confusing, as many entrees contain much more than 1000 calories—at least half a day’s worth of calories for the average person. Sodium is usually high in Chinese foods because of all the sauces, and portions are often twice as big as necessary. If you’re looking to lose weight by following a healthy lifestyle diet, try the tips below to make your meal that much more healthy.

Helpful tips for ordering

Try these helpful tips when ordering:

▪ Have tea! It will slow down your meal, and you will feel fuller sooner. Also, tea will replace caloric beverages you may otherwise consume.

▪ Order a lunch-sized portion, if available. Some restaurants will let you order a lunch-sized portion any time of day; lunch portions are smaller than the dinner size and will help prevent overeating.

▪ Choose soup to start your meal, unless you struggle with hypertension or sodium-sensitive medical issues. Egg drop soup, hot and sour soup and wonton soup average 100 calories per cup. They are better choices than most appetizers, which may have more calories and fat than your entrée.

▪ Choose one spring roll or two steamed dumplings as alternatives to soup, if you have a friend to share the order with (most spring rolls will come two to an order and most dumplings have five or six per order). They average 100-150 calories and are lower in sodium than the soups.

▪ Order a vegetarian entrée that is stir-fried or steamed. Choose a vegetable-based dish that does not absorb oil readily (think snow peas vs spinach). Portion some of the dish onto your plate of rice, so that your food does not continue to sponge up the added sauce that accumulates in the bottom of the serving dish.

▪ Choose something from the steamed menu if you are ordering from the vegetarian menu. Ask for the sauce on the side to “dip”; keep your dipping down to a tablespoon and you’ll have made a better choice.

▪ Pick a chicken, shrimp, or vegetable dish vs noodle and rice dishes, which tend to be skimpy on the vegetables and heavy on the fat and sodium. It is best to stay away from the combination choices.

▪ Select a dish without the added sauce. In the calorie department, soy sauce, duck sauce, and mustard sauce won’t put you over the edge. However the added sodium is something you can live without; the food is most likely salty enough.

▪ Include a serving of rice (1 cup brown or white), which has approximately 200 calories and no fat. Rice is going to help fill you up, and make your meal more satisfying and balanced.

▪ Split your entrée or take half home for another time.

▪ Ask for low-sodium sauces. Request that the kitchen substitutes broth or water for the oil normally used to prepare your meal.

▪ Ask if nutrition information is available. Because Chinese food restaurants can vary greatly in preparations and methods, it is difficult to determine the nutrition content of what you are eating.

At Shane Diet Resorts, we promote adult weight loss through nutrition and physical activity. For more information about healthy eating, visit http://www.shanedietresorts.com/program/nutrition/.

Weight Loss & Fitness: The Benefits of Yoga

July 14, 2011 By: office 23 Comments

The literal definition of the word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to yoke, join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual – body with mind and mind with soul – to achieve a happy, balanced and useful life, and spiritually, uniting the individual with the supreme. That seems to still be a fairly brief description when trying to find out why you should try yoga.

Yoga

Yoga is a great way to exercise, lose weight, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If you poll the general population as to what they think yoga is, you will get a variety of answers.  Some will say it’s just stretching, or its people sitting really still and meditating for an hour, or it’s just for women.  Others might say it’s a total body experience and workout. Let’s explore that last statement.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years and close to 11 million Americans enjoys the benefits of practicing yoga, which offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance.

When some people think of yoga, they imagine having to stretch like a gymnast or be able to twist into a pretzel formation. That makes them worry that they’re too old, unfit, or “tight” to do yoga. The truth is you’re never too old to improve flexibility, and it’s never too late to start. Yoga stretches the body in all different directions, releasing the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use and causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. In addition, yoga increases the range of motion and fluidity in joints. Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. And no matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gains were in shoulder and trunk flexibility.

Yoga is also a great way to build strength in the body. Many of the poses, such as Downward Dog, Upward Dog, and Plank pose, build upper-body strength. As we age, our bodies start to lose bone density, leading to Osteoporosis and Arthritis.  Building strength becomes crucial as people age to counteract the effects of bone loss. The standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. Poses that strengthen the lower back include Upward Dog and Chair pose. When practiced correctly, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.

Perhaps one of the most studied areas around the health benefits of yoga is its effect on heart disease. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. On a biochemical level, studies point to a possible anti-oxidant effect of yoga. And yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.

Yoga also benefits other chronic medical conditions, relieving symptoms of asthma, back pain, and arthritis. There have even been studies on yoga and its health benefits for insomnia and multiple sclerosis.

One of the biggest benefits that yoga has, that is sometimes noticed after the first class, is feeling less stressed and more relaxed. Some yoga styles use specific meditation techniques to quiet the constant “mind chatter” that often underlies stress. Other yoga styles depend on deep breathing techniques to focus your mind on the breath. When this happens, your mind becomes calm.

At Shane Diet Resorts weight loss program for adults, our schedule offers several different types of yoga classes, taught by highly qualified instructors.  The classes can range from a gentle stretch to more of the classic yoga format, enabling everyone to find a class that suits their needs. The only way to be certain of all that yoga can do for you is to try it for yourself and see.

Weight Loss Quick Fixes…Or Are They?

July 2, 2011 By: afeldman 2 Comments

The advancement of technology and enhancement of electronic resources can be a double edged sword when looking at health and wellness information.  While it is easy to find the answers to various questions about exercise and nutrition, there are also an abundance of sources that are giving out information.  Some of these sources are credible and some are not.  There are many products being marketed on both the Internet and in stores.  It is important to avoid making unhealthy decisions just because someone has given a product their false stamp of approval.  Some common examples of “Quick Fix” weight loss solutions follow.  Use these examples to educate yourself on some of the self proclaimed health and fitness products on the market.

Ephedra – Ephedra is a natural grown herb that is used for many different purposes.  An ingredient in Ephedra is ephedrine, which has been associated with both short term weight loss and long term health detriments.  Even though ephedrine products were effectively banned in 2004 throughout the United States, it is still in use by various athletes and people trying to lose weight.  A series of studies conducted throughout the 1990′s and into the 2000′s demonstrated great risk from supplementing with ephedrine.  Side effects include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heat stroke, seizures and sometimes even death.  The benefit of using ephedrine is that it may increase performance levels and calorie expenditure by speeding up the body’s regulatory system.  The benefits that come from using it are greatly outweighed by the consequences.  If you know someone that may be using ephedrine, advise them to stop.

Appetite Suppressants- There are various appetite suppressants on the market.  One drug, known as Sibutramine, has been shown to decrease feelings of hunger by adjusting hormone levels in certain areas of the brain.  Side effects have been reported such as insomnia, blood pressure increases and constipation.  There are also other appetite drugs on the market but this area of weight loss remedy is one that is still fairly new.  Much research is being conducted with suppression drugs, especially in long term use.  There has been much evidence of these drugs influencing blood pressure and possible heart disease risk.  An issue that an appetite suppressant won’t help is binge eating disorder.  Something to also keep in mind is that when using appetite suppressants, it may be possible for the body to build up a tolerance to them after long term use causing the drug to be ineffective.

Fat Blockers – The term “fat blocker” usually refers to products such as Alli or Xenica with the principal ingredient being Orlistat.  These have been developed to block both the digestion and absorption of fat.  Calories from fat are then passed through bowels instead.  While patients taking it have successfully lost weight in short term periods, there are also long term health detriments involved.  Some of the side effects include increased flatulence, incontinence and regular abdominal pain.  If dietary modifications are not made there has also been an increased risk of vitamin deficiencies shown.  Many people that have lost weight on the drug have done so because they removed fat from their diet.  Fat removal was done to get rid of the stomach issues that take place when fat calories are consumed.  The bottom line is that whether you are taking a fat blocker or not, you will still have to modify your diet, so why mess with it?

Quackery Pills – There is no specific ingredient in these pills but they are all over the place.  They used to always be featured in late night infomercials, but luckily, society has wised up to the commercials.  Now you may see “Weight Loss Pills” gracing the pages of magazines and mostly dominating the internet in the form of pop up windows and ad banners.  These pills basically have no active ingredient for effective weight loss and they are falsely advertised to suggest otherwise.  Common phrases you’ll see in advertisements for quackery pills include the following: “Lose 30 lbs in 30 days without exercise!”, “Finally get rid of the fat in your stomach!”, and “You’ll be toned in a matter of a week!”.  As I always say, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Fat Burners - These are pills that utilize ingredients containing some of the following items: Caffeine, yohimbe extract, green tea extract, black tea extract, taurine or vitamin B.  Most fat burners combine natural ingredients such as the ones I listed with numerous processed ingredients.  While things like caffeine and taurine are okay in moderation, it is better to get them from other sources.  Drinking something like a glass of green tea or a cup of coffee in the morning is better than subscribing to fat burners.  Even when caffeine from natural sources is used, it must be used in moderation because it speeds up the body and it is also addictive.  When it’s all said and done the best way to burn fat is to move around more.

Anything that uses the phrase “negative calories” - According to various diet companies, a negative calorie food is one that causes more calories to be burned in the digestive process than those that come from the food itself.  It is true that all foods cost energy to go through the digestive process.  After all, the organs like your stomach and small intestine use energy just like everything else.  The truth is, though, no food will give you a net loss of calories.  At its highest, the energy cost of food digestion may reach levels close to 30 percent of the calories in.  So even if a diet company is telling you that asparagus will make you lose weight, that is a myth.  It can help you lose weight by taking the place of a higher calorie food, but you will not magically shed pounds just by consuming it.

There are more and more weight loss advances coming to light every day.  With every piece of new information discovered, false information also makes its way into the limelight.  Unfortunately, new pills also pop up every day. Some get banned from the market and some slip under the radar of federal regulation.  Just because something is on the shelves or legal does not make it safe.  Before popping any kind of pill into your mouth, make sure you do your research and that you are familiar with all of the ingredients.  The nice thing about the Internet is that you can find anything.  So, if you are really curious about a product, type in each of the ingredients on a search engine and learn about what they do.  Educating yourself is the best way to avoid getting scammed by a false weight loss supplement. Instead of a “quick fix,” eat healthy and exercise regularly. This is the philosophy followed by Shane Diet Resorts weight loss camp for adults!

Price Match Guarantee

Check out details for Shane's Price Match Guarantee for our New York & Texas Resorts.

Weight Loss Camp For Kids

Weight Loss Camp For Kids

Award Winning…

Award Winning…

Testimonials

I loved the variety of classes offered...

I loved the variety of classes offered as well...

Jacqueline (New York) 24

See Young Adult Testimonials

Healthy food is good!

I loved the classes, the friends I made and the awesome trainers!...

Kelly (Missouri) 50

See Adult Testimonials