Healthy Vacation Tips from the Shane Family Weight Loss Camp

July 29, 2013 By: consultant 29 Comments

Casita Village_PoolIt’s summer time and normally that means it’s time for vacation. Typically, when you think about vacation you think relaxation, having fun, and enjoying different scenery. What we often don’t realize is that our eating habits go on vacation too. But you don’t have to but your weight loss and diet plans aside for vacation!

How many times have we said “So what, I’m on vacation!”? We try to justify overeating on vacation since we are relaxing from our real lives and think there won’t be any consequences of going on vacation from our eating habits. But that may not be the case.

Don’t deprive yourself, but find a balance of staying on track with healthy eating and indulging. Try incorporating these tips to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle or weight loss goals.

  • Pick your indulgences. “Splurge” on food you typically wouldn’t eat at home. When you do splurge, savor it. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite. This way you will feel satisfied sooner without overeating. Most vacation destinations have a buffet breakfast of waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, pastries, muffins, etc. Why waste your splurge on typical breakfast food? Try to keep these things in mind.
  • Exercise. A lot of times hotels have gyms. Pop in there in the morning for a little workout. You will have plenty of time to sleep on the beach later in the day. Don’t feel like a gym workout? Just be active! Go for a walk on the beach, join in on activities going on where you are staying like dancing, play some volleyball, etc. No matter where you are vacationing there will be an active event available.
  • Don’t forget to pack healthy snacks. Skip the fast food places at the airport and rest stops on car rides. Pack fresh fruit, healthy granola bars, nuts, cheese sticks, etc. Also, keep those snacks handy while vacationing to keep hunger at bay and prevent overeating at the next meal.

It’s all about balance. Having a good time on vacations usually involves food too, especially if your destination has different cuisine then you are used to. The key is to enjoy yourself in moderation then you have the best of both worlds, enjoying your vacation and not sabotaging your healthy lifestyle or weight loss goals.

Weight Loss Camps Explains The Benefits of Whole Grains

July 23, 2013 By: consultant 5 Comments

Whole GrainsThe 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we consume more whole grains, yet many of us may not know the reasons behind it or how to spot whole grains on menus or stores. The registered dietitians at our adult weight loss camps explain the benefits of consuming more whole grains.

 

What is the difference between whole grains and refined grains?

Whole grains are exactly what it sounds like, it includes the all parts of a grain the kernel, bran, germ and endosperm. Some whole grains include oats, bulgur, brown rice, corn, quinoa, and buckwheat, compared to refined grains that have been milled and lack the bran and germ. Because they lack those components they are also lacking fiber, iron, and B vitamins. This is why refined grain products are enriched.

 

Health Benefits

Whole grains are rich sources of many B vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. There is strong evidence that whole grains may have a protective effect on heart health and also may help with hypertension. In addition, whole grains may decrease the risk for weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Our adult weight loss camp focuses on making sure that what grains we provide to our guests are whole grains, in order to help them with their weight loss goals.

 

What to look for on labels

Look for the ingredient label to say “whole wheat flour” or other “whole” grains such as buckwheat or oats. Try to aim on making at least half of your grain intake whole grains.

Incorporating more whole grains into your diet is easier than you think. Follow these simple tips that we use at our weight loss camps. And if you have any questions, let us know and we’d be happy to help!

 

Tips for including more whole grains

  • Buy a variety of whole grain pastas
  • Snack on popcorn (without butter)
  • Have oatmeal for breakfast
  • Snack on whole grain crackers
  • Include whole grain cereals for breakfast
  • Serve barley, brown or wild rice, and quinoa as side dishes
  • Buy whole grain breads, tortillas, and pitas
  • When baking cookies or muffins make half the flour whole wheat.

Feeding Tubes: An Alarming New Weight loss Diet

July 15, 2013 By: consultant 2 Comments

Based on: A Feeding Tube By Fritz Lenneman 

crazy Weight loss dietFeeding tubes are a medical procedure that is used to help people get the required nutrients when they can’t take food orally. However, a new trend has started to attract weight loss seekers to this procedure. It is rumored to be used mostly by brides to-be that are eager to lose weight. The user will get a feeding tube inserted through the nose, down the esophagus and to the stomach to deliver a feeding solution that provides about 800 calories per day and is used for 10 days.

Using a feeding tube to achieve weight loss is an inappropriate use of the medical procedure and could cause serious complications for the user. The formula only provides fats and proteins, but does not provide sufficient carbohydrates that a healthy person needs. Once the procedure stops, users are more likely to binge eat or return to their normal eating habits, which could cause cramping, diarrhea, vomiting and gas. Also, incorrect feeding tube insertions could cause infections.

The bottom line is that this is not recommended as a safe or sustainable way of losing weight, which should instead be done by eating a balanced diet and making physical activity a lifestyle habit.

At Shane Camps & Resorts, we focus on giving our campers and guests all the tools they need while they are with us and for when they leave, so they will have successful weight loss. We also teach that just because you are trying to lose weight, doesn’t mean you still can’t eat delicious foods. For example, one of our nutritionist adapted this low calorie recipe for oven “fried” chicken from eatingwell.com.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 1/2-3 pounds whole chicken legs, skin removed, trimmed and cut into thighs and drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Preparation

  1. Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic and hot sauce in a shallow glass dish until well blended. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk flour, sesame seeds, paprika, thyme, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the flour mixture in a paper bag or large sealable plastic bag. Shaking off excess marinade, place one or two pieces of chicken at a time in the bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and place the chicken on the prepared rack. (Discard any leftover flour mixture and marinade.) Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray.
  4. Bake the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.

Per serving: 224 calories; 7 g fat ( 2 g sat , 2 g mono ); 130 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 34 g protein; 1 g fiber; 237 mg sodium; 400 mg potassium.

Remember that if you’re trying to focus on weight loss, it doesn’t mean you need to go to crazy extremes, like using a feeding tube. You just need the perfect balance of nutrition and fitness.

Weight Loss & Weight Gain: How Big of a Role do Genetics Play?

July 9, 2013 By: consultant 2 Comments

imagesHave you ever experienced successful weight loss just to eventually gain some, most, or all of it back? Even if this scenario has not happened to you personally, you probably know someone who has gone through it. It can be extremely frustrating to devote so much time and energy to shedding the pounds, just to have it creep back on. So is there a science to losing the weight and keeping it off? According to research highlighted in a New York Times article that just may be the case.

In this article, author Tara Parker-Pope is able to relate to anyone who has been motivated to lose weight, just to have it return later on. Even while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, she has been unable to keep the weight she’s lost off. She mentions that it could very well be due to genetics, because many of her immediate family members have also struggled with weight loss and keeping it off. But it is still up in the air as to how much of a role genetics play versus the environment.

So is weight gain (and weight loss) pre-determined by your body and brain’s genetic makeup? Or does it come down to the environment you are surrounded by? Recent research, as discussed in this article, says that it could go either way.

The National Weight Control Registry tracked 10,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off. Rena Wing, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, helped create this registry with James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado in Denver.

Wing says physiological changes probably do occur that make permanent weight loss difficult, but she says the larger problem is environmental. She says people struggle to keep weight off because they are constantly surrounded by food, food messages, and opportunities to eat. “We’ve taught ourselves over the years that one of the ways to reward yourself is with food,” Wing says. “It’s hard to change the environment and the behavior.”

Although the people in the registry used different methods for weight loss, there does seem to be a common denominator. In order to have lost the weight and maintain the weight loss, a person must eat fewer calories and exercise far more than someone who maintains the same weight naturally.

Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, says that while the 10,000 people tracked in the registry are a useful resource, they also represent a tiny percentage of the tens of millions of people who have tried to lose weight and keep it off unsuccessfully. “You find these people are incredibly vigilant about maintaining their weight,” Brownell says. “Years later they are paying attention to every calorie, spending an hour a day on exercise. They never don’t think about their weight.”

From a different perspective, Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University, believes that weight loss and the ability to keep it off is based on a biological system. For 25 years, Liebel and his colleague Michael Rosenbaum, have meticulously tracked about 130 individuals for a minimum of six months. The participants would stay at the research clinic where every aspect of their body is measured, including body fat, oxygen consumption, carbon-dioxide output, calories burned during digestion, exercise tests to measure maximum heart rate, blood tests to measure hormones and brain chemicals, and muscle biopsies to measure metabolic efficiency.

The Columbia University participants are eventually placed on a liquid diet of approximately 800 calories a day until they have lost 10% of their body weight. Once they reach this goal, they are put through another round of intensive testing as they try to maintain the new weight. The data generated by this research suggests that once a person loses about 10% of their body weight, they are metabolically different than a similar-size person who is naturally the same weight.

The results also found that the changes that occur after weight loss translate to a huge caloric disadvantage. In other words, for someone to maintain their weight loss, they must eat fewer calories than someone who is naturally the same weight. The study also found that people who have lost weight burn fewer calories during physical activity than a person who is naturally the same weight.

The brain also seems to respond differently to food after losing weight, as per data collected from the Columbia University study. “After you’ve lost weight, your brain has a greater emotional response to food,” Rosenbaum says. “You want it more, but the areas of the brain involved in restraint are less active.” Combine that with a body that is now burning fewer calories than expected, he says, “and you’ve created the perfect storm for weight regain.”

It is clear that there will need to be more in-depth studying done of varying degrees to find out what influences weight loss and maintenance. Eventually, this research may change the way people approach weight loss.

Meanwhile, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts sticks to the basics: fewer calories in and the right amount of physical activity to burn those calories. Since 1968, Shane’s participants have found success with gradual and steady weight loss, as opposed to trying to lose the weight as quickly as possible. Experience has shown that it takes time to form a habit and good healthy lifestyle habits can change a person’s life permanently.

Healthy & Weight Loss Friendly July 4th Cookouts

July 3, 2013 By: office 1 Comment

redbluestarsaladOur favorite summer holiday is fast approaching! Hopefully you have your cookout menu selected, but if you don’t, here are some delightfully healthy and weight loss friendly options you can incorporate that everyone is sure to enjoy!

Of course everyone’s go-to classic cookout is the burger, but by using reduced fat mayo and whole wheat buns along with other veggies as toppings, you are increasing the nutritional value without compromising the flavor. If you have vegetarians in your party you can substitute grilled portabella mushrooms, and if you prefer you can make burgers with ground turkey instead of beef.

Our Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts team in Texas has adapted some recipes from EatingWell.com to help you to have a healthy and weight loss friendly 4th of July cookout.

 

“Fajita” Burgers: Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 whole wheat buns or French style rolls
  • 2 roasted Anaheim or poblano peppers
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 thin slices red onion

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Place beef, 1/4 cup cilantro, onion, scallions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without over mixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick and oval-shaped to match the rolls.
  3. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice and chipotle in a small bowl.
  4. Peel the roasted peppers, halve lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  5. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 6 minutes per side. Top with cheese and cook until it is melted, about 1 minute more.
  6. Assemble the burgers on toasted rolls with the chipotle mayonnaise, half a roasted pepper, cabbage, tomato and onion.

 

Another dish we often see at cookouts is potato salad. It is often a summer cookout favorite, but the traditional way of making it can be high in calories and high in fat. We have a simple, and still delicious version of potato salad that is low in fat and calories but still has all the taste.

 

Red, White and Blue Potato salad. Makes 4 ½ cups

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes, a mix of white and blue (or purple)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Preparation

  1.  Place potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a cutting board. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cut the potatoes in half, add to the bowl and toss to coat.
  3.  Just before serving, add peppers, scallions and mint to the salad and toss gently.

 

Finally, who could forget about our all American favorite dessert, pie! Traditional pies are typically high in sugar and fat, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way around that. This recipe uses the natural sweetness from the blueberries and uses walnuts in the crust for a nutty and savory flavor. You can also try different berries and see which one you like better. Be creative this 4th and try something different, where your family and friends wont know it’s healthy and weight loss friendly!

 

Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust. Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted (see Tip)
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Note)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade B, divided
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Preparation

  1. To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor. Add graham cracker crumbs and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the crumb mixture, butter, oil and salt; toss to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges, about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. To prepare filling: Beat cream cheese, sour cream and 1/4 cup maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly into it, being careful not to break up the delicate crust. Arrange blueberries on the filling, pressing lightly so they set in. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the berries. Chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.

With these recipes you can enjoy the holiday without jeopardizing a healthy lifestyle or your weight loss goals.

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