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Fats: A Necessary Evil?

office : April 18, 2014 5:20 pm : Healthy Eating

In the 80s everywhere you went, from the grocery store to your nearest vending machine, that familiar phrase “Low Fat” rang out time and time again. It was almost as though fat was worse for you than the myriad chemicals present in the diet soda or ranch dressing you were consuming. Now, years later, we find things to be quite different. So much so, that a few years back a certain soft drink company rebranded themselves by launching a “Throwback” drink whose singular claim to fame was that it was making use of real sugar again…leaving us all to question, “Well, what was I drinking before?” A return to basics is being touted as the healthiest way toward staying…well, healthy.

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Still, fat has been one of those persistently hounded culprits in the battle of the bulge. And with good reason, I mean…isn’t that what we’re all being told to burn and limit? Fat? Cholesterol? Calories? They are the enemy! Not necessarily. It’s important to stress, as a good part of any diet, the ability to differentiate between good fats and bad ones. So if you’re going to be watching fats as part of your weight-loss regimen, keep these important points in mind to dispel whatever myths you may have been fed about fat in the past.

  • Fats can be divided into two teams…the “hero” fats and the “bad guy” fats. Stick with the hero fats, unless you want to get locked up in a prison of your own creation! “Hero” fats include: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. “Bad Guy” fats include: trans fats and some saturated fats (excluding the aforementioned ones).
  • Never judge a food product by its label alone. “Fat-free” or “low-fat” isn’t an invitation to gorge yourself on whatever it is you’re consuming. In fact, many of these products have been reently found to include ingredients with addictive properties that leave you coming back for more and overeating, as a result, so watch it!
  • Become a fan of the “FANS” acronym. And keep it in mind when deciding which fats you should be eating more of. Fish, Avocado, Nuts and Seeds contain some of the very best complex fats that your body needs to consistently feel and look its very best.

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So to recap, not all fats you come across are out to get you, it’s just important to be aware of the ones that are!

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13 Things I Learned At Weight Loss Camp

office : April 15, 2014 8:12 pm : Weight Loss Camps & Resorts

By: Eugenia Correa, @eucorrea
Originally Published: April 11, 2014 on ‘Blog de BabyCenter’
(translation: Miranda Southwell)

A month ago I was invited to spend a week at a weight loss camp in San Antonio, Texas. Even though I don’t consider myself overweight, I will admit that since the birth of my baby, it’s been much more difficult for me to control my diet, do exercise and keep myself in shape. It was a hard week because it made me realize that I’m very far from my ideal physical condition. Additionally, my daily meal portions tended to be much larger than they ought to have been.

weight loss camp

A week in this resort was enough to make me see that I can improve, day-by-day and that daily habits are the ones that make a difference in your desire to lose weight. This experience granted me the tools for transformation that I needed to create substantial change in my daily life. While I was there, I lost a kilo (approx. 2.2 lbs.), and after one month at home, I lost two more by making simple changes to my routine. Here are some of the things that I learned during my stint in the program that have helped me keep the weight off:

  • You don’t have to wait until you become what you believe to be the worst version of yourself to join one of these programs. It’s a program of behavior modification that can help you far sooner.
  • Involving yourself in one of these programs is a decision rooted in self-love. No one can be obligated to go. It only works for those who are thoroughly convinced that they need a vital change to improve their lives.
  • It’s never too late to change your eating or fitness habits. Every day is a good day to start to work toward better health. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about changing your habits in ways that you can keep up with over time.
  • Doing exercise is a habit we can all acquire. In a weight loss program, you simply show yourself that it’s just a matter of taking that first step and discovering that exercise can be a fun habit, which also changes your energy levels and outlook on life for the better.
  • One of the most valuable tips that I learned is that you should stop drinking your calories! Sugary drinks are not your friend. There are lots of drinks disguised as “healthy” or “natural,” when in reality they’re anything but. There’s no healthier substitute out there for you than that clean, natural old staple…water.
  • There isn’t a better way to know what you’re really eating than by cooking it for yourself and choosing all your own ingredients. By avoiding processed products or fast food, you’re saving both yourself and your family, a boatload of calories and unnecessary toxins.
  • When exercise is a daily habit, your body starts craving healthier, lighter foods instead of greasy, heavy ones.
  • Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! My favorite: a blueberry muffin recipe is one of many you can learn to make during your stay at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, since healthy cooking classes are included in the program.
  • Eating slowly and enjoying each bite makes you feel full faster. Eating quickly is one of your enemies when trying to lose weight.
  • Upon arriving at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, you quickly realize that you’re not alone. There are lots of other people who deal with many of the same battles you’re facing. Being able to discuss and listen to common experiences allows you to put your life (and your weight) into perspective.
  • In many cases, the way you feel in the clothes you wear has a direct impact on your self-esteem. In the Shane Diet & Fitness program, fashionable fitness accessories are provided to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • The program at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort offers you a short, daily exercise program that you can complete in just a half-hour. This makes continuing the process at home much easier.
  • Temptations will always be around. They’re in the supermarket, on TV, at the movie theater and even in your own pantry. A behavior modification program gives you the tools you need to keep those temptations from overpowering you.

The program I went to is the Shane Diet & Fitness Resort. There, you’ll find programs for adults, children and entire families; although there are also many other weight loss camps out there to suit your own unique needs.

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Sleep & Weight, The Connection

office : April 11, 2014 10:14 pm : Behavior Change, Healthy Lifestyles, Wellness

By Amber Ketchum

We all hear that sleep is important, but the reality is that most of us just don’t get enough of it. One important aspect of health people often overlook is the connection between weight and sleep. Let’s look at a few factors that can create a cycle of poor health habits:

Not getting enough sleep makes you tired. This sounds pretty obvious, but being tired is one of the biggest reasons that keep people from exercising, which is an important component to weight loss and overall health. Ironically, exercise can also help improve sleep.

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Many of us are also much more likely to swap out healthy snacks for sugary, caffeinated foods and beverages to get enough energy to make it through the rest of the day after an insufficient night of sleep. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, so while it helps provide a quick boost of energy, its effects often linger later in the day, making it hard to fall asleep. This results in staying up late, which can create several extra hours of opportunity to eat/snack. Many people consume hundreds of extra calories in the evenings simply because they are up late and more likely to eat at that time.

One more factor to consider is the effect that a lack of sleep can have on our hormones. Insufficient sleep has been found to alter the balance of our appetite-regulating hormones. This basically means that people often feel hungrier as a result of poor sleep. Similar to how we often mistake thirst for hunger, we can interpret the need for sleep as hunger.

All of these create a cycle starting with bad sleep, which leads to exercising less, eating more, and sleeping worse, bringing us right back to the beginning of the cycle. If you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s important to evaluate your day and sleep patterns. Fist, cut out stimulants like caffeine after lunch. Focus on eating fresh, healthy foods at regular times throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, and fitting some kind of exercise into most days. You might consider stopping the use of electronics (computers, phones, TV) about an hour before bed, as well as going to bed earlier. Sleep is essential to the body repairing and rejuvenating, so start making these changes for a better night’s rest, improved control over your lifestyle habits, and a more energized life!

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Making Waves in the Sea of Cyberspace!

office : April 8, 2014 8:22 pm : Weight Loss Camps & Resorts

Check us out! Our Texas location has been revving things up south of the border and getting some fabulous mentions in several publications! Here are some links to a couple of the most recent for all our Spanish-Speaking friends! (but not to fear, mono-linguists, Google Translate provides easy translation)

Article on RunMX

Article on El Gourmet México

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Compound Movements, or, Exercise for the Overwhelmed!

office : April 8, 2014 8:06 pm : Fitness

Everywhere you turn, people are multitasking at work, at home, on their computers (current number of tabs open: 14) and even while ‘on the go.’ Yeah, we get it. Fitness is one of those things that requires a great deal of active participation from your deepest reservoirs of energy. Most days, a lot of us are sadly just tapped out and when we do attempt working out, it’s half-hearted and quit shortly after starting.

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What’s the solution? How do you fit in those sorely-needed crunches during the pre-bathing suit season crunch time that is Spring? As ridiculous as it might sound to you bogged-down multitaskers, the solution is more multitasking! Compound movements are a quick, simple way to maximize your workouts. So what is a compound movement? Well, simply put, it’s any exercise (typically involving weights) that use more than one joint and muscle group at a single time. But, don’t just read about them. The easiest way to learn how to incorporate compound movements into your daily (we’re hoping!) exercise regimen is by seeing the experts in action. Here are our very own Coaches Fiore and Mitchell to demonstrate!

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Obesity News: Food Addiction Similar to Drug Addiction

amiller : April 1, 2014 11:22 am : Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyles, Obesity, Uncategorized

Overeating SmallFood addiction is not only a serious problem, but can also be a major contributor to becoming overweight or obese.  According to a new study, food addiction tendencies create strong responses in the brain similar to those of drugs and alcohol, as reported in Discovery News by Marianne English.

In the past, researchers have used functional MRI machines to look at the relationship between obesity and substance addictions.  This is the first time that the link between food addiction tendencies and responses in the brain are being observed.

An experiment was set up with 48 young women enrolled in a weight management program.  These subjects ranged from lean to obese based on their body mass index (BMI).

After using the Yale Food Addiction Scale to assess subjects’ food addiction tendencies, researchers placed them into a MRI machine to measure blood flow in different areas of their brain.

Each subject was presented with one of two photos: one photo was of a chocolate milkshake, with the other being a glass of water.  Five minutes after exposure to these photos, subjects received small portions of a chocolate shake or a flavorless solution, depending on the image they had been presented with.  When subjects with higher food addiction tendencies viewed photos of a milkshake, they displayed brain responses similar to what’s seen in individuals with addictive behaviors toward drugs or alcohol.

It was also discovered that BMI did not necessarily predict levels of food addiction.  In addition, anticipation of food produces greater response in the brain when compared to actually consuming the food.  This may be an explanation as to why people with addictive eating behaviors overeat from not feeling satisfied.

There will need to be more research done on this subject to discover men’s food addiction behaviors, since this specific study only focused on women.  There will also need to be more research done on various age groups.

The CDC believes that these types of studies will also help us understand biology’s contributions to obesity, which affects nearly one third of adults in America.

What are your thoughts on food addiction?  Can you believe that the brain responses towards food can be as powerful as a reaction towards drugs and alcohol?

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Can You Incorporate Fitness In Travel?

consultant : March 27, 2014 7:59 pm : Behavior Change, Fitness, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyles, Wellness

Traveling Blues No More

When you travel, you are faced with being outside of your normal fitness routine, limited quality food options, and probably more downtime than normally needed.  On your journey to better health and fitness, you must overcome these obstacles and put fitness in travel. While you are on holiday or personal travel, you need to learn to incorporate physical activity and healthy eating into your daily routine. Do not worry; we are going to give you insights into living a fuller and richer life when you travel.

There are benefits to training outside and getting away from traveling festivities; however, this is easier said than actually done. First, do not make excuses not to exercise when the gym is not handy!  Next, make this your goal, “I will maintain my current body weight.” Lastly, drink plenty of water and be vigilant about appropriate portion sizes both at restaurants, business meetings and visiting homes.

Remaining Fit WHEN YOU TRAVEL

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Let’s be realistic, you are going to have days where you are going to struggle, maybe even eat and drink too much, or weather conditions might impede your training. Everyone does.  But you can strive to be that committed person that does not give in and does not let your traveling agenda stop you from your personal success. Now, get ready to succeed when you travel.

Here are some travel tips to choose from:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • 45-60 minutes of Cardiovascular Training
  • Body Weight Conditioning Training
  • Shadow Boxing
  • Yoga before breakfast
  • Yoga before bed
  • When commercials are on do push-ups and sit-ups
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Go for a hike in a local Park
  • Invite your family, members to participate in activities with you
  • Find a local fitness class and drop in

Benefits

To reap the benefits of fitness when you travel will not be an easy task. Your family, spouse, or friends might not understand why you are training during travel and limiting excess food and alcohol. For people on a journey to a healthy weight and fit life, effort is required to achieve your goals such as to fit into a smaller pant size or receive a much-awaited compliment from our significant other. Remember these are nice accolades, but the largest benefits are decreasing health risks, increasing life longevity, and dedicating oneself to healthier lifestyle. We make the priority to go train at the gym, so let’s make it a priority to train while we travel.

  • Benefits of continuing to train while traveling: Stress relief from family and travel
  • Rejuvenation
  • Keeps yourself focused on your goals
  • Weight management
  • Inspire a family member to live a healthier lifestyle
  • Cross trains and strengthens weaker muscles
  • Decreases burn-out from always training at the gym

Have a trip coming up?  Start planning now how your will weave fitness in your travel plans and keep yourself on track.  We at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts can help if you have any questions.

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Journey of A Weight Loss Camp For Adults Intern: Post 5

consultant : March 25, 2014 6:28 pm : Behavior Change, Fitness, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyles, Wellness

As this week comes to a close I am able to look back to when I first started interning at Shane weight loss camp for adults and I feel like I can see a huge difference.  Not necessarily physically (although I can now fit into a new pair of paints that I wasn’t able to a few weeks ago, and my stomach looks a little smaller) but more in the sense of nutrition wise. 

Usually when I go to the grocery store I have a list of all the food that I feel like I could use to make different meals (fruit, black beans, corn tortillas, vegetables, crushed tomatoes, tofu, eggs, etc…). I don’t really have a set meal plan but I can make a bunch of different meals from these random ingredients. And while this system worked for a while, my nutrition was all over the place and it would become really stressful because I would eat really health for the first few days (I try to only go to the grocery store about twice a month) but by day 5 I would run out of vegetables or cheese and then my meals would just be a concoction of whatever was in the pantry.

Now (thanks to our amazing Shane staff) I have realized the beauty that is meal preparation. Yesterday morning I made a small list of all the recipes I would like to make and from that I broke them down into all the ingredients I would need.  After that I went and got all I would need, so the plan for tonight is to do most of my meal preparation for the 10-15 days.

As far as workouts go, I had a great chat with Debbie (our program director) the other day while I was on the treadmill and we talked all about my workouts and I realized that not only do I not track my workouts but also that my workouts are not effective. I shouldn’t be spending an hour doing cardio and then another hour doing weight lifting and not seeing any results. So that day, I went to the store and bought a small notebook and now I am tracking my eating and my workouts. I am still getting the hang out of it but I haven’t missed a day yet.

School is going well but as the semester is in full swing that means exams and projects.  Sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When your day starts at 4:30 am and doesn’t usually end until 10 pm it leaves very little time for homework but since school needs to be my priority sometimes my workouts get put on the back burner.  But like I said in the last blog post, I schedule my workouts and try to always at least get a small workout in.

As the spring slowly rolls into summer, what are some of the struggles that you find with keeping up your workout routine or maybe some struggles that you have in regards to nutrition?

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Journey of A Weight Loss Camp For Adults Intern: Post 4

amiller : March 19, 2014 11:13 pm : Behavior Change, Fitness, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyles, Wellness

This week has probably been one of the best as far as nutrition and fitness goes.  I finally found a caloric range to stick with, one number for days that I work out, and another (smaller) number to stick with for days that I rest. I have been sticking with those numbers for about a week now and I feel good.  I think my next goal will be to tackle the skill of meal preparation.  You have to plan for success if you want it!  Over the weekend a friend and I spent about four hours making all sorts of meals and chopping vegetables. The problem with so much meal prep is then finding room in the fridge and freezer for all the containers. But if storage is my biggest problem, I think I have it pretty good.  I also have to say that meal prep is so much more fun with good music and good company.

This week is my spring break but in the wonderful land of Carrie-ville there is never such thing as a break. I am always going, going, going.  I am trying to get in 40 hours at my job while school isn’t in the way and then getting in my 30 hours at my internship here at Shane weight loss camp for adults.  But like I said, you have to plan for success, so earlier this week I wrote down everything that I had scheduled in my planner and I scheduled my workouts around that. I read a quote that said “Workouts are important meetings that you make with yourself, and bosses don’t cancel.”   I will not cancel a workout on myself even if it means getting up at 5 am.  So now, my question for you is…..How much are you willing to deal with for success?

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Breaking Down the New Food Label Proposal

consultant : March 14, 2014 3:58 pm : Behavior Change, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyles, Wellness

Reading food labels is a really important part about knowing what is in our food and what we put in our bodies, but let’s face it – they can be a little hard to understand.  Food labels have been around for the last 20 years, and just the other week the FDA announced proposed changes to update and make them more user-friendly.

Here are a few highlights of the proposed changes to the new food label:

  • Updated serving size requirements:  Food manufacturers will be required to change the serving size of a food based on the size of the package.  For example, if a food is commonly eaten as the whole package (such as a bottle of soda), the label would reflect the whole bottle of soda instead of half of it, since most people consume the whole thing.  The idea here is to give people a better understanding of what is in the whole portion they normally eat.
  • Changing the serving size section to say “Amount per ______” which will be listed in common household measurements such as “Amount per ½ cup.”
  • Calories and serving size will be in larger print to make them easier to see and read.
  • “Added Sugars” will be a new required piece of information to be listed under the “Total Carbohydrate” section on the label.  This will make it easier to identify if the sugars in an item are coming from a natural source like fruit or from another form of sugar (such as white sugar, corn syrup, or other sweeteners).
  • Vitamins and minerals at the bottom of the label (such as Vitamin A, C, D, Iron, etc) will be listed in their exact amounts instead of just as a percent daily value.

Here’s what the proposed new food labels would look like:

New Food Label

I’m sure you are wondering when would these changes be in effect? If all of the proposed changes to food labels are accepted, food manufacturers will be required to comply within the next two years.

What does this mean for the consumer, you? Hopefully these changes will help people, including you, have a better understanding about what is in a certain food they eat, and the information will be clear enough to give an idea about how healthy (or not so healthy) that item actually is and how it does or does not fit into a healthy eating plan.

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Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts was launched in 2008 as natural extension of Camp Shane, the most famous weight loss summer camp, where they have helped so many kids and young women lose so much weight that the word spread to adults.

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