According to research, only 20% of jobs in the work force require moderate physical activity. That leaves 80% of jobs that are sedentary or require very little physical activity. Research is also showing that 1 in 3 Americans are obese. Coincidence? I don’t think so! But instead of blaming your job, use it to your advantage. A trainer at our weight loss camp came up with the below tips and exercises to do around the office and get you moving!
1. Make the most out of your commute to work. Walk, run or bike.
2. Walk around the office every chance you get. Instead of emailing the person four doors down, get up and walk to deliver the message
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Trade your office chair in for a stability ball. Or stand at your desk instead of sitting.
5. Treadmill Desk – In fact, Mayo Clinic researchers estimate that overweight office workers who replace sitting computer time with walking computer time by two to three hours a day could lose 44 to 66 pounds (20 to 30 kilograms) in a year.
1. Desk Push-up
2. Desk Moutain climbers
3. Chair sit to stand or Squat
4. Knee lifts or jogging in place
Want a workout out of it? Try making the exercises a Circuit!
Grab your phone stopwatch, or a clock. Try completing as many reps as you can of each exercise for 1 full minute. Take a 15 second break in between, and then move to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit 2-4 times and you can get in a quick 10-20 minute office workout!
These days, living without a job is almost impossible, and with that job taking up so many of our waking hours it seems like our personal workout time is always the first thing to go, but now it doesn’t have to. Have fun working out around the office! And if you really want to make it interesting, start a friendly competition with some of your coworkers to see who can get the best workout done around the office.
Do you already work out at the office? If so, tell us what your favorite office exercises are! Or if you’re going to start, tell us how it’s going! We want to know how everyone is doing!
At our weight loss camps, we get a lot of questions about additives in our food. Additives are used to maintain freshness, add flavor, and enhance color. One of the additives very commonly found in processed meats are nitrates.
What is it?
Sodium nitrate is a chemical compound composed of sodium, nitrogen and oxygen. When added to meats it helps preserve the color of the meat, which is important since the meat may not sell right away.
What is it found in?
We typically see this additive in processed meats, such as pepperoni, spam, hot dogs, luncheon meats (like ham and turkey), sausages, and pastrami. It is also in many canned meats. Sodium Nitrates do exist naturally in soil so vegetables and fruits can have trace amounts but not much compared to processed meats.
What are the possible effects?
When consumed, nitrates react in our body to for nitrosamines, which may have a carcinogenic effect (meaning cancer-causing). There are still studies being done on how much it takes to be detrimental to our health.
What are the recommendations?
The general recommendation is to limit processed meats as much as possible. If you still choose to eat processed meats it is recommended not to overcook them especially when grilling because the compounds released in charring may also have a carcinogenic effect. Also pregnant women, elderly, young children and those with a compromised immune system should avoid processed meats.
Cooking fresh meat such as chicken breast, lean beef, or fish is a great way to consume healthy protein sources without having to worry about harmful preservatives or additives.
Not sure where to start? We have created a cookbook to help individuals having the same issue. Meal Simple, the Camp Shane Cookbook offers a variety of recipes for anyone who is wanted to cook and eat healthier food.
I’m sure you’re thinking what is Flexitarianism? Megan Ware, one of our weight loss camps RD’s explains. The newly coined term can be used to describe anyone following a plant-based diet that occasionally consumes meat. Any time you replace meat with vegetables, you are cutting back on calories and gaining valuable nutrients. If weight loss isn’t enough of reason, check this out:
It has been estimated that 8% of deaths in women and almost 10% of deaths in men could be prevented if people consumed less than half a serving per day of red meat, according to Adam Bernstein, research director at the renowned Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.
The National Institute of Health-AARP conducted a study on half a million people and found that those who ate the most red meat had a 30% higher mortality rate than those who ate the least.
The risk of colon and rectal cancer rises by about 20% for every serving of red or processed meat you eat in a day, according to the National Cancer Institute.
This doesn’t mean you have to become a strict vegan. Start small:
The next time you’re ordering or preparing anything from an omelet to a burrito, replace the meat with tomato, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions or any other vegetable you enjoy. You can turn any mediocre meal into healthier one using this tip—pizza, spaghetti sauces, wraps, sandwiches, you name it.
Go meatless one day per week. Participate in meatless Monday, a campaign launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The “cut out meat one day a week” program is active in 23 countries and growing! Start by trying this alternative to the classic burger:
Black Bean Burgers
Makes 6 servings
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
6 green leaf lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Put beans in a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Add egg, yellow onion, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well to combine then shape into 6 patties.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to buns, top with lettuce, tomatoes and red onions and serve.
Nutrition and Cooking Tips:
Black beans are included in the family of dried beans and peas known as legumes. They are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and rich in several essential vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in black beans aid in normal body processes, maintain good health and fight chronic disease. They are great source of iron and 5 percent of the daily value for calcium. Black beans also provide significant amounts of the minerals magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, and the B vitamins -thiamin and folate, or folic acid. www.Livestrong.com
Make your own whole wheat bread crumbs. Either use stale whole wheat bread or toast up some whole wheat bread and process in a food processor until there are crumbs. Season with herbs.
Scoop out the whole wheat bun if serving on a bun. Other options are eating it open faced or on a bed of lettuce.
Top your burger with a variety of vegetables.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 290 kcal Total Fat: 7 g Total Carbohydrates: 47 g Dietary Fiber: 10 g Protein: 12 g
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” – Michael Pollan
Giving or receiving holiday gifts can be a terrific opportunity to bump up a fitness program. The below list of equipment complied by fitness trainers at our adult weight loss camp supports a healthy lifestyle, well-being and of course weight loss. You can please your health conscious spouse, a faithful workout partner, and even an open minded couch potato. Need a gift for office buddies? Turn it into a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year by developing a time to use the fitness gift during the day on a 15 minute break or lunch hour. You can also use this list to drop hints for yourself.
- Exercise Tubing and Bands are portable and versatile, perfect for toning muscles. A recent study shows, with proper form, tubes and bands are as effective on muscle development as dumbbells and machines. Great for hiding in a desk drawer.
- Foam Roller uses self-massage and acupressure techniques to get rid of knots, drive out lactic acid, and relax your muscles after a vigorous workout. Using a foam roller increases circulation to soft tissue.
- Gift Certificate to Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts will be the best gift of all! You and your buddies and/or loved ones can come together to one of the wonderful adult weight loss camps to recharge your battery, learn better eating habits, and get inspired with fun creative classes to teach you how to use all these exercise gadgets.
- Heart Rate Monitor comes with a chest strap you wear during your exercise program. It helps you stay within your target heart rate zone for a safe and more effective workout.
- Kettlebells are a terrific workout tool. Studies show that you burn around 20 calories per minute, since it combines strength training and cardio at the same time. Great for adding functional fitness to your existing program. Women should start at 8 lbs, men at 10 lbs.
- Medicine Balls are fun and functional. Terrific for abdominal work and come in a variety of sizes and weights to add unlimited variety.
- Pedometers, perfect for your office buddies. Wear them during the day at the office and see who accumulates the most steps. They also keep you mindful of achieving your weight loss and fitness goals.
- Running Shoes are a great idea since we tend to keep our sneakers long after they are worn out. Get a gift certificate so they can be properly-fitted and are happy with the styling.
- Stability Balls are great to use at home and at the office to sit on as well as exercise and stretch with. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your height. Short – 55cc, Medium – 65 cc, Tall – 75cc.
- Stretch/Yoga Mats can get worn out with lots of use. It is always a nice thought to find one that is made from recycled or eco-friendly ingredients. Keep in mind the mats thickness – some people appreciate the extra padding.
- Stretching Strap/Yoga Tie will come in handy to assist with all types of flexibility exercises for a more effective routine. You relax and let the strap do the work.
- Yoga Blocks are wonderful for someone beginning a yoga class or who does not have a lot of flexibility. They help you perform certain standing and seated positions intended to improve strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Remember, you can be a positive influence in the lives of the people you care about. Your gift can enhance some ones quality of life and give you another exercise partner to support you as well. It is a win-win!
During this time of year, with it being fall and winter, weather isn’t always the best. It gets darker earlier, in some areas it’s snowing, raining or foggy and let’s face it, we could all use a little more sunshine.
Our weight loss resort in Texas made a Sunshine Cinnamon-Maple Quinoa with Pecans and Fruit for a cooking class. A delicious dish that will help brighten your day!
Sunshine Cinnamon-Maple Quinoa with Pecans and Fruit
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can also use skim or soy milk)
- 1 cup chopped apple
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- In small pot over medium heat, cook quinoa in water with cinnamon for about 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked (check liquid after about 15 minutes, and if needed add and extra ½ cup water and finish the 20 minutes of cooking time).
- While quinoa is cooking, toast pecans in a skillet on medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add maple syrup, pecans, apple, and blueberries to cooked quinoa.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 338, Total Fat: 17g, Sodium: 48mg, Total Carbohydrates: 39 g, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 10g Protein: 8g
Tips To Help Make Weight Loss Successful
Here is a post from Tara Heath, a freelance writer on health and wellness, offers a fun personal take on some common tips and knowledge that she’s found useful in her own weight loss journey.
About three months ago, having indulged in a delightful—albeit, not especially healthy—summer of margaritas, barbecues and yes, I’ll admit it, the occasional GIGANTIC ice cream cone, I found myself standing on the scale in my bathroom and staring at a truly disturbing number. My mind flashed forward to the pending holiday season and I shuddered. I could just imagine all my well-meaning-but-judgmental relatives whispering behind their hands about my new . . . uh. . .voluptuousness.
It was time to go on a diet.
I confess I was not especially optimistic. After all, I’ve done the dieting thing once or twice (or seventy billion times). Who amongst us hasn’t? And, while I could usually drum up some impressive motivation at first, after a few weeks I’d decide that I didn’t really need to get all the way to my goal weight. Sometimes I’d manage to keep off the weight that I’d lost up to that point– more often I did not. So, this time, I decided to do a little research and find some changes I could actually stick with.
And you know what? I learned a lot.
For one thing, losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean immediately dropping all the foods I love and replacing them with nothing but salads and skinless chicken breast, nor does it mean hours in the gym every day. Gradual changes in diet and exercise can actually be much more effective, because they’re easier and don’t make you feel deprived and discouraged. Healthy weight loss takes time.
Here are a few other things I’ve learned:
1. Focus on what you’re adding to your diet, rather than what you’re taking away.
For me, this was really important. In the past, I’ve often struggled because I’ve felt frustrated at having to give up the things I loved and replace them with things I really didn’t love, and I hated always feeling hungry. When I started putting my attention on simply adding more good stuff –like fruit, spinach and healthy smoothies—rather than sacrificing all things yummy, I immediately felt better about the whole concept of dieting.
2. Eat when you’re hungry
There are actually two parts to this little gem. One of them, of course, is the need to really stop and examine your motivations for eating. Am I actually feeling hunger, or am I just giving in to that craving for some salty potato chips? However, the second part of this equation was more surprising for me. “Eat when you’re hungry,” means just that: eat. when. you’re. hungry.
When you feel those pangs, stop what you’re doing and take the time to eat. So often we wait until we’re ravenous. And what do you do when you’re starving and faced with a whole refrigerator full of food? If you’re anything like me, you pretty much eat everything in sight– not good for the weight loss thing.
3. Choose healthier nighttime snacks
I know. Some people swear that in order to succeed, you can’t eat anything after 6:00. Unfortunately, I’ve just never been able to make that happen. However, I have found that I can choose healthier snacks. Rather than buttery popcorn or a cookie, I’ll have a low-fat yogurt or a fruit smoothie.
4. Don’t eat your stress away
Sigh. I am a stress eater. There’s no two ways about it. Things get crazy in my life and I immediately head for the freezer. A pint of Ben and Jerry’s has gotten me through more hard times than I care to admit. So, I had to find new ways to deal with my stress. Long walks have proven to be a surprisingly enjoyable substitution for me.
In the end, for me, it’s worth it. Judgmental relatives aside, I want to live a long, full life. According the National Institutes of Health, obesity can cause high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and perhaps most alarmingly, heart disease, which is the #1 cause of death in America. Simply ignoring heart disease won’t lower your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and exercising regularly can dramatically reduce the risk of these problems and so many others. and I like my life– love it, in fact– and I’m not planning on going anywhere, anytime soon.
Tara Heath is a health enthusiast and freelance writer living in Southern California, and her writing covers everything on personal wellness and lifestyle. While she may indulge in the occasional treat now and then, she makes sure to remember that moderation is everything!
Come out of the holidays lighter and cheerier!
At our weight loss camp we know how important it is to continue our healthy eating during the holidays, but we also know that these holidays only come around once a year and it’s okay to indulge a bit!
On the actual holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), eat what you want! It’s a special time of year with special foods that we don’t get everyday. But for all the days in between and around the holidays (there are 54 days between Halloween and Christmas and 60 till New Year’s day), stick to your food and exercise plan and you’ll be successful in continuing with your health goals even during the most challenging time of year.
Tips for Parties:
- Don’t go to parties on an empty stomach
- Eat very well the rest of the day, being mindful of portion sizes – and eat a little lighter than usual if you know you’ll be eating extra for dinner
- Limit snacking on appetizers.
- One-bite rule – if you feel obligated to or just want to try all of the dishes at a party, just get one bite of each item so you get a taste but don’t end up with too much by the end of the meal.
- Eat mindfully! Especially if you’re going for the one-bite rule, eat slowly and savor each bite. This will allow you to enjoy all of the same foods but be satisfied on smaller amounts.
- Make sure you bring a healthy dish – this guarantees you’ll have “safe” food to eat no matter what the circumstances.
- If you are in charge of planning a party (home or office party), give everyone a theme of “healthy holidays” where the goal is to bring lightened up versions of holiday recipes
- Try to incorporate all of the food groups into your main meal like you would for other normal meals. This helps to balance your plate and keep you from getting too much of any one item.
- Try hanging around areas other than where the food is located (out of site, out of mind!)
The rest of the time: (All the days around Thanksgiving and Christmas)
- Have a little extra discipline with food choices, making sure to watch portion sizes and eat an overall balance among all food groups
If you follow these simple steps, you can’t lose anything but pounds!
Planning and sticking with your healthy snacks can sometimes be even harder than it is to plan for meals. You can find yourself having unplanned cake at an office birthday party, nibbling on after school snacks with the kids, or caught in a past habit of having a before-bed splurge. Before you know it, your 100-200 calorie snack has turned into an extra meal…or two! This is an issue a lot of out weight loss resorts guests are having.
Becoming mindful of the times that you’re most likely to fall prey to over-snacking means you can now come up with a plan to avoid it in the future. Whatever your favorite time to snack is, make sure you allot yourself enough calories to have your snack and feel satisfied. Also be sure to include at least two food groups for your body to feel full.
If you’re a person who likes to snack throughout the entire day, five to six small meals as opposed to three larger ones might be a better way to stay within your caloric range without feeling deprived. If there is only one time where you really get caught over-eating, make sure you have a plan where you have a small snack that you enjoy every day during that time. Just knowing that you will be able to have something that you enjoy again the next day will help to avoid the need to overindulge on it.
Here is a healthy snack recipe from our Snack Simple booklet (that will be available soon!) by our weight loss resorts RD Megan.
Mayan Pumpkin Seed Dip
Makes 5 servings of 1/4 cup & 5 whole grain tortilla chips
- 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced shallots
- 1 diced jalapeno
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 tbsp dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh
- 1/4 cup cilantro, lightly packed
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 tsp grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup water
- Toast the pumpkin seeds over medium heat in a large skillet for five minutes, tossing occasionally. Place seeds in food processor.
- In the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add shallots, jalapeno, and garlic cloves. Place mixture in food processor with pumpkin seeds.
- Add the parsley, cilantro, remaining olive oil, lime juice orange zest and water to food processor and puree until smooth. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.
Happy Peanut Butter Lovers Month! Here’s some information on this popular snack food in acknowledgement of this occasion!
Peanut Butter and other nut butters, such as almond butter, tend to get a bad reputation because they are about 180-200 calories per serving, which sounds like too much for those trying to watch calorie intake and lose weight. But, did you know peanut butter is actually packed with nutrition making those calories what we refer to as “nutrient-dense calories?” This means there are high amounts of nutrients per calorie. Foods like sugary soft drinks, cookies, chips, or other popular snack foods are referred to as “empty calories” because they don’t have many nutrients for all of the calories they contain.
When trying to get more nutrient-dense, satisfying, and healthy foods into your meal plan, peanut butter can be a great option.
Some nutritional highlights of peanut butter and other nut butters:
Good source of protein – Great for helping to fight off hunger
Fiber – Ideal for healthy digestion and may help reduce cholesterol
Source of healthy fats – Don’t let the high fat content of nut butters scare you; the fats found here are heart-healthy and also help you feel fuller longer.
Antioxidants – Also found in fruits and veggies, antioxidants may help prevent diseases
With all of its benefits, it can be easy to get a little carried away with our portion size of peanut butter. However, it is important to keep in mind that too much of anything (even a good thing) can contribute to weight gain. So make sure to measure out or pre-portion your peanut butter, so you still get the benefits without consuming too many calories.
Also, the type of peanut butter you eat is important. Make sure to purchase peanut butter (or any nut butter) that is natural. Look under the food label at the ingredient list–the best nut butters will have only 1 or 2 ingredients – for example, peanuts and salt. The more natural the better because many peanut butters, including reduced-fat versions have lots of added oils and sugar that take away from the great nutrition properties this food has all on its own.
Here’s a tasty Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Smoothie that tastes more like a milkshake than a healthy snack!
Makes 1 serving
- 1/2 Banana
- 1 TBS Cocoa Powder
- 1 TBS Peanut Butter
- 1/2 cup ice (preferably crushed)
- 1 cup plain Soymilk, Skim, or Almond Milk
- Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If needed, ingredients can be added individually if the blender is too full.
Approximate Nutrition Per Serving: 200 calories, 23g carbohydrate, 10g fat, 9 g protein, 121mg sodium, 12 g sugar
As a trainer, I hear “I don’t have enough time to workout” quite a bit and that is one of the biggest obstacles guests at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp ask me how to overcome. Work, kids, job, school, errands, the list goes on. But I promise you there are ways to make time! Here are a few suggestions for you to be able to fit exercise into your daily life.
1. Take 10!
For those of you that really can’t dedicate a full block of time for exercise, just commit to 10 minute exercise breaks.
The recommended amount of exercise for adults is a moderate to intense cardio respiratory exercise, 30-60 minutes; five times a week minimum and strength guidelines are to work each major muscle group two to three days a week. ACSM guidelines say this time can be divided up throughout the day with smaller bouts of exercise. For example you could complete 10 minutes when you wake up, 10 minutes on your lunch break, and 10 minutes when you get home from work and you have the recommended amount of exercise checked off for that day.
2. Plan ahead.
Here are a few ways to plan ahead:
- First, plan what time you will exercise. Morning, lunch break, after dinner?
- Second, schedule the time in your calendar just like an appointment you wouldn’t want to miss and keep that same schedule and time so it becomes a habit.
- Third, set out your clothes, gym bag, water, iPod, shoes, pre or post workout snack, and whatever else you may need the night before so you can grab it and go the next day.
3. Daily lifestyle and activities
Here are a few options to increase your caloric burn and fit in extra mini workouts:
- Take the stairs wherever you can. This will increase your heart rate and calorie burn as well as build your backside.
- Find a parking spot farther away from the entrance.
- Take 10! Run around with your kids or dog, or take a short walk around the block.
- Skip the chair. Standing may burn somewhere between 20-50 calories more per hour than sitting. This may not seem like much but over the course of the day it can definitely add up!
Most importantly, everyone is different! See which workout-timing strategies work better for you then keep up the hard work for amazing results!
Written by: Liz Mitchell, BS, CPT, NASM WLS