Sleep & Weight, The Connection

April 11, 2014 By: office Comments Off

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.

Sleep1

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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Can You Incorporate Fitness In Travel?

March 27, 2014 By: consultant Post a Comment

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

SCW-4

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

March 25, 2014 By: consultant 1 Comment

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

March 19, 2014 By: amiller Comments Off

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

March 14, 2014 By: consultant 16 Comments

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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Journey of A Weight Loss Camp For Adults Intern: Post 3

March 11, 2014 By: consultant 15 Comments

These past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle when it comes to my diet.  I have eaten out WAY more than any one person probably ever should in a two week time span (not something I am proud to admit). However, I did do my best to stick with healthy options such as salad and lot of vegetables on the side of my entrees.

I’m sure you are wondering if I know I shouldn’t be eating out, then why did I? One reason was I had friends in town and it was just so much easier to go out to eat than make food for several people. The other reason is that with being so busy, I had not been to the grocery store in about a month. It got to the point where the only thing left in my pantry was beans and pasta!

I literally had to go to the grocery store at 6 am on Sunday because it was the only time I had free and would have enough time to go. I pride myself on being very organized but this semester has just been hectic. I would be pulling out my hair if I could just get one hand free.

On the plus side my workouts have been more than enough to keep my weight steady.

I was able to take a half hour this morning to prepare my food for the day and create a rough workout plan for the week.

I read a quote this past week from one of my favorite celebrity trainers, Chris Powell, he is the trainer for Extreme Makeover Weight loss Edition, and he said…

“You will never have success if you don’t prepare for it.”

That is so true! I cannot realistically expect myself to be successful in my nutrition or fitness goals if I do not prepare and plan for it.  If anything, that is just setting myself up for failure.  I need to make the effort, whether it’s every day in the morning or for a few hours on the weekend. I need to sit down and plan out my workouts and my meals.

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Adult Weight Loss Camp Advocate for Healthy Hearts

February 17, 2014 By: consultant 5 Comments

Eat more fruits and vegetables for a healthy heart!

While Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., many of the risk factors are largely preventable through healthy eating and lifestyle patterns.  One of the most important dietary factors often overlooked is our intake of fruit and vegetables.   We all hear that eating more fruit and veggies is important, but most people aren’t getting nearly enough of these amazing disease-fighting foods.   While the USDA recommends adults consume at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day, the Produce for Better Health Foundation published findings that the average person consumes only 1.8 cups combined of fruit and vegetables each day, which is less than half of the recommended amounts.  In terms of heart health, fruit and vegetable intake is closely correlated with healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, along with reduced risk of heart attacks.

A very important study (The Nurses’ Healthy Study and Healthy Professionals follow-up study) concluded that people who consumed larger amounts of fruit and vegetables had a reduced risk of developing heart disease.  In fact, those who had 8 or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day were 30% less likely to have a heart attack than those who ate the fewest servings.  Those who ate 5 servings of fruits and veggies still had a 20% reduced risk of having heart attacks.

Not only are fruits and veggies great sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but they also contain antioxidants, which are compounds in fruits and vegetables (especially deeply colored ones) that may help reverse cellular damage and may play a role in the prevention of illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

If all of this isn’t enough to get you running to the nearest farmer’s market or produce section of your grocery store, here’s another great benefit of getting in those fruits and veggies:  these are some of the best “diet-friendly” foods because they are what we call “nutrient dense” meaning they have very high nutritional value for minimal calories.  They’re the foods that are always great to eat more of if you’re still feeling hungry but trying to watch your calorie intake, which is something we tell our guests of our adult weight loss camp.   So make a point to add more fruits and veggies to your day to improve your health!

 

Here’s a fresh, delicious, and heart healthy recipe.  It’s a delicious green smoothie we make at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts for a healthy snack or dessert.  Our guests love it, and this is the perfect way to sneak extra veggies into your day!

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Makes 4 servings (about 10 ounces each)Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 cups ice (preferably crushed)
  • 1 cups Blueberries
  • 1 cup Strawberries, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach (packed)
  • ½ cup plain Soymilk

 

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  If needed, ingredients can be added individually if the blender is too full.

 

Nutrition Info Per serving (about 10 ounces):  115 calories, 24g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 4 g protein, 41mg sodium, 14 g sugar

 

References:

  1. Hung HC, Joshipura KJ, Jiang R, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004; 96:1577–84.
  2. State of the Plate: 2010 Study on America’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables, 2010.
  3. Produce for Better Health Foundation. Web. http://www.pbhfoundation.org
  4. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/printpages/MyPlateFoodGroups/Vegetables/food-groups.vegetables-amount.pdf
  5. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/printpages/MyPlateFoodGroups/Fruits/food-groups.fruits-amount.pdf
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Office Tips and Exercises from A Weight Loss Camp Trainer

January 20, 2014 By: consultant Post a Comment

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!

Treadmill Desk from TrekDesk  is a treadmill attached to a desk. It lets you workout while at work.

Treadmill Desk from TrekDesk is a treadmill attached to a desk. It lets you workout while at work.

Tips:

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.

 

Exercises:

1.  Desk Push-up

2.  Desk Moutain climbers

3. Chair sit to stand or Squat

4. Knee lifts or jogging in place

5. Punches

 

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! 

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Has Your Weight Loss Diet Gone Stale?

December 2, 2013 By: Guest Post a Comment

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.

 Weight Loss Diet Tips

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!

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Weight Loss Camp Healthy Holiday Eating Guide

November 25, 2013 By: consultant 1 Comment

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.

Socializing:

  • 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!

 

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