Shane Weight Loss Camps Tips on Stocking a Healthy Pantry

August 14, 2013 By: consultant 4 Comments

groceryshoppingHaving the right staple foods in your pantry can sound like a pain to keep up with, but with a few tips, it can be easy as pie (which is not a pantry staple).  At Shane weight loss camps we teach that a healthy, well-stocked pantry is important when trying to maintain a well balanced diet. Even on the days that are busy, knowing you have enough items around to put together snacks and a balanced meal is crucial to sticking with your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  It will also help you save money, since you can grab foods from home instead of buying from convenience stores.

Some helpful tips to remember are:

  • Keep the freezer full: Frozen proteins such as chicken, turkey, or hamburgers are great to keep around when you don’t have the time to buy meat fresh from the supermarket.  Thaw in the microwave for a few minutes and it’s ready to cook up. Frozen veggies are another staple. These are perfect for making into a quick stir-fry or side, and are also easy to pick up on sale.
  • Canned foods are a must have. They are cheap, easy to pick up at any time, and have an extremely long shelf life. Just make sure to rinse your canned items under water to wash away the high-sodium syrup they are preserved in.  When buying canned foods such as fruit or tuna fish, buy ones that are water based, and when buying canned vegetables, stick to no or low sodium items.
  • When buying grains, make sure to go for the ‘whole grain’ grain products. Don’t be fooled by the ingredient ‘wheat’- white flour is wheat too!  Pasta’s, rice’s, quinoa all have a good shelf life and don’t take long to cook. Be sure to keep your wraps, pita’s, and breads in the fridge if they seem to spoil quickly.
  • Fruits and vegetables are essential items for the household.  Not only are they high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, they are low in calories, and also make great grab-and-go snacks.  Apples can last up to 3 weeks when refrigerated and raw carrots are a great way to work another serving of vegetables into your day.
  • Besides your meat based lean protein sources, there are also other plant-based proteins that are great to have on hand in your pantry.  Sunflower seeds, almonds, or other nuts are great to grab as a quick snack or throw into a salad, and eggs or tofu are great foods to work into your meals.
  • Dairy sources are essential to have on hand, as you want to get 3 servings a day.  Dairy options are usually refrigerated so there’s not too much worry in foods spoiling. If you aren’t a big milk drinker, stick with the half gallon or smaller of skim or 1% milk. Low fat, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese are great additions to breakfast and easy to take as a snack, and low fat shredded cheeses are perfect to add a light sprinkle to dress up meals.

The key to keeping a healthy pantry is just making sure that you have the healthy essentials at all times. This way not matter what, you always have what you need for a healthy meal.

 

Nutrition Tip: Keep your eyes out for frozen food sales.  Having frozen veggies and lean proteins on hand can help whenever you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to buy or cook fresh foods. But because you don’t need them immediately, wait for the price to go down first!

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Alcohol & Nutrition From Our Weight Loss Camp for Adults

August 4, 2013 By: consultant 2 Comments

Winegrapes3_custom-s6-c30If you’re over 21, sometimes it’s nice to have a drink every once in awhile. But often times, we feel that we can’t do this when we are trying to lose weight and knowing how to fit alcohol into your lifestyle isn’t easy.  Trying to stay in your caloric allowance while still having fun can be annoying and difficult to balance.  Fortunately, our weight loss camp has a few simple facts that can help you to alleviate this factor so you can focus more on socializing and having a good time.

When going out, keep this in mind; in general, a regular beer has around 150 calories, a light beer has around 100 calories, a 6oz glass of wine has 200 calories, and a shot has around 70 calories.   Your best bet when going out is to stick with a liquor that you combine with a low calorie mixer, such as diet soda, club soda, seltzer water, or even just tap water with a squeeze of lemon or lime.  If you’re not a liquor drinker, stick with a beer or wine that you can sip on slowly and won’t finish within a short amount of time.

Remember, in order to prevent hangover issues the next day, hydration is key.  Staying well hydrated is important, so be sure to drink as much water as you can throughout the day.   Once you are out, staggering your drinks with glasses of water in between will help as well.

Another great way to balance out your caloric intake is to add some activity into your drinking plans. This can mean going out dancing, playing softball for a bar league or even having friends over for a friendly backyard game of volleyball, waffle ball or soccer. Anything that is going to increase your movement is going to help negate some of the calories you’re drinking.

But the most important tip we can offer, is know your limit, watch your intake and keep moving. Just because you’re trying to stay healthy, lose weight or maintain, doesn’t mean you can’t have a drink every now and then with some friends.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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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Incorporate Whole Foods Into Your Diet & Help With Weight Loss: Part Two

June 26, 2013 By: consultant 70 Comments
Food

Wheatberry Salad made by guests at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York location during a cooking demo.

By: Megan Ware, RDN, LD

We’ve all heard of all the studies done that describe the benefits of vitamins and antioxidants when consumed in a food, especially when consumed while working toward weight loss. But for some reason, whenever those same vitamins or minerals are isolated and studied in supplement form, they never seem to show the same positive results. Why is that?

Nutrition science is still in its early stage and we don’t know all of the components that are in a whole food that make it healthy. We are always discovering new components of foods that we didn’t know existed. When there is a health benefit or protection from various diseases that we get from eating certain foods, it could be due to the natural combination and interaction of all of the different and unique nutrients and proteins that each food naturally contains. Attempting to extract a single nutrient and consuming it by itself does not have the same effects. This is one of the best benefits eating whole foods has. By eating a whole food, you’re getting the natural synergy of all of these nutrients together.

Another benefit of whole foods: they’re cheaper! The more processed foods are, the higher the manufacturing cost, therefore making the food cost higher. For example, a whole potato is going to be cheaper than a bag of potato chips. Just remember, processed foods are made for shelf life, not human life! Food manufacturers spend abundant a lot of time, money and research on ways to lengthen the shelf life of their products, with little attention paid to how the processing will affect our bodies.

A lot of people have the misconception that eating healthier means they can only shop at expensive health food stores. But here’s a secret, you do not need to spend a fortune to get whole foods, and you certainly don’t need to shop at health food stores. Visit your local farmers market or buy produce in season from your local grocery. For instance, citrus fruits are cheaper in the winter months because that is their natural season.

You do not need to cut out all processed foods from your diet. The goal is just to decrease the number of processed foods you eat and increase the proportion of whole foods, always keeping in mind the 1st pillar of nutrition at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp is, balance.

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Incorporate Whole Foods Into Your Diet & Help With Weight Loss: Part One

June 21, 2013 By: consultant 11 Comments

By: Megan Ware, RDN, LD

The terms “whole foods” and “clean eating” are big buzzwords these days, but what exactly are whole foods and why should you be eating more of them, especially if we are working toward weight loss?

A whole food is a food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances. A strawberry is a whole food. A potato is a whole food. Apart from being grown, dug up and shipped, a whole potato is as unprocessed as possible, available for consumption in its most natural state.

Whole foods like potatoes or strawberries may be organic or locally grown, but not necessarily. A whole food is simply a food in its most natural state, with all of its nutrients intact.

The opposite of whole foods are highly processed foods. Let’s take the potato chip for example. Once the potatoes are harvested, they are sent to a processing plant where they are inspected, placed on a conveyer belt, peeled, washed in cold water and impaled into paper-thin slices. The slices then fall into a second cold-water wash that removes the starch released when the potatoes are cut. The potato remnants are chemically treated to enhance their color and passed under air drying jets as they flow into troughs filled with hot oil for frying. Excess oil is drained and the chips begin to cool. Flavored chips are passed through a drum filled with powdered seasonings. Then the packaging process starts. I’m not going to bore you with those details, but I think you can see the difference between eating a whole food, a potato, that was simply grown and harvested, and a processed food, a potato chip, where many of the nutrients the original food had are lost in the refinement process.

Let’s put this in perspective of our normal every day lives. On one end of the spectrum you have someone who grows their own fruits and vegetables, has their own chickens that hatch their own eggs, and raises their own livestock that eats hay from their pasture and drinks the water from their creek. This person knows exactly where all of their food comes from, the components of each food, and any processing that their food endures takes place in their own kitchen.

At the other end of the spectrum is the person who grabs dinner from the fast food drive-through, as 25% of Americans do daily. They have no idea where their food came from, what kind of processing it went through, or how it was cooked or prepared.  The meat in a single fast food burger could come from dozens or even hundreds of cows from all different regions and processing plants. Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods so that they will last for as long as possible without affecting the flavor of the food.

Not all of us have the ability to be self-sufficient and grow our own foods, but we all have the ability to get more involved in our meal preparation. We can set aside time at the beginning of each week to pick out a few recipes, buy locally available produce from our grocery or farmers market, plan our meals for the week and really take initiative to know where your food is coming from and how it was prepared. And what better way to do this then to buy and prepare it ourselves?

A cooking demo at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York teaching the guests of our weight loss camp how to make their own black bean salsa from a variety of whole foods: tomatoes, limes, beans, parsley, onion, cilantro and garlic.

A cooking demo at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York teaching the guests of our weight loss camp how to make their own black bean salsa from a variety of whole foods: tomatoes, limes, beans, parsley, onion, cilantro and garlic.

When you are dining out, don’t be afraid to ask questions. How was this fish prepared? Was it doused in oil or butter? Is it farmed or fresh-caught? The lesson here is that the more involved you are in your food, the healthier your meal will be, and your body will thank you for it, whether you’re working on weight loss or not.

 

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Advice From the Food Pro’s At Shane Weight Loss Camp

May 22, 2013 By: consultant 12 Comments

003You probably hire someone to do your taxes, so why don’t you hire someone to help you with your diet? Getting expert advice on nutrition may not be as expensive as you think. With all the scientific studies, many people find that figuring out their taxes is easier than finding a daily routine they can stick to and keeps them healthy and can help with weight loss. People with diabetes, digestive disorders, food allergies, heart disease, weight problems, and cancer may especially benefit. Your health insurance might cover referrals made for medical reasons. Women trying to get pregnant, breast feeding, trying to lose baby weight or going through menopause are also good candidates.
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts recommends you find a registered dietitian to work with on developing a weekly meal plan, discuss recipes for healthy meals, learn how to understand food labels, and answer your nutrition related questions. Our weight loss resorts Dietitian, Julie Harrington has designed a very user-friendly cookbook loaded with easy, simple and nutritious meals created from the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Program. Using this cookbook can also give you lots of guidance and nutritional information. Working one-on-one with a dietitian will give you advice depending on your age, gender, weight, physical activity and medical history. They should also factor in your lifestyle, food preferences and nutrition concerns.
Beware of so-called nutritionists who might try to sell you unnecessary and costly vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements. You should strive to get all your nutrition from food, supplements are often delivered in high doses and the body is unable to process that much at one time. Also food is packaged naturally with other nutrients that enhance absorption of all the good stuff they have to offer.
Regardless of your goals, a registered dietitian will want to know what you usually eat and the times you eat. Try keeping a food journal for a week before your first visit and take pictures of your meals, too. That way the dietitian will know your portion sizes.
Your health insurance, including Medicare, might cover referrals made for medical reasons. This is particularly true for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and digestive and obesity issues.
How well your body functions relies on the fuel you give it. You are important, so take the time and effort to be good to yourself. Lead by example and show your family and friends that you respect yourself by eating healthy not only for weight loss but for your overall health. Help is there for you, so take advantage. Not sure where to start? The Nutrition Staff at Shane are here to help you become the best you can be!

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Are You Succeeding With Your Exercise and Weight Loss Resolutions?

May 8, 2013 By: consultant 74 Comments

gymEvery year exercise and weight loss are ranked as the top New Year resolutions that people make. Were you one of them? Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds, tone up those muscles or improve your overall health, creating a gym in your house can give you the comforts of home while not having to worry that you don’t have time to get to the gym.

Here are some low cost items that are handy to have around the house as well as ideas on how to use items you may already have.

Cardio
Pick up a good sturdy and fairly heavy jump rope at your local sports retailer. If you are planning on jumping rope indoors, make sure you have at least a nine foot ceiling, if not, head outside! Jumping rope burns approximately 110 calories in just 10 minutes. Change the speed at which you’re jumping to create interval training and to ramp up your cardio experience.

If you are looking for a lower impact cardio workout, head out doors. It is recommended that people walk 10,000 steps a day to maintain their weight. By clipping a pedometer to your belt will help you know how close you are to the 10,000 steps a day. Take the jump rope with you and try connecting with your inner child and skip down the street; trust me, it’s fun.

Building Strength
While you are out grabbing the jump rope you can pick up a few low cost free weights and they can be easily stored under your bed. For a change from weights, get a kettle bell. In just 20 minutes, you can burn up to 400 calories and get firm all over. There are plenty of online videos to assist you in creating a routine.

If weights just aren’t your thing, a rubber resistance band, which mimics machine moves, can help target back, hip and inner thigh muscles as well as biceps, triceps and shoulders. Most come with a door attachment or handles for you to change up your routine.

Many household items can easily be used for exercise too. Rather than purchasing hand weights, use gallon sized milk jugs filled with water and that can be used for any exercise that requires dumbbells. Adjust the amount of water in the bottles and you can change how heavy the weight is.

One of my all time favorite pieces of equipment is a stability ball. You can get creative and do many different exercises to flatten the belly, work out the back muscles, do pushups and much more. Of course, when all else fails, there are always the basic body-weight exercises, most of which only require a bit of empty space on the floor or wall. Squats, push-ups and jogging in place are all great ways to work up a sweat and burn calories and they don’t cost a penny to do.

Use these simple tips to help keep you on track with your exercising and weight loss resolutions. Have fun with your exercise routine, utilize free weight loss tools and there’s never any reason why you can’t succeed. If you have questions on how to make your home a gym and using things around your house, just ask! Our Fitness Coaches are always willing to help.

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