Obesity News: Food Addiction Similar to Drug Addiction

April 1, 2014 By: amiller Comments Off

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?

Print Friendly

Journey of a Weight Loss Camp for Adults Intern

February 20, 2014 By: consultant 3 Comments

Hi everyone! My name is Carrie and I am one of the two fitness interns at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp for adults in Texas.  I am currently in my last semester at the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA), planning to graduate in May with a degree in Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Since. I am also a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Fitness is my biggest passion,  I love it and wouldn’t give it up for the world. Well, that’s enough about me. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

Liz, our supervisor, challenged Alyssa (the other intern) and I to use our internship not only as an amazing learning experience but also to set goals for ourselves physically and nutritionally. She asked us to also write a blog about it and see all of the changes that can happen in 13 weeks.  As you can see, challenge accepted!

I am so excited to get to have my own Shane experience and share it all with you.

My Goal:   I have to admit that I have never been much of a goal setter. Yes, I have a goal weight that I would like to be at and I want to one day run a half marathon, cycle 100 miles in a day, back squat 200lbs, bench press 135lbs and be able to do body weight pull ups. But when it comes to individual weekly goals, those kind of just go out the window.

So my goal for this first week will be to keep doing what I am doing physically but to sit down and come up with a game plan for the next 13 weeks.

Baseline Measurements:

Neck — 12.5 inches

Chest — 37.25 inches

Under Bust — 30.25 inches

Navel — 33 inches

Hip (Gluteal) — 44.5 inches

R. Thigh — 27.5 inches

R. Arm — 12 inches

Before Pictures:

Carrie Before

Print Friendly

Weight Loss Camp Discusses the Benefits of a Flexitarian Lifestyle

January 2, 2014 By: consultant Post a Comment

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

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 egg

  • 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Print Friendly

Weight Loss Camps Talk Fiber

October 28, 2013 By: consultant Comments Off

Fiber Facts: Understanding Food Labels and Isolated Fibers

Did you know that there’s fiber in my ice cream? Or did you know that there’s 3.6 g of fiber in one cup of blueberries? Have you noticed that recently the rise in foods (possibly some you eat on a regular basis) have much more fiber in them than they used to? Here are some of the eye-catching labels that you run into while grocery shopping:

  • ⅓ of Your Daily Needs for Fiber
  • An Excellent Source of Fiber
  • Now With Twice as Much Fiber

Is it true? Did food manufacturers suddenly find a magical way to make all of our favorite foods healthier?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. What happened is that food manufacturers stumbled upon something called “isolated fibers.”  Isolated fibers are insoluble fibers that help with our digestive system. Examples of these isolated fibers are inulin, maltodextrin, oat fiber, soy fiber, modified wheat starch, sugarcane fiber, and polydextrose.

Food labels count these isolated fibers when communicating how much fiber is in a serving of any given food. However, buyer beware, because these fibers absolutely do not lower blood cholesterol levels or reduce the risk of diabetes, like their natural counterparts do. Some of these fibers do help to promote regularity, but not all of them—for instance, inulin does not, but polydextrose might, and oat fiber, sugarcane fiber, and soy fiber almost certainly do. However, any of these isolated fibers can lead to gas and other gastrointestinal issues when eaten in large doses. In fact, any food that contains more than 15 grams of polydextrose must have a warning label stating that “sensitive individuals may experience a laxative effect from excessive consumption of this product.

It looks like if you eat five high-fiber ice cream sandwiches, you have met your goal for the day, but that is absolutely not true. These fibers do not give you the same health benefits, and depending on them to meet your daily fiber needs is not nearly as healthful as eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The trouble is that some people might pick up a package of high-fiber toaster pastry, and decide that this is just as good as whole-grain cereal.  In addition, many of these new high-fiber foods are very high in sugar and Trans fats.

 

Understanding food labels with help from weight loss camps: 

100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat - This means the product contains no refined white flour.

Whole grain - Most of these products contain little or no refined white flour. Look at the label’s ingredient list to see how far down on the list the enriched wheat flour, unbleached white flour, or wheat flour appears—the lower the better.

Whole-grain white - This label usually appears on bread, but it does not necessarily mean anything specific. In the best case scenario, the bread was made with an albino variety of wheat. Most breads with this label contain a mix of whole and refined flour from red wheat. Look for the brands that contain more whole flour, and less refined flour.

12-grain or multigrain - It does not matter how many grains are in a product. It matters how many of those grains are whole grains.

May prevent heart disease - This claim is approved for use on almost any food that is made from at least 51% whole grains, and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

 

Replacing isolated fibers

Instead of relying on highly processed food products with questionable marketing, you should rely on the following foods to meet your fiber quota, and rest easy knowing that you are certainly helping your health:

  • Oats
  • Oat bran
  • Breakfast cereals, including:
    • All-Bran® Bran Buds®
    • All-Bran®
    • Grape-Nuts
    • Shredded wheat
    • Cheerios®
    • Raisin bran
  • Grains including:
    • Barley
    • Bulgur
    • Kasha
    • Amaranth
    • Quinoa
    • Couscous
  • Polenta
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-wheat breads and pastas
  • All fresh fruits, especially:
    • Dried figs
    • Apples
    • Berries
    • Pears
    • Oranges
    • Dried and fresh plums
    • Raisins
    • Pineapple
    • Bananas
  • All fresh vegetables, especially:
    • Greens
    • Eggplant
    • Green beans
    • Beets
    • Winter squash
    • Broad beans
    • Cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Okra
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Peas
    • Corn
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Dried beans
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts

 

Difference between whole grain and high fiber

Different grains naturally contain different amounts of fiber. Bran products, for instance, are not whole grain. Bran is an excellent source of fiber, but is not technically a whole grain, because whole grains must contain the bran, endosperm, and germ of the grain.

Print Friendly

Fad Diet or Fitness Resorts?

September 18, 2013 By: consultant Post a Comment
One of our RDs talking to guests about healthy eating at our fitness resort in NY this summer

One of our RDs talking to guests about healthy eating at our fitness resort in NY this summer

A lot of the guests at our fitness resorts have tried fad diets, and they ask us why. Fad diets always seem to catch our eye because they make promises to lose an x-number of pounds in an x-number of days. We’ve heard of the cookie diet, no carb diet, high protein diet, 3-day diet, cabbage soup diet, and grapefruit diet, just to name a few. Many of these diets do show results and many lose weight quickly, but it is short lived. Most will not only gain the weight back that they lost, but also gain additional weight.

These are reasons why fad diets don’t work compared to healthy weight loss:

  1. They are quick fixes that won’t last. You may lose weight initially, but as soon as you start eating regularly again you gain the weight back. Healthy weight loss with balanced eating and exercise is one to two pounds lost a week
  2. Fad diets just focus on the food. A healthy diet should concentrate healthy foods, exercise, and overall well-being. One without the others, just won’t work
  3. Fad diets do not last a lifetime. Ask yourself, “Can I follow this for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, then it’s a fad. Following a healthy diet, and exercising is something anyone can follow for the rest of their life

Heard of these fads before? Understand the real facts:

  •  Eating after 8pm will make you gain weight

-False; As long as you’re still eating in moderation during the day.  Suggest stop eating at least one hour prior to going to sleep.

  •  Supplements will help you obtain nutrition goals faster?

-False; Real food obtain more than just vitamins and minerals (benefits that supplements cannot possess)

  •  Low Carb diets help with weight loss?

-False; Your body needs carbs to work correctly (primary energy source)

  • Red meat is bad for you?

-False; Lean red meat can be a healthy source of Protein, Iron, and Zinc. Lean beef or Lamb are healthy options

  • Fresh vegetables are healthier than canned/frozen/dried?

-False; Fresh foods can lose nutrients as they age on shelves. Many frozen foods are flash frozen when fresh to lock nutrients.

Understanding what is a fad diet and why it won’t work for you is half the battle of weight loss. Just because you lose weight fast, doesn’t mean that you will keep it off. We understand that losing weight can be difficult, and we are here to help in any way we can.

Print Friendly

Interval Training for Weight Loss

September 11, 2012 By: afeldman Post a Comment

Let’s talk about this concept known as interval training. This is not some new type of training, it has been around for years. What is interval training? in simple terms, it is doing something hard until it is too hard, then easing up until you are ready to do it hard again. From an exercise standpoint, it would mean taking an exercise move and moving very intense with the exercise, fast and strong, until you become too fatigued to continue at which point you would slow the move down enough to catch your breath and then repeat. When this is done over and over in one session, it becomes an entire workout.

The question is, how does this type of training help you reach weight loss goals and how is it relevant? Even though interval training, isn’t the only way to get in an effective workout, it is still one of the most effective ways to challenge your body. There are 5 reasons here on how it can truly help get you get you to your goals.

1. It gets you used to a faster pace for better fitness – The faster you can move over a 30 minute time frame, the more calories you can burn in that period. Interval training will get you more comfortable with moving at that faster pace. It will get you faster and faster until you are shredding through calories during a 30 minute time window. For example, if you do not currently have the fitness level to jog for more than 1 minute until you get extremely winded, then interval training will get you to a point at which you can jog for 10 minutes without getting extremely winded. The more that you can go at that faster pace, the more fit you become and the more calories you have the potential of burning during a workout. Advanced exercisers can think of that jog as more of a full run.
2. It forces you out of the comfort zone that most people fall into during steady state exercise – As we find our groove with something, it becomes comfortable, which can be good because that means we are becoming proficient at it. The problem is that if you stop taking yourself out of that comfort zone then progress will stop. By having set times that you pick up the intensity and speed during a workout, it forces you to get out of that comfort zone that you’ve become good at maintaining.
3. It gets your heart better at recovery, making you more fit – Recovery takes time during exercise and after exercise. Interval training teaches your heart to recover faster allowing you to feel better more quickly during rest periods and when exercise comes to an end for the day. By working out at a high intensity for a period and then slowing it down for a period numerous times, your heart gets used to having that small recovery period and it begins using that time much more efficiently. This is just one of the many ways that your heart becomes more fit.
4. It breaks up the monotony of normal exercise – This is my favorite. When there is an hour of cardio, we tend to think “Great, 59 minutes until I’m done” or “halfway done, 30 minutes left”. Thinking like that makes time go by very, very slowly. With intervals, you are always thinking ahead to the next interval. The thought process becomes this: “30 seconds until my next hard round” or “only 15 seconds until my next recovery paced minute”. By the time you get through a couple intervals, 20 minutes may have already passed! It’s a great way to make the time during cardio exercise go by more quickly.
5. Learn to control pace and intensity better – This is especially important for those who have goals of completing 5ks, 10ks or eventual long distance marathons. Interval training will allow you to figure out your pacing and speed for running, walking, biking, etc. You’ll learn what a hard pace is for your current level, a medium pace and a complete recovery pace. The only way to learn that is through experimentation during exercise. This is done with interval training. Doing intervals on a track or a cardio machine (treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc.) in the gym will allow you to see your speed during hard, easy and medium paced exercise so you can get precise with goal setting and reaching the proper level of intensity during exercise to see progress.

Now that I’ve talked about why interval training is important for fitness and weight loss, I want to talk about how it should be incorporated into your exercise routine. A recovery pace should be one that is just easy enough to allow you to catch your breath. A medium pace is one that you should be able to maintain for 5-15 minutes, you are working. A hard pace is one that’s just as it sounds, hard. You should be too winded to continue it after 60-90 seconds.
The first thing to do is decide what you’re speeds/resistance is going to be for each pace. The resistance on machines should atleast be at a level where you are not bouncing through the move uncontrollably.
Speed: On a treadmill, find out the exact numbers for each pace. 2.5-3.5 mph is a walking pace, 5.0-6.0 is a jogging pace and 6.1 + would be considered a running pace. On an elliptical, bike or similar equipment, look at strides per minute or rotations per minute to experiment around with speed. Just make sure that the level stays the same if your speed is what is changing. If you are exercising away from a machine, just pay closer attention to what you are doing. Learn how fast you’re body should be moving to reach each level.
Resistance/Level: Instead of changing speed, you would play around with the level settings. On a treadmill, this would mean the incline; on other pieces of equipment, it would mean changing the resistance. At a consistent speed, figure out what levels what be considered recovery, medium and hard.
Example Interval Training Program #1:
5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
1 minute recovery/1minute medium/1minute hard x5
3 minute recovery pace
1 minute recovery/1 minute medium/1 minute hardx5
5 minute Cool Down

Example Interval Training Program #2

5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
5 Minute Medium Pace
1 Minute Hard/1 Minute Recovery x5
3 Minute Recovery Pace
1 Minute Hard/1 Minute Recovery x5
5 Minute Medium Pace
5 Minute Cool Down

Example Interval Training Program #3

5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
5 Minute Medium Pace
1 Minute Hard/2 Minutes Recovery/3 Minutes Medium x4
or 1 Song on your IPOD combining Hard/Recovery/1 Song Medium x4
5 Minute Easy Pace
5 Minute Cooldown

**If Running outside or around track, you may have to approximate time or bring a stop watch. On outside runs, you can also use place markers for the intervals such as stop signs, lamp posts or etc. With a track, time your lap to go off of distance for your intervals instead of time.

Print Friendly

Why the Placebo Effect May Help With Weight Loss

January 6, 2012 By: office 1 Comment

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, there seems to be some legitimacy for placebos and how our minds react to them.  When you think about a “placebo effect”, you assume a sugar pill works because people believe they are consuming the real thing.  We are now finding that placebos work on the mind as well.  If you believe something to be true, the brain will react accordingly.

One of the things individuals struggle with while trying to lose weight is consuming diet food and feeling full.   Ghrelin, a gut peptide, which is involved in the feeling of being satisfied and being full after eating, is directly effected by not only how many calories are being consumed, but how many calories the individual thinks are being consumed.  Ghrelin levels rise when the body needs food and falls as calories are being consumed, telling the brain that the body is no longer hungry.

One study surrounding food consumption and eating habits had two groups of people consuming a milkshake.  One group was told the milkshake was 620 calories and was “indulgent”, the other group was told the milkshake was 120 calories and “sensible.”  The Ghrelin levels fell faster in the first group and they became full and satisfied quicker than the group who thought they were only consuming 120 calories.  These results may explain why while eating diet foods, you feel unsatisfied.  Your mind is telling your body you are not getting enough calories.

In a different study around weight loss, hotel room attendants were told they were getting a good workout at their jobs, and over the course of four weeks, they showed a significant drop in blood pressure, and decrease in weight and body fat.  Other employees who did the same work, but weren’t told about the benefits of their job showed no change in weight.  Neither group of these employees changed their diet or physical activity. Again, the mind-set telling the body how to react.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we not only provide you with the latest fitness classes , nutrition education classes and serve fantastic food ,  we also address how much impact your mind-set has to do with your success in your weight loss journey through our Behavior Change Coaching groups.  Come join us for this summer to help kick start your life with a new healthy lifestyle program.

 

Print Friendly

Weight Loss Tips: Making Chinese Food Healthy

July 25, 2011 By: office 11 Comments
Chinese Food

It can be easy to turn Chinese food into a healthy meal by making good choices.

You would think that someone could make Chinese food healthful, considering the tons of vegetables, host of seafood options, and great potential to keep saturated and trans fats down. Almost all of the preparation uses vegetable oil. Brown rice is almost always an option, and usually a section of the menu focuses on steamed dishes, prepared with no added fat or sodium. Still, navigating a Chinese food menu is confusing, as many entrees contain much more than 1000 calories—at least half a day’s worth of calories for the average person. Sodium is usually high in Chinese foods because of all the sauces, and portions are often twice as big as necessary. If you’re looking to lose weight by following a healthy lifestyle diet, try the tips below to make your meal that much more healthy.

Helpful tips for ordering

Try these helpful tips when ordering:

▪ Have tea! It will slow down your meal, and you will feel fuller sooner. Also, tea will replace caloric beverages you may otherwise consume.

▪ Order a lunch-sized portion, if available. Some restaurants will let you order a lunch-sized portion any time of day; lunch portions are smaller than the dinner size and will help prevent overeating.

▪ Choose soup to start your meal, unless you struggle with hypertension or sodium-sensitive medical issues. Egg drop soup, hot and sour soup and wonton soup average 100 calories per cup. They are better choices than most appetizers, which may have more calories and fat than your entrée.

▪ Choose one spring roll or two steamed dumplings as alternatives to soup, if you have a friend to share the order with (most spring rolls will come two to an order and most dumplings have five or six per order). They average 100-150 calories and are lower in sodium than the soups.

▪ Order a vegetarian entrée that is stir-fried or steamed. Choose a vegetable-based dish that does not absorb oil readily (think snow peas vs spinach). Portion some of the dish onto your plate of rice, so that your food does not continue to sponge up the added sauce that accumulates in the bottom of the serving dish.

▪ Choose something from the steamed menu if you are ordering from the vegetarian menu. Ask for the sauce on the side to “dip”; keep your dipping down to a tablespoon and you’ll have made a better choice.

▪ Pick a chicken, shrimp, or vegetable dish vs noodle and rice dishes, which tend to be skimpy on the vegetables and heavy on the fat and sodium. It is best to stay away from the combination choices.

▪ Select a dish without the added sauce. In the calorie department, soy sauce, duck sauce, and mustard sauce won’t put you over the edge. However the added sodium is something you can live without; the food is most likely salty enough.

▪ Include a serving of rice (1 cup brown or white), which has approximately 200 calories and no fat. Rice is going to help fill you up, and make your meal more satisfying and balanced.

▪ Split your entrée or take half home for another time.

▪ Ask for low-sodium sauces. Request that the kitchen substitutes broth or water for the oil normally used to prepare your meal.

▪ Ask if nutrition information is available. Because Chinese food restaurants can vary greatly in preparations and methods, it is difficult to determine the nutrition content of what you are eating.

At Shane Diet Resorts, we promote adult weight loss through nutrition and physical activity. For more information about healthy eating, visit http://www.shanedietresorts.com/program/nutrition/.

Print Friendly

Price Match Guarantee

Check out details for Shane's Price Match Guarantee for our New York & Texas Resorts.

Weight Loss Camp For Kids

Weight Loss Camp For Kids

Testimonials

Thank you for creating a program that changed my life...

For the past five years I...

Nate (New Jersey) 25

See Young Adult Testimonials

Healthy food is good!

I loved the classes, the friends I made and the awesome trainers!...

Kelly (Missouri) 50

See Adult Testimonials