Health & Wellness at the La Cantera Hill Country Resort

April 29, 2014 By: office Comments Off

Original Article Courtesy: La Agencia De Viajes Magazine.
Translation: Miranda Southwell

San Antonio is, for many, the shopping mecca of the United States. But, beyond the shopping, the locale offers an ideal space for travelers looking to change their eating habits for the better. Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is located in the La Cantera Hill Country Resort hotel and offers physical fitness and weight loss programs for adults. The Executives: Ziporah Janowski, co-founder and president; Debbie Davis, program director and fitness coach; and Jackie Poplanski, program developer and behavior coach, are the ones responsible for personally tending to guests of the resort and offering them access to nutrition programs, physical fitness and dietary counseling so that, day by day, they learn to incorporate healthier choices into their lifestyle.

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Eating proper portions of well-balanced meals, learning how to change unhealthy dietary habits, developing a regular exercise plan and being able to do it all in a setting that truly encourages and inspires its guests are the four fundamental cornerstones that the program offers potential visitors.

Regarding the variety of different people that attend the program, Janowski commented that there were distinct plans to accommodate every circumstance, such as their Corporate Weight Loss and Bridal Packages. “The Corporate Package is designed for business executives and human resource professionals who need to deal with their own weight issues and physical fitness needs with a personalized plan of 3, 7 or 21 days,” she told us.

It’s important to note that Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is in operation throughout the year with programs that vary in length, starting with the shortest 3-day program. Rates include luxury accommodations, meals, group classes, workshops and activities as well as individual sessions with nutrition and fitness professionals.

 

13 Things I Learned At Weight Loss Camp

April 15, 2014 By: office Comments Off

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Weight Loss Camps Discuss the Diet Report Card

September 27, 2013 By: office 10 Comments

SAMSUNGIn the last few years, we have all heard about Choose My Plate, Let’s Move and the Healthy Food Financing initiative, just a few of the things that we are promoting as a country to promote a healthy diet and to lower the number of overweight and obese Americans. But have any of these initiatives worked?

According to an article in the New York Times, Dietary Report Card Disappoints, we may not have had as much improvement as we have hoped for. A Washington-based advocacy group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has updated our “report card” on diet.

They have collected data from 1970-2010 on the changing patterns of food consumption and the results, although not all bad, are not as good as expected. Although we still consume a significant amount of added sugars (sugar and high-fructose corn syrup), it has been reduced from what the group called the “sugar high” of 1999 of 89 pounds per person to 78 pounds per person in 2010.

Since 1970, Americans eats 20 pounds more fat yearly, which has more than doubled the number of obese adults. There are a number of reasons why this number is still so high, as a whole, we are eating more fat, and grain products, and cheeses high in dairy fat and not eating enough chicken or fish. Americans are also eating approximately 500 more calories a day than in 1970 because we no longer know what a normal portion size is.

We still have a long way to go to get where we need to be as a country in terms of eating healthy and losing weight and we all have a part to play. Today for lunch instead of ordering a sandwich and a soda order a salad and water and snack on cut up veggies instead of chips or candy.

We know that changing our behavior towards food can be difficult and at our weight loss camps we teach you how to eat right and get fit. If you need some help getting that jump start you need and to get some tips on how to get started, take a look at attending one of our camps.

Weight Loss & Weight Gain: How Big of a Role do Genetics Play?

July 9, 2013 By: consultant 2 Comments

imagesHave you ever experienced successful weight loss just to eventually gain some, most, or all of it back? Even if this scenario has not happened to you personally, you probably know someone who has gone through it. It can be extremely frustrating to devote so much time and energy to shedding the pounds, just to have it creep back on. So is there a science to losing the weight and keeping it off? According to research highlighted in a New York Times article that just may be the case.

In this article, author Tara Parker-Pope is able to relate to anyone who has been motivated to lose weight, just to have it return later on. Even while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, she has been unable to keep the weight she’s lost off. She mentions that it could very well be due to genetics, because many of her immediate family members have also struggled with weight loss and keeping it off. But it is still up in the air as to how much of a role genetics play versus the environment.

So is weight gain (and weight loss) pre-determined by your body and brain’s genetic makeup? Or does it come down to the environment you are surrounded by? Recent research, as discussed in this article, says that it could go either way.

The National Weight Control Registry tracked 10,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off. Rena Wing, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, helped create this registry with James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado in Denver.

Wing says physiological changes probably do occur that make permanent weight loss difficult, but she says the larger problem is environmental. She says people struggle to keep weight off because they are constantly surrounded by food, food messages, and opportunities to eat. “We’ve taught ourselves over the years that one of the ways to reward yourself is with food,” Wing says. “It’s hard to change the environment and the behavior.”

Although the people in the registry used different methods for weight loss, there does seem to be a common denominator. In order to have lost the weight and maintain the weight loss, a person must eat fewer calories and exercise far more than someone who maintains the same weight naturally.

Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, says that while the 10,000 people tracked in the registry are a useful resource, they also represent a tiny percentage of the tens of millions of people who have tried to lose weight and keep it off unsuccessfully. “You find these people are incredibly vigilant about maintaining their weight,” Brownell says. “Years later they are paying attention to every calorie, spending an hour a day on exercise. They never don’t think about their weight.”

From a different perspective, Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University, believes that weight loss and the ability to keep it off is based on a biological system. For 25 years, Liebel and his colleague Michael Rosenbaum, have meticulously tracked about 130 individuals for a minimum of six months. The participants would stay at the research clinic where every aspect of their body is measured, including body fat, oxygen consumption, carbon-dioxide output, calories burned during digestion, exercise tests to measure maximum heart rate, blood tests to measure hormones and brain chemicals, and muscle biopsies to measure metabolic efficiency.

The Columbia University participants are eventually placed on a liquid diet of approximately 800 calories a day until they have lost 10% of their body weight. Once they reach this goal, they are put through another round of intensive testing as they try to maintain the new weight. The data generated by this research suggests that once a person loses about 10% of their body weight, they are metabolically different than a similar-size person who is naturally the same weight.

The results also found that the changes that occur after weight loss translate to a huge caloric disadvantage. In other words, for someone to maintain their weight loss, they must eat fewer calories than someone who is naturally the same weight. The study also found that people who have lost weight burn fewer calories during physical activity than a person who is naturally the same weight.

The brain also seems to respond differently to food after losing weight, as per data collected from the Columbia University study. “After you’ve lost weight, your brain has a greater emotional response to food,” Rosenbaum says. “You want it more, but the areas of the brain involved in restraint are less active.” Combine that with a body that is now burning fewer calories than expected, he says, “and you’ve created the perfect storm for weight regain.”

It is clear that there will need to be more in-depth studying done of varying degrees to find out what influences weight loss and maintenance. Eventually, this research may change the way people approach weight loss.

Meanwhile, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts sticks to the basics: fewer calories in and the right amount of physical activity to burn those calories. Since 1968, Shane’s participants have found success with gradual and steady weight loss, as opposed to trying to lose the weight as quickly as possible. Experience has shown that it takes time to form a habit and good healthy lifestyle habits can change a person’s life permanently.

Can Mindless Eating Affect Weight Loss?

April 22, 2013 By: Guest 5 Comments

By: Maggie Pinque – A guest blogger for Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts

Slim By DesignIt’s not a huge mystery why so many of us gain weight and have trouble with weight loss. It usually isn’t because we ate too much broccoli. Nah. It could very well have something to do with portion size though, and maybe chocolate. And these are just a few reasons why we search out weight loss camps.

There is an industry newsletter, Nutrition Action, which we subscribe to. Amazingly, it is not dull and it is jam packed with terrific articles. The article that REALLY caught my attention in the April 2013 edition is called, “Fooled by Food” by Brian Wansink. It’s a question and answer article relating to portion size, the types of food we are instinctively drawn to, food on your desk at work or at the dinner table and a myriad of other examples.

Did you know our brains prefer tall to wide. We are unintentionally tricked into thinking that if something is tall, it contains more. So, if I have an eight ounce glass of water in a short, wide glass versus the same exact amount of water in a tall, thin glass, my brain believes I am having more in the tall glass.

When I plate my food, if I use a standard dinner plate versus a salad plate, the same phenomenon happens. In addition, if I put the food on the table, I am more likely to eat more than if I left the food in the kitchen after I served it.

I began a weight loss and fitness journey in January 2012 working with a nutritionist and a fitness trainer. It was most certainly not my first attempt at such an endeavor. As a yoyo dieter I have a few tools in my arsenal, such as the Weight Watchers serving utensils that are a half cup and a full cup serving size and a mandatory food scale. They have made sporadic appearances throughout the years, but now I was all in. I “know” the tricks for guessing portion sizes while out and about. But, I confess; I will give myself an extra teensy bit if I can.

I began to really pay attention to what I was eating, how much of it, and most importantly, why I was eating it. This worked extremely well for months and months. In November, after hurricane Sandy, I found myself off the wagon. Wansick writes about the stress students are under in college and during the holidays.

“We usually assume that people gain weight over the holidays because there is so much food available, so many parties, so many varieties, and all your favorite foods are out. But I’m, increasingly convinced that some of the weight gain is due to the stress of having family visit, having to buy presents, having to finish up projects.
So, we should all be aware that we may be coming under the influence of stress eating, not just having a jolly old holiday time.”

Eureka! An answer to why I was behaving the way I did…which kept up until literally this past Monday. Stress…it makes us crazy in so many ways.

So, how do I make this all stop? Weigh and measure my food. Put cut up veggies in the line of sight in the fridge. Put fruit front and center on counters and the fridge. If I am buying in bulk, portion it out and then put whatever I am not eating out of sight – like in the basement. Use smaller plates. Create ambiance, dimming the lights and listening to soft music actually makes you eat slower and less. “…french fries taste great when they’re hot, but not so great when they’re cold.” You will be satisfied with what you ate because it tasted so much better when it was hot. Low-fat does not mean, “eat more.” Going for a walk after dinner is not an invitation to have an indulgent dessert.

What are we eating? Why are we eating it? Are we really hungry? Being mindful of all of this is probably the single most important hurdle we all have to clear.

For more information you can read Brain Wansink’s book, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life. Seriously though, you can only be mindless if you are being mindful. And if you feel like you need a push in the right direction, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is the right weight loss camp for you. We focus on helping you recognize underlying issues of overeating and how to make changes to help you lose weight and keep the weight off.

Rosie’s Top Tips for After Shane

November 13, 2012 By: office 3 Comments

This is really special guest post for us- Rosie was a guest at the Shane Diet & Fitness New York resort this summer, and has become one of our Success Stories.  She’s been working hard ever since she left to continue to achieve her weight loss goals while attending college and studying to become a fitness trainer- something she never thought possible before this summer.  Rosie shared with us her top ten habits, thoughts and reminders that have helped her continue her weight loss.

  1. Stick to the routine, even if it isn’t strictly the Shane routine, pick times of the day that work for you to eat and exercise and stick to them.
  2. Don’t get hungry, whatever you do avoid going long periods of time without food, it won’t help weight loss and you’ll end up eating something unhealthy.  Also don’t save up all your calories to eat badly, if you’re going to eat badly plan for it but don’t avoid food all day.
  3. Don’t feel guilty, if you want something so badly you can’t think straight… have it, have a small portion, don’t do it all the time, work out a bit more that week but don’t beat yourself up about it. Own your decisions.
  4. Don’t forget where you’re going, or where you came from. If it feels like progress is slow once you get home don’t forget all the progress you’ve already made and don’t let slow progress stop you feeling achievement or set you back. Even slow progress is a step in the right direction and if you can accept it’s not going to happen overnight you’ll do better in the long run.
  5. Fight cravings, recognize that cravings aren’t usually hunger and tackle them, if it’s an appropriate time to eat have a healthy alternative. If not occupy yourself, take up knitting or paint your nails, read a magazine or have a hot drink like green or herbal tea. Do whatever works for you as a distraction.
  6. Reward yourself, every time you have a healthy home cooked meal rather than a take out or don’t buy that chocolate bar on the way home or take a pack lunch to work. Use the money you save to buy yourself a new outfit or a recipe book.
  7. Be goal oriented, without something to aim for its hard to stay on track, whether it’s a weight to lose, a weight to lift or a race to finish achieving goals is a great way to mark progress. And if it doesn’t happen first time round don’t despair, reassess and try again.
  8. Don’t weigh yourself every day, by all means once a week, even make a chart but don’t do it every day you’ll get sucked up in the little numbers and it won’t feel like you’re making progress when you are.
  9. Keep in touch, Shane creates an environment where you live, eat, sleep and work out with the same people, you go through a lot with them, they are your friends, your family and your support network while you’re there. Don’t lose that when you get home, the staff and the programme will be there for you long after you leave but so will everyone else and it’s a great opportunity to make life long friends. Make sure you utilize that.
  10. And most of all, do not, under any circumstances, give up. You might stop losing weight, you might even gain a few pounds, maybe you’re injured, something is going on at home or at school or you just don’t feel like its worth it. But this is your life, you only get one and it’s never too late to make the most of it. Take the opportunity to get healthy, get fit and enjoy your body.

 

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