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.

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.

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.

 

Surprise Dad With A Healthy Fathers Day Meal By Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts

June 10, 2013 By: consultant 2 Comments

Father’s day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate his day than with a healthy take on an all American favorite, a steak! Here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we all know how much we enjoy grilling and especially in the summertime, but it’s important to keep in mind a healthy balanced diet should also be incorporated. Balance the meal by including steamed vegetables that can be prepared in foil on the grill as well, or make a rainbow cherry tomato salad topped with a little balsamic vinegar. Let’s not forget about dessert; think of including something cool and refreshing such as fresh watermelon, fruit salad, or Greek yogurt parfaits. Even on holidays you should be able to include all your fruits and veggies!

This recipe makes four so it’s perfect for a nice family lunch or dinner that the whole family can enjoy and take part in preparing together.  If you use spinach as the leafy green you are sure to get one iron packed meal. And don’t forget that if you have leftovers you can simply slice the steak and prepare a lunch sandwich for the following day or include it with a fresh salad.

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon whipped or regular butter, slightly softened
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, or shallot
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, (1 minced, 1 peeled and halved)
  • 1 pound filet mignon, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed and cut into 4 portions of about 3 oz.
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 cups spinach or other leafy green of Dad’s choice

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Mash butter in a small bowl with the back of a spoon until soft and creamy. Stir in 2 teaspoons oil until combined. Add chives (or shallot), 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and place in the freezer to chill.
  3. Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, rosemary and minced garlic in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of steak. Rub both sides of bread with the halved garlic clove; discard the garlic.
  4. Grill the steak 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Grill the bread until toasted, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  5. To plate: Divide leafy among 4 plates. Place 1 toast on each serving of leafy green and top with steak. Spread the herb butter on top of the steaks and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Nutrition

Per serving: 303 calories; 14 g fat ( 5 g sat , 6 g mono ); 80 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 5 g fiber; 438 mg sodium; 462 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (46% daily value), Selenium (44% dv), Vitamin C (28% dv), Iron (17% dv). Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2 Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

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!

Do Antioxidants Work For Or Against Your Weight Loss Goals?

May 6, 2013 By: office 2,582 Comments

AntioxidantsAntioxidants have been popular in the world of weight loss lately and we have guests at our weight loss camps ask us if antioxidants are as beneficial as everyone is making them out to be. The answer is, it depends. Here are six myths and truths about antioxidants provided by ConsumerReports OnHealth to explain what we mean.

Myth: Antioxidants are all vitamins
Truth: There are thousands of antioxidants and only a limited number of them are vitamins. Antioxidants have the ability to block free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemical fragments that cause damage throughout your body and can cause abnormal cell growth and reproduction.

Myth: All antioxidants are created equal
Truth: According to Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D. and director of the Antioxidant Research Lab at Tufts University says, “Different antioxidants fight different free radicals.” But what’s nice is that all antioxidants work together like a well oiled machine. For instance, vitamin C recycles vitamin E, meaning that when vitamin E blocks a free radical, vitamin C takes the remaining vitamin E and changes it back to its original antioxidant form.

Myth: Be sure to eat pomegranates, berries and other super fruits
Truth: There is no official definition of a ‘super fruit.’ It can mean whatever someone wants it to mean, therefore it does not hold any significance. All fruits and vegetables have a unique blend of healthy components and some of those include antioxidants. By only focusing on ‘super fruits,’ you are missing out on a variety of other beneficial fruits and vegetables.

Myth: You should amp up your intake with supplements
Truth: Don’t focus on supplements when you can get the nutrients you need from food. Clinical trials have shown that consuming nutrients in supplement form does not produce the same results that found when consuming them in foods. Why waste your money on a single supplement that may work when you can buy foods that can provide multiple nutritional benefits?

Myth: If some antioxidants are good, more is better
Truth: We’ve all heard the saying that “there is no such thing as too much of a good thing,” that saying does not apply to nutrients in supplement form. There has been some evidence to indicate that when taken in megadoses (which many supplements come in) it can cause antioxidants to become pre-oxidents which may actually increase the production of free radicals. The opposite result of what antioxidants are intended to perform.

Myth: Packaged food with labels that promise antioxidant benefits will boost your health
Truth: Just because a package advertises antioxidants, does not mean that they carry a health benefit as well. Since antioxidants are desired by consumers, manufacturers will add vitamin C or E and then advertise that their food contains antioxidants. They do this in hopes to drive up the sales and price of their product but in turn do not yield the benefits that consumers expect. Some products may already contain the antioxidant and the manufacturer is not even adding anything to the product.

We are still discovering more about how antioxidants work within our body so the best advice we can give you to promote a healthy diet and help you achieve your weight loss goals is to make sure that you eat a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes every day. Sometimes staying true to eating a balanced diet of whole, natural foods is still the best way to go.

Summer Celebrations: Smart Choices From A Weight Loss Camp

May 1, 2013 By: Guest 18 Comments

By: Kim Lomas

summer-picnic-signupThis summer, you’ll likely be invited to a picnic,  barbeque,  birthday or graduation party. As joyous as these occasions may be, they are always surrounded by tempting treats and not so healthy foods to choose from. Here are some simple tips, from the original weight loss camp, to follow and help you create a balanced and nutritious plate:

  • Avoid macaroni and potato salads that are often loaded with mayonnaise and full fat sour cream. Instead go for leafy greens or a ½ cup of bean salad
  • Skip the meats and proteins smothered in thick sauces that add extra calories and sugar to your meal. Reach for grilled chicken or steak with the fat and skin trimmed instead
  • Fill up on fresh choices like raw veggies and spice up sandwiches with low calorie toppings such as pickles, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion and peppers
  • Brownies and cookies are full of butter and sugar. Grab some fruit salad with a spoon full of yogurt dip to curb your sweet tooth craving
  • Don’t completely deprive yourself. Party foods are delicious and having a taste won’t spoil your day. If grandma’s homemade macaroni is your favorite, just take a small fork full or two. This way you can enjoy the taste without having a full serving and move on to the rest of your healthy plate
  • Bring your own specialty! Whether it be a dip, dessert or a main dish, bringing your own creation allows you to control what ingredients go into the dish and you’ll feel good about what you’re eating without anyone having to know your being health conscience
  • Keep busy. Don’t linger around the serving table and be tempted to pick at the foods sitting out. Make sure you catch up with all your loved ones, play with the kids or ask some guests to go for a walk and enjoy the summer weather

Follow these seven simple steps you’ll have more to celebrate this summer.


Here’s an original recipe from the original weight loss camps and resorts that’s great as a dip with baked tortilla chips, a topping for your fish or just as a side dish:

Black bean and corn salsa

1 15oz can of black beans
1 15oz can of corn
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 Medium red onion
1/4 c fresh cilantro chopped
1/4 c lime juice
1 tbsp chopped garlic
Salt to taste

Drain and combine the black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Finely chop the red onion and cilantro and add to mixture. Then add the garlic, salt, and lime juice. Mix thoroughly and let sit in the fridge for an hour for flavors to marinate. Serve and enjoy!

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.

Is The Mediterranean Diet A Weight Loss Diet?

March 14, 2013 By: office 22 Comments

Mediterranean Diet PyramidWe’ve all heard of and maybe have tried the fad diets like SlimFast, South Beach and Atkins to lose weight. But they all seem to have some major nutritional holes in them that aren’t good for you in the long run. Recently, here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we have received a lot of questions about whether or not the Mediterranean diet is good for weight loss and the answer is, no. But, the Mediterranean diet is good for heart health.

According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet focuses on getting plenty of exercise; eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts; replacing butter with healthy fats like olive and canola oil; using herbs and spices to flavor foods rather than salt; limiting red meat consumption to a few times a month; eating fish and poultry a minimum of two times a week; and drinking red wine, in moderation of course. They found that following this way of eating wasn’t necessarily correlated to weight loss but helped lower heart disease and other heart related problems.

How to get started:

  • Eat your fruits and veggies and switch to whole grains: Your meals should consist of a variety of plant based foods that are minimally processed and bought in season. The goal is nine to ten servings of fruits and veggies a day. Start eating whole grain bread, cereal, rice and pasta products.
  • Get nutty: Almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts are great to have on hand for quick snacks, plus they are filling. Instead of buying peanut butter that has hydrogenated fat, buy a natural peanut butter.
  • Leave butter behind: Use olive and canola oils for cooking instead of butter or margarine.
  • Spice up your life: Instead of using salt to season your food, use herbs and spices. Not only will they help make your food taste good, they contain health enhancing substances.
  • Go fishing: Eat fresh fish a couple times a week. Stay away from fried fish, unless it has been sautéed in canola oil.
  • Replace red meat: Switch red meat for fish or poultry. When you do have red meat make sure the portions are small and that they are lean cuts. Avoid high fat meats like sausage and bacon.
  • Focus on low-fat dairy: Consume more skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low fat cheese.
  • Raise your glass: Having a glass of red wine at dinner has been shown to help lower heart disease. As long as it’s okay with your doctor, it’s okay with the Mediterranean diet.

Approximately 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and fatalities from heart disease could have been prevented in high risk patents if the individuals had changed their diet to follow more closely with the Mediterranean diet.

The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a clinical trial to see its effects on various heart risks. They ended the study early, due to the startling results. They found that the Mediterranean diet did indeed improve the heart health of the individuals participating and that it was not necessary to continue the trial.

The important thing to remember when changing your eating habits, whether if it’s to improve heart health, lose weight or both, make sure you are getting the nutrients you need. Do some research and find some recipes before you start and you’ll have all the tools you need to be on your way to a healthier heart and life.

4 tips to lose the last 10 pounds

February 19, 2013 By: consultant 9 Comments

P1010360Why is it so hard to lose the last 10 pounds?” Weight loss is tricky in that multiple factors play into how much weight is lost, how quickly it comes off and for how long the weight loss is maintained. To successfully lose a sizable amount of weight, a person needs to be committed to significant long-term lifestyle changes. With a lot of effort you can achieve a new steady-state, but it requires a great deal of persistence and effective nutrition and physical activity strategies.

A few tips:

  1. Change up your endurance routine. The goal is to burn more calories. You can do this without increasing the amount of time spent on cardio by upping your intensity. Otherwise, you’re going to have to increase the amount of time committed to cardio whether that’s adding 15 or 20 minutes to your current routine or increasing the number of days per week.
  2. Strength train at least twice per week. When you lose a lot of weight, about a quarter of weight loss comes from muscle if you don’t include a strength-training component to your workout routine. This helps explain why those last few pounds are so hard to lose. Your metabolism has slowed down; therefore, you’re burning fewer calories at rest. The metabolic rate is directly linked to the amount of muscle you have. For every pound of lean muscle mass, you burn about six calories per day. While that doesn’t sound like much, if you lost 20 pounds of fat and kept all of your muscle mass, the five pounds of muscle mass you kept (versus what you might lose without a resistance training program) would help you lose about three extra pounds. Maintain muscle mass while continuing to lose weight by committing to your resistance training routine.
  3. Eat a little less. To have successfully lost weight in the first place you have to have made some significant dietary changes. If you want to continue to lose weight, you’ll need to make further cuts. Assess your approximate daily caloric intake and then come up with strategies to cut an additional 250 calories per day (provided that will still keep you at a healthy calorie level and not at risk for nutrient deficiencies). If you eat 250 calories less per day and do not make any changes to your exercise regimen, you’ll lose those last 10 pounds over the course of the next five months.
  4. If you exercise more, it will come off faster. Anyone can finish a 5K or a 10K but not everyone can finish a marathon. It takes a high level of commitment and ongoing diligence to successfully train for and compete in such a long race.

Weight loss application: Somewhere around 40% of women and 30% of men are trying to lose weight at any given time. Some are successful initially but most are unable to lose and keep off the weight.

Losing weight is tough. Keeping it off requires a constant effort. To achieve and maintain your weight loss goals you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. Slowly and steadily progress to your goal with each of the small decisions you make every day take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for the fresh apple instead of the apple pie. After all, being the first one done isn’t the goal, it’s just about having the strength, endurance, and mental toughness to successfully cross that finish line. And if you’re looking to lose your last 10 or first 10 Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is here to help.  With help from our expert Nutritionist, Fitness instructors and Behavior Change coaches, we give you all the tools you need to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off for good.

 

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Weight Loss Camp For Kids

Weight Loss Camp For Kids

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Testimonials

Shane Diet is not just a weight loss or fitness program, it is a lifestyle...

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I really can't tell you what an incredible experience my week at SDR was.

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Staff in Action

Staff in Action