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.

 

Portion Size

June 21, 2012 By: office 1 Comment

Everywhere we go there is food. Our environment has a tremendous effect on when we eat and what we choose to eat. It is crucial to become aware of your own triggers to eating, other than true hunger, and exploring methods in which to manage them to achieve healthy patterns.

It is equally important to become aware of and control the portion size of meals and snacks. It is helpful to learn what serving sizes are and to select appropriate portion sizes. Eating mindfully incorporates measuring foods (using measuring cups, spoons and a food scale) which trains the eye to learn what healthy serving sizes look like. Most people greatly underestimate the volume of food that they consume. As a matter of fact, reports show that people often eat almost twice as many calories as they think they do.

It is a critical component of weight loss to eat smaller portions of food. Restaurants often serve 2-5 times the recommended portion size and Americans have grown accustomed to what this volume looks like. This “super-sized” portion has become the new norm. By decreasing the size of meals consumed, the stomach will shrink and adapt over time. This smaller amount of food will lead to satiety.

Remember it is one meal at a time. You can do it!

Simple Swaps for Baked Goods

June 21, 2012 By: office 2 Comments

Most baked goods are often high in fat and sugar. Muffins, often assumed as a healthier choice, can even sometimes be a “cupcake” in disguise. You may think it’s impossible to create a lower calorie, healthier baked good that is just as tasty as the original.

Try these simple swaps the next time you’re baking.

Ingredient Healthy Substitution
Whole milk (1 cup) 1 cup fat-free or nonfat milk plus one tablespoon of unsaturated oil like canola oil
Heavy cream (1 cup) 1 cup evaporated skim milk 

or

1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat cottage cheese (pureed)

Evaporated whole milk Evaporated skim milk
Sweetened condensed whole milk Evaporated skim milk
Cream cheese, full fat Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel 

or

low-fat cottage cheese, pureed until smooth

Sour Cream Plain Greek yogurt
Butter (1 tbsp) Vegetable oil
Oil Natural Fruit Purees (no sugar added) 

Examples: Applesauce, Pumpkin Puree, Mashed banana, etc.

Shortening (1 cup) Earth Balance or Smart Balance
1 Egg 2 Egg whites 

or

“flax eggs” = 1 tbsp ground flax seed whisked with 3 tbsp warm water until the consistency of eggs

or

1/4 cup egg substitute

 

Chocolate Chips (1 cup) 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 

or

Carob chips – similar to chocolate chips, produced from a carob plant, with a slightly bitter and nutty undertone, works best with baking when the chips are incorporated in the baked product.

Sugar Reduce sugar by half and intensify sweetness by adding vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. 

or

Honey, Agave nectar

Syrup Pureed Fresh fruit
Fruit canned in heavy syrup Fruit canned in its own juices, or fresh fruit
Flour, all purpose Whole-wheat flour for half what the recipe calls for along with the all-purpose flour 

 

*Note: Whole-wheat flour is less dense and works well in softer products like cakes and muffins

Chopped nuts, 1 cup 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts 

* By toasting them brings out their flavor and only need half.

Sweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup toasted coconut + 1/2 tsp coconut extract
Traditional Pie Crust Graham Cracker crust

 

The World of Whole Grain Breads

January 18, 2012 By: consultant 28 Comments

Everybody knows what professionals are saying: eat whole grains, don’t eat refined carbohydrates, and stay away from white bread-that seems to be the generic, go-to saying now-a-days.  But what does that mean when you walk into the bakery section of your grocery store?  There are so many different options; it gets confusing out there in the world of grains and breads! So here are a few tips on how to make sure you are choosing the healthiest possible (and usually the most delicious) breads and grains.

First things first- when you walk into the bakery isle, what do you see? White bread, multigrain bread, 9 grain bread, 12 grain bread, whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, wheat bread, oats and honey bread, and cinnamon raisin bread – the list goes on and on.  For some reason, there is an incredible variety of “healthy” breads out there, but are they really healthy?

We’ve all heard that white bread is refined and not the best choice for us, but why?  Well, white bread is definitely more processed than whole grain breads.  During manufacturing, they literally remove the “whole grain”.  They take out all the deliciously nutritious stuff like fiber and B vitamins and leave nothing but sugar and empty calories.  Now, I am not bashing white bread, I am simply stating a fact: it provides no nutritional value to its consumers.  But what is the difference between white bread and whole grain bread?  The difference is there is much less to process in whole grain breads because they use the entire grain, they don’t selfishly remove anything from it which keeps it  full of the fiber and vitamins that our bodies crave, making it a much healthier choice.

Now the next problem is how do you know what you are buying is in fact whole grain bread?  It’s simple-you can start by looking at the package and reading how it is advertised.  The problem is that manufacturers very often advertise in a way that may make us believe something is healthy when it is truly not. In order to outsmart them, read the ingredient list. They must, by law, include all of their ingredients in this list.  Looking for the word “whole” – not grain, not multigrain, not wheat – whole!  The word whole will tell you everything you need to know.  If it says “whole” you know, for sure that it is a whole grain product.

Next- you want to make sure it is 100% whole grain/wheat.  This is usually labeled on the front of the product because when manufacturers are actually producing a product that is healthy, they want their consumers to know it.  So if it says “100% whole wheat” you have made a great choice.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our nutrition education classes are designed as an open forum to help you take the guess work out of making healthy choices at the supermarket.  It used to be you walk into the store, you choose your produce, you choose your meats, and you choose whole wheat or white bread.  Today is harder but it is more important than ever that we eat good, healthy food. So take an extra 10 seconds to read the food labels and be good to your bodies.  When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.

 

Weight Loss Tips: 9 Strategies for Dealing with Nighttime Cravings

May 4, 2011 By: afeldman 6 Comments

When starting a healthy eating plan to lose weight, the morning is the easiest time to stay dedicated.  As the day progresses, various factors start to weigh in and ditching the diet becomes more likely.  Food cravings and binge eating occur most commonly between the time after work and before bed.  All it takes is one midnight feeding of junk food to ruin your progress from your morning workout.  Here are some of my favorite strategies to deal with these cravings and prevent them from getting the best of you.

Nighttime Hunger

Try out our tips to control your midnight snack cravings.

1. Occupy yourself – There is a reason that most weight loss diets fail at night.  That is when the majority of Americans get off of work and head home.  Once at home, there is not much to do outside of the television.  The commercial breaks are timed perfectly for you to grab food from the kitchen to munch on.  Hunger is not always the primary cause of eating in these situations.  Nighttime feedings can come from our boredom, which kicks in leaving food as a good distraction.  To fix this, find a hobby to engage in at home or don’t head home right after work to an empty house.  Hanging out with friends, going out for a walk, studying in the school library or playing with the dogs are good ways to take your mind off of the kitchen.

2. Store food out of sight – If food is constantly visible, it will also be on your mind.  If you’re not hungry and food is sitting there waiting for you, it becomes hard to resist picking it up.  Put all food away in cabinets so you do not have to constantly be reminded that it is there.  As they say, out of sight and out of mind.

3. Replace junk foods with low calorie foods - As a competitive bodybuilder, being on a strict diet is something that I have to do during various times of the year.  One of my strategies for dealing with times of hunger is replacing bad foods with low calorie foods.  Spinach is the perfect example.  If you have to eat something, at least make it healthy.  A whole bag of potato chips can have up to 1500 calories!  A whole bag of spinach usually doesn’t have more than 100.  Other low calorie foods to keep in mind include low calorie Jell-o or puffed rice.

4. Brush your teeth – People usually laugh when I mention this one.  Think about this: Have you ever tried to eat right after brushing your teeth?  The food doesn’t taste very good, does it?  If you feel cravings coming on, brush your teeth early.  Keep a toothbrush in the kitchen if you have to.

5. Hang up Posters – This can be a copy of your latest workout, a picture of a trainer/workout partner, a magazine cover or even an old picture of you.  The trick is to hang them up in all the places you would go to get food at night.  When seeing motivational cues, you are less likely to go crazy in the kitchen.

6. Calculate the Activity – Make it a rule to calculate the activity involved with nighttime food.  Figure a mile for every 70 calories or 7-10 minutes of hard exercise.  If you’re thinking of going through a couple cookies, it could take you 100 minutes to burn them off!  Calculations like this can take away some of the appeal of those feedings and remember, if you eat one cookie late at night, you’re more than likely to eat 2 followed by 3 and 4.

7. Ice and water – Trick your stomach by giving it something that is calorie free: water and ice.  I am notorious for sucking on ice.  It is a habit I picked up when I used to lifeguard.   By filling up on water or sucking on ice, you can trick your stomach into thinking it is full.

8. Re-evaluate the Meal Schedule – If you find yourself constantly hungry at night, look at the times that you are eating.  If your last meal or snack is 6 hours before bedtime, then some changes should be made.  The standard recommendation of 3 small meals and 2-3 small snacks in a day works perfectly. They just need to be spread out correctly for your personal healthy lifestyle.  It is good to eat every 3-4 hours (9:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm, 6:00pm and 9:00pm is one example).  By keeping blood sugar levels at a consistent level, cravings can be minimized.  This is done by spacing out meals and snacks equally.

9. Find a Support Group - There are support groups that meet for all kinds of addictions including overeating, under eating, alcoholism, etc.  If food cravings or binge eating has become a serious issue for you, a support group could help you greatly.  Look for ones that meet in your community; they are not hard to find. Or, consider joining a fitness retreat for adults, like Shane Diet Resorts, where we follow a philosophy of healthy eating and exercise for weight loss. We will help you to control your cravings and realize that you do not need to overeat to feel full!

Do you have any unique strategies for dealing with food cravings or a plan that you use to keep food portions at a reasonable size?  We would love to hear them!

Weight Loss, Fitness, and Binge Eating Q&A Session

April 13, 2011 By: afeldman 33 Comments

These come from a collection of fitness and weight loss-related questions that have been submitted to me through email.  Submit your questions to us through email or leave them as a comment and you may find them in the next article!

Q: I recently joined a gym as part of my New Year’s resolution.  How long until I can see results?

A: There is a three part process when it comes to the overall improvement that a fitness program brings.  The first thing that takes place is that during and outside of workouts, you will start to feel better or fit.  This means making it through your workout more easily (leading to you increasing the resistance of various exercises) and not getting out of breath as easily.  You will start to notice this after the first week of a continuous program.

As you progress through your routine from week to week, others will start to notice a change in your appearance.  It can be your face becoming slimmer or your friend noticing that your arms and neck look leaner.  This can take place between 3-6 weeks after the start of a regular exercise program with healthy eating.  Lastly, you will start to notice a difference in your physical appearance.  This is the one that takes the longest.  In weight loss programs, after 5-7 weeks, you’ll notice your clothes fitting loosely.  For general fitness training, you may start to see some new lines that signify muscle development.  One day, you will look in the mirror and it will hit you that you look and feel amazing.  For most, this will take 6-12 weeks.

Q: What is the best stomach workout for weight loss?

Ab Workout

There are a great variety of exercises to tighten those abdominal muscles and lose weight.

A: An abdominal workout does not necessarily equate to weight loss.  You can do 1,000 sit-ups a day and never lose a pound.  The best routine for weight loss in general, however, is to combine resistance training with a healthy diet and cardio training.  Abdominal work should be included, as well as the lower back and oblique areas since the core area is responsible for maintaining a healthy spine and helps keep you free of injuries.  To strengthen the abs, equipment is not needed; you can do ground exercises like crunches, leg raises, and sit-ups.  For more advanced exercisers, take advantage of the plank, bicycle crunches and hanging leg raises.  A goal of abdominal training should be to start with basic exercises like crunches and gradually incorporate more advanced exercises like a plank and v-ups.  All of these exercises can be made harder by adding resistance.

Q: Will one day of binge eating hurt me?

A: I call them cheat days.  One cheat day will not hurt, but there is a difference between having a cheat day and binge eating.  In a cheat day, you will pick one or two meals and indulge a little bit or have a few drinks.  If you jump right back into the routine the next day, this should not be a problem.  However, when people start binge eating, they just throw anything into their mouth and that becomes an issue as the calories will continuously add up.  If one day becomes two days and then three days, then we are running into some problems as you can add 2-3 pounds onto the scale if you’re consuming enough calories.  After enough days of binge eating or getting away from the exercise, your progress will quickly become undone.

Q: I’m a woman and don’t want to get bulky from working out. How can I incorporate weights into my routine?

Woman Working Out

A woman won't have to worry about becoming "bulky" with proper exercise technique.

A: Your fear of getting “bulky” just happens to be the number one concern of female gym goers across the country.  Fortunately though, it is also a misconception.  The muscular appearance that comes from training is impacted by three variables: 1.High volume resistance training; 2.The proper calorie intake; and 3.The right genetic make-up.  When these three variables are put together, you have the perfect formula for muscle building.

Addressing the high volume resistance training, this is a training program that specifically focuses on getting bigger and stronger, for lack of better terms.  When it comes to proper calorie intake, a calorie surplus is needed every week in addition to high volume training to continuously build muscle.  If you are eating a normal healthy diet that keeps you in your recommended calorie range for weight loss or general fitness, then this will not be a concern.

Lastly, and the most important, is genetic make-up.  Men and women do not have the same levels of hormones; there is a big difference when it comes to testosterone, estrogen and growth hormone levels.  In exercise, this means that the woman’s body will not respond to an exercise program in the same way that a male body does.  So, even if you decide to do an abundance of weight training and eat an abundance of calories, your body will still have a hard time getting “bulky.”

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