Weight Loss Surgery: Giant Leap or Stepping Stone?

April 29, 2014 By: office Comments Off

So you’ve gotten a weight-loss surgery, what next? A lot of people who undergo lapband surgery, gastric bypass or liposuction seem to believe it’s a free pass to continue eating the way they were accustomed to. The SAME way that led them to the point where they needed weight loss surgical intervention in the first place!

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We at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts know that weight loss is a matter of behavior modification. It starts with you! Changing your mind is the only real way to create lasting change within the body and when your insides are feeling strong, your outsides are sure to reflect that.

There simply is no substitute for adequate exercise and a balanced diet that suits your body’s own unique needs in a way that’s both satisfying and conducive to good health. By all means, utilize surgery as a first step, but take it for what it is…a stepping stone to a place you couldn’t get before and a start to the new lifestyles you need to cultivate a future brimming with the best you have to give.

What Exercise Fits You Best?

April 22, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By: Debbie Davis

“What exercise fits you best?” is a pretty straight forward question with an even more straight forward answer. It’s simply the kind of exercises that you like and are more likely to do! The bigger issue here is that our preferred exercise is usually not enough. Our guests at Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts tell us all the time, “I love Zumba but I hate cardio, weights etc.” Rarely do they incorporate strength training, stretching and cardio into what would be a more balanced, effective workout regime.

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The exercise that fits you best is clearly the exercise you will do. If you enjoy it, you’re more inclined to do it with more consistency. But the key point to remember is to make sure you are including a balance of all exercises. You may never love stretching but it is imperative for overall performance that you stretch your muscles. You may never run a 10K, but cardio training is critical for your overall heart and lung health. Many won’t be entering Strong Man competitions, but strength training is critical for bone and muscle preservation, which additionally benefits your quality of life as you age.

So, by all means begin with the exercise you most enjoy doing, take that exercise and excel, practice, train and challenge yourself. Then take the forms of the exercise that are not your favorite and implement them into your routine in an effective way. If cardio is your thing and you perform cardio 5 days a week, consider taking that to 4 days a week and adding 2 days of strength training (one of which can be included on a cardio day). Another idea is possibly taking two days a week to perform a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout which has a cardio component as well as a strength training component. Stretching for better range of motion and flexibility should be included in your daily workout routine. As a personal trainer for over 15 years, I understand loving some forms of exercise and hating others. I would like to challenge you, though, to continue to excel at what you enjoy but to also consider taking your challenge one step further and adding what you’re not so comfortable with for better overall physical health. Your body will thank you!

Below is a link to a fun quiz that reveals your exercise personality type, it takes 1 minute. See how accurate it is for yourself and then post it on our Facebook page. Happy Fitness!

http://exercise.about.com/library/blfitnesspersonalityquiz.htm

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.

 

Winter Fitness Tips: Cardio Exercise in Cold Weather

October 8, 2012 By: afeldman 81 Comments

So you have committed yourself to a fitness program to continue your weight loss and have been following it steadily for the past couple of months. You have discovered a passion for running and want to keep your fitness levels up during the cold winter months that are now upon us. It is important to know how cold weather will affect our bodies from an exercise standpoint and also, how to stay safe while exercising outside in the winter. Below are some tips and suggestions that will allow you to stay outside for your morning runs and walks.

 

Our bodies in the cold

In an ideal exercise environment, our bodies heat up from physical activity and sweat will cool us off. Cold weather is different. We are more susceptible to suffering cold related injuries than we are to the overheating dangers in other climates. Since the air we are inhaling is much colder than the temperature of our bodies, it can also become very hard to breathe. With cold air, our body goes through a process to warm all oxygen to an acceptable temperature before it can be used by our muscles and organs. Also, the body will limit blood flow to the fingers and toes in order to keep the muscles and organs warm. If precautions are not taken, heat is lost very rapidly, especially from the head.

Dress appropriately (30-40% heat loss from head)

Since we are exercising in the cold, we need to dress appropriately. Important areas to cover from the cold are the hands, feet, ears, head and neck. Also protect your eyes and face if it is really cold outside. Wear socks that will keep you warm or even double up on pairs. Any layers of clothing that you wear should not be movement restricting, like a large winter coat or big fluffy pants. Layer up if you need to but make sure that you are wearing exercise friendly clothing. Shop for clothes with listed features listed like “breathable” or “dry-fit”. Make sure to dress warm, but remember that your body is still creating heat by exercising. If you overdress, or fail to wear breathable clothing during intense exercise, then you are at risk for overheating, even in the cold.

Warm-up first

Before going outside to run or jog, it is best to warm up inside. This means doing some light calisthenics (jumping jacks, walking/jogging in place or going up and down stairs) for 5-10 minutes to turn on your body’s natural heating system. If you are already warmed up when going outside, then it is a much easier transition to exercise in the cold.

Exercising in the snow or on ice

Be very careful in the winter extremes of snowiness and ice. Try to find a trail or a spot that has been plowed and salted. If you choose to walk/jog in snow, then go through special efforts to protect the legs and feet. This may mean wearing special boots to prevent frostbite. Also, look out for black ice as this will easy blend in with the sidewalks and roads and then sneak up on you. The last thing that anyone wants is an injury.

If it is too much, then stay inside

If the snow, ice and cold temperatures become too overwhelming, then stay inside. There are endless pieces of cardio equipment in the gym for days that you can’t go outside. You can even get creative and do some things in your house. Maybe try some interval training on the treadmill to keep it interesting.

Final precautions to take

Drink plenty of water. Many people make the mistake of not drinking enough fluids while working out in the winter. Your body needs to stay hydrated just like any other scenario. Also, you may need to use lip balm and/or lotions on any skin exposed to the wind in order to prevent skin irritations from the cold and dry air. It is possible to continue an exercise routine outdoors in the winter as long as the proper precautions are taken.

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.

IngredientHealthy 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 milkEvaporated skim milk
Sweetened condensed whole milkEvaporated skim milk
Cream cheese, full fatFat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel 

or

low-fat cottage cheese, pureed until smooth

Sour CreamPlain Greek yogurt
Butter (1 tbsp)Vegetable oil
OilNatural Fruit Purees (no sugar added) 

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

Shortening (1 cup)Earth Balance or Smart Balance
1 Egg2 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.

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

or

Honey, Agave nectar

SyrupPureed Fresh fruit
Fruit canned in heavy syrupFruit canned in its own juices, or fresh fruit
Flour, all purposeWhole-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 cup1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts 

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

Sweetened shredded coconut1/2 cup toasted coconut + 1/2 tsp coconut extract
Traditional Pie CrustGraham Cracker crust

 

Weight Loss Tips: How Can I Lose the Most Weight in the Shortest Time?

March 21, 2011 By: office 21 Comments

“I want to lose weight now.”

Whether you say it or secretly wish it, this is the most popular desire of today’s gym goers. We spend millions of dollars at gyms every year just to achieve this goal of weight loss, but the truth is most of us fail. We don’t know how to do it properly and we’re too afraid to ask for help. After trying countless fitness classes, exercise programs and diets, you can’t get it to stick.

So, how do you lose weight? I would like to share some common concerns that I hear from gym members and explain what is happening. With basic and accurate knowledge, you CAN achieve your healthy weight loss goals through a healthy lifestyle!

Concern #1 “I’ve tried many diets and none of them are working””

Dieting is a very simple concept that is unduly complicated by various authors, doctors and fitness professionals. Here is the bottom line: Your body burns energy by moving and it receives energy by eating, so if you burn more calories (energy) than you consume, then your body will tap into energy storage (fat) and you will lose weight. That is it! That is the formula to weight loss. Imagine if you are eating all of the right foods on a 1700 calorie plan but your body is only currently using or burning 1600 of those calories in a day. 100 calories every day are being stored as fat. Since 3500 calories = 1 pound, after 35 days, you have already gained 1 pound and after 3 years, you’re 30 pounds heavier! The diets you have tried weren’t working because you were not in “calorie deficit.” The best way to reach a calorie deficit is to combine exercise and healthy eating.

Concern #2 “If all I need is to eat fewer calories, then I will just stop eating, right?”

WRONG! This what many people believe. Here is the problem: Your body is very smart and its number one priority is self preservation. If you deprive the body of too much food, then it goes into starvation mode. This means that your body will try to slow itself down to match the calories that are coming in. You will become a very tired, very cranky and very unhappy person and at the end of all of that, any weight that you do lose is going to boomerang right back! You may even become heavier. It is very important to have a healthy diet. You can find articles about healthy eating and other weight loss tips on the Shane blog, at www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines or www.mypyramid.gov/guidelines/index.html.

Concern #3 “These fitness classes aren‘t helping me lose weight either.”

Fitness classes can be a very valuable tool for losing weight when used correctly. A lot of us don’t see progress when we go to these classes though. It all goes back to Concern #1 with dieting. You need to be in a calorie deficit which exercise will help by increasing the amount of calories that your body burns. Cardio classes will shred calories while you are participating and classes with resistance training will strengthen muscle which allows you to burn more calories at rest. The reason that a lot of us do not see this happening is because we go to the class, but we are not IN the class. When you participate in any activity with the intention of getting the most out of it, you need to concentrate fully on it. With an exercise class, that means focusing on each move that you are doing, having a positive attitude and making sure that you are pushing yourself. Next time you go to an exercise class, instead of simply going through the motions, focus on working hard and getting the most out of your 30 minute or 60 minute class. It will be more fun too.

Aaron Feldman is one of the weight loss fitness trainers at Shane Diet Resorts, a fitness retreat for young adults ages 18-25 and adults ages 26 and up. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport/Exercise Science, a Personal Trainer Certification through the ACSM, a Swim Instructor Certification through the American Red Cross, and he is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology- Exercise Science at California State University – Long Beach.



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