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

 

Use Your Willpower For Weight Loss

January 26, 2012 By: office 1 Comment

As we move into the tail end of January, some of us are still going strong with our weight loss goals and some of us or not. There have been recent studies on willpower and its ability to help us stick to our fitness and weight loss goals. Willpower is a real form of mental energy, which is powered by glucose in the bloodstream.  Glucose is a simple sugar that we take in from food and is converted to energy.  Glucose is also used up as you exert self-control.  The result is called “ego-depletion,” as a state of mental fatigue.  The best way to keep your resolutions going and stave off this mental fatigue is to anticipate the limits of your willpower.

A new study published in December 2011 by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tracked people’s reactions to temptations throughout the day.  The study showed that individuals with the best self-control are the ones who use their willpower the least.  Instead of fending off one urge after another, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations.  They play offense instead of defense, using their willpower in advance so that they can avoid crisis, conserve energy and outsource as much self control as they can.

These strategies are particularly important if you’re trying to lose weight.  The more you starve your body, the less glucose there will be in your bloodstream, and that means less willpower.  Because of this vicious cycle, even people with the greatest self-control in other parts of their lives can have a terrible time remaining slim.

  • Set a Clear Goal – Instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “eat healthier” set a specific goal- say, lose a pound a week. And limit yourself to one big resolution at a time but do make them.  With a finite amount of willpower, it’s hard to keep up with multiple resolutions. Individuals are 10 times more like to change behaviors if New Year’s resolutions are made compared with non-resolvers that have the same goals and motivations to change.
  • Pre-Commit – Plan meals in advance, keep junk food out of the kitchen, schedule workouts with friends or, you can be more extreme and bind yourself by emailing your goals to friends or by posting it on Facebook. There are even sites such as www.stickK.com that allow you to set goals, put up money on your goals and list a referee to check on your progress.  The more you pre-commit, the better you will do.
  • Keep Track – In the past, you were always recommended to weigh yourself once a week so you’re not hung up on daily fluctuations. Now research has shown that daily weigh-ins work better. Self monitoring is vital to any kind of resolution.
  • Don’t Overreact to a Lapse- One major reason that dieters fail is because they deal with a phenomenon called “counter regulatory eating”- otherwise known as the“what the hell effect.” Instead of just stopping where they are, they continue to eat thinking the entire day is blown anyway.  This thought process is far more dangerous than just realizing that you can stop what you are eating and immediately get back to eating healthy.  So when the desert cart arrives, promise yourself that you will have a sample, but just not tonight.
  • Reward Often- Don’t just use willpower to deny yourself of pleasure; it makes it a boring thankless form of defense.  Instead, reward yourself for each milestone. Once the waistline starts to shrink, reward yourself with new clothes. Even the tiniest and silliest rewards can make a difference.  If you want your willpower to last all year, every little bit helps.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we are here to assist you with all of your weight loss obstacles through fitness classes, Behavior Change coaching and nutrition education.  Registration is already underway for our summer 2012 season! Hope to see you there!

Healthy Diet Pizza!

November 21, 2011 By: consultant 2 Comments

Nutritious eating is key to your healthy lifestyle. The key foundation to any healthy diet is moderation.

Many “dieters” believe that pizza is off limits when trying to lose weight. That’s why diets don’t work. Try not to think of food as being “off-limits”.  The second you decide certain foods are off limits, it becomes natural to crave them more.

Think smaller portions. Start small and think about serving sizes in realistic terms. Restaurants typically have 2-3 servings on one plate, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. Split an entrée with someone and order a salad with it. At home, try using smaller plates to encourage a healthy portion for weight loss.

Growing up, my family usually ordered pizza on Friday nights.  Many people on a weight loss diet view foods like pizza as “cheating.” No food should be viewed as cheating because after eating it, a feeling of guilt will occur. You can still enjoy pizza without feeling the guilt.

Healthy Diet Pizza

Tip #1: Enjoy your pizza with a side salad.

Tip #2: Cut your piece of pizza in half. Now you have two pieces to enjoy.

Tip #3: Skip the extra cheese and meat for toppings and swap for vegetables.

Tip #4: If the pizza place offers a whole-wheat crust, choose that.

Tip #5: Try thin crust pizza.

Weight Loss Breakfasts

November 7, 2011 By: office 3 Comments

We’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is important to make sure that the first meal of the day sticks to your healthy diet plan for weight loss. There is no need to over-indulge and eat too many calories in one sitting, so it’s best to keep your breakfasts homemade rather than driving through a fast-food restaurant. A recent online article from Prevention highlights the worst fast-food breakfasts, with their healthy alternatives. Don’t subject yourself to extra calories and potential weight gain! Stick to a low-calorie meal to lose weight.

Starbucks Zucchini-Walnut Muffin

Muffins may be delicious, but they can definitely pack on the calories and leave your stomach grumbling. Although the Starbucks muffin seems to be made with healthy ingredients like zucchini and walnuts, it still has close to 500 calories and 28 g of fat.

Try Instead: Zucchini-Raisin Muffin

These delicious muffins are half the calories and nearly a third of the fat as the Starbucks alternative. Be sure to load up your bread batter with lots of zucchini shreds and add raisins for sweetness.

Zucchini-Raisin Muffin

Zucchini-Raisin Muffin

Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center, add the egg mixture, and stir just until combined. Fold in the zucchini and raisins.
  4. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the muffin tin and cool on a rack.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 198.9 cal, 10.4 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 184.2 mg sodium, 25.4 g carbs, 15.6 g sugar, 2.1 g dietary fiber, 3.5 g protein

Sonic Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Toaster

A classic sausage, egg, and cheese seems harmless enough- filling and protein-packed. However, the Sonic  version has over 620 calories, 42 g of fat, and 1,400 mg of sodium. That’s the sodium equivalent of eating an entire bag of salty potato chips before lunch!

Try Instead: Open-Faced Broiled Egg, Spinach, and Tomato Sandwich

Swap out the sausage for tomato and add spinach to get a serving of veggies first thing in the morning. This alternative has nearly a third of the calories of the Sonic sandwich, a quarter of the fat, and over 1,000 mg less sodium.

Ingredients (makes one serving)

1/2 whole wheat english muffin

1/4 cup fresh spinach, cooked and squeezed dry (about 4 ounces)

1 slice tomato

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced widthwise

1 tablespoon omega-3-enriched mayonnaise

salt-free seasoning blend (such as mrs. dash)

1.    Set the muffin half on a toaster oven pan or double sheet of foil. Top with the spinach and tomato. Lay on the egg slices in an overlapping spiral. Dollop on the mayonnaise and swirl slightly to partially cover the egg slices. Sprinkle on seasoning to taste.

2.    Place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully, until the mayonnaise is lightly browned.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 213.3 cal, 11.4 g fat, 1.8 g sat fat, 389.6 mg sodium, 18.8 g carbs, 3.9 g sugar, 4.2 g dietary fiber, 11.2 g protein

McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes

The immediate red flag in this menu item is the word “big.” You don’t need to eat a tremendous breakfast off of a fast-food menu. This breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, a buttermilk biscuit, hash browns, and two hot cakes. That is a lot of food! You can see why this one dish has over half your day’s calories and over 55 g of fat, plus a whopping 2,150 mg of sodium.

Try Instead: Pancakes with Berries and Cinnamon

Try these light and fluffy low-calorie pancakes as an alternative. The trick is baking them in the oven. Top them with berries and cinnamon and you’ve got a delicious and nutritious breakfast for the whole family to enjoy.

Pancakes with Berries and Cinnamon

Pancakes with Berries and Cinnamon

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

4 large eggs

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/3 cup oat flour

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons raspberry or blueberry fruit spread, warmed

  1. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, flour, and salt. Process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Remove to a medium bowl, cover, and let rest for 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 9″ oven-safe skillet over medium heat and cook until frothy. Pour in the egg-flour mixture. Place in the oven and bake until puffy and set, 14 to 16 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Spread the fruit over the pancake, and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Using a spatula, fold the pancake in half (or roll it up) and slide it onto a platter. Slice into 4 pieces.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 222.7 cal, 14.9 g fat, 7.5 g sat fat, 120 mg sodium, 14.7 g carbs, 7.8 g sugar, .8 g dietary fiber, 8.4 g protein

Cinnabon Regular Caramel Pecanbon

If you’ve ever been to a shopping mall, you probably know how amazing Cinnabon can smell. Try to resist that urge to eat one of their treats, as one caramel-pecan bun comes in at almost 1,100 calories. It’s also loaded with more fat than nine chocolate chip cookies.

Try Instead: Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Roll

This homemade version still has the delicious gooey characteristics, with nearly a third of the calories and a quarter of the fat. You can even pop it in the microwave for that “just baked” taste and scent.

Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

2 large eggs

1/4 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 cups white whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins

3 tablespoons trans-free margarine

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

  1. Warm the milk in the microwave until the temperature reaches 100° to 110°F, 30 to 40 seconds. Stir in the brown sugar and yeast and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until bubbles form. Combine the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  2. Combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon, and the salt in a large bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Slowly add the milk and yogurt mixtures while the mixer is running on low. Knead for 8 minutes, adding the raisins after about 5 minutes. Coat the bowl and dough with cooking spray. Cover and keep in a warm place until the dough is doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  3. Meanwhile, mix the margarine and 1/4 cup of the maple syrup in a small bowl and set aside. Combine 1 cup of the pecans, 1/4 cup of the syrup, and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon in another small bowl and set aside. Coat a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray and pour the remaining 1/4 cup syrup over the bottom. Cover with the remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Set aside.
  4. Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2″ thick. Spread the margarine mixture over the dough, leaving a 1″ border around the edges. Slowly pour the pecan-syrup mixture into the center and spread over the margarine mixture.
  5. Starting on a long side, carefully roll the dough into a log shape. Slice into 12 equal pieces. Arrange the pieces cut side up in the baking dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls uncovered for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 421.7 cal, 14.8 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 156.5 mg sodium, 64.7 g carbs, 26.9 sugar, 7.8 g dietary fiber, 9.1 g protein

Hardee’s Double-Loaded Omelet Biscuit

This omelet packs 800 calories and comes with three types of breakfast meat – bacon, sausage, and ham – all on top of a buttery biscuit.

Try Instead: Hearty Egg Sandwich

This sandwich alternative still fills you up but swaps out the fatty breakfast meats for avocado and tomato slices. This version has less than 400 calories and cuts down on fat and calories with reduced-fat Cheddar.

Hearty Egg Sandwich

Hearty Egg Sandwich

Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

1 whole egg

1 egg white

1 toasted whole wheat English muffin

1/4 C mashed Hass avocado

1 slice reduced-fat cheddar cheese

2 tomato slices

  1. Scramble 1 whole egg with 1 egg white in a skillet coated with cooking spray. Place on toasted whole wheat English muffin spread with 1/4 c mashed Hass avocado, and top with 1 slice reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and tomato slices.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 367.5 cal, 16.8 g fat, 4.2 g sat fat, 723.6 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 7.2 g sugar, 8.6 g dietary fiber, 24 g protein

Dunkin’ Donuts Chocolate-Coconut Cake Donut

You probably already know that a doughnut isn’t a very safe food for your healthy diet. This particular doughnut accounts for over a quarter of your day’s calories and has nearly as much sugar as a whole chocolate bar.

Try Instead: Strawberry-Banana-Topped French Toast

You can still satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard on calories. This rich meal is less than half the calories of just one doughnut.

Strawberry-Banana-Topped French Toast

Strawberry-Banana-Topped French Toast

Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

1 egg

1/4 cup fat-free milk

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 slice (1 ounce) whole grain bread

1 teaspoon trans-fat free spread

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 cup sliced banana

  1. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with the milk and cinnamon. Dip both sides of the bread in the milk mixture.
  2. Melt the spread in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the bread in the pan. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden and cooked through. Cut in half diagonally. Place half on a plate. Top with half of the strawberries and bananas. Cover with the other toast half and the remaining strawberries and bananas.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 254.2 cal, 9.7 g fat, 2.8 g sat fat, 267.9 mg sodium, 29.5 g carbs, 11.9 g sugar, 4.5 g dietary fiber, 13.5 g protein

Weight Loss Tip: Eat a Lighter Lunch

September 13, 2011 By: office 6 Comments

When you are trying to lose weight, do you find yourself to be hungry often? A new Cornell University study finds that eating a lighter lunch may be the key to weight loss without feeling the hunger, as described in a recent Science Daily article.

Weight Loss Tip - Lighter Lunch

If you are trying to lose weight and keep it off, consider eating light, portion-controlled meals for lunch.

In this study, participants who ate portion-controlled lunches did not compensate by eating more calories later in the day. This leads researchers to believe that the human body does not possess the mechanism necessary to notice a small drop in energy intake.

The study followed the food intake of 17 volunteers who ate whatever they wanted from a buffet for one week. For the next two weeks, half the group selected their lunch by choosing from one of six commercially available, portion-controlled foods, but could eat as much as they wished at other meals or snacks. For the final two weeks, the other half of volunteers followed the same regimen.

The results of the study found that while eating portion-controlled lunches, each participant consumed 250 fewer calories per day and lost, on average, 1.1 pounds.

The findings of this study reinforce the philosophy of Shane Diet Resorts. This weight loss program helps adults to jump-start a healthy lifestyle through portion-controlled meals and regular exercise. It is a simple formula that equals success.

What are your thoughts on the results of this study? Will you try to eat a lighter lunch as part of your weight loss efforts? We would love to hear what you think!

Weight Loss Programs Produce Bigger Results than Standard Care

September 9, 2011 By: office 7 Comments

Have you participated in a weight loss program, such as Shane Diet Resorts weight loss camp for adults or Weight Watchers? If you have, you most likely saw successful results. A new study finds that dieters may be more likely to slim down if they are referred to a commercial weight loss program than if they use a primary health care provider alone, as described in a recent Health Day article.

Weight Loss Programs Produce Big Results

Research finds that weight loss programs produce bigger weight loss results than standard care alone.

Overweight adults in Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom who were referred to Weight Watchers by a primary health care provider lost about twice as much weight over a year as dieters assigned to standard weight-loss care, according to the study funded by Weight Watchers.

In this study, 772 overweight and obese adults were randomly assigned to a year of diet care overseen by a primary care professional or to 12 months’ free membership to a local Weight Watchers group. Of the dieters involved in the study, 54 percent of the standard-care dieters completed the 12-months, compared to 61 percent of the Weight Watchers group.

Those who stuck with their standard diet lost an average of about 7 pounds, while those who attended Weight Watchers shed nearly 15 pounds on average. The Weight Watchers participants were also more than three times as likely to have dropped 5 percent or more of their body weight compared to the standard dieters.

This research suggests that the structure of the commercial program, including group support, weekly weighing, instruction about diet and physical activity, and motivation, can be a clinically useful tool for battling overweight and obesity on a large scale. Further research is needed to see if the gains can be maintained over time.

The researchers also said the findings suggested that overweight people were more likely to lose weight if they were referred to a commercial weight-loss program by a physician or another primary care provider, rather than if they enrolled on their own.

If you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off, consider a weight loss program for adults such as Shane Diet Resorts. Weight loss programs are excellent because they instill good lifestyle habits in the participants through the simple formula of healthy eating in combination with regular exercise. Have you had success with a weight loss program? We would love to hear about your experience!

Weight Loss Tips: Making Chinese Food Healthy

July 25, 2011 By: office 70 Comments
Chinese Food

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

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

Helpful tips for ordering

Try these helpful tips when ordering:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weight Loss Quick Fixes…Or Are They?

July 2, 2011 By: afeldman 2 Comments

The advancement of technology and enhancement of electronic resources can be a double edged sword when looking at health and wellness information.  While it is easy to find the answers to various questions about exercise and nutrition, there are also an abundance of sources that are giving out information.  Some of these sources are credible and some are not.  There are many products being marketed on both the Internet and in stores.  It is important to avoid making unhealthy decisions just because someone has given a product their false stamp of approval.  Some common examples of “Quick Fix” weight loss solutions follow.  Use these examples to educate yourself on some of the self proclaimed health and fitness products on the market.

Ephedra – Ephedra is a natural grown herb that is used for many different purposes.  An ingredient in Ephedra is ephedrine, which has been associated with both short term weight loss and long term health detriments.  Even though ephedrine products were effectively banned in 2004 throughout the United States, it is still in use by various athletes and people trying to lose weight.  A series of studies conducted throughout the 1990′s and into the 2000′s demonstrated great risk from supplementing with ephedrine.  Side effects include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heat stroke, seizures and sometimes even death.  The benefit of using ephedrine is that it may increase performance levels and calorie expenditure by speeding up the body’s regulatory system.  The benefits that come from using it are greatly outweighed by the consequences.  If you know someone that may be using ephedrine, advise them to stop.

Appetite Suppressants- There are various appetite suppressants on the market.  One drug, known as Sibutramine, has been shown to decrease feelings of hunger by adjusting hormone levels in certain areas of the brain.  Side effects have been reported such as insomnia, blood pressure increases and constipation.  There are also other appetite drugs on the market but this area of weight loss remedy is one that is still fairly new.  Much research is being conducted with suppression drugs, especially in long term use.  There has been much evidence of these drugs influencing blood pressure and possible heart disease risk.  An issue that an appetite suppressant won’t help is binge eating disorder.  Something to also keep in mind is that when using appetite suppressants, it may be possible for the body to build up a tolerance to them after long term use causing the drug to be ineffective.

Fat Blockers – The term “fat blocker” usually refers to products such as Alli or Xenica with the principal ingredient being Orlistat.  These have been developed to block both the digestion and absorption of fat.  Calories from fat are then passed through bowels instead.  While patients taking it have successfully lost weight in short term periods, there are also long term health detriments involved.  Some of the side effects include increased flatulence, incontinence and regular abdominal pain.  If dietary modifications are not made there has also been an increased risk of vitamin deficiencies shown.  Many people that have lost weight on the drug have done so because they removed fat from their diet.  Fat removal was done to get rid of the stomach issues that take place when fat calories are consumed.  The bottom line is that whether you are taking a fat blocker or not, you will still have to modify your diet, so why mess with it?

Quackery Pills – There is no specific ingredient in these pills but they are all over the place.  They used to always be featured in late night infomercials, but luckily, society has wised up to the commercials.  Now you may see “Weight Loss Pills” gracing the pages of magazines and mostly dominating the internet in the form of pop up windows and ad banners.  These pills basically have no active ingredient for effective weight loss and they are falsely advertised to suggest otherwise.  Common phrases you’ll see in advertisements for quackery pills include the following: “Lose 30 lbs in 30 days without exercise!”, “Finally get rid of the fat in your stomach!”, and “You’ll be toned in a matter of a week!”.  As I always say, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Fat Burners - These are pills that utilize ingredients containing some of the following items: Caffeine, yohimbe extract, green tea extract, black tea extract, taurine or vitamin B.  Most fat burners combine natural ingredients such as the ones I listed with numerous processed ingredients.  While things like caffeine and taurine are okay in moderation, it is better to get them from other sources.  Drinking something like a glass of green tea or a cup of coffee in the morning is better than subscribing to fat burners.  Even when caffeine from natural sources is used, it must be used in moderation because it speeds up the body and it is also addictive.  When it’s all said and done the best way to burn fat is to move around more.

Anything that uses the phrase “negative calories” - According to various diet companies, a negative calorie food is one that causes more calories to be burned in the digestive process than those that come from the food itself.  It is true that all foods cost energy to go through the digestive process.  After all, the organs like your stomach and small intestine use energy just like everything else.  The truth is, though, no food will give you a net loss of calories.  At its highest, the energy cost of food digestion may reach levels close to 30 percent of the calories in.  So even if a diet company is telling you that asparagus will make you lose weight, that is a myth.  It can help you lose weight by taking the place of a higher calorie food, but you will not magically shed pounds just by consuming it.

There are more and more weight loss advances coming to light every day.  With every piece of new information discovered, false information also makes its way into the limelight.  Unfortunately, new pills also pop up every day. Some get banned from the market and some slip under the radar of federal regulation.  Just because something is on the shelves or legal does not make it safe.  Before popping any kind of pill into your mouth, make sure you do your research and that you are familiar with all of the ingredients.  The nice thing about the Internet is that you can find anything.  So, if you are really curious about a product, type in each of the ingredients on a search engine and learn about what they do.  Educating yourself is the best way to avoid getting scammed by a false weight loss supplement. Instead of a “quick fix,” eat healthy and exercise regularly. This is the philosophy followed by Shane Diet Resorts weight loss camp for adults!

Moving to Music: Making Exercise Fun!

May 20, 2011 By: office 23 Comments

Think back to the last time you danced. Not a little side to side swaying when you’re in a good mood, but a full-body boogie that put a smile on your face, put your arms in the air and allowed all of your inhibitions to melt away. Wouldn’t it be great if you can do that every day as a form of exercise? Well, dancing is a bona fide weight loss workout, no matter if it’s in a dance club or a fitness class, offering benefits such as healthier cardiovascular system, stronger bones, and improved mood. With dance, however, you don’t really realize you are exercising; happily though, a turn on the dance floor can burn 200 to 500 calories per hour!

Dancing has many wonderful attributes apart from helping burn calories. Dancing strengthens our muscles, which in turn better stabilizes our joints, protecting them from injury. It is lower impact than running and much easier on the joints of the knees and ankles. All styles of dancing are considered weight-bearing exercises, which force the muscle and bone to work against gravity. This stress strengthens the bones and is the only kind of exercise that can actually slow down bone loss.

Dance moves also activate almost every muscle in the body and as a result, naturally strengthen the core, improve flexibility, balance, and posture, as well as aiding in weight loss, which will improve cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Zumba Dance Class for Weight Loss

Dance classes like Zumba are not only fun, but also a great way to burn calories for weight loss.

Between 2002 through 2010, there was a 26 percent increase in interest for dance as a fitness class in health clubs. Some of that rise had to do with the introduction of Zumba, a Latin inspired dance workout class. Since then, several different types of dance inspired workouts have been created, including Batuka, a new class that borrows moves from belly dancing, hip-hop and salsa, which is schedule to start rolling out into health clubs this coming fall.

Like other exercises, dancing can modulate levels of brain chemicals associated with mood, such as dopamine, nor epinephrine and serotonin. There is also a sense of achievement that comes with mastering new skills.

At Shane Diet Resorts adult weight loss camp, our fun filled fitness schedule not only includes several varieties of group exercise classes, we also have Dance! which includes Latin, Hip Hop and jazz inspired dance combinations, that will help you lose weight and, most of all, have fun!

Weight Loss and Fitness Tips: Make Cardio Fun!

May 11, 2011 By: afeldman 8 Comments

If you are still working on your New Year’s fitness goals, then congratulations, you are in a minority. Many people give up weight loss resolutions by February and most go back to old habits by March. In previous articles, I have made recommendations for changing up the fitness routine and increasing exercise intensity. Now it’s time to think about the mental aspect of exercise.

If exercise is just boring and monotonous, then you are expending mental energy doing it. If you are not enjoying your exercise session, it is obviously harder to remain dedicated. A good rule of thumb for cardiovascular exercise is to incorporate enjoyable activities for at least one of your weekly sessions. It will help you avoid mental burn out and also give you a reason to look forward to getting up and moving around for an hour. Making cardio fun can mean trying different activities or even doing the same activities, but with a friend. Below are some ways to make your cardio-vascular sessions more enjoyable and more sustainable.

Sign up for a team – If you are in school, this is easy. There are usually intramural teams for just about every sport. If you don’t have friends that are interested, sign up as a free agent and be assigned to a team. For those who are not in a college atmosphere, community recreation centers also have leagues for basketball, soccer, football, volleyball and sometimes swimming. Don’t be intimidated to join because of being unfamiliar to a sport. Recreational facilities do a good job of running multiple leagues separated by athletic experience. Usually, there will be 1-2 days a week for games and however many practice sessions with the team. This is a great way to get the heart rate up and move the body without a structured exercise session.

Dance Class

Consider joining a dance class for a fun, effective weight loss workout.

Learn to dance – The popularity of dance classes has really risen in the past decade. With classes like Zumba and Cardio Hip-hop, exercise is very nicely incorporated into dancing. You can burn between 400-700 calories in an hour of dance exercise. If the fast paced classes aren’t for you, ballroom dancing is an alternative option. Many community centers and dance studios offer classes like ballroom dancing and ballet for all ages and backgrounds.

Learn to defend yourself – Another fun and popular form of cardio exercise that is found in many gyms is cardio kickboxing. Kickboxing allows you to burn a large amount of calories in a short period of time. You could even take it one step further and sign up for martial arts classes or karate. Many people have found martial arts to be a good release of negative energy as well as a great way to get fit.

Go out for scenic hikes – Grab a friend and hit the trails. If you are lucky enough to live near areas of nature or parks, take advantage of it. Block out an afternoon to go hiking in the hills. If you want to increase the challenge, pack a bag with some extra weight and throw it on your back.

Join a running club – Many groups will meet up during the week for outside runs. From those attempting their first 5k to seasoned marathon runners, most running clubs divide off based on experience level. You can inquire about running groups in your area on various meet-up websites, at the community recreation center or even the local running shoe store. When I say running shoe store, I mean a store that specializes in selling running shoes and gear, not a sporting goods store. If you can’t find a group in your town, then start your own with friends.

Get out the skates - Of course, it takes balance and coordination to successfully roller-skate, but once you develop those skills, skating can be a lot of fun. Skating can be done outside or at a skating rink. The skills from roller skating also carry over into ice skating. If you are teaching yourself how to skate or rollerblade, start off in an empty parking lot or on a slow side street. Slowly work up to skating in areas with hills and curvy pathways.

Commit to a goal – Make it a 5k, a swim for diabetes or a biking trip. If you have a specific goal to work towards, the light at the end of the tunnel is enough to keep you moving. The best thing to do is to sign up without thinking twice about it. After you are signed up for something, it is time to make a training plan. Find something at least 2-3 months away that is realistic to complete and sign up!

The bottom line is that not everyone enjoys going to a gym and spending a half hour on the same treadmill 6 days a week. If you are one of the few that looks forward to walking into the gym, then keep doing what you are doing. If you struggle to make it into the gym, try to find at least one activity that is enjoyable. Your chances of reaching your goals will be much better. Consider an adult weight loss program or fitness retreat, such as Shane Diet Resorts, which offers the vacation atmosphere combined with a healthy lifestyle. It’s a fun, effective way to lose weight!

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