Rosie’s Top Tips for After Shane

November 13, 2012 By: office 2 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.

 

Obesity Trends: The Numbers Behind an Urgent Fight

November 29, 2011 By: office Post a Comment

We all know now that obesity in the United States is considered to be an epidemic, and is also on the rise. A recent article in the New York Times outlines some of the more shocking statistics our country faces if these trends continue as they have been since the 1970s.

By 2020, three of every four Americans will be overweight or obese if the trends continue. By 2030, there could be 65 million more obese adults in the United States than in 2010, according to the epidemiologist Dr. Y. Claire Wang and her colleagues at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

If these predictions actually come true, it would mean 8 million more cases of diabetics, 6.8 million more cases of atherosclerotic heart disease and stroke and more than 500,000 more cases of cancer. Obviously, this would also impact health costs in our country.

Camp Shane weight loss camps for children and Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss program for adults are doing their part to fight obesity by helping people learn a healthy lifestyle and maintain it through nutritious eating and physical activity. For more information about transforming your life, visit www.campshane.com and www.shanedietresorts.com.

Obesity and Overeating: Breaking a Bad Habit

November 9, 2011 By: office Post a Comment

Do you ever find yourself eating when you’re not even hungry? Do you need to have a snack at the movies or while watching television? If you said yes to both of these questions, you may be in the habit of overeating. It’s a bad habit, but the good news is, any bad habit can be broken! This was the topic of discussion in a recent article from ABC News.

Obesity and Bad Habits

Research finds that some people have gotten into a habit of eating when engaging in certain activities, such as popcorn at the movies.

Psychologists David Neal and Wendy Wood from the University of Southern California have come up with a simple formula that may help break the habit of overeating, which may lead to weight loss for many people who struggle with this habit. They say that rather than trying to overwhelm the habit with a strong sense of self control, alter the environment that triggers the automatic response, or habit. This conclusion comes from the findings of a very interesting study involving a movie theater and a bag of stale popcorn.

Neal and Wood, along with several colleagues, wanted to find out if people who nearly always eat a bag of popcorn when at the movies would eat it, even if it was old and stale, simply because it has become a habit.

Several hundred participants were recruited, some who really wanted popcorn with a movie, some who sometimes wanted popcorn, and some who really didn’t care either way. Each person attending a showing in a regular theater was quizzed on how much they liked popcorn, how hungry they were, and several other things. They were not allowed to sit near anyone else.

Half of the participants were given a bag of freshly cooked popcorn, and the other half were given a bag that had been sitting around for several days, leaving it stale. After the showing the bags were collected and weighed. Participants who could take it or leave it left the stale popcorn almost untouched. But habitual popcorn eaters ate the whole thing, regardless of whether their bag was new or stale. This goes to show that it isn’t so much about the taste or hunger level for these participants, but rather about the habit.

In the second experiment, new participants sat in a meeting room, as opposed to a movie theater. Again, half the participants were given a fresh bag of popcorn, while the other half received a stale bag. This time, even the habitual popcorn hounds ignored the stale popcorn and the only change was the setting. This goes to show that a small alteration can greatly impact the habit.

In a third experiment with new participants, the setting was back to the movie theater. Again, half the participants received fresh popcorn, while the other half received stale popcorn. This time, however, the participants were instructed to eat only with their “non-dominant” hand. None of the participants cared much for the stale popcorn, even in the movie theater setting. This goes to show that even a small cue can overwhelm a habit because it causes the person to have to think about what they were doing, rather than just going through the motions.

“On average, people have more good habits than bad,” said Neal. But bad habits can be particularly destructive, contributing to the current obesity crisis, he added.

Neal has some simple tips to help you in your weight loss efforts on the path to a healthy lifestyle. Put the cookie jar where you can’t see it. Look only at the salad menu in your favorite restaurant. “Basically, it’s not really a matter of setting the right goals or having enough will power,” he said. “Those things are valuable, but they don’t really get you over the line. The critical thing to focus on is the environment.”

This news should be encouraging to most, because bad habits can be broken. Camp Shane weight loss camps for children and Shane Diet Resorts weight loss program for adults know the importance of getting into good lifestyle habits, while leaving the bad ones behind. If you eat healthy every single day, it will become a habit. If you exercise daily or a few times per week, it will become a habit. If you currently experience bad habits, it is time to make small adjustments in your life!

Do you have any bad habits that you need to break? Or, have you already broken a bad habit? We would love to hear from you.

Obesity and Reducing the Risk of Diabetes

September 21, 2011 By: office 1 Comment

As obesity trends continue to rise, so does the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. The risk can be greatly reduced by making healthy lifestyle choices, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal by Jennifer Corbett Dorren.

Adults, middle-aged and up, can cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 80 percent by adhering to a combination of five healthy lifestyle habits, according to a new analysis.

The new analysis comes from The National Institutes of Health, which examined the individual factors that can lower the risk of developing diabetes and other diseases – healthy diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, and consuming alcohol moderately.

Link Between Healthy Lifestyle and Diabetes

Healthy lifestyle factors which may decrease the risk of Type 2 diabetes include healthy eating, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and moderate alcohol consumption.

The analysis shows that keeping just one of these five healthy lifestyle factors can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. More than 200,000 people who participated in the study were between ages 50 and 71 when the study began in 1995. At the study’s start, participants had no signs of heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

Study participants filled out detailed questionnaires about what kinds of foods they ate, whether they consumed alcohol, and if they were current or former smokers. Other questions asked how much the participants exercised and their weight and height so that body mass index could be calculated. Study participants were followed for about 11 years. During that time, about 10 percent of men in the study and 8 percent of women developed diabetes.

Researchers grouped participants into lifestyle categories ranging from “best” to “worst.” People in the best category had all five healthy lifestyle factors, while those in the worst had none. For diet, participants received a score of one to five based on fruit and vegetable consumption, the amount of and type of fat they ate and other factors. Those who scored in the top 40 percent were considered to have a healthy diet. Exercising three times a week for at least 20 minutes and being a nonsmoker for at least 10 years were two additional healthy lifestyle factors. Alcohol consumption of no more than one drink a day for women and two for men was considered as another factor, along with weight. People with a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9 – a body mass considered normal – were counted as being in the lowest-risk category for weight.

According to the researcher in charge of the analysis, Dr. Jared Reis, the average study participant had two out of the five healthy lifestyle factors. Researchers found body mass index to have the strongest association to diabetes risk, when compared with the other factors. When looking at body mass index in isolation, men of normal weight were 70 percent less likely to develop diabetes than overweight or obese men, while normal weight women were 78 percent less likely to develop diabetes.

Researchers also found that men and women whose diet and exercise were both considered in the healthy range were just under 30 percent less likely to develop diabetes. When being a nonsmoker was added to diet and exercise, those people were about one-third less likely to develop the disease.

Men who consumed alcohol moderately, in addition to the previous three factors, were 39 percent less likely to develop diabetes while women had 57 percent lower odds. When body mass index was added to the other healthy lifestyle factors, men were 72 percent less likely to develop diabetes, while women had an 84 percent lower risk.

Despite all of these findings, Dr. Reis added that even overweight people can lower their odds of developing diabetes if they adopt just one other healthy lifestyle habit such as exercising three times a week for at least 20 minutes each day.

These studies reinforce the importance of a healthy lifestyle. At Shane Diet Resorts weight loss camp for adults, healthy diet and physical activity are just two of the healthy lifestyle factors that guests experience daily and will in turn, impact body mass index. Not only will a healthy weight and lifestyle lower the risk for diabetes, but for other health risks as well.

Weight Loss Programs Produce Bigger Results than Standard Care

September 9, 2011 By: office 3 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!

Stop Looking at the Scale, Part 1: Why Weight Changes more than the Weather

August 3, 2011 By: afeldman 1 Comment

With an increased focus on weight management due to the rise of obesity, frequent exercisers have picked up the habit of constant weighing. While the measurement that comes from a scale can be one way to see if exercise is working, there are better things to do then checking weight every 5 minutes. When constantly stepping on the scale, frustration follows since the number does not keep up with expectations. Ideally, weight would only go down on a weight loss program but it is actually normal for weight to fluctuate in both directions on a consistent basis. In this two part article, I would like to go over the reasons for weight fluctuation and also, some alternative ways to measure your progress.

Time of day fluctuation = weight fluctuation

When taking weight, some people check their weight at various times of the day. Throughout the day, bodyweight will fluctuate based off of the reasons I have listed below. An individual could see a 3-7 pound difference from a morning weigh in to an evening weigh in, so keep that in mind next time you see a “night time weight” and start panicking.

Meal fluctuation = weight fluctuation

One of the reasons for the “time of day fluctuation” is a meal schedule. As you eat, obviously you will gain weight from the food immediately. It is digesting in your stomach and being processed, so until your body has gotten rid of waste and water contents of food, the scale will show a noticeably higher amount. Meal fluctuations also include differences in day to day food choices. If your meals are not the exact same thing every day, then your weight will be different from one day to the next. Foods like beans will take much longer to digest then something like a banana. This does not mean that you need to eat the same thing every day; it just means that you shouldn’t expect the scale to be a reliable measurement every single day.

Activity fluctuation = weight fluctuation

During the day, the human body is constantly sweating. Sometimes it is noticeable such as in exercise or hard labor and other times it evaporates so quickly we don’t even know. All sweat that leaves the body is water leaving our system. During a half hour of exercise in the summer sun, one could see an incredible loss of water weight from sweating. Weight losses from sweating do not relate to fat loss and they are also unhealthy if not corrected after working out. If you lose 3 pounds of water during an exercise session, this fluid needs to be replaced as soon as possible for your body to function at its normal levels.

Water fluctuation = weight fluctuation

If I weigh myself at this moment and somebody wants me to show them how quickly I can gain weight, I will start chugging down water. The same thing applies to a normal scale weigh in. If you weight yourself after drinking a large amount of water, that will obviously increase the number you see on the scale. Also, there are times when we drink water and our body will hold on to it much longer than normal; this is called water retention. Water retention is caused by things like extreme diet changes, alcohol, dehydration and stress.

Sodium fluctuation = weight fluctuation

Sodium fluctuation and water fluctuation counteract with each other. Extreme changes in the diet usually mean extreme changes in how much salt one is consuming. While sodium is vital to the body, an excess amount of it can cause water retention. When starting a diet or taking a day off from one, the bouncing from a low sodium level to a high one or vice versa may throw off your weight because of water retention.

Clothing fluctuation = weight fluctuation

This one is pretty simple but we sometimes forget this. Clothes can add on weight. If you weigh yourself fully clothed one day compared to just a t-shirt the next, there will be a difference in weight.

Location fluctuation = weight fluctuation

There are a couple of factors that go into this. One is the use of a different scale. Some scales are not calibrated leaving them to give you wrong measurements. The floor that a scale rests on may also be uneven. When I was doing weekly weigh ins last year for fitness competitions, I experimented around with the scale. I moved it around to different locations in the house to see if the numbers changed. I saw fluctuations of 5 pounds!

The bottom line is that there are many factors that go into how much you weigh besides how much fat you carry. These become especially apparent when weight is taken at a variety of times and situations. To use weight as a measurement, your body should be in a consistent state for each weighing.

How to properly weigh your self

1.Weigh yourself at the same time each weighing.

2. Weigh yourself right after waking up and using the restroom.

3. Weigh yourself no more often than once a week.

4.To make a weigh in reliable try to keep your eating the afternoon/evening before consistent from week to week.

5.Always rehydrate yourself right after a workout to avoid confusion that comes from lost water weight/water retention and more importantly, because your body needs water!

6. Clean up the diet of excess salt.

Let me run a scenario by everyone. On Monday, Cindy weighs herself at 170 pounds. During that day, she exercises for an hour without rehydrating and she sticks to easily digested foods. Tuesday morning, Cindy weighs herself at 165 pounds, 5 pounds in one day! After weighing herself, Cindy has a busy day at work in which she is seated all day, she eats high salt foods and decides to weigh herself again on Wednesday morning. Now Cindy’s weight is reading 172. This can’t be right; she has gained 7 pounds in one day. The truth is that Cindy’s weight difference has nothing to do with her body fat level changing. We now know the proper way for her to step on a scale but what else can she do to check her progress? The solution to this problem will be shown in part 2 of my series.

Weight Loss and Reality Shows: Is it Realistic?

April 15, 2011 By: afeldman 3 Comments

With the rising popularity of weight loss and growing knowledge of the public about the inherent risks of obesity, I feel that it is important to be aware of stereotypes presented by television shows.  It started with The Biggest Loser seven years ago and now there are a number of weight loss shows on TV.  While I think that there are many positives that come from these shows, there are also some aspects that are not completely true, from my perspective as a trainer.  In this article, I would like to mention the important things to remember when you try to compare your progress to that of the individual working out on your television screen.

1. Participants are engaged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Biggest Loser

The contestants on The Biggest Loser experience incredible weight loss, but it isn't the most realistic way to accomplish a healthy lifestyle.

It is like being in preschool again.  Everything they do against the diet or exercise program is immediately called to their attention by a trainer, nutritionist or another cast mate.  Unfortunately, most of us are not in a situation where someone is watching our eating and activities at all hours of the day.  We also have jobs, school, families and other obligations.  When participants jump into The Biggest Loser or Heavy, they are in a situation where their personal lives are left behind, giving fitness and nutrition top billing.  When a person has that much energy and time to put into exercise, then the rapid weight loss you see on TV occurs.  Whether that is healthy or not is another story.

2. Through the art of camera work and editing these shows are portraying an emotion.

At the beginning of a weight loss show, the producers use a convincing song selection, camera angles and editing to depict the emotional hardships of the contestants.  At the end, you will hear more uplifting music and different camera angles are used to emphasize progress and positive feelings.  My point is that anything that goes against the general vibe that show producers are trying to depict is edited out in the production process.  After a show is filmed, there are weeks to months spent in editing where all of this is done.  Imagine watching all 168 hours of the workout week without music and camera changes.  You would see the reality of the show, but it would also be pretty boring.  The next time you are watching Heavy, when they cut from one scene to the next or from one week to the next, think about what they didn’t show you.  This could be contestants complaining of aches and pains, complaining about the trainers, cheating on their programs closer to the end and even questioning the validity of the show itself.  You never know the extent to what is being edited out.

3. These shows get funding from sponsors to market exercise clothing, equipment and sometimes even supplements.

Just like any other show, companies pay a lot of money to be featured.  You may see specific brands being worn on the contestants or the trainers promoting a specific piece of equipment in their fitness tip segment.  When a television show recommends that you go out and buy a supplement, it may not be a good idea to jump right in and start taking something.  I also would not recommend changing everything that you do at the gym just because you saw one person doing it on a segment of the show.

4. The trainers are pushed to make their clients lose weight in the quickest amount of time possible.

Boot Camp

You don't need to put yourself through extreme boot camp to become fitter and experience healthy weight loss.

How exciting would The Biggest Loser be if everyone stayed in a 1-5 pound a week weight loss range?  It probably wouldn’t have the same ratings.  You may have even read about many of the participants gaining weight back after being on the show.  While the trainers are definitely doing something right, it is good to remember that everything is bigger in television; this includes the exercise programs thrown at participants, even if they do not promote long term weight loss as well as a steadier program.

5. Everybody is different.

The Biggest Loser is built around a competition.  Everyone is competing to lose the most weight in the shortest time.  Outside of the TV world, there is a problem with that.  Factors from our genetics, upbringings and previous experience influence how our bodies respond to different exercises, different foods and even the addition of a new habit.  Everyone is different.  Otherwise, bikers in the Tour de France would all finish at the same exact time.  The bottom line is that you need to compare yourself to your own exercise and weight loss measurements, not to someone else’s that are out of reach.  Most individuals who unrealistically compare themselves to TV contestants are also nowhere near as heavy.  Proportionally speaking, that means there is not as much weight to lose.  That alone should lower weekly weight loss expectations.

6. There are good and bad trainers everywhere.

Even though a lot of the trainers I have seen in these shows seem pretty knowledgeable, there are a few that have worried me as fitness professional.  An example that I have seen includes giving a 400 pound client with severe hypertension a plyometric training program.  Plyometrics are exercises involving repetitive quick movements that usually involve high impact forces on the body.  They are mostly utilized by athletes and are pointed out as being high risk by any accredited health and wellness organization when it comes to working with heavier clients.  My point here is that you should keep an open mind with what is said and shown.  Nothing is the magic pill for weight loss and this includes television programs.

The Final Message: What you can take away from these shows.

I know it seems as though I’ve been giving weight loss reality shows, like The Biggest Loser and I Used to Be Fat, a bad reputation, but there are many positives to take away from these shows.  The people losing weight are people just like you and me who are going through a journey of adapting a healthy lifestyle.  They may not be doing it in the same way, but they are definitely a source of inspiration.  Although some trainers on these shows may not be the gold standard of fitness, they have some good ideas in their arsenal.  As long as you keep an open mind when watching these shows and avoid unrealistic thinking, you can benefit greatly by scheduling your weekly Biggest Loser night.

Even better, think about joining us at Shane Diet Resorts, where you can learn about how to lose weight and get fit safely and for the long term.

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