13 Things I Learned At Weight Loss Camp

April 15, 2014 By: office Comments Off

By: Eugenia Correa, @eucorrea
Originally Published: April 11, 2014 on ‘Blog de BabyCenter’
(translation: Miranda Southwell)

A month ago I was invited to spend a week at a weight loss camp in San Antonio, Texas. Even though I don’t consider myself overweight, I will admit that since the birth of my baby, it’s been much more difficult for me to control my diet, do exercise and keep myself in shape. It was a hard week because it made me realize that I’m very far from my ideal physical condition. Additionally, my daily meal portions tended to be much larger than they ought to have been.

weight loss camp

A week in this resort was enough to make me see that I can improve, day-by-day and that daily habits are the ones that make a difference in your desire to lose weight. This experience granted me the tools for transformation that I needed to create substantial change in my daily life. While I was there, I lost a kilo (approx. 2.2 lbs.), and after one month at home, I lost two more by making simple changes to my routine. Here are some of the things that I learned during my stint in the program that have helped me keep the weight off:

  • You don’t have to wait until you become what you believe to be the worst version of yourself to join one of these programs. It’s a program of behavior modification that can help you far sooner.
  • Involving yourself in one of these programs is a decision rooted in self-love. No one can be obligated to go. It only works for those who are thoroughly convinced that they need a vital change to improve their lives.
  • It’s never too late to change your eating or fitness habits. Every day is a good day to start to work toward better health. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about changing your habits in ways that you can keep up with over time.
  • Doing exercise is a habit we can all acquire. In a weight loss program, you simply show yourself that it’s just a matter of taking that first step and discovering that exercise can be a fun habit, which also changes your energy levels and outlook on life for the better.
  • One of the most valuable tips that I learned is that you should stop drinking your calories! Sugary drinks are not your friend. There are lots of drinks disguised as “healthy” or “natural,” when in reality they’re anything but. There’s no healthier substitute out there for you than that clean, natural old staple…water.
  • There isn’t a better way to know what you’re really eating than by cooking it for yourself and choosing all your own ingredients. By avoiding processed products or fast food, you’re saving both yourself and your family, a boatload of calories and unnecessary toxins.
  • When exercise is a daily habit, your body starts craving healthier, lighter foods instead of greasy, heavy ones.
  • Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! My favorite: a blueberry muffin recipe is one of many you can learn to make during your stay at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, since healthy cooking classes are included in the program.
  • Eating slowly and enjoying each bite makes you feel full faster. Eating quickly is one of your enemies when trying to lose weight.
  • Upon arriving at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, you quickly realize that you’re not alone. There are lots of other people who deal with many of the same battles you’re facing. Being able to discuss and listen to common experiences allows you to put your life (and your weight) into perspective.
  • In many cases, the way you feel in the clothes you wear has a direct impact on your self-esteem. In the Shane Diet & Fitness program, fashionable fitness accessories are provided to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • The program at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort offers you a short, daily exercise program that you can complete in just a half-hour. This makes continuing the process at home much easier.
  • Temptations will always be around. They’re in the supermarket, on TV, at the movie theater and even in your own pantry. A behavior modification program gives you the tools you need to keep those temptations from overpowering you.

The program I went to is the Shane Diet & Fitness Resort. There, you’ll find programs for adults, children and entire families; although there are also many other weight loss camps out there to suit your own unique needs.

Busy Schedules Don’t Have To Be Unhealthy

February 7, 2012 By: consultant Post a Comment

The most common excuse I hear about why someone isn’t eating healthy is: “I don’t have time to eat healthy” (of course, there is always the “healthy foods taste like cardboard” excuse, but that’s an entirely different subject).  So why don’t people have time to eat healthy? School, work, and family are the most common healthy-eating deterrents.  However, a busy schedule doesn’t have to mean fatty, high sodium, processed foods.  It can be just as simple to eat healthy on a busy schedule as to eat unhealthy.  It takes the same amount of effort to order a salad than it does a slice of pizza and it takes even less effort to grab an apple than it does to heat up a pop-tart.

So when you wake up tomorrow morning think to yourself: “My eating yesterday didn’t make me feel very healthy. Today I want to make a healthy change.” It is as simple as that. When you start your day with a healthy mindset, making healthy decisions will easily follow.

The first meal of the day is the most important. Breakfast will give you the energy you need to stay on track all day, not to mention that when you start your day with a good food choice you are more likely to make better choices throughout the day.  We all know what a good choice is: oatmeal and other whole grains, fruit, eggs, veggies, and other natural choices.  If you don’t have time in the morning, prep the night before. A good breakfast is an essential part of a healthy day.  Before you leave the house, grab a few pieces of fruit, maybe some nuts or trail mix to have with you as snacks throughout the day.

So this is where the hard part starts; lunch out with friends, family or coworkers.  Whether you order out, eat out or dine in there is always a healthy option, even if it doesn’t seem like there is.  Half the battle in making a healthy decision is knowing what a healthy choice is, such as watch out for heavy dressing, added sodium and highly processed foods. Instead, stick with a protein source, a vegetable and a whole grain.  The other half of making a healthy food choice is having a healthy mindset. “I want to be the best I can be and feed my body what it deserves.”  With that mindset and the knowledge you already have, you are ready to make healthy choices every day.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our fitness, nutrition and behavior change coaching classes can assist you in making those healthy food choices, and exploring your old bad habits and creating new ones.   Once you leave our program you will feel confident, look great, have more energy, and have a stronger and healthier mindset!  When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.

 

The World of Whole Grain Breads

January 18, 2012 By: consultant Post a Comment

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.

 

Proper Planning: The Most Important Part of an Exercise Program

September 16, 2011 By: afeldman 5 Comments

When any big changes are instituted in business, academics or medical procedures, the first thing that happens is the creation of a plan.  Planning is the most important part of any process because without it, everything is on a whim.  The same goes for anything fitness related.  Sure, there are many who go to the gym and do any routine that comes to mind, but if you want to make serious and significant progress toward a goal, planning is necessary.

In fitness, we start our planning process off with goal setting.  Once a realistic goal is decided upon, planning is the next step.  One of the most important things to keep in mind is to keep things realistic.  You cannot set weight loss goals with expectations such as losing 100 pounds in a month or developing “6 pack abs” in two weeks.  As long as you are realistic when making a plan and setting your goal, then there is no reason not to reach it

Weight Loss Goal Setting

When setting weight loss goals for yourself, it is important to be realistic and focus on both the short-term and long-term goals.

When setting a goal, there should be a grand picture of where you want to go and a smaller sub-goal that you can modify or change from week to week.  The main goal should focus on where you see yourself or how you want to feel in the grand scheme of things.  An example of a long term goal is going from a point of being afraid of the water to being able to swim in a triathlon.  All short term goals would then gradually work a person up to learning how to swim correctly.

The idea of a short term goal or a sub-goal is to push you closer to that larger goal.  The large goal can be anything that you want it to be while the smaller goals are easily manageable and integrated into your daily life.  Small goals are changes that are just engaging enough not to throw your entire week out of whack, but still push you towards something.

The mistake that people commonly make is to get overzealous when goal setting.  An unrealistic goal, like one of the ones I mentioned above, is commonly set and when it is not reached, it has disastrous effects on self-confidence.  Below, I will list a couple examples of goals, as well as the right and wrong ways to reach them.

Example Goal 1: I want to lose 100 pounds, which will put me at a healthy body weight.

The Wrong Way: When planning out this goal, most people make the mistake of adding in a timeline.  When a timeline is added, there is added pressure to reach the goal.  One of two things will happen with the timeline: either you will give up after not seeing the progress you hoped for, or you will feel so rushed to lose weight that you will engage in unhealthy practices to meet a deadline.  The latter will usually result in your regaining any lost weight, plus some extra.

The Right Way: The longer a person has been 100 pounds overweight, the longer it will take to lose it in a healthy manner.  Keeping with the big goal/little goal technique from above, the 100 pound weight loss is the grand goal.  As for small weekly goals, start off smaller and once you get a feel for the water, you can start adding things in.  For example, the week one goal could be making it into the gym three times.  Week two could be limiting bad meals to only one per day.  Week three could be eliminating soda every other day and week four could be making it to the gym five times.  The goals will be different for everyone but it is most important to set goals that you are able to achieve.  As you can tell, each small goal will move this participant closer to the 100 pound weight loss.  They may not necessarily be losing weight every week at first but if they keep setting and reaching weekly goals, this person will get to a point where they are shredding through fat like wild fire, as well as achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Example Goal 2: I want to run a Marathon.

Goal Setting - Marathon Training

When training for a marathon, or a similar fitness goal, it is important to gradually train to avoid injury to your body.

The Wrong Way: When setting a performance goal such as this one, most people jump in and try to do everything at one time. At the program’s start, this usually includes running every single day without regards to nutrition. By the time week three or week four roll around, joints start aching pretty badly and the runner becomes restless and very irritable. By the time two months has passed, the body has had enough and the exercise program simply stops.

The Right Way: Since the marathon is our long term goal here, smaller goals contributing to the long term goal should be in place.  More experienced runners can sign up for a marathon that is 6-9 months away while beginners should figure on a year or more.  Some smaller goals can relate to mileage (increasing from five total miles for the week to eight total miles), nutrition (incorporating higher water intake during runs), or exercise in general (stretching for 60 total minutes for the week).  The main thing to remember with running goals is not to increase distance too fast.  When mileage goes up too quickly, that is when injuries happen.

The Final Note

After reading this article, think about some of the goals you have reached or failed to reach.  Did you set a long term goal along with smaller goals to get you there?  Did these goals change?  Did you give up on your goals?  Use this opportunity to reevaluate some of the goals you are trying to reach and incorporate proper planning to get there.  Remember, your long term goal has no expiration date until you assign it one.  Keep your eyes on that long term goal and manipulate short term goals to get you there.  At Shane Diet Resorts fitness retreat program for adults, we teach clients how to incorporate fitness, nutrition and long term weight management into their daily living by using proper planning and goal setting.

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.

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