Weight Loss

Weight Loss is one of the foundations of improving your health and wellbeing. Being overweight is the number one cause of many of today’s diseases.

The Biggest Loser Fiasco: Tips for Healthy Weight Loss

Recently, the hit reality TV show “The Biggest Loser” had their biggest loser ever: winner Rachel Frederickson lost an astonishing 60% of her total body mass, a total of 155 pounds in just over 3 months. Controversy is flying high in the media around the health and fitness industry, asking the question: Just what is healthy weight loss?

In this special Mountain Trek two-part blog, we will first cover what constitutes healthy weight loss, the potential health risks of unhealthy or too-fast weight loss, and the role of metabolism in all this: how our metabolism works, and how giving it a boost will help us lose weight more efficiently.

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Over a short period of time, like one or two weeks at Mountain Trek, a metabolic ‘kick start’, through calorie control and extensive exercise can be a very effective way to reboot the body’s metabolism, our fitness, and, very importantly, our own psychology and mind set towards our own weight loss. During a short time frame metabolic ‘kick-start’ like this, losing weight quickly (0.5 – 2 pounds/day) is safe, effective, and encouraging. But limited calories and extensive exercise over a longer time frame can do more harm than good. When you eat severely reduced calories, your body compensates by slowing down your metabolism, allowing it to save calories for energy your body will need to handle its basic functions. Achieving healthy weight loss doesn’t mean only considering the obvious strategy of decreased calories and increased exercise, but considering a more holistic approach that includes stress reduction, detoxification and sleep improvements. This all-encompassing lifestyle approach allows us to balance our hormones, thereby raising our metabolism, and voila, we’ve got healthy weight loss. And after a 2 week intensive metabolism kick-start, all these same components would continue to be the focus for a continued, sustainable, and slower weight loss.

According to the U.S. Department of Health, dieters should aim to lose approximately 0.5 – 2 pounds/week after the first 2 weeks of their regime, for sustainable, healthy weight loss. Rapid weight loss can result in numerous health risks, including: loss of bone mass, increase in bone marrow fat, which can in turn lead to increased risk of bone fractures, heart attacks or high blood pressure, gall bladder stones, kidney failure, thyroid problems, excess estrogen, osteoporosis, and the list goes on.

Our philosophy is to promote wellbeing and fitness through healthy habits and lifestyle choices geared towards long term success – and with this comes numerous benefits (increased energy, better sleep, better body functions, etc.) including weight loss!

So here’s to a fit, healthy you! Until next week, when we look at metabolism, and its role in our weight and health.

How to Lose Those Last Stubborn Pounds

Weight Loss Tips

Ok, you’ve made some lifestyle changes, drink more water, eat more salad, go for a walk a few times a week…so why does that last 20 lbs of weight hang on so stubbornly? It’s great you’ve made those changes, but there could be a few factors that thwart your health and weight loss goals:

  • what you burn is perfectly balanced with what you consume
  • you may not be aware of how your food choices prevent you from breaking through your weight loss barrier
  • fatigue from lack of sleep makes it harder to for you to exercise effectively
  • you might be stressed, and this can impair metabolism

If you take a long view of your health, you can gradually make changes that stick. If you are pressed for time, with risks to your heart or impending diabetes, you might need to make changes quickly.

Ideas for Reassessing Your Approach to Weightloss

  1. Assess your habits. Condiments add extra fuel to a meal and may have ingredients your body doesn’t need. Bottled sweet drinks including juice and soda add calories with less value than whole fruits or freshly pressed juices. Notice the many ways extra calories creep quietly into your day, then make clear choices.
  2. Get enough sleep. Being well-rested means you can exercise the next day; exercising means you’ll sleep well. If your body clock is properly adjusted, meals can also fall into a pattern that can prevent binging.
  3. Snack wisely. Keep veggies, nuts, and fruits available to stave off hunger between meals. A small snack will keep fat cells calm, your metabolism burning properly, and prevent your body from swinging between feast and famine modes. Make sure to have breakfast and eat a healthy lunch.
  4. Read ingredients carefully and assess your larder. Be picky! Anything that does not come from a farm or is not simply derived from a natural ingredient is worth researching. Go easy on saturated fats and avoid trans-fats completely. The more you know, the easier it will be to make healthy decisions.
  5. Find inner peace. Perhaps that’s too much to ask, but find ways to unwind. High-stress levels lead to fat storage, so figure out how to have fun and feel good. A mindfulness practice plus exercise can alleviate stress and help the body be resilient.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia and featuring daily sunrise yoga and night-time restorative yoga, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

9 Reasons Why You Need a Mountain Trek Health Retreat

9. Change Your Routine

There’s no better way to boost your vitality and metabolism than by altering your routine and getting more active. When you change your environment, diet, and the people around you, your body responds. And Mountain Trek will ensure that response is entirely positive.

8. We’ll Watch What You Eat

A good rule of thumb is that if it has a label on it, it’s not food. Bananas, avocados, tomatoes, salmon – no food labels. Oreos? Different story. The minute you start putting real food into your system, it responds well but sometimes it’s easy to forget this. We’ll support you with delicious, nutritious meals that will revitalize your brain and body activity.

7. Move It Or Lose It

Our bodies weren’t designed to sit at a desk all day. Without regular exercise our hips get tight, our core weakens and our mobility lessens. That’s why Mountain Trek offers yoga to help improve mobility and hiking to help strengthen the body’s full range of motion. Join us and keep moving forward the way our bodies were meant to.

6. Disconnect

Do you feel like you’re a slave to your phone, tablet, or laptop? In order to connect with ourselves again, we have to disconnect from the global village, even if it’s just for a little while. We’re not saying you need to go rogue, but the simple experience of hearing the wind, or river, or nothing at all, instead of your text-message notification, can make you feel connected to everything.

5. Reconnect

Are you the type to plug in ear-buds and go lone-wolf style in the gym or on the way to work? Studies have shown that the results of exercising in a group (whether it be weight training, cardio, or hiking) greatly exceed the results of exercising alone. Come to Mountain Trek and make lasting connections with people who aren’t part of your everyday route – we need each other to excite and motivate us. WomenHikingFryeCreek

4. Get Outside And Play

Remember playing outside as a kid? Your body craves that – it wants to be exposed to fresh oxygen and vitamin D from the purest sources. When you’re outside, your body responds in a positive way by burning more calories and releasing endorphins. Add to that clean mountain air and the exhilaration of being in one of the most breathtaking environments in the world, and your body, and spirit, will remember why playing outside is so important.

3. Objects In Motion Stay In Motion

We know that getting started in a fitness program is always the hardest part. This is why Mountain Trek is the ideal place to start: you’ll get away from the stressors and temptations in your life, and replace them with stimulating mental, physical, and spiritual growth. We help you build new patterns that take the weight off, increase lean muscle, eat good food, and most importantly, keep things that way.

2. Change Your Body. Blow Your Mind

One thing that we often forget when considering changing our health is our brain, yet it is the most important organ in the body. These days, our brains can get bogged down in endless stacks of work and chores but one of the best ways to revitalize your mind is to change locations and do something different. Replace the high-rises with peaks and the traffic with trees. Give your brain something to really think about – happiness.

Mountain Trek British Columbia, Canada Lodge porch at Dusk

1. Invest in You

We are so often wrapped up in taking care of others. Whether you are supporting your colleagues, partner, parents, and children, we rarely take time for ourselves. Retreating to the lush mountains of British Columbia will offer you a chance to completely reset your health, and focus on yourself; so that you may return home feeling more balanced and recharged.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Our Program Isn’t Just For Losing Weight

hiking in forestFitness vacations aren’t just for people needing to lose weight any more.  Mountain Trek hosts people from around the world, of all ages and fitness levels.

As the “Wellness Tourism” industry evolves to meet the needs of our stressed society, people are drawn to Health Retreats for a variety of reasons, with the most obvious being for those wanting to lose pounds, detox, break old habits and learn healthy new ones.

But the appeal of fitness vacations like Mountain Trek is a growing trend among athletes and health conscious people as well, that aren’t necessarily “fat”.  In fact, there are a rising percentage of guests that choose us because our Program matches where they’re already at in their health, lifestyle and attitude.

You may wonder how athletic people would benefit from attending a fitness retreat when they’re already fit and don’t need to shed pounds.  Some of the reasons these types of guests choose healthy getaways such as Mountain Trek include:

  • getting out of the office and back in touch with nature to breathe clean air
  • hiking in pristine nature through new terrain with other outdoor enthusiasts
  • training for an upcoming marathon, which their life back home didn’t allow time for
  • breaking out of their workout routine and getting re-inspired
  • detoxing from coffee, alcohol, and other habits that can creep up on us all
  • taking a much needed break from technology overload and career demands
  • enjoying regular bodywork, treatments and consultations from skilled practitioners all in one location
  • rewarding themselves after an achievement such as getting their degree
  • renewing and deepening their commitment to their health
  • enjoying an adventurous getaway with friends or a loved ones
  • indulging in down time by going solo, and feeling safe going alone in the supportive environment
  • meeting new like-minded people from around the world
  • tuning up before a wedding or other important life event    

We see it all here at Mountain Trek, and see people of all fitness levels have a blast pushing themselves beyond the limits of their comfort zones.  No matter what condition they arrived in, we consistently see guests go home feeling energized and 10 years younger, proud of their accomplishments and with a renewed commitment to their health.  

Still Starving your Body with no Breakfast?

a smoothie and a bowl of granolaDo you get by on just coffee every morning and react to a grumbling stomach around 11:00 am?  “Oh ya, I should eat something.”  If your last meal was the night before at 6:00 pm, you’ve gone all night and then most of the morning without any nutrition.  That means your body has spent approximately 12 – 16 hours without food, and a portion of a 24 hr day in starvation mode.

Soon your metabolism becomes trained to slow down and conserve energy for the daily “starve”.

It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason!  After 8+ hours of no food intake, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy.  Breakfast is crucial to switching off the starvation response and kicking it back into gear.  Not only is eating breakfast important but what you eat for breakfast is a key component for revving up your engines for the day.

Kick-Start Your Metabolism by Breaking the Fast

Here at Mountain Trek, we know that weight loss is not about “what you shouldn’t eat” so much as “when” and “what you eat with what” that has the biggest impact on your blood sugar balancing hormones.  Maintaining this balance ensures you have the blood sugar for an active growth-centered, “Anabolic” metabolism.

Breakfast means “breaking the fast”.  Within 30 minutes of waking, kick-start your metabolism by eating a mix of food groups to avoid a “starvation response” from your liver.  Have a smoothie with fruit, greens, protein powder, Omega 3-6-9 oil, flax seeds, and milk (or a substitute).  Or if there’s time, a hot or cold whole-grain cereal with a little fruit, and protein from nuts or seeds.

Related Article: Mountain Trek’s Granola Bowl

The important factor in your first meal of the day is combining foods that digest quickly into blood sugars (like fruit), combined with proteins and complex carbohydrates to give you a steady, longer energy release.  This avoids an Insulin response to a blood sugar spike that results in fat storage.

Our bodies need hydrating and nourishment after 8+ hours of no food or water.  To deny your body breakfast is telling your metabolism to slow right down and conserve energy.

So dust off your blender in the back of the cupboard, or get a new one that inspires you to use it!  Your body and metabolism will thank you.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Who Comes to Mountain Trek?

Who Comes to Mountain Trek
Fitness Vacations aren’t just for people wanting to lose weight anymore.  At Mountain Trek, we  host people from all parts of the globe, ages and fitness levels, and occupation.  In fact, one of the most fulfilling components of the job is meeting such a variety of amazing people wanting to make healthy changes in their lives, and welcoming back Alumni year after year as an investment in their health.

There isn’t any one category to describe people who choose a boot camp style fitness retreat as a break, but there are plenty that do.  The Fitness Vacation trend is now the popular choice for anyone needing a healthy break from their un-healthy routine!  It appeals to a variety of folks who are adventure seekers, hiking enthusiasts, stressed out business people, and those needing a “boot camp” type of program to shed pounds quickly and safely.

Variety on the Trails

Mountain Trek hosts:

  • guests who have beaten cancer and are needing to regain their strength;
  • mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters, and spouses celebrating their 20th anniversary;
  • young couples from the city eager to hike the pristine mountains of British Columbia and breathe clean air and drink pure water;
  • hiking enthusiasts from Europe looking for a change of terrain and less crowds;
  • parents needing a break;
  • people wanting to learn about nutrition, healthy eating, and a balanced lifestyle;
  • organ transplant recipients;
  • the occasional Hollywood executive;
  • stressed career professionals needing to recharge their batteries, get back in touch with nature, and shed 6-10 pounds;
  • people in their 60’s who are young at heart and invest in staying in shape and keeping strong;
  • everyone in between who needs to detoxify from environmental pollutants, chemical and pesticide-laden foods, and a diet filled with food sensitivities and insulin imbalances;
  • and those who are motivated to lose weight and kick-start healthy lifestyle habits.

With the adventurous hiking terrain in spectacular surroundings, people have a blast pushing themselves beyond the limits of their comfort zones.  Our guests go home feeling energized and 10 years younger, proud of their accomplishments and with a renewed commitment to their health!

How Long can Rapid Weight Loss be Sustained?

woman exerciseAs people research their options of boot camp-style fitness programs, they often ask; “how long should I go for the most lasting impact?” And “How can I continue rapid weight loss after I’m back home?”

Besides taking a break and unplugging from their busy lives for some adventure and unparalleled hiking terrain, for many people, quick weight loss is their goal.  Along with the activities and lower calories to quickly shed pounds while here, we also educate our guests about healthy habits for the long term.  Learning about nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices will enable people to continue components of our program, in a sustainable, healthy way at home.

Maxing Your Stay at a Fitness Retreat

The ideal duration of our program is 2-week increments. We see maximum weight loss results with the 2-week “The Renewal” program, instead of doing the program continuously for 3 or 4 weeks.  Not only would 4 weeks of continual “boot camp” style activities produce wear and tear, but the body also has a natural response to the prolonged excursion that prevents rapid weight loss from continuing.

Metabolically, the body burns the most fat during the kick-start phase of weeks 1 and 2.  After 2 weeks of the Program, we have historically seen with guests that the rate of weight loss slows down to half after continuing into the 3rd and 4th weeks.  This is due to the body’s reaction to the continual physical rate of excursion, and its “plateau” response of hanging on to calories/fat as a “starvation” response.

Your Body’s Wise to Sustained Excursion

Our bodies are designed to adapt to conditions of feast or famine, athletic activity or sedentary lounging, and will retain calories when it recognizes the need.  Safely “shocking” the system with intense physical excursion and lower calorie intake results in rapid weight loss.  However, the body will ensure it doesn’t burn fat so easily if this continues, and will then hang on to calories for survival.

Benefits of Shorter and Longer Fitness Vacations

For guests that really need to unplug from their busy life, Mountain Trek certainly does accommodate 3 or 4-week stays, with the flexibility of “rest days”.  For some people, a longer break is the ideal combination of rapid weight loss at the outset, and thorough rejuvenating and detoxing.

But for those that are focused on rapid weight loss in less time, it is most effective to kick-start their fat-burning with coming for 1 or 2 weeks in our supportive environment, breaking old habits and learning new ones, and either carrying on components of the Program at home, (which they’ll learn) or coming back for a refresher.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below: