A somewhat overused proverb says "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life." Its principle can be applied to any fitness retreat or weight loss boot camp.
The goal of such program is not just for participants to lose weight, but to give them the right tools and information to take care of their bodies after the camp. A good fitness and nutrition camp should and will be able to provide participants with knowledge from trainers, counsellors, nutritionists and even chefs.
A good weight loss and exercise program encourages people to think of food as fuel, delicious fuel at that. It also teaches people about the types of nutrients in food, and their effects on the body. For example, did you know which nutrients stimulate one's metabolism and help people burn fat?
Some fat-burning nutrients
- Proteins are found in meat and beans. They strengthen our muscles and our blood. In terms of body composition, people should have more muscle than fat. Studies say that protein helps people lose more weight.
- Calcium is found in many dairy products. It strengthens our bones, but is also stored in our fat cells. This makes fat cells easy to release. It also binds fat to our digestive system so that more of it will be processed and less of it will be absorbed by the body.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and seafoods. It stimulates fat-burning and helps balance our appetites.
- Monosaturated fatty acids come from olive oil, nuts, avocado, peanut butter and chocolate. (This is great news for fans of Italian food, chocoholics and pb&j lovers!) Apart from burning unwanted fat, they help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Conjugated linoleic acids are also found in milk. They come from the good bacteria in animals. These bacteria strengthen the body's digestive processes.
- Vitamin D is produced in our skin as a reaction to sunlight. This is why outdoor fitness & weight loss activities are encouraged. In food, we can get it from mushrooms, fish and eggs. It helps all the fat-burning nutrients mentioned above work better.
An easy fitness & nutrition recipe
How can these nutrients be put together in one mouth-watering meal? Try making a Mediterranean tuna dish.
- Boil any pasta available at home. Bow-tie pasta, macaroni or penne are preferred.
- In a bowl, make a dressing by mixing 1 can of tuna, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sugar, sprinkles of salt, black pepper and dried oregano.
- Slice 1 cucumber and 1 small red onion. Chop 10 olives. Wash grape tomatoes and salad greens. Mix these all in a bowl.
- When the pasta is ready, toss it with the vegetables and the salad dressing. Top with 1/2 cup of feta cheese.
And participants can always ask their fitness retreat's experts for more recipes.
Editorial by FitFarms.co.uk, Women Only Weight Loss Retreat in the United Kingdom.