Staying Healthy at Youth Camp

in Coaching on July 25, 2013by Ben_Read

 The past 5 months for me have been a journey to eating healthy and being healthier as a whole! I was at an all-time high in weight, weighing in at 260 lbs. I have made some little changes in my diet and exercise routine and wanted to share with you some practical ways of eating and staying healthy at Youth Camp.

Our youth ministry just returned from Global Youth Ministry camp and we had a blast, but it never fails…. the camp food is blah and high in fat and calories. So how do you do it? You have been working hard to get fit, or you just do not want to gain weight to your already hard-earned physique that God has blessed you with. Here are some tips and a list of the things I did (and I actually maintained my body weight of 217 lbs while at camp eating their food!):

Count Calories.

I count calories and have always counted calories since I started my journey of being healthy. My number one tool for doing this is the app MyFitnessPal. They also have a website that lets you do everything the app does, it is just a little more time-consuming. On top of calories I also watch my carb and protein intake and this app keeps track of that as well as all of your nutritional values (sodium, vitamins, cal’s, water intake, potassium, etc…).  The last thing I do with this app is record my cardio, as it subtracts from your calorie intake and adjust everything automatically to tell you what you need to meet your goal nutritionally everyday.

Get Exercise.

Get some type of exercise in throughout the day. If the students are playing a game of ultimate-Frisbee, join in. You would be surprised at how many calories you will burn in 30 minutes of being moderately active when running around. I wore a heart rate monitor while doing any activities at camp; while playing a 30 minute game of ultimate-Frisbee I burned 325 calories (this is for a 24 year old, weighing in at 217 lbs). If you are lucky and the facilities have a weight room, then use them. On the other hand, if they do not have an exercise room then get creative. I found a playground the third day I was at camp and used the monkey bars to do pull-ups and chest bar dips. If none of the above are available then just go for a jog and or walk even if you have to go around a parking lot 20+ times.

Watch your carbs.

When you do eat, try to stay away from carbs that come from sugars and try to eat 70% protein and only 30% carbs. If you must have carbs avoid the following:
  • White Pasta
  • White Rice
  • White Bread
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Fruit Juices
  • Bagels
  • Donuts
  • Muffins
  • Sweets and Candies
  • Processed Breakfast Cereals
For a more in-depth look at carbs and what you can and should not eat go HERE. By the way, carbs that come from fiber are good to eat. They do not store in your fat storages as quickly as sugar carbs and are used for an all day energy.

Take your vitamins.

This step is optional. I use supplements every day. Supplements do not = steroids. Here is a list of supplements I take and why I take them.
  • Spark– This is an healthy alternative to energy drink and coffee. I use it when I wake up in replace of my coffee and I use it once again after lunch to give me all day focus and energy.
  • O2 Gold– This supplement actually helps your body use more of the oxygen that is present in your blood. I use it once a day whether I exercise or not. It helps my muscles from getting fatigued. It also helps keep me alert and supports the immune system.
  • Catalyst– Catalyst helps me retain muscle and reduce fat for a more toned and better defined look. This supplement gives you all the Basic Chain Amino Acids you need to support your body through out the day. It actually helps transport the fat from your fat storage to be used for energy.

What are your thoughts– is there something you do that helps you when you are at youth camps? Leave a comment below and let us know!


Ben Read at 4:01 pm

Great stuff Josh!

Josh Sutton at 11:07 am

Thank your Ben.

Debbie at 11:52 am

For the last 2 years I have brought my own granola, heavy with nuts, my own meal replacement snacks, and high fiber fruit to camp. I usually have to make a run to town for more fruit. An avacado when I got home helped very much.


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