All posts in Weight Loss

High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise routine where high intensity/difficulty exercises are alternated with low to moderate ones. This allows for a period of “rest” so that the body can perform at a very high level during the high bursts. This type of exercise is very time efficient, which is great for today’s busy schedules. It affords more gains in aerobic capacity and more calorie and fat burning than a traditional moderately paced exercise.

You can create a plan with running or biking such as going at top speed for 1 minute then slow for 2 minutes and repeating this cycle 5 times for a 15 minute routine. You can also do it with exercises such as squats, pushups, rowing, jump rope, sit ups, or lunges. It just has to be difficult and you will reap the benefits.


Belly fat is linked to health problems

Belly fat is linked to health problems

Weight can be an indicator of overall health, especially were you’re carrying it. A disproportionate amount of belly fat is a stronger indicator than just obesity of your risk for having type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. This is because fat cells can increase hormones and inflammatory substances. Measuring belly fat is done by measuring at the level of the belly button, making sure the measuring tape is straight. If it is over than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women consider trying to come up with a weight loss plan with your doctor.


What is a carb?

What is a carb?


What is a Carb?

Know what Foods Contain Carbohydrates

  • Starches
    • Bread, cereal
    • Pasta, rice, grains
    • Beans and lentils
    • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn and peas
    • Crackers, pretzels and chips
    • Fruits and fruit juices
    • Milk and yogurt
    • Sugary desserts
    • Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, carrots, asparagus and salad greens


How to Measure Carbohydrates

1 carb choice = 15 grams of carbohydrate

  • 1/3 cup cooked rice or 1 slice of bread
  • 1 small piece of fruit or ½ cup fruit juice
  • 1 cup (8 oz) milk or 2/3 cup (6oz) low-fat yogurt

Creating your Meal Plan

The amount of carbohydrates you eat should depend on your nutrition goals.  This booklet is a general guideline; consult with your dietician for the plan that is specific for you and your goals.  The registered Dietician (RD) is the health care professional trained to teach you how to improve your health and health choices.


  For Weight Loss For Weight Maintenance Snacks (If Desired)
Women 2 to 3 carb choices 3 to 4 carb choices 1 carb choice
Men 3 to 4 carb choices 4 to 5 carb choices 1 carb choice


Carbohydrate Choice Lists

Starch Choices

1 Carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate


Food Serving   Size
Bagel 1/4 large (4 oz)
Biscuit, 2.5 inches across 1
Bread, reduced calorie 2 slices
Bread, white or whole grain 1 slice
Cornbread, 1.75 inch cube 1
English muffin ½
Hot dog or hamburger bun ½
Naan (8 x2) ¼
Waffle or pancake (4 x.25) 1
Tortilla, corn or flour (6 in) 1


Cereals and Grains:

Food Serving   Size
Barley, couscous, millet, pasta, rice,   quinoa, or polenta cooked 1/3 cup
Bran cereal, shredded wheat, or   sugar-coated cereal ½ cup
Bulgar. Grits. Palin oatmeal. Or wild   rice. Cooked ½ cup
Cereal, unsweetened, ready to eat ¾ cup


Starchy Vegetables:

Food Serving   Size
Acorn or butternut squash or pumpkin,   unsweetened 1 cup
Cassava or plantain 1/3 cup
Corn, green peas, or parsnips ½ cup
Potato, baked with skin 1 small or ¼ large
Potato, mashed with milk and fat ½ cup
Sweet potato or yam ½ cup

Crackers and snacks:

Food Serving   Size
Chips, baked 15-20 pieces
Chips, potato or tortilla 9-13 pieces
Crackers, animal 8
Crackers, graham 3
Crackers, saltine or round butter-type 6
Popcorn 3 cups, popped
Pretzels ¾ oz
Rice cakes 2

Beans and Lentils:

Food Serving   Size
Baked beans 1/3 cup
Beans (black, pinto, navy, or kidney)   lentils, or split peas, cooked ½ cup



Food Serving   Size
Banana 1 extra-small
Blueberries or blackberries ¾ cup
Fruit, dried or raisins 2 Tbsp
Fruit, fresh or canned unsweetened ½ cup
Fruit, whole 1 small
Fruit juice, unsweetened ½ cup
Grapes small 17
Melon or raspberries 1 cup

Milk Choices

1 carbohydrate choice = 12 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Buttermilk 1 cup
Milk(nonfat, 1%, 2%, whole) 1 cup
Rice drink, fat-free 1 cup
Soy milk, light or regular, plain 1 cup
Yogurt, plain or flavored with an   artificial sweetener, fat-free or low-fat 2/3 cup

Sweets and Dessert Choices

1 carbohydrate= 15 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Brownie 1 1/4 –inch square
Cake, unfrosted 2-inch square
Candy, hard 3 pieces
Cookie, sandwich 2 small
Ice cream, regular ½ cup
Pudding, sugar free 1.2 cup

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

Candy bar, chocolate, plain 1 ¼ oz
Cupcake, frosted 1 small
Donut, glazed 1

3 carbohydrates= 45 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Flan 1 cup
Fruit pie with 2 crusts 1/6 of 8 in pie
Rice pudding ½ cup

Non starchy Vegetables

1 serving = 5 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Vegetables, cooked ½ cup
Vegetables, raw 1 cup
Vegetable juice ½ cup

Combination Food

Food Serving   Size
Soup 1 cup
Stew, meat and vegetables 1 cup

2 carbohydrate choices = 30 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Lasagna or noodle casserole 1 cup
Pizza ¼    of 12 in thin curst
Potato or macaroni salad ½ cup

3 carbohydrate choices=45 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Burrito (beef and bean) 1 (5 oz)
Dinner-type frozen meal 1 (14-17 oz)


Fast-Food Choices

Food Serving   Size
Chicken breast 5 oz
Chicken nuggets 6 pieces
Chicken stir-fried with vegetables 1 cup
Egg roll 1
Taco 1 small

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Breakfast sandwich, biscuit or English   muffin variety 1
Hamburger, regular 1

3 carbohydrate choices = 45 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
French Fries 1 small
Sandwich grilled chicken 1
Sandwich, submarine 1 (6 in)





Weight loss exercise

Weight loss exercise

Weight Loss Exercise.

If I exercise 30 minutes a day and eat healthy, but I stopped losing weight, what should I try next?

Some people rely on the government recommendation which suggest 30 minutes of exercise such as walking as a benchmark for daily exercise.  However, this is the minimum needed for maintenance and serves as a good starting point.

Better Exercise.

Amount:  In order to burn fat, we need to exercise longer and harder than the government’s recommendation.  A good workout session includes at least 45 minutes of exercise at a moderate-to-high intensity.

Intensity:  Intensity can be gauged through your heart rate and muscle fatigue.  Your target heart rate during exercise depends on your age and can be estimated from a table.  Muscle fatigue results from repeated movements against resistance (weights and reps).  Try to do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps of resisted exercise using a moderate weight.   If your heart rate remains in the target range and you can complete 3 sets of 10-12 reps before becoming fatigued, then the intensity is moderate-to-high.  Adjust the weight resistance up or down until the intensity is right.  You should be breaking a sweat and breathing moderately hard.

Target body weight:  Your target body weight can be estimated using a BMI table.  As you approach your target weight it becomes increasingly difficult to lose weight, especially at the belly.  The amount and intensity of your exercise needs to be increased as your weight loss plateaus.  If you are 10-15 pounds overweight and are trying to lose the last few more pounds of belly fat you will need to work out more than 45 minutes at a higher intensity.

Variety:  Walking or even jogging for 30-45 minutes is not going to result in significant weight loss.  This exercise might be good for your lungs and heart but a variety of resisted exercises is needed to accomplish meaningful weight loss.  If you build muscle you not only burn calories during exercise, but also increase your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even during rest.  BONUS!  The best way to build muscle – and lose weight – is through a variety of resistance exercises that become progressively more intense over time.  Then rest one day to allow your muscles to recover.

Reward:  Reward yourself after exercise with … weight reduction, not with a double scoop of chocolate ice cream.

Power Plate:  Power Plate Vibration Technology allows a person to experience a full workout at moderate-to-high intensity in fewer minutes and with less impact on the joints.

Pointers:   Consult your physician prior to initiating a weight loss program.  Utilize a personal trainer or physical therapist for coaching and instruction.  Consult with a nutritionist for help with further improving your diet.  Reducing stress at home or at work can lead to more rapid weight loss.


Tips for getting to a healthy weight

Tips for getting to a healthy weight

Reprinted with permission from the PRESCRIBERS’ LETTER

About two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. So it’s easy to see why so many people want to lose at least a couple of pounds, and sometimes more. Losing weight is not easy. We have such fast-paced lives. Time for exercise and preparing healthy meals can be hard to come by. But if you put your mind to it and stick to your goals, you can have success.

Keep in mind that for losing weight, slow and steady is best. Small changes can have big results. Crash diets, gimmicks, and weight loss supplements are not the way to go and can sometimes be dangerous. In fact, people who lose just one to two pounds each week have the best chance of keeping it off. Consider that one pound is equal to 3500 calories. To lose one to two pounds in one week, you’ll need to reduce your calories by about 500 to 1000 per day. You can do this by eating fewer calories, burning more calories through physical activity, or a combination of both.

Here are some practical tips you can use to help with your weight loss plan:

Set goals. Be realistic.

Write down the reasons you want to lose weight. Post this list somewhere you can see it often to help you stay motivated.

Write down everything you eat for a few days so you have a realistic idea of what and when you are eating.

Try to avoid bad habits that can cause weight gain, such as eating too fast, eating when you’re not hungry, skipping meals, and always having dessert.

Don’t feel like you always need to “clean your plate.”

Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Eat less food with high fat and sugar content.

Read nutrition information on food labels. Pay attention to serving sizes.

Bake or grill foods instead of frying or breading them.

If you indulge in a high-calorie food, make sure to limit yourself to only a small portion.

Set specific goals for exercising, such as the amount of time you will spend and how many times you will exercise each week.

Choose an activity you enjoy. Walking is a good place to start.

Pair up with an exercise buddy, friend, or family member, to help you stay motivated.

Consider working with a dietitian or trainer or joining a gym or health club if you need more structure. (We have our own registered dietitian and gym in OUR OFFICE)

Don’t get discouraged by setbacks. Keep moving forward toward your goal.                                                                                                

As you lose weight, your dress size or pants size is likely to drop as well. But you will also feel better and have more energy. Plus, keeping a healthy weight can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Keeping these numbers in check lowers your risk of serious health problems like diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.


There are medicines that can help people lose weight, but they aren’t for everybody. Even with the medicines, you’ll need to stick with a healthy lifestyle to see good results. If you have questions about these medicines, talk to your health care provider.




Help fight holiday TOXIC TEMPTATION!!

Help fight holiday TOXIC TEMPTATION!!

Meet Julie Calmes, RD, LD/N Dietitian/Nutritionist at Kaizen Total Wellness! She’s here to tell you YOU can do it! She knows how to keep you focussed on staying in control without feeling deprived over the holidays. It isn’t easy for anyone! One thing is for sure – January 1 will come whether or not we let ourselves give in to those horribly tasting toxic temptations!! 

Julie is a Registered Dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly called the American Dietetic Association). She received her B.S. in Medical Dietetics from Ohio State University. She moved to Sarasota in 2008 to be closer to her sister and the beach. Living a healthy lifestyle is important to her, and she has spent her career teaching people about the impact nutrition can have on improving their health and preventing disease. She enjoys cooking, gardening, Jazzercise and bicycling with her husband and Lhasapoo, named “Cookie”.

Call Kaizen Total Wellness and give yourself the best holiday gift EVER!!
(941)315-6182 for an appointment


Zonisamide for weight reduction in obese adults

Zonisamide for weight reduction in obese adults

JAMA, 10/30/2013  Evidence Based Medicine  Clinical Article Apovian CM et al. 

Obese individuals who have failed to achieve adequate weight loss with lifestyle changes have limited nonsurgical therapeutic options. Authors evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of zonisamide, an antiepileptic drug, for enhancing weight loss in obese patients receiving diet and lifestyle guidance. Zonisamide at the daily dose of 400 mg moderately enhanced weight loss achieved with diet and lifestyle counseling but had a high incidence of adverse events.


This was a 1–year, randomized, double–blind, placebo–controlled trial conducted from January 9, 2006, through September 20, 2011, at Duke University Medical Center.

A total of 225 obese (mean [SD] body mass index, 37.6 [4.9]) participants included 134 women (59.6%) and 91 men (40.4%) without diabetes mellitus.

(Body mass index is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.)

Interventions were daily dosing with placebo (n = 74), 200 mg of zonisamide (n = 76), or 400 mg of zonisamide (n = 75), in addition to diet and lifestyle counseling by a dietitian for 1 year.

Primary outcome was change in body weight at 1 year.



Of the 225 randomized patients, 218 (96.9%) provided 1–year follow–up assessments.

Change in body weight was -4.0 kg (95% CI, -5.8 to -2.3 kg; least squares mean, -3.7%) for placebo, -4.4 kg (-6.1 to -2.6 kg; -3.9%; P=.79 vs placebo) for 200 mg of zonisamide, and -7.3 kg (-9.0 to -5.6 kg; -6.8%; P=.009 vs placebo) for 400 mg of zonisamide.

In the categorical analysis, 23 (31.1%) assigned to placebo, 26 (34.2%; P = .72) assigned to 200 mg of zonisamide, and 41 (54.7%; P = .007) assigned to 400 mg of zonisamide achieved 5% or greater weight loss; for 10% or greater weight loss, the corresponding numbers were 6 (8.1%), 17 (22.4%; P = .02), and 24 (32.0%; P < .001).

Gastrointestinal, nervous system, and psychiatric adverse events occurred at a higher incidence with zonisamide than with placebo.


Meet our new Registered Dietitian, Julie

Meet our new Registered Dietitian, Julie

Julie Calmes is a Registered Dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly called the American Dietetic Association). She received her B.S. in Medical Dietetics from Ohio State University. She moved to Sarasota in 2008 to be closer to her sister and the beach. Living a healthy lifestyle is important to her, and she has spent her career teaching people about the impact nutrition can have on improving their health and preventing disease. She enjoys cooking, gardening, Jazzercise and bicycling with her husband and Lhasapoo, named “Cookie”.


Diet soda and health concerns

Diet soda and health concerns

No one knows for sure whether artificial sweeteners are associated with obesity and diabetes but many scientists have their theories:
1.       Because artificial sweeteners are thousands of times sweeter than sugar, they can cause an increased preference for sweet foods.
2.       They somehow trick your metabolism to think sugar is in your body, thereby causing an increase in insulin, which increases body fat.
3.       Some people think it slows your metabolism, so you burn fewer calories.
4.       It can make you hungrier and crave carbs like bread and potatoes.
5.       Animal studies in rats showed a 14% increase in body fat when fed artificial sweeteners.
6.       Population studies showed a 200% increase risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers

I personally do not agree with these assumptions and studies. The reason most people do not lose weight drinking diet sodas is simple: They are usually drinking them along with their pizzas, cheeseburgers, fries and other junk foods!
Losing weight is relatively simple in theory but obviously hard to do: just burn more calories than you consume.