5 Under-Recognized Weight Loss Tips Backed By Research

By Cassandra Golden MS, RD, LDN

Almost 70% of all American adults are either overweight or obese. Obesity increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and 13 different types of cancer. Creating small, consistent lifestyle changes overtime will lead to big risk reductions. Here are five strategies that have been proven to be effective for weight loss:

  1. Lift weights
    Following a restrictive diet can result in muscle loss and negatively affect metabolism. Resistance training, (also known as weight lifting) can preserve lean body mass and burn calories more efficiently, which is an important factor for weight loss. This is due to something called excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), where the body can take up to 48 hours to return to a resting state after exercise. Calories can continue being burned long after a weight lifting workout is completed. Research from the University of New Mexico found that heavy resistance training burned the most calories after the completion of a workout compared to circuit training and aerobic cycling.
  1. Use a smaller plate
    A study from The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that simply using a smaller plate can help people automatically eat fewer calories.
  1. Use a food log to track calories
    Studies show that tracking what you eat can help create an accurate picture of your calorie and nutrient consumption. Food logs also promote self-accountability and awareness of nutrient intake, which is valuable for weight loss. Free online food logs are available from www.myfitnesspal.com and https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/.
  1. Get a good night’s rest
    Those who sleep less have an increased risk for obesity, as evidenced by cross-sectional studies from around the world. Poor sleep can increase your appetite, increase the chance of insulin resistance, and increase your calorie intake by being less likely to resist temptations and adhere to portion control.
  1. Become an intuitive eater
    Contrary to popular belief, following restrictive diet programs can actually lead to weight gain over time. A recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that a weight loss approach focusing on intuitive eating was more successful long-term than traditional weight-loss programs. Intuitive eating considers internal hunger and fullness cues, as opposed to outward cues- such as calorie counting and weight scales.

 As you find ways to incorporate new weight loss approaches into your life, keep in mind the timeless strategies that have also shown to be beneficial- such as cutting out added sugar, processed foods, and refined carbs from your diet. This healthy combination will guide you toward living a healthy life!








Learning at the PGA Show

 Below is a video I did at the PGA show with 8 time PGA Tour winner Brad Faxon along with Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, the Founders of the number one golf school in America, Vision54. We had a great time learning from some of the greatest minds in the golf business and would love to share these experiences with you.



-Megan Padua

Yoga is Not Just for Women: Start a new ‘Regi-Men”

Contributed by Melanie Pefinis, Certified Yoga and Pilates instructor

The Practice of yoga can be many things; for some it is a relaxation technique. For others it is a stretching discipline. But where men are concerned it is especially vital as it provides a technique for dealing with the effects of years of overuse, sports injury, repetitive motions and the bumps and bruises of a life well-lived.

While women often flock to Yoga classes, the benefits for men are extensive. Yoga promotes flexibility which increases restorative blood flow to tight regions and it provides a way to work around chronic tightness, immobility and pain. For Golfers and Tennis Players who constantly move in repetitive motion, Yoga offers stretches that will correct these imbalances.

Check out these poses that will help Golfers and Tennis Players improve their strength, balance and flexibility:

Insert pics attached

Yoga is offered weekly as part of our group fitness programming.

Mondays at 3:00 p.m.- Yoga for Beginners
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.- Core Yoga
Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.- Gentle Yoga
Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.- Restorative Yoga

And, On Saturday, January 27, your Fitness and Golf Professionals will be joined by world-renown golf and baseball yoga instructor Katherine Roberts. We will be incorporating the expertise of Katherine along with our knowledge of fitness, golf, and TPI training to help you improve all aspects of your game and physical fitness.

Yoga for Golf with Katherine Roberts
Saturday, January 27
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Lecture in classroom with interactive group yoga session.
Cost: $50/ limited to 40 participants

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Yoga for Power (To be held in outdoor golf setting)
Cost: $30/ limited to 16 participants

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Yoga for Putting (To be held in outdoor golf setting)
Cost: $30/ limited to 16 participants

Cost for all three sessions is $100.

To register for this event, please call the Fitness Center at 495-1937.

Be Specific When Setting Your Fitness Goals

If you don’t test, it’s just a guess

The first step in making any kind of change is identifying exactly what you want to change.  For example, saying that you want to lose weight is really too vague.  Generally, losing weight is good but not if the weight loss comes from muscle loss (which can happen when your calories are severely restricted) or when the weight loss is primarily water loss (from dehydration and excessive sweating).  I would suggest setting specific goals like I want to decrease body fat to get into a healthy range.  Then, you can set even more specific goals like:  1) I want to eat 5-6 servings of vegetables daily 2) I want to drink 8-10 glasses of water each day  or 3) I want to limit (or eliminate) fried foods or fast foods from my diet.  It may be helpful to meet with a Nutrition or Fitness professional to help you set your goals and to create a road map for achieving your goals.

Then, it’s important to get a baseline for monitoring progress and staying motivated.  Have you ever heard of the phrase, “a skinny fat person?”  This is the person who looks thin but has low muscle tone and high body fat.  I would argue that most of us would rather look a “little bigger” if it meant that we were a little healthier.  The problem is that most of us really don’t know what “healthy” is… normal ranges for body fat and muscle mass and where exactly we are with respect to those variables.  Using the scale to determine how we are doing is ok, but it doesn’t give us a complete picture of where we are and how we are doing in meeting our goals.

The InBody is a test that is available in the Fitness Center that will give you and your Fitness and/or Nutrition professional a picture of you from the inside out.  Results show how your body weight breaks down… lean mass, fat mass, and intracellular & extracellular water and where the weight is distributed throughout your body.   You will also find out where your percentages fall for these variables vs. where they should be (normal ranges).  Additionally, you will get accurate information on your basal metabolic rate and how much weight you should actually lose to fall into your healthy range. 

To find out more about the Inbody and how to schedule the test, call the Fitness Center at 495-1937 or stop by our front desk.

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Here is one of my favorite recipes, created by me, Cassandra Golden! 

-your Licensed and Registered Dietician

Overnight Carrot Cake Oatmeal 


2  and 1/4 cups water 

10 ounce crushed pineapples (in a can) 

3/4 cup oats 

1 cup shredded carrots 

1/2 cup cherry craisins 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Directions: Coat crock pot with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and cook on low, 6-8 hours. Add water as needed for desired consistency. Top with granola for a satisfying crunch!  

Which is Better, Machines or Free Weights?

This is a bit of a loaded question… functional fitness (which typically includes training with free weights, med balls, and physioballs, the TRX and other tools that ask you to balance and stabilize during the exercise) is all the buzz in our industry, and yes, I believe that doing things that are “functional” is the best way to train, but exactly what does that mean and does that there is no place for machines in your workouts? 

First, let’s define functional fitness.  To me, functional fitness is anything that helps you function or do the things you do on a daily basis better.  So from that standpoint, both machines and free weights are functional; both increase strength, and improving strength gets more important the older you get. 

With that said though, there are benefits and drawbacks to both types of training.

Free weight
Inexpensive, portable, versatile, functional (incorporates balance and stability work into the exercise), movements can mimic how your body moves in real life (multi-planar)
May take practice, must use proper technique to avoid injury

Effective for building strength, allows you to focus your effort on the exercise (strength move) vs. the stabilization and mechanics of the movement, allows you to lift heavier weights and target specific muscle groups, easy to use, safe
Expensive, requires dedicated space, must fit your body, exercises don’t require you to stabilize during the movement 

From a personal standpoint, I prefer to train my clients using body weight, balls, bands, and other tools that allow you to move like you do in real life.  I think balance and stability are just as important as strength as you get older, and free weights and functional training incorporate these essential fitness components; however, there are times when using machines is beneficial… especially for someone who is coming off of an injury or for someone who has a muscle imbalance that I am trying to correct.  Using machines may also be a good starting point for someone who is just getting into fitness and is a little intimidated by the gym.   But, the bottom line for me is this… doing anything is better than doing nothing at all so if you prefer machines to free weights, then use machines, but I would also encourage you to include some balance training, some flexibility work and some stability work as well. 

Examples of free weight exercise for strengthening the lower body: 

Examples of machine exercise for strengthening lower body:

By Tammy Mugavero MS., ATC/L, CSCS, TPI Level 2 Medical Certified

Young at Heart: Nutrition-focused blog for Bonita Bay Club

Adults are living longer, healthier and more functional lives than ever before! As we age, multiple changes occur that affect our nutritional status and ultimately our quality of life. No matter what age you are–it is never too late to emphasize the importance of nutrition and physical activity. The aging process influences how nutrients are absorbed and excreted, which makes following a healthy diet even more important. Unfortunately, we cannot control our age but we CAN control our diet.

Based on the Healthy Eating Index, older Americans need to increase their intakes of:

  • Whole grains
  • Dark green and orange vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Milk

Older American are recommended to lower their intake of:

  • Saturated fats found in high fat animal products (red meat and full-fat dairy)
  • Trans fats found in processed foods and bakery items
  • Added sugars found in juice, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks
  • Sodium found in processed foods, snack foods, microwavable meals, packaged foods in a bog, bag or can

The partnership of calcium and vitamin D:

  • With the aging process comes a higher need for calcium and vitamin D due to losses in bone mineral density
  • Vitamin D can help prevent softening of the bones and reduce the risk of bone fractures
  • Without vitamin D, your bones cannot absorb calcium
  • When you are young, your body makes vitamin D in your skin whenever you are out in the sunshine. However, older skin is not very efficient at producing vitamin D in response to sunlight.
  • Vitamin D is also found in some foods, like milk and oily fish like salmon and tuna. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as cereals and orange juice.
  • Low vitamin D levels are now common in the United States
  • If you are over 65 years of age, it is recommended to have a blood test to check your vitamin D levels. Most guidelines recommend at least 800-1,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day for older adults.

Interested in learning more about incorporating calcium and vitamin D in your diet? Contact the Fitness Center at 495-1937 to schedule an appointment with Cassandra Golden, our Licensed and Registered Dietician.  Cassandra has office hours every Friday from 9:0 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Fitness Center.

–Cassandra Golden MS, RD, LDN is our dietitian here at Bonita Bay! Cassandra is a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in the state of Florida, with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and a Masters Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. Her approach to nutrition is to incorporate research-based recommendations and practical guidelines that can be followed long term.

Busting the Myth: Spot Reduction

“I want to get rid of this.  What is the best exercise for that? Or, can you give me one exercise that I can do?”  Most of the time, people are talking about their midsection or their stomach’s as they say, but my answer is always the same no matter what body part they are talking about…  there is no such thing as spot reduction.  Spot reduction is the ability to burn fat selectively off of trouble spots, and unfortunately, area-specific fat loss is a myth. 

Each person has a natural pattern of where fat is added or dropped.  Some people will lose fat from their stomach’s first while others might get slimmer hips or notice it in their faces.  My experience seems to be that the first place you put it on is usually the last place you take it off… but there’s no science behind that.   

What we do know for a fact is that you can’t out exercise a bad diet, so if you want to lose fat, you have to alter your diet.  The good news though is that exercise burns off calories so the more muscles you work (like full-body exercises), the more calories you burn.   If you want more definition in a certain area, you can train those areas (spot toning), but you still have to decrease the body fat or you may never see the results of your work. 

Avoid One of the Biggest Mistakes in Exercise

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when exercising is doing the same routine session after session, week after week and even year after year.  In doing this, you set yourself up for overuse injuries and limit progress because of adaptation.

From an injury standpoint, working the same muscles in the same way in every workout can lead to overuse.  Varying your workouts or cross-training will allow you to work out more frequently and for longer durations without excessively overloading particularly vulnerable areas of your body.  

Varying your exercise routine or cross training has a number of other benefits besides minimizing your risk of injury.  It helps you prevent plateaus and muscle imbalances, and it keeps you motivated. 

For the best results from your workout, change things up every 4-6 weeks.  Include all of the major components of fitness: weight training, cardiovascular work, and flexibility training.  If your workouts are cardiovascular-based, vary the type of cardio you do.  For example, if running is your primary workout, add the bike or swimming a couple of times per week to keep your workouts fresh, to minimize impact, and to get a more total-body workout.  This will go a long way in avoiding injuries and will keep you from getting bored with your workouts.

For a good cardio workout, mix it up:

:  This is a combination stepper/ elliptical.  It can be a challenging workout that takes a little getting used to; however, the motion is more natural than the up and down motion of a stepper.  Provides a non-impact work but allows you to be weight bearing. 

Recumbent Bike:  Provides a non-impact workout.  Good for those who have back issues as it provides good back support with a high-back seat that can be reclined to decrease the pressure on the spine.  Users will feel this exercise more on the backside (the hamstrings) vs. the quads as they would on an upright bike.

Treadmill:  Still one of the most popular pieces for a good cardio workout.  This can either be a low impact workout or a high impact workout depending on your settings.  You can walk (lower impact) or run (higher impact) on this piece, and the treadmill will pace (by adjusting the speed) your workouts unlike when you run outdoors.  You can vary the intensity by adjusting either the speed or the incline (or both).   It is good for those who are trying to maintain or improve bone density as it is a weight bearing exercise.

Upright Bike:  The upright bike is more like a traditional road bike except you don’t have to worry about falling off or getting hit by a car.  The work is mostly felt in the quads (front of the thigh) vs. the hamstring (the back of the thigh) as you would with a recumbent bike.  The upright bike is also good for those who are trying to improve knee ROM after surgery but may be problematic for those with back issues.

Elliptical:  This provides a weight-bearing, non-impact workout for the user.  This piece does not incline as research shows this puts a lot of stress on the ankle, you can adjust the resistance to make the exercise more intense. 

*Before starting any workout program, you should always consult your physician to see what’s right for you.  If you experience any pain, dizziness, or become short of breath, you should stop the exercise.

The Classic Lottery

First three in from last year’s waitlist…

David Klein
Ed Caffrey
Ed Novak

141 more from today’s draw…

  1. Frank Mergenthaler
  2. Christopher Shea
  3. Larry Taggart
  4. Rich Dell
  5. John Yedinak
  6. Randy Jones
  7. Bob Webbert
  8. Randy McDevitt
  9. Tom Claffey
  10. Bob Barnes
  11. Bill Clegg
  12. Brad Alspaugh
  13. Chris Shea
  14. Dick Tieva
  15. Richard Johnson
  16. Steve Lee
  17. Tom Kemp
  18. Tim O’Reilly
  19. Phil Ashkettle
  20. Keith Hynes
  21. Leif Nesheim
  22. Larry Pickering
  23. Dave Dutro
  24. Bob Ott
  25. Bill Cadigan
  26. Dennis Wilkie
  27. Terry Mulligan
  28. Mark Clark
  29. Roger Nolan
  30. Dick Etches
  31. Mike Zandlo
  32. Richard Fish
  33. David Kingland
  34. Bob Biggs
  35. Mac Godby
  36. Al Nicholson
  37. Max Lummis
  38. Forrest Frank
  39. Jon Munson
  40. Len Nuzzo
  41. Leo Hansen
  42. Brad Peete
  43. Walt Swiatek
  44. David Treadwell
  45. Gary Pottruff
  46. Ken Auerbach
  47. Henry Bauermester
  48. Ray Hedding
  49. David Wilson
  50. Steve Swigart
  51. Langlyn Capers
  52. Pete Saputo
  53. Donald Young
  54. Charlie Mong
  55. Randy Grow
  56. Ken Kummer
  57. Brian Grant
  58. Marty Klagholz
  59. Richard Neville
  60. Steve Hiatt
  61. Frank Genovese
  62. Kevin Ferraro
  63. Jack Carey
  64. Tom Iversen
  65. Dave Barry
  66. Larry Maddox
  67. Larry Andrews
  68. Richard Bailey
  69. Lee Baumann
  70. Dan Star
  71. George Lucke
  72. David Murphy
  73. David Vander Kam
  74. Frank Hake
  75. John DeMaria
  76. Dewitt Ezell
  77. Bob Hoehn
  78. Craig Hopple
  79. Steve Kneeley
  80. Jeff Guttenberger
  81. Gary Lashley
  82. Brad Seger
  83. David Verner
  84. Tim Dove
  85. Josh Nagin
  86. Wayne Hellman
  87. Steve Pino
  88. Bill Kranec
  89. Al Mettler
  90. Lewis Sfreddo
  91. Matt Wineinger
  92. Peter Waite
  93. Ron Tachuk
  94. Doug Hoogerhyde
  95. Bob Murphy
  96. Bill McSkimming
  97. Kevin Sullivan
  98. Bill Schieffer
  99. Tom Boyle
  100. Kim Shearburn
  101. Joe Hayes
  102. Bob Heyne
  103. David Guidubaldi
  104. Peter Jones
  105. Anthony Vuoto
  106. David Whitman
  107. Chuck Campbell
  108. Jay Johnston
  109. Ray Lenhardt
  110. Brad Wind
  111. Rich Kruzynski
  112. Lewis Nerman
  113. William Jennings
  114. Eric Bumstead
  115. Don Fochtman
  116. Jeff Baker
  117. John Register
  118. Arthur Helgerson
  119. Fred Uehlien
  120. Bill Griffith
  121. Duke Downey
  122. Steve Duffield
  123. Bob Castiglione
  124. Lynn Wolgast
  125. Tom Waterman
  126. Randy Seger
  127. Ron Rogers
  128. Mike Struna
  129. Walt Douglas
  130. Mike Harris
  131. Jim Oberweis
  132. Bill Steere
  133. Alan Pyott
  134. Larry Kellam
  135. Nick Borusiewich
  136. Dick White
  137. Bob King
  138. Joe Binns
  139. Richard Stanis
  140. William Britton
  141. Chris Edwards


  1. Louis Lataif
  2. Dave Heatherly
  3. William Hooper
  4. Chuck Tambornino
  5. David McMahon
  6. Russ Smith
  7. Chris Cummings
  8. Bashar Succar
  9. Richard Stover
  10. Dennis Meteny
  11. Dan Gilbert
  12. Steve Bransfield
  13. Willis Blackwood
  14. Mark Kinard
  15. Vince Murphy
  16. Ray Sutherland
  17. Dan Adams
  18. Paul Muehr
  19. Bill Setterstrom
  20. Michael Andelman
  21. Joe Waterman
  22. Gary Brooks