Author Archives: Emely Edwards

Patient Stephanie Eisenberg Shares her Journey as a G.O. blog Contributer

Hello Go Weightloss fans!

My name is Stephanie Eisenberg and I wanted to introduce myself as the newest contributor to Greater Orlando Medical Weightloss. I’m 27 years old, and not even halfway through my weightloss journey, but I’m feeling great and loving the program.

A little over 12 weeks ago I made a phone call that changed my life. I called Greater Orlando Medical Weightloss and made an appointment.

After taking a good long hard look in the mirror (and subsequently breaking down into tears) I knew I had a problem. I saw a fat person looking back, and I was scared. What I didn’t realize is that I wasn’t just overweight and unhealthy, I was morbidly obese. When you’re not even 30 and the words “morbidly” and “obese” come out of a doctor’s mouth,it’s hard not to pay attention. So, I started the program.

I was scared at first. The word diet is a pretty frightening word, especially when the person following one has been on and off diets for the past 15 years. But, this program is different. I get to eat, and eat a lot. I started out having to take in 165 grams of protein a day. That’s a lot of protein! Now I’m down to 145 grams.

I started the program in the middle of April. Since then, I’ve lost 35 pounds, and I’ve discovered a lot about myself, and the best part is, I’m still in the discovery process.
I’m excited to share with you what’s becoming my future: a healthier and happier life. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and remember, you’re worth it. You’re worth taking control of eating issues, weight problems, and most importantly your health.

I know I’m worth it, and I know every minute I’ve spent on my own transformation has been worth it.

Stephanie Eisenberg




More to follow!!

Orlando Weight Loss Success Story – Stephanie Eisenberg

Stephanie Eisenberg:
“A Weight Loss Success Story”

Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss Patients Come First!

At 27 years old, busy television executive Stephanie Eisenberg decided that it was time to take control of her weight — and her life. After attempting to find an outfit for a special occasion and realizing that a closet-full of cocktail dresses no longer fit, Stephanie began her search to find a weight loss program that worked for her busy lifestyle.

Stephanie did her homework and took time to properly research weight loss centers throughout Central Florida. After making several unsuccessful phone calls to weight loss clinics that “just weren’t the right fit,” Stephanie finally spoke to Terri Martz, Head Weight Loss Counselor at GO Weight Loss, “who was great at explaining the program and made me feel comfortable right from the start,” said Stephanie.

“I didn’t agree with using the hormone HCG or going on a radical diet that could be detrimental to my health,” Stephanie said. “When I spoke to the people at GO Weight Loss, I knew I found the right program with a long term solution.”

At 14 weeks into the program, Stephanie has lost 35 pounds and is on track to achieving her weight loss goal of losing a total of 160 pounds. GO is helping her reach this goal by through a combination of nutrition counseling, medication therapy, behavior modification and exercise recommendations. This proven combination helps patients achieve their goals and make long-term lifestyle changes.

For Stephanie, her experience at GO Weight Loss has been about more than just losing weight:

“The program has changed the way I look at food and health. I’ve become an avid supporter of healthy habits and enjoy activities that support a healthy lifestyle. I still enjoy going

out with my husband and friends, I just have a new way of looking at things,” Stephanie said. “While I’ve become a healthier person physically, I also realized along the way that this weight loss journey meant more than physical weight loss. I’ve changed emotionally. I’m getting to the root of my issues with food and started to really believe in myself. I’ve always been confident when it comes to my work and professionalism, but I’m not as confident on the inside as I appear on the outside. Now, I know I am a strong, beautiful woman who can do anything I put my mind to.”

Orlando Weight Loss Clinic Guest Blogger Stephanie Eisenberg

Orlando Weight Loss Program Guest Blogger

Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss|Stephanie Eisenberg


Food Addiction

I’ve had a love affair with food since as long as I can remember. I say affair, because the term tends to have a negative connotation. I love to eat. I eat when I’m bored, I eat when I’m not. I eat when I’m hungry, and I eat when I’m full. I use food to escape my stress, but in turn, food stresses me out. I’m a self diagnosed food addict, and I’m not alone.

I grew up watching my mother’s weight fluctuate from healthy to skinny to overweight and back. She struggled with many of the same things I found myself struggling with. My mother and I flat out love food. We also love living in denial.

This is a picture of me in college my senior year:

I was an athlete, and in the best shape of my life while on the swim team. I still ate practically anything I wanted, but it helped that I was spending hours a day in a pool swimming as fast as I could.

This is me one year later:

Here’s where the denial kicks in. My food habits didn’t change, but my life sure did. I met a guy (whom I’m now married to) and I started my first job, which was in live television- extremely stressful to a 22 year old. I stopped working out, because I felt I didn’t need to, or I was too tired, or too stressed. I still ate the same way, and that’s how I let myself go. One thing I’ve realized about myself
through this process, Is that you can’t just change the exercise you do. Yes, I was in amazing shape when I swam, but I was only treating one part of my health. If you want to succeed in weight loss, you have to be willing to make changes to something many people stubbornly holdonto- their diet.

This is what happens when you’re stubborn. This is me this past March:

You get big. You get diagnosed as being morbidly obese at 27 years old. You find out you become at risk for serious health problems. It’s scary but it’s a wake
up call, and a necessary one.

This is what happens when you take control of your weight:

I started in April, and I’ve dropped 42.8 pounds. I started my journey at 245.8
pounds. I currently weigh 203 pounds. I don’t remember the last time I saw that
number. I am still addicted to food. I still crave certain things, but I’m learning what I can eat, how I can prepare it, and how it still can be utterly delicious.

Life’s too short to not be happy. I’ve never been prouder of myself and my own
achievements. I graduated from college, got an amazing job right after getting my degree, and started working in a top 20 television market at 23 years old. But I’ve never been happier with an achievement that I’ve made, than I am with taking control of my health. I get it. Life’s stressful. Sometimes you want to give in and quit. I know this for a fact. In my short life, I’ve lived through family stress, work stress, the stress of having a special needs brother who took up a great deal of my young adult life (of which I’m grateful for, I must add), but stress doesn’t have to control your life. You can. This program works for me. I’m happy, I’m healthy and I’m motivated. That in its self is a success. The weight loss is just a bonus.

Until next month,

Orlando Weight Loss Clinic Guest Blogger Stephanie Eisenberg – September 2012

Orlando Weight Loss Clinic Guest Blogger Stephanie Eisenberg

Obesity in America

A startling new report on obesity in the country was released earlier this

week. It shows that not only is the country in a bad situation right now,

it’s only going to get worse.

In a joint report put out by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the

Trust for America’s Health, researchers found that by 2030, the obesity ratewill skyrocket. in 13 states, more than 60% of the population will beobese.

In florida alone, 58% of people will be obese.

The scariest thing about these statistics, is that obesity is preventable.

Yes, there are those of us that are born with “bigger bones”, but genetics

is not an excuse to not take care of your health.

I look at myself, and I see someone who has always been the big girl. I’ve

always had big thighs, big arms, and a big waist. It’s as if as at one point

in time I decided well I’m big, there’s nothing I can do about it. WRONG.

Over the past 22 weeks, I’ve transformed the person I see in the mirror.

When I first started the program at Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss, I

weighed 245.8 pounds. i’ve lost more than 50 pounds since then. I still have

a bit to go to be healthy, but I’m getting there. If I can do it, on an

overnight shift schedule, anyone can.

I know what you’re thinking, “Stephanie, you don’t understand the stress in

my life.” You’re right. Everyone’s life consists of stress. From work

problems to family problems to money problems, everyone’s situation differs.

But I’ve had work problems, I’ve had money problems, and I’ve had family

problems. My 25 year old brother is autistic. He and I are incredibly close,

but in my youth I sacrificed a lot to be with him. Let me make this very

clear, I do not regret any decision I made in my life. My brother is one of

the most important people to me, and I’m glad I had every second I did with

him when I was in college living at home. But i do know the stress of living

with someone who can’t take care of themselves. Who needs to be cared for. I

may not have children, but I know what it’s like to be pulled in every which

way, and try to find a center. So understand me when I say that stress is an

excuse. It’s easier to sit in front of the couch and watch tv for a few

hours to try and forget the world around you. But that world isn’t going


There is no excuse for letting yourself go another day without being

healthy. Anyone can live a healthy lifestyle, you just have to be willing to

make the commitment to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy commitment.

It would definitely be easier to eat the junk, but you can live with out it.

It’d be easier to say I don’t want to go the gym, but the consequences of

not working out, aren’t worth it. The easy way out never led to anywhere


Don’t let life be your excuse, let it be your motivator. We only have a

short time on this planet, we might as well make it so we can enjoy every

moment of it.

Until next month,

Stephanie Eisenberg

July 2013 Updates, News and Events

Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss Newsletter July 2013 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Friends, Happy Fourth of July! Have a Safe and FUN Fourth! This month we wanted to share a testimonial from one of our patient of the month – Debi Olsen. We hope you find her words and encouraging, we are so happy for you Debi!

Have you ever hit a “low” in your life?

Well, I sure did. I had such devastation in my life, losing my father suddenly and then losing my champion show dog. That sent me in a whirl-wind downward spiral, and that is when I turned to food for comfort. I went on a vacation to the mountains last summer and could not finish the hike to the waterfall, so I told my husband and friends to go on and I’ll wait for them. I sat there for a few minutes gathered myself and then I got up to continue on by myself. That is when an angel sent a family to me just as I was ready to collapse from exhaustion, her and her family walked with me the last 100 yards to the waterfall. That is when I decided that I needed to make THE change.

I talked it over with my loving husband and explained how I was feeling and that I needed to change things for the better. I was active to a small degree, but when it came to eating I was lost. I started my Journey with Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss clinic in August 2012 and have not looked back. I was taught to eat the right foods and I also started a more productive workout regimen. I have lost a total of 90 lbs in 43 weeks. I am almost to my goal and I can’t believe it!!

I cannot explain how truly amazing I feel at this time, but can tell you the smile on my face has only gotten bigger. I have done 3 5K’s and have more scheduled. I’ve gotten stronger physically and mentally. When I started off I was excited that I was doing it for me, but as my goal gets closer I hope that my story has also inspired my family and friends to do something good for them. I tell everyone that I’m not on a “diet” but I’m on a new journey for living. I have a motto that I tell myself every morning when I get up: “No pain, no gain. Believe in yourself and “YOU” will achieve it.” -Debi Olsen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We have a new contest for July! If you lose weight for 4 consecutive weeks, you will be a winner and receive a token to win a prize or discount on your visit! It could be one of the following: * Discount for your visit or a FREE visit * FREE products * FREE supplements * Extra B6 and/or B12 Inquire Today! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Healthier Way to Grill July 2013 From the Desk of Dr. Cruz

Proudly Serving Central Florida for over 14 years

Hopefully many of you will be enjoying the inevitable Fourth of July Bar B Q! Many times we refer to WebMd for weight loss tips and ideas. This month is ” A healthier Way to Grill”. This article highlights general healthy tips for grilling and is a useful guide. You may need to adjust the recipes depending on what phase you are in. Enjoy!

Dr. Cruz

A Healthier Way to Grill 6 ways to avoid the pitfalls of barbecuing WebMD Weight Loss Clinic – Expert Column

What’s the word on grilling: Is it a good thing or a bad thing? After all, one of the golden rules of eating healthy at restaurants is to choose “grilled” foods over “fried” choices. That’s because grilled food is generally a healthier choice — there’s no batter coating or dripping grease.Besides, there’s something about the act of grilling that just makes food look and taste fantastic. Is it the smoky flavor, the fun flavors of marinades, the grill lines that form on the food, or the fresh taste that comes from cooking something over high heat for a short amount of time? Try all of the above!

I hate to burst your “isn’t-grilling-fun?” bubble, but the way I see it, there are two nutritional downsides to grilling.

* Many Americans end up eating very high-fat meats and sausages when they fire up the barbie — pumping yet more calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol into their diets. * Then there’s the matter of a couple of potentially cancer-causing compounds: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). PAHs form when fat from the meat drips onto the hot coals or grill element. They’re then deposited on the food courtesy of flame-ups and rising smoke. Unfortunately, that yummy charring that forms on meat can contain PAHs as well. HCAs, meanwhile, are produced when red meat, poultry and fish meet high-heat cooking, like grilling or broiling.

But don’t despair, grill lovers — a new, healthy way to grill is possible!

6 Keys to Healthy Grilling Follow these tips, and you can grill without guilt.

1. Grill Fruits and Vegetables

Grilling fruits and vegetables is a great idea, whether or not you’re grilling meat or fish to go with them. We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and this is an appealing way to serve them. I probably don’t need to remind you that eating fruits and vegetables benefits the body in so many ways — reducing your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, and some types of cancer. But here’s the best part: PAHs and HCAs don’t form on grilled fruits and vegetables. Plus, if you are having grilled meat, it’s a great idea to get antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in the same meal. Some fruits and vegetables that are great to grill: * Tomatoes * Onions * Bell peppers * Zucchini * Eggplant * Endive * Pineapple * Mango * Apple * Pear

2. Grill Smart, Grill Lean

When you’re grilling meat, limit the amount of fat that drips on the coals by starting with lean cuts trimmed of visible fat and skin. If you put a very lean cut of beef or pork, or skinless chicken, onto the grill, you’re off to a healthy start. (Following Tip No. 3 can help make most lean cuts more tender and tasty, too.)

3. Marinate, Marinate, Marinate

You’ve gotta love the idea of infusing flavor into meats, fruits, and vegetables by soaking them in a tasty marinade. Some favorite marinade ingredients include wines, vinegars, lemon or lime juice, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, garlic, onions, herbs, and spices. Use fat-free or low-fat marinades on your grilled meats, fish, and poultry to limit the fat that drips on the coals. The simple act of marinating before grilling has been shown to reduce the formation of HCAs by as much as 92% to 99% in some studies.

Keep these marinating tips in mind:

* When choosing bottled marinades or making your own, look for products or recipes that contain olive or canola oil (and that only use a little oil). * Refrigerate any foods that are marinating longer than 1/2 hour. * Don’t baste your food during grilling with the liquid the meat was marinating in (this passes raw meat juices to your cooked meat). Before you add the meat, set aside some of your marinade for this purpose. * Meats and poultry should marinate at least 1-2 hours; fish and vegetables generally only need to marinate for an hour.

4. Cut Down on Grilling Time

Grill smaller portions of meat, poultry, and fish so they cook faster and spend less time on the grill. Another trick is to precook the meat, fish, and poultry in the oven or microwave, then finish cooking on the grill.

5. Flip It — Flip It Good

Flipping food frequently may help prevent the formation of HCAs, according to recent research using hamburger patties. To turn meat without piercing it (which releases juices that drip onto the coals), use tongs or spatulas instead of a fork.

6. Skewer It

A fun way to cut down on grilling time is to thread small pieces of meat or fish on a skewer. Scallops and shrimp are naturals for skewers, too. I like to alternate pieces of meat, chicken, or seafood with bell pepper and onion pieces, zucchini slices, cherry tomatoes, and/or small mushrooms. Don’t have skewers? No problemo. I love to use branches of rosemary as my skewers. They infuse a hint of rosemary into the food as it cooks — not to mention the beautiful presentation it makes.

Fire Up the Barbie

Now that you’ve learned some healthy grilling secrets, here are three lightened-up recipes to try.

Patient of the Month – Renne’s Story – Orlando Weight Loss Success

Great Work Renne, we are so proud of you!


Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss helped me to lose the weight I could not lose on my own. Before starting the program I had spent years feeling helpless and out-of-control.I now look forward to seeing Terri and Madeline each week, as they are my own personal cheerleading team.I’m so excited to have not only enough energy to get through life but to get involved and enjoy life.
I was so excited when I was offered a sit-down, office job almost ten years ago. What I didn’t realize was my eating habits should have changed to support my new, sedentary lifestyle.I continued to rationalize as the pounds came on, and I would avoid cameras, scales, and mirrors. My energy was depleted, and I started to realize I didn’t have the energy to do even the simple tasks of daily life, much less to have hobbies or interests.I’d order a large pizza on Sundays and eat the whole thing by myself while watching TV. My dog and I both gained weight because I wasn’t getting out much.

Last October, I caught a cold that wouldn’t go away. I had four trips to the doctor and tried a variety of medication. The last trip was the day after Christmas, when I saw that I weighed 222 pounds.I wanted to cry.How did I get this bad?This wasn’t the way I wanted to spend the rest of my life. That was when I found Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss. I was a little skeptical at first. I had tried and failed Medifast, Weight Watchers, and making changes on my own. Could they really help? Could I stay motivated? How would this time be different?

This time IT was different. The support from Terri and Madeline has been phenomenal, and the approach was easy to follow. They’ve been so helpful and supportive throughout this journey. I’ve lost over 80 pounds in eight months, and my dog is looking healthy too! I love having energy to go places and do things I’ve started cooking and trying new foods, running, learning Korean (my godson is Korean), and I just enrolled in swimming lessons!

Success Story – Karen Michael

My weight has yo-yoed up and down since I was in college. I gained the usual college 15 and extra weight with the birth of each of my three children which remained attached to me for the following 20 plus years. I have been on every weight loss program out there at one time or another. I would be fairly successful on some of these programs but always gained the weight back, plus a few extra pounds, very quickly.
I am now working for a company that has a health initiative every year around this time. My blood work last year showed high cholesterol and high blood pressure for the first time. I knew that I had to do something about the extra weight I had put on. I talked to Dr. Cruz, my primary care physician, that day, about his weight loss program and signed up for a consultation that week. I began the program and was coached weekly by the terrific ladies at Dr. Cruz’s office. Terri, Madeline and Brenda have become friends who I look forward to seeing every week.
It is now a year later. I am 50lbs. lighter even after three cruises and the holiday season. I lost weight and body fat every week on the program until I reached my goal. I never felt hungry and the program helped me lose my sweet tooth and dependency on carbs. Now when I am hungry I reach for my proteins and have a fruit as a snack. The supplements are great too…I took all the recommended supplements and swear by the Nopalina! I recommend the yogurt/pudding! It’s delicious and is now a favorite snack of mine. When I reached my goal weight, which I have never done on another program. I started on maintenance and began adding a few carbs back into my diet but found that they are no longer what I crave. I continued to lose about five more pounds even after starting maintenance.
I now know that what I learned from Dr. Cruz and his staff is a new way of life. I am so pleased with my new body and have much more confidence in my personal and professional life…not to mention the really cute clothes I can wear now. I have so much more energy and feel better than I ever had. I suffer from some intestinal problems and they have all but disappeared. I know that I have motivated my own children and some go-workers to also take stock of their health.
This week as I prepare to pack my suitcase for yet another cruise I am not worried about the buffet lines and the endless meals as I know what choices to make. And being able to pack the gown my daughter wore to her High School Homecoming dance is just a bonus.
Thank you Dr. Cruz, Terri, Madeline, and Brenda for believing in me and motivating me through the last year!!
Karen M

Orlando Weight Loss – 10 tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

10 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

Experts offer advice on navigating the supermarket.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

But who has time to read all the food labels and figure out which items are the most nutritious and the best buys? Grocery shopping can be a daunting task, simply because there are so many choices.

“Markets perform a great public service, but keep in mind they are designed to get you to buy (and, therefore, eat) more food, not less,” says Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating.

But with a little guidance, healthy choices are a cinch to find in any supermarket.

Plan Ahead for Success

The process starts even before you head to the grocery store, experts say. Before you set out for the market, plan your meals for the week, and create a list to shop from. It takes a few minutes, but saves time in running back to the store for missing ingredients.

To save money, use coupons, check the weekly grocery ads, and incorporate sale foods into your meal planning. And don’t shop hungry: An empty belly often results in impulse purchases that may not be the healthiest.

“When planning your grocery list, consult the guidelines of MyPyramid [the government nutrition web site] to make sure you are including all the foods you need for good health,” advises Elizabeth Ward, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids.

To help meet the pyramid guidelines, you should be filling your cart with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts, she says.

Most of us tend to eat the same foods over and over again. But variety really is the spice of life, says Ward.

“One of the tenets of the pyramid is variety, so instead of white potatoes, choose sweet potatoes, which are much richer in beta-carotene, or baby spinach instead of iceberg lettuce,” she advises.

Be adventurous; aim to try a new fruit or vegetable each week, she advises.

Both Ward and Nestle say organic foods are a great option, but note that they may not be the most economical choice.

“You get the same nutritional benefits with fewer pesticides [with organics], but eating plenty of produce is more important than choosing organic foods,” says Ward.

Money Well Spent

Convenience is often worth the extra cost, especially when you’re packing lunches or are trying to control portions. Ward relies on single-serve packages of precut apples and carrot sticks for food to go for her three young daughters.

“Anything that will get you and your family to eat more fruits and vegetables is worth the extra expense, especially when you consider there is no waste associated with washed and prepped produce,” says Ward.

Nestle also recommends splurging in the produce aisle for the best fruits and vegetables.

Supermarket Savvy

Ward offers this checklist for making healthier food choices in every department of your supermarket:

  1. Produce. Spend the most time in the produce section, the first area you encounter in most grocery stores (and usually the largest). Choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. The colors reflect the different vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content of each fruit or vegetable.
  2. Breads, Cereals, and Pasta. Choose the least processed foods that are made from whole grains. For example, regular oatmeal is preferable to instant oatmeal. But even instant oatmeal is a whole grain, and a good choice.When choosing whole-grain cereals, aim for at least 4 grams of fiber per serving, and the less sugar, the better. Keep in mind that 1 level teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams and let this guide your selections. Ward points out that cereals — even those with added sugar — make great vehicles for milk, yogurt, and/or fruit. Avoid granolas, even the low-fat variety; they tend to have more fat and sugar than other cereals.Bread, pasta, rice, and grains offer more opportunities to work whole grains into your diet. Choose whole-wheat bread and pastas, brown rice, grain mixes, quinoa, bulgur, and barley. To help your family get used to whole grains, you can start out with whole-wheat blends and slowly transition to 100% whole-wheat pasta and breads.
  3. Meat, Fish, and Poultry. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish a week. Ward recommends salmon because people often like it, and it’s widely available, affordable, not too fishy, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to choose lean cuts of meat (like round, top sirloin, and tenderloin), opt for skinless poultry, and watch your portion sizes.
  4. Dairy. Dairy foods are an excellent source of bone-building calcium and vitamin D. There are plenty of low-fat and nonfat options to help you get three servings a day, including drinkable and single-serve tube yogurts, and pre-portioned cheeses. If you enjoy higher-fat cheeses, no problem — just keep your portions small.
  5. Frozen Foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables (without sauce) are a convenient way to help fill in the produce gap, especially in winter. Some of Ward’s frozen favorites include whole-grain waffles for snacks or meals, portion-controlled bagels, 100% juices for marinades and beverages, and plain cheese pizza that she jazzes up with an extra dose of skim mozzarella cheese and a variety of veggies.
  6. Canned and Dried Foods. Keep a variety of canned vegetables, fruits, and beans on hand to toss into soups, salads, pasta, or rice dishes. Whenever possible, choose vegetables without added salt, and fruit packed in juice. Tuna packed in water, low-fat soups, nut butters, olive and canola oils, and assorted vinegars should be in every healthy pantry.

4 Simple Shopping Rules

Nestle offers these simple solutions to savvy shopping without spending hours in the grocery store:

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. Avoid the center aisles where junk foods lurk.
  • Choose “real” foods, such as 100% fruit juice or 100% whole-grain items with as little processing and as few additives as possible. If you want more salt or sugar, add it yourself.
  • Stay clear of foods with cartoons on the label that are targeted to children. If you don’t want your kids eating junk foods, don’t have them in the house.
  • Avoiding foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

How to Become a Calorie Master

Orlando Weight Loss Program – Everyday Fitness

with Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

Living life to the fullest is all about striving for a mind-body balance every day. Achieve a mental, nutritional, and physical transformation for life with tips from wellness expert Pamela Peeke, MD.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How to Become a Calorie Master

“Oh, NO! Don’t make me count calories. Can’t I just eat healthy foods and be OK?” This is one of the frequent responses I get when I mention the importance of knowing how much you’re actually eating each day. I also get the “I’ve done that before. It didn’t get me anywhere and it was such a pain. Just one more thing I’ve got to do.” Since just about everyone’s been on some kind of “diet”, many people feel like they’ve been there and done that with calorie counting. For that matter, it’s almost un-American not to have counted calories at some point in your weight management journey. And presently, some people in the nutrition community even avoid the topic of calories altogether, focusing instead on “healthy eating”. Is calorie counting a throw-back to the dark ages of weight management? Or is it your key to achieving your optimal weight? Do you really have to count calories?

Yep, but with some qualifiers.

Beginners need to take the time to learn how many calories they’re eating. As you achieve success and become more experienced over time, there’s less of a need to count every calorie. So, the great news is that with baseline learning, practice and success, you can one day graduate and become a calorie master. So, for those beginning on your journey, or those who’ve plateaued and want to get back on track, here are some calorie basics to help guide you.

I’m a real advocate of promoting caloric literacy. Most people are clueless about what they’re putting in their mouths. So I’m going to make this easy to understand.

A calorie is a unit of energy. It’s the currency of weight management. There are:

4 calories in every gram of protein

4 calories in every gram of carbohydrate

9 calories in every gram of fat

If you ate some random food that had 10 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of carb, you’d be consuming 170 calories— (10×9) +(10 x 4) + (10 x 4) = 170.

If you’re good with the concept of a financial budget, you’ll be fine with caloric budgets. The way you handle your bank currency is the same as how you’ll manage your calorie currency. This is why I have a problem with people who advocate winging it and thinking they don’t have to have at least some basic understanding of how much they’re eating each day.

Let’s say I give you $500 to go to a department store and purchase an outfit. That’s all the money you get, including tax. You don’t want to go overboard and suffer the embarrassment of being short on cash. So, you’re very vigilant as you enter the store. If you’re a newbie at shopping (and we all were at some point), you’ll have to spend some time learning which parts of the store to avoid and which will have great options for you. First up, when you see the word “couture”, run. That’s a guaranteed five figure dress or suit, so don’t even go there. “Sale” can be good if it’s within your budget. You’ll find yourself flipping price tags to learn which designer or store section is user friendly and won’t burn a hole in your wallet. This is the learning process you must go through to get the gist of how much cash you’re spending.

The same applies to calories. As I said, most folks don’t know how much they’re “spending” when they select foods to eat. And it’s a real eye-opener at time to realize how fast you can eat through your budget. Check out what Gerryca from my Diet Community had to say:

Gerryca posted:

Thereare many articles and books about avoiding having to count calories. But in MY book (LOL) counting those little darlings is the ONLY way to go… WEBMD also has a tracker that I am using, I like the food search. I am drinking at least 48 oz of water a day. I am only 5ft.2. When you count, you will be amazed at how fast you reach your calorie goal.

And here are some words of wisdom from 1961mark:

1961mark posted:

I STARTED OUT AT 284.5 ON 1-11-11.I now weigh 260lbs.2-19-11….I had type 2 diabetes. This material gives you a no nonsense way to count calories… (that i thought i could never do) …THE OVERALL KEY IS EATING FOODS LOW IN CALORIES THAT ALLOW YOU TO EAT MORE FOOD VOLUME WISE. You mentioned oatmeal, how many calories? I eat 2 packets of great value (from Walmart) maple and brown sugar at 100 cal per packet. I sometimes eat a banana 80 cal. Then I take 100% whey protein made by EAS. (one scoop 120 cal.)…that equals 400 calories. Then I work out with weights then I hit the elliptical machine alternating between 50 min. and 65 min per daily workout. (I burn between 653 and 875 calories per session.) My doctor listened to what my present activity level was and determined that my total calorie intake should be 1875 calories. The key to weight loss is getting active so you can burn calories up each day. People always say” eat less than you take in”. No kidding…but get real! If you can identify those foods low in calories but high in nutrients I am sure you know what I mean. I told you all this because I was trapped in my body basically dying a little bit every day due to diabetes and its complications.

So Gerry and Mark, like the newbie shopper, are taking time to check out the calorie “price tags”, learning which foods have “couture calories” and which are safely within your caloric budget. How do you know what that budget looks like? You need the WebMD Food and Fitness Planner.

To help you get started on the path to becoming a calorie master, I want to introduce you to a terrific new tool from WebMD to help guide you.

Click into WebMD’s Food and Fitness Planner and you’ll see that WebMD has gone all out to provide an easy way to find out how many calories you need to consume as well as burn given your weight goal. This is customized to your unique needs and incorporates critical and user friendly information to:

  • Learn about Portions: Prior to entering a food into the food log, a “portion size help” widget is available that helps people visually understand portion sizes so they can log accurately. Most people generally under estimate the amount of food they consume. This portion size helper educates users on what a portion size really looks like.
  • View Your Weekly Summaries: People can quickly assess “how they are doing” for the week, and identify trends which may help them modify their behavior. WebMD has a unique product design which allows the user to quickly and easily view their food and fitness logging for the week where they can assess (a) how well they have stuck to their plan and (b) they can notice trends in their eating habits which may lead to needed behavior change (e.g. The user may not be losing weight – by looking this weekly view they may find that they are consuming the majority of their calories at dinner – and this may be why they aren’t as successful as they had hoped.)
  • Monitor Your Medical Condition: WebMD also has “Condition Trackers” for people who may use their eating plan as a means of helping to manage a health condition (Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, and Heart Disease). Most people generally don’t understand the nutritional content of the foods they eat, and how those foods may impact on their medical condition. WebMD’s “Condition Trackers” aim to help educate people about various macronutrients so they can learn to make more informed eating decisions.
  • Learn How to Read Nutrition Labels: WebMD displays Nutrition Facts Labels on all foods and has Nutrition Trackers which deliver personalized messaging to help the user understand how to read a nutrition label to guide them as they their eating decisions. People don’t understand how to read nutrition labels. WebMD’s Nutritional Trackers aim to help users understand how each of the macronutrients impacts their health, and helps them understand if they are taking more or less then what is recommended by the USDA or AHA. Research shows that this would help people better understand how to read a nutrition label, and how to make decisions in the supermarket.
  • Budget Calories In and Calories Out: WebMD allows people to select how they would like to split their calories. For example, options include: “Eat the same amount, but increase fitness”, or “Have a 50/50 split between food and fitness”. All other diet planners do the calculation for the user and only allow them to restrict food calories. Incorporating physical activity into a person’s lifestyle is critical to both shedding weight and maintaining the healthier weight. WebMD users love that they were able to customize their preferred calorie split.

For people who are beginning their weight management journey and are not yet calorically literate, do this two part exercise:

FIRST — Scope Out Your Binge Foods and Beverages: It’s time to face the music. Make a list of those bad boy foods and drinks you tend to over consume. It could be anything, even healthy foods (eg. you like sweet potato but you’re eating 3 of them). Now, just quickly look at the calories you’re consuming with each bender. Whoa! Quite an eye-opener. So wipe the shock off your face when you see smoke coming out of your bathroom scale after a week eating like that. The point is to just know how much you’re “spending” on a typical overeating session. Hopefully, it will make you think twice before you do that again.

SECOND — Scope Out Your Healthy Foods and Beverages: Now, whip out another piece of paper and simply write down the typical foods you’ll be eating on your new plan. Studies show that most people usually rotate the same 10 foods around all week. Write them down and look at the serving sizes and calories attached to them. Now look at your budget and start figuring out how you’ll spend your calories throughout the day. Pair that up with your physical activity and you have your total budget.

Calorie masters had to do this exercise at one point. With months and years of experience, they can tell you by memory how many calories are associated with specific foods. That’s why they don’t have to write it down any longer. However, when new foods come along, the calorie masters will take a moment to look up the calories and register that number in their memories. They’re constantly learning, as you should, too.

Everyone should strive to become a calorie master. Here are the requirements. A calorie master has:

  1. achieved their optimal body composition goal (e.g. which may not be the “ideal” but one that is much healthier and not associated with increased risk for disease or disability);
  2. kept weight stable (e.g. +/- 5 pounds for removal of 40 pounds or less; +/- 10 pounds for removal of 50 pounds or more) no less than one year following the achievement of their body composition goal;
  3. shown the ability to adapt and adjust calorie consumption and burn when “life happens”— new physical disability, medical condition, personal/professional challenge(s), and keeping weight stable (see “2″).

Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss is a safe and effective Program that can help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. Call us today and find out how we can help you change your life.