The Back Nine Blog

The Back Nine

an Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club Blog

December 31, 2016
French Fries to Fiber
by Denise Duda, Director of Fitness, Wellness & Spa
Start off your New Year by shedding fat, not weight! After enjoying all the wonderful holiday indulgences the most common reaction for many when starting the New Year is to begin with a new diet and fitness regimen. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to diet, as in starve yourself? Without a doubt, your food intake is extremely important and plays a huge role in your fitness program, but losing weight is not great if the pounds lost come from muscle. Unfortunately, more times than not, when a person loses weight, they wind up with a lot less muscle than what they started out with. Did you know that muscle is the single greatest determiner of your metabolic rate? This refers to how many calories you burn each and every day. Many believe your metabolism slows down because you get older, but it really is due to losing muscle. Orchid Island’s Director of Fitness & Wellness, Denise Duda, stands firm in her belief system that diet fads, which typically include not eating much, are short lived and can be very detrimental to your health and metabolism. In fact, the main key to losing fat, but not muscle is making sure your diet includes whole foods that are rich in fiber. She highly recommends making sure fresh vegetables, fruits and protein are a part of every meal. Additionally, complex carbohydrates such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables are essential for energy so these should be included in daytime meal planning, not in the evening.

Another positive outcome from fueling your metabolism and increasing your strength is that both improve your overall health and reduce your risk of injury. 

Here are some helpful fitness factoids to keep you on track in the New Year:

• Incorporate some type of strength training into your fitness program at least three times per week instead of ramping up your cardiovascular activity. Building strength and adding muscle will keep injuries caused from overuse at bay.

• In order to burn calories and fat while also building muscle, keep your cardio workouts short and sweet and include higher intensity intervals. Keep in mind when planning your workouts that the longer bouts of cardio burn both fat and muscle, which defeats the goal of strength building.

• Research has shown the men and women in their 60s and 70s who began a supervised weight training program developed muscles that were as strong as those of the average 40 year old.

• Plan your workout time. Put your workouts on the calendar as a scheduled appointment. Treat these workout appointments with the same respect you would any other important commitment.

• Just remember, it’s never too late to start. Be patient and lose weight slowly for a long lasting benefit.

With over 11,000 square feet of space devoted to healthy living, Orchid Island's Tennis & Wellness Center has something of value for everyone: state-of-the-art machines, more than 35 professionally-led group exercise classes, a Pilates studio, yoga and spinning room and private areas for stretching and cool down exercises. Also offered weekly are Weight Management & Nutrition classes where our Members gain knowledge on what to eat, when to eat and the proper nutritional portions to maintain weight control.  

Living a life of healthiness and happiness is easy at Orchid Island! Happy New Year!

Orchid Island Tennis & Wellness Center
If you would like to learn more about Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club and all the amenities we offer,
contact our Membership Director, Jackie Kennedy at (772) 581-1011 or


Let your journey begin.

Request Membership Information
Start Today