Tips for Staying on Track with Health Goals during the Holidays

Between all of the special foods, doing our best to put others before ourselves, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we can easily go off track in regards to our health and fitness goals. Consider the following to help during the rest of this holiday season.

  • Nobody’s perfect.
    With all the shopping needs and other time obligations, you are bound to miss a workout here and there, and that is okay. We don’t expect perfection with other areas of our life, and exercise is no different. Just make sure you get the next one!
  • Commit to two or three of your favorite holiday treats.
    List your favorites, and you are more likely to stick to those.
  • Plan ahead and create time.
    Instead of dwelling on the obstacles faced during the holiday season and what you can’t do, focus on what you can do, and find solutions to help keep you on track. Just as you would plan your time spent with your family, plan to incorporate your exercise as well. Even exercising as little as ten minutes sporadically throughout the day has been shown to be better than no exercise at all.
  • Be realistic.
    Keep in mind that having a realistic view about your situation and abilities is key to overcoming any pressure that you may be putting on yourself during this busy time of year. Be honest and know your limitations.
  • Make exercise a family affair.
    Quality time with family during the holiday season is often spent with too much food and too much sitting around. Exercise tends to take a backseat to yearly family traditions. Instead of taking a complete break during the holidays, reinvent some of those traditions and make exercise more of a family affair. Maybe go for a family walk around the neighborhood and look at the holiday decorations, suggest a game of backyard football or even a holiday-themed dance party.

You might not be able to stick to your holiday plan 100%. However, celebrating small victories can help you stay inspired and get you back on track to your routine for the new year as soon as possible! Dr. Tsuda and his team wish you a very Happy New Year full of health and fitness. Schedule an appointment to learn how we can help.

Digital scales with female feet on them and sign"no!" surrounded by Christmas decorations and glass of vermouth. Shows how alcohol and unhealthy lifestyle during xmas holidays effect our body.

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Exercise for Weight Loss

Being active is an important part of any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program. When you’re active, your body uses more energy (calories), and when you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight.

Diet and exercise are both important to weight loss efforts. However, while diet has a stronger effect on weight loss than physical activity does, physical activity, including exercise, has a stronger effect in preventing weight regain after weight loss.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:

  • Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 AdobeStock_116731872.jpegminutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. However, to effectively lose or maintain weight, some people may need up to 300 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. You can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week, and sessions of activity should be at least 10 minutes long.
  • Strength training. Do strength training exercises at least twice a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines.

Moderate aerobic exercise includes such activities as brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes such activities as running and aerobic dancing. Strength training can include use of weight machines, or activities such as carrying groceries or heavy gardening. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of overall physical activity every day.

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that you can elevate your metabolism for up to 24 hours post-exercise by adding just one little twist to your exercise routine: intervals. All you have to do is inject brief periods of intense effort into your regular walks (or runs, swims, bicycling, elliptical sessions, etc.) The intensity effectively resets your metabolism to a slightly higher rate during your workout, and it takes hours for it to slow down again. That equals ongoing calorie burn long after you’ve showered and toweled off.

If you’re a walker and you typically exercise for 30 minutes, try adding a burst of jogging for 30 seconds every 5 minutes. As you become more fit, you can increase the interval length to a minute, and decrease the walking segments to 4 minutes. For the biggest metabolism boost, you’ll want to make sure that the interval portion leaves you breathing hard.

While your heart and other organs demand fuel around the clock, there’s little you can do to increase their metabolic needs. However, your muscles—which also require constant feeding—are changeable. Make them bigger, and they will demand more calories day and night. With essential moves, adapted from findings by the American College of Sports Medicine, you can target all the major muscle groups in your body. You should be able to get through the entire routine in less than 30 minutes. Do this 2 to 3 times a week and your muscles will turn into furnaces that burn up extra calories before your body can convert them to fat.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are struggling with obesity and considering bariatric surgery, contact Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts will find the right treatment for you.

 

Weighty Misperceptions

People generally assume that obesity is strictly a matter of personal choices, the product of bad choices about physical activity and diet. That kind of thinking gets in the way of actually dealing with obesity as a health condition.

Obesity is a very complicated condition. About 50 to 70% of one’s risk of obesity is genetically determined. You can make choices that make it better or worse, but that’s just like any other chronic disease. When the blame and shame that is so common gets in the way, it makes it hard to actually improve the health of people living with obesity.

A lot of health plans have had broad, blanket exclusions for obesity, thinking that it is a cosmetic condition. However, the rise in the prevalence of obesity that’s happened over the last 3 decades has made it clear that it’s creating a burden of chronic disease ranging from cardiovascular disease to diabetes to many cancers.

Because weight-based stereotypes and prejudice so often emerge from attributions that obesity is caused and maintained by personal characteristics such as laziness or lack of willpower, there is a clear need for increased public awareness and education about the complex biology of obesity and the significant obstacles present in efforts to achieve sustainable weight loss. The prevailing societal and media messages that reinforce blame on obese persons need to be replaced with messages that obesity is a chronic disease with a complex etiology, and is a lifelong condition for most obese persons.

A number of studies have consistently demonstrated that experiencing weight stigma a fat man with a big belly holding scalesincreases the likelihood of engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors and lower levels of physical activity, both of which exacerbate obesity and weight gain. Among youths, several studies have demonstrated that overweight children who experience weight-based teasing are more likely to engage in binge-eating and unhealthy weight control behaviors compared with overweight peers who are not teased, even after control for variables such as BMI and socioeconomic status. Other research has consistently documented a positive association between weight-based victimization and eating disorder symptoms and bulimia. Weight-based victimization among overweight youths has been linked to lower levels of physical activity, negative attitudes about sports, and lower participation in physical activity among overweight students.

If you’re looking for treatment for this very real, physical disease, contact Dr. Shawn Tsuda for an appointment. Our expert team understands the complexity of obesity and all of the issues that come with it. We can help find the right treatment for you.

 

Denial is Not a River in Egypt – Do you Acknowledge your Obesity?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more Americans than ever are overweight. However, according to some new Gallup data, far fewer of us actually think we’re overweight

In recent years, the gap between how overweight we think we are and how overweight we are is wider than it’s ever been. In 1990, about 56% of Americans qualified as obese or overweight, according to the CDC. Back then, we were pretty honest with ourselves about the state of our waistlines, although we fudged it just a bit — 48% considered themselves “very” or “somewhat” overweight, according to Gallup.

Over the years, however, that eight-point gap between perception and reality has ballooned along with our waistlines. Today, 7 in 10 Americans are obese or overweight, but only 36% think they have a weight problem.

In 1990, for instance, the typical American man weighed 180 pounds and said his ideal weight was about 171. Today that man has gained 14 pounds, and his ideal weight has moved up with it. The typical man now says he’d like to weight about as much as the average man in 1990 actually did weigh. You see a similar effect happening among women, although in this case the gap between actual and ideal weight is even wider — close to 20 pounds in 2016.

State and federal policymakers have tried to tackle the obesity epidemic with limited success, to say the least. Perhaps the most well-known recent program is Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative aimed at ending childhood obesity.

Some critics of these programs have argued that they don’t work because overweight people already know they’re overweight, and they know that being overweight is bad for your health. Federal efforts to raise awareness of, say, the negative health consequences of being overweight don’t do much good if everyone knows that being fat is bad for you. Taken together, the Gallup and CDC data suggest a different mechanism at work: Anti-obesity efforts might not be working because roughly half of overweight people don’t actually realize they’re overweight.

 
If you are not one of those in denial and are seeking treatment for obesity and the conditions that go along with it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts can help find the right treatment for you.AdobeStock_94497217.jpeg