A New Mindset for the New Year

One of the top New Year’s resolutions every year is to lose weight. You’ve probably made that promise once or twice yourself, and we commend you for accomplishing such an ambitious goal. Wait — What? You didn’t actually stick to your resolution!? Don’t feel bad; the majority of those who made the same resolution didn’t either. The good news is that losing weight isn’t the only path to well-being in 2019.

Good health happens when the physical, emotional, and social or environmental parts of our lives are in balance. When people resolve to lose weight, they are expressing that they want to feel and look better.

This year consider making a new kind of New Year’s resolution. Don’t make losing weight your main goal. Instead, thing of adding beneficial practices to your life.

    • Get some fresh air. Simply being in nature can have a big effect on an overloaded mind. Find a place that speaks to you, whether it’s a spot in your backyard or a bench at a local park. Visit there regularly, even if it’s only for a short time. Try to get some fresh air every day. Park your car a little farther from the door in parking lots, take a quick walk around your office building at lunch, or wake up 15 minutes earlier and jog around your neighborhood.
    • Step away from the screen. Research shows children who spend too much time in front of screens — computers, TV, video games — are at a greater risk for obesity, have a harder time falling and staying asleep, don’t focus well, and experience more anxiety and depression. Who’s to say adults are any different?
    • Sleep more. If you want a major life overhaul without much effort, getting more sleep is the way to go. Sleeping helps you burn fat, decreases stress, improves your immune system, and boosts your mood and mental clarity. Slowly change your routine to add 15 minutes a night until you get to eight hours.
    • Add something. Instead of subtracting soda, sugar, or fat from your diet, make a resolution to add something. Add a serving of vegetables to every meal. Add protein to your snacks. Add two glasses of water to your daily routine. Add 15 minutes of meditation to your bedtime routine or 15 minutes of classical music to your commute to help you destress. Add some organization time to your daily schedule.

This year change your mindset to think of adding things instead of subtracting things from your routines and lifestyle. You may find some desirable losses happen along the way.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment at VIPSurg. Their team of experts can help you find the right treatment for you. From everyone at VIPSurg, we wish you a happy and healthy new year!

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Time to Bail on the Scale: Better Ways to Track Fitness

Most people go into the weight loss process wanting to, well, lose weight, of course. However, if you’re just getting started, the scale may be the worst choice for tracking your progress. In fact, your weight may be the least important thing to keep track of.

When you’re trying to lose weight, the scale can be a powerful tool. It is so satisfying to see those numbers go down, but sometimes stepping on the scale can feel like torture. Fortunately, you don’t need the scale to feel successful.

Instead, use these tests and tricks to assess your victories:

  • Track a healthy habit — Instead of just keeping track of the pounds you’re losing, keep a record of all the things you’re adding to your life. Pick a healthy habit and track your consistency.
  • Take progress photos — Take a photo of yourself wearing the same outfit, standing the same way, and in the same place once a month or every few weeks.
  • Take an activity assessment test — If you walk up a flight of stairs regularly, for example, check in every few weeks to see how the ascent feels. Check in with yourself when you’re doing the things you already do every day like playing with your kids or walking up that flight of stairs and compare how you feel today to how you felt a month or two ago.
  • Step into your old jeans — Feeling more comfortable in your clothes or going down a size is even more important than the scale because they’re more accurate signs of fat loss versus the fluid shifts you can see on the scale.
  • Measure your body’s other numbers — Track your body fat percentage or measurements. It’s possible to reduce your body fat percentage and weigh the same, especially if you’re losing fat and gaining lean muscle. Measure wherever you want to lose weight — waist, hips, upper thighs, etc. and take your measurements every month to track inches or centimeters lost.

Having your weight at a certain number might be nice, but the scale can’t tell you how fit you are or how much muscle you have. Relying only on the scale may even make workouts feel like a waste of time, even though each one helped you burn calories, get stronger, protect your body from diseases and made you more fit than you were before.

If weighing yourself motivates you in a positive way, there’s no reason to change what you’re doing. However, if the scale makes you feel like a failure, it may be time to try something new.

If you are looking for treatments for obesity and the health problems that go along with it, schedule an appointment at VIPSurg. They can help you find the right treatment for your personal situation.

Person Standing On Weighing Scale

Smoking and Bariatric Surgery

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of tobacco use among bariatric surgery candidates is similar to, if not greater than, the general population. However, tobacco use is a well-documented surgical risk factor.

Substantial research has examined the impact of tobacco use on bariatric surgery in particular. For instance, while the mortality risk associated with bariatric surgery is generally low (less than 1%), death is twice as likely for active tobacco users.

A history of and/or active smoking has also been shown to increase the risk of developing postoperative complications among bariatric surgery patients. Patients who smoked within one year of having bariatric surgery, compared to their nonsmoking counterparts, were 1.5 times more likely to develop any surgery-related problem within one month of having surgery.

Smoking can potentially disrupt breathing capacity and lung function in patients. Research reveals an association between tobacco use and respiratory complications following bariatric surgery. Patients who smoked cigarettes within one year of having bariatric surgery were at increased risk for developing pneumonia.

Smoking, defined as smoking one or more cigarettes per day, was shown to increase the likelihood of developing marginal ulcers and wound rupture postoperatively. A history of or active tobacco use was also shown to predict not only the development but also recurrence of marginal ulcers up to 12 months after bariatric surgery. In addition, slower rates of wound healing and infection have been noted more generally among surgery candidates who use tobacco. With higher complication rates during and after surgery, the potential for prolonged hospitalization also increases. Preliminary research suggests patients who smoke within a month of surgery may also require higher dosing of opioid medication for postoperative pain management.

In the face of these and other potential risks, many bariatric surgery-related guidelines exist for addressing tobacco use. The latest evidence-based bariatric surgery guidelines recommend advising tobacco users to quit tobacco at least six weeks prior to bariatric surgery, as well as, provide tobacco users with the necessary support for maintaining long-term abstinence.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, contact VIPSurg for a consultation. If you are a smoker, he can get you the help and support you need to quit so that you can have surgery and become a healthier you!

Quitting smoking concept. Hand is refusing cigarette offer.

Healthy Strategies for the Holiday Party Season

Holiday parties may seem exciting enough to forgo healthy eating, but they aren’t as exciting as sticking to your eating plan and living a longer, healthier life. Work these tips into your party routine so that you can stick to your plan without missing a thing (other than calories you don’t need! Wink, wink).

There are plenty of party foods that are naturally low in calories and seem equally merry. Go for crudités, lean deli meats, chicken kebabs, salsa (instead of using chips, spoon up thicker salsa straight from your plate or with a piece of chicken), steamed asparagus, boiled shrimp, and grapes. On a cheese tray, go for lower-calorie selections such as soft goat cheese and feta, and consider skipping the crackers when eating hard cheeses.

It’s a good idea to have a strategy:

  • Eat your calories: An easy way to cut calories without thinking is just to watch the liquid calories. Each glass of wine can be over 100 calories, and that’s not to mention the spiced or chocolate drinks you may be tempted with on the side. Determine exactly how many glasses you want to enjoy before heading into the party so that you can plan accordingly. A pre-party workout can help you counterbalance a glass or two with little to no damage.
  • Balance is key: Try to balance out your plate with enough vegetables, protein, and whole grains. It helps to load the veggies on your plate first, then protein, so that you’re guaranteed to get enough nutrients without splurging on the first plate of carbohydrates you see. Remember that you can always go back for more.
  • Slow down: Holiday parties can actually help slow the pace of your eating because of all the excitement going on. Think about enjoying the flavors as well as your company with every bite.
  • Don’t save up: A lot of people out there will save their appetite before big nights so that they can enjoy more of the delicious food that’s being offered. Waiting too long to eat will not only send your body into starvation mode, but it will also shrink your stomach so that you feel full sooner when you do start to indulge. Eating throughout the day will maintain insulin levels and combat a possible dinner binge, so try to digest something every three hours.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment at VIP Surg. Their expert team can help you find the perfect solution for you.

Celebrating vegan party at home

What Does Moderation Mean to You?

“Everything in moderation,” says a friend who drinks one glass of wine every day.

“Everything in moderation,” says the personal trainer at the gym as she munches on dry carrot sticks. 

What is moderation? If the concept of moderation confuses you, you’re not alone. Everyone defines it differently. Eating in moderation is a subjective term, meaning something slightly different depending on your perspective. While it’s seemingly a simple question, individual perceptions of reasonable limits would provide a multitude of answers.

At one end of the spectrum, there are those who don’t put much thought into eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. Convenience and taste are the main factors influencing their dietary decisions.

At the opposite end, one may find those who label food as either wholesome and pure or downright evil, with seldom anything in between. Typical “bad” foods such as sugar, carbs, dairy, and processed or refined foods are avoided at all costs.

Both extremes can have detrimental effects on health. Eating calorie-dense foods high in sugar, fat, and salt on a regular basis, combined with a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

However, cutting out entire food groups without replacing missing nutrients can also pose problems. While “clean eating” might come in an attractive package, severe restrictions can lead to cycles of binge eating, feelings of guilt and shame, and further restriction.

Toward which end of the spectrum do you tend to lean? Where is the fine middle ground?

Eating in moderation means you do not consume more calories than your body needs to function properly. A person who does not eat a moderate number of calories gains weight, risking obesity and its associated illnesses.

The quality of the food is also an important factor when talking about eating in moderation. Consuming food your body does not need or want, such as excess sugar and fat has a detrimental effect on your body.

Eating in moderation means consuming nutritionally dense food so your body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs without harmful or needless substances. According to the MyPlate scheme from the USDA, a healthy dinner plate contains lean protein, whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables.

Plan your plate to ensure you are eating the proper foods in moderation. Draw an imaginary line down the middle of your plate. Fill the left half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Draw another imaginary line to cut the right half of your plate into two quarters. Fill one section with lean meat and put whole-grain products in the other section.

Moderation is about a healthy relationship with food – balancing the pleasure of eating with our basic need for sustenance. It is realizing that eating one piece of cake a week probably won’t kill you, but that doing so everyday just might.

If you are fighting obesity and metabolic disease, schedule a consultation at VIPSURG. Dr. Tsuda and his team of experts can help you find the right treatment for your unique situation.

Healthy eating habits with fruit

Could Bariatric Surgery Be the Right Choice for You?

Invest in your health advice on blackboard

Weight-loss surgery is a major, permanent life change. Most people don’t even consider it if they haven’t exhausted all other options. As a matter of fact, many people research weight-loss surgery for years and never act. Whether it is fear of a drastic life change or fear of failure, making this choice could be a matter of life and death.

The truth is, bariatric treatment could drastically improve the health, happiness, and lifespan for millions of Americans who currently qualify for it. If you are one of them, and you’re hesitating to have the surgery, here are some things to think about:

Why are you considering bariatric surgery? 

  • Obesity-related health problems
  • Depression
  • Out of breath quickly
  • Obesity discrimination
  • Relationship problems
  • Poor self-image
  • Failed diet and exercise programs

If you and your bariatric doctors decide that surgery makes sense for you, be prepared to do a lot of work both before surgery and for the rest of your life. Bariatric surgery should be thought of as one of the most effective tools available, but in order to succeed you must be ready to completely change your life.

According to the National Institutes of Health guidelines, you could be a good candidate for bariatric treatment if one of the following applies…

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (“morbidly obese” or “super obese”)

OR

  • Your BMI is between 35 and 39.9 (“severely obese”), and you have a serious obesity-related health problem.

As mentioned above, bariatric treatment may be the best tool to make you happier and healthier, but that’s all it is — a tool. You will be the key to making it successful.

If you would like to talk to a doctor to see if bariatric surgery is a good option for you, schedule a consultation at VIPSurg. Their team of experts can help you make the right decision for your unique situation.

 

The Complexity of Obesity

People generally assume that obesity is strictly the product of bad choices about physical activity and diet. That kind of thinking gets in the way of 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 improve the health of people living with obesity.

A lot of health plans have broad, blanket exclusions for obesity, thinking that it is a cosmetic condition. However, the rise in the prevalence of obesity 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 come from thinking that obesity is caused and sustained by personal characteristics such as laziness or lack of willpower, there is a 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. Obesity is a lifelong condition for most people who are overweight or obese.

Several studies have consistently demonstrated that experiencing weight stigma increases the likelihood of engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors and lower levels of physical activity, both of which exacerbate obesity and weight gain. Among youths, 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 VipSurg for an appointment. Our expert team understands the complexity of obesity and all the issues that come with it. We can help find the right treatment for you.

Doctor writing word OBESITY with marker, Medical concept