The True Size of the American Obesity Epidemic

To understand the true magnitude of the American obesity epidemic, we first need to understand what it really means to be overweight. Doctors and nutritionists classify people as either underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese. These different classifications are determined by body mass index (BMI), or a measure of body fat based on your height and weight.

To get a basic idea, this chart from the CDC approximates what that means for someone who is 5’9” tall.

Height Weight Range BMI Considered
Source: CDC      
5′ 9″ 124 lbs or less Below 18.5 Underweight
  125 lbs to 168 lbs 18.5 to 24.9 Healthy weight
  169 lbs to 202 lbs 25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
  203 lbs or more 30 or higher Obese

As for what is driving America’s chronic weight problem, there are no definite answers. Scientific studies often reach conflicting conclusions. Many theories are out there, but the preponderance of evidence points to the two causes most people already suspect: too much food and too little exercise.

Bigger portions, confusing “diet” for “nutrition,” and lack of exercise are a deadly combination. Today, each American puts away an average of 195lbs of meat every year, compared to just 138lbs in the 1950’s. Consumption of added fats also shot up by around two thirds over the same period, and grain consumption rose 45% since 1970.

Research published by the World Health Organization found that a rise in fast food sales correlated to a rise in body mass index, and Americans are notorious for their fast-food consumption. It is not just how much we eat, but what we eat.

The role of diet in the obesity epidemic is obviously major, but it’s also complex. Consumers are sent mixed messages when it comes to what to eat and how much. Larger portions, processed packaged food, and drive-thru meals are branded as almost classically American — fast, cheap, filling, and delicious, but yet we spend billions of dollars annually on weight loss schemes.

Lack of exercise is also a major culprit in the obesity epidemic. A far greater majority of us are sitting throughout our workday. According to one study, only 20% of today’s jobs require at least moderate physical activity, as opposed to 50% of jobs in 1960. Other research suggests Americans burn 120 to 140 fewer calories a day than they did 50 years ago. Add this to the higher number of calories we are packing in, and we get a perfect recipe for weight gain.

A number of other factors are thought to play a role in the obesity epidemic, such as the in- utero effects of smoking and excessive weight gain in pregnant mothers. Poor sleep, stress, and lower rates of breastfeeding are also thought to contribute to a child’s long-term obesity risk. Of course, these factors are not explicit or solitary causes of obesity, but they are reliable indicators of the kinds of systemic problems contributing to this crisis.

In the end, though, we can’t lose sight of the big picture. Over the past years, diet fads have come and gone, with people rushing to blame red meat, dairy, wheat, fat, sugar, etc. for making them fat, but in reality, the problem is much simpler. Genetics and age do strongly influence metabolism, but as the CDC points out, weight gain and loss is primarily a formula of total calories consumed versus total calories used.

If you are looking for answers to debilitating obesity and the health issues that often accompany the extra weight, contact VIP Surg at (702) 487-6006. We can help you find the right treatment for your unique situation.

A pair of female feet on a bathroom scale

Does your Diet Support your Warm-Weather Exercise Regimen?

Spring is here, and you might be changing up your fitness routine with warm weather in mind. However, just taking your exercise outside and hydrating more might not cut it for your new regimen. You need to properly fuel your body for the exercise you are doing.

Whether you’re training for fat-loss, a race personal best or just fun, how you fuel your body around the clock – not just immediately before or after exercise – affects your workouts. Try to avoid starving and then feasting; just stay fed by regularly eating while you’re awake. By eating regularly throughout the day, you can largely eliminate the need to worry about dedicated pre- and post-workout meals. Just schedule your workout between your regular meals.

Americans are notorious for getting the bulk of their protein intake at dinner. However, 2014 research published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that simply distributing your regular protein intake more evenly throughout the day improves the body’s ability to build lean muscle. Whatever your sport or workout goal, having healthy levels of muscle will help you reach it. Eat at least 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal. And, remember, those meals should be frequent.

It is important to boost your hydration factor. Most of us are chronically dehydrated, which can take a toll on your ability to focus and concentrate when exercising, and it can impair your strength and power. Research in the Journal of Athletic Training also shows that dehydration can worsen post-exercise muscle soreness. During exercise, aim to drink 6 to 8 ounces of water every 15 to 30 minutes. Ideally, when you finish your workout, your weight should be no more than 2 percent less than your starting weight. Any additional losses in weight point to significant dehydration.

Cutting down on packaged foods and focusing on nature-made foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and meats is also important. Put junk in, and you can expect to get junk out.

Whatever your exercise goals or routines, know that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. After all, food is fuel. Without the right fuel in the tank, you’re not going to get where you want to go.

If you’re in the Las Vegas area and are interested in weight-loss surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He can help you find the perfect treatment for your situation.Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 11.19.07 AM

Reboot your Exercise Routine for Spring

With warmer temperatures and sunny days, spring is the ideal time to reboot your exercise schedule. Your favorite running trails are calling, and suddenly, those morning fitness classes don’t seem too early. Most of you have been working hard in the gym since you committed to your New Year’s goals, and the weekly treadmill and indoor aerobic classes may have lost their appeal. If you’re ready for some fun and fresh exercise changes to keep you motivated, try just a few changes to your weekly routine, and you’ll be reinvigorated to stick to your fitness goals and jump into the spring season.

  • Get outside
    • Get off the treadmill once or twice a week and take your cardio outdoors.
    • exercising outdoors may improve energy levels and decrease stress to a greater extent than working out inside.

If taking your workout out of the gym doesn’t work for you, there are still plenty of ways to get out of an exercise rut:

  • If you do spinning, try yoga.
    • Cycling is predominantly a cardiovascular activity that is focused on the lower body and core. Yoga poses will strengthen your upper body, reverse the postural imbalance of the forward flexion associated with cycling and open up your hips for a more mobile body (and will make your cycling classes more productive!).
  • If you do yoga, try resistance training.Spring flatlay composition with sport equipment and tulips.
    • Throw in some dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, or Body Bars — anything to add in external resistance to a workout. Yoga is definitely a strength builder, but rock your workout by trying integrated and compound resistance training to build lean muscle.
  • If you do Pilates, try high intensity interval training (aka HIIT).
    • A major portion of Pilates programming is either performed on a mat or specialized equipment and often lacks a metabolic component. Adding some high intensity interval training will boost metabolism, increase aerobic capacity, and aid in weight management.

The possibilities are endless. Inside or outside? Yoga or cycling? In the end, you don’t have to choose just one. Some workout groups exist entirely outdoors, and spring is a great time to try one of those. The truth is that mixing up indoor and outdoor sessions and different types of activities is a great way to keep exercise exciting and fun.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for a weight-loss surgeon, contact Dr. Shawn Tsuda for a consultation. He and his expert team will help find the right treatment for you.

Fitness Trends for 2017

We’re more than a month into 2017, but you still might be wondering what’s trending in the fitness world this year. While the following certainly aren’t “new,” and this list includes only few of many options, these trends will be huge this year according to an annual report published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

  • wearable tech
    • Fitness trackers and smartwatches have been hot holiday gifts for the last few years, and the ACSM says that trend won’t be going anywhere in 2017—and in fact, it will only get bigger. Today’s wearables track distance, and also provide heart rate readings, GPS route tracking, move reminders, and much more. Recent updates from brands like Garmin, Apple, and Fitbit have sent the trend to number one for this year.
  • body weight training
    • It’s easy to see why no-equipment workouts are popular. They’re relatively easy to learn, they can be modified to suit any ability level, and they can be done just about anywhere. Plus, body weight exercises are an efficient way to get fit for free. Pushups and pull-ups are classic bodyweight moves, but there are plenty more to choose from, like squats, lunges, and planks, just to name a few.
  • high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
    • HIIT helps torch calories fast by alternating quick bursts of high-intensity exercise with short rest periods. It can be found in all types of workouts, from Pilates to CrossFit and boot camp classes. To try a high-intensity interval training workout yourself, spend 20 to 30 minutes total combining repeated short bursts of work with short break periods, like 45 seconds of burpees with 15 seconds of rest followed by 45 seconds of squats.

Keep in mind that in addition to helping to maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia, and other chronic diseases, and serves as a powerful stress-reducer and mood-booster. With obesity and its accompanying health problem on the rise, using exercise as a preventive health tool is perhaps more important than ever.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for ways to treat obesity and metabolic disorder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help find the right treatment for you.

 

Workout Trends card with a beach on background

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.

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.

 

Finding Ways to Get and Stay Motivated to Exercise

Even with the best intentions, most of us struggle to make the time to focus on our health and wellbeing. There is always something else to do that steals our spare time from us. We fill our heads with excuses and reasons to postpone getting active and gradually the months and years pass us by.

When your workouts feel like a chore, and you keep starting fitness programs only to find yourself quitting soon after, don’t beat yourself up. You are not alone! However, understanding the effective methods of highly motivated exercisers can help you to start thinking like them:

  • Set goals – start simple, then modify your objectives – but always stay realistic. It’s important to make small achievable goals to set yourself up for success.
  • Make fitness a lifestyle – schedule workouts like any other important activity. Sport, fitness motivation the only bad workout is the one that you didn't do. Inspirational quotation. Going forward, Self development concept.  Home decor art.Incorporate some physical activity throughout your day to get your body used to moving around more.
  • Surround yourself with fit friends – Having workout buddies will help ensure exercising is fun, minimizing the risk of skipping workouts. Take the time to find a friend, colleague or family member who you can exercise, with. They will get you out on the days when you are looking for excuses and you will return the favor to them. Consider it part of your social life and a privilege to be able to get out and get moving.
  • Think about the payoff – If you love eating, your daily fitness regime allows you to indulge in this – in moderation of course. When we exercise, the body creates endorphins which give you those happy feelings after exercise.

Unfortunately, it is often a serious health scare that ends up being what motivates someone to stick to the exercise and diet changes they need to make. Don’t let that be what motivates you!

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for ways to treat obesity and the many other illnesses that go with it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help you find the treatment you need.