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.

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Motivation: Scientific Secrets to Success

Researchers have been trying to figure out what compels us to do something repeatedly we don’t always want to do – like exercise. Here are some scientifically-proven strategies to help your workout motivation:

  • Give Yourself a Real Reward – Give yourself tangible, immediate benefits to working out, such as treating yourself to an episode of your favorite TV show or a healthy smoothie after you exercise. These kinds of rewards are powerful because your brain starts to link the reward to the behavior making it seem worthwhile. Over time, the motivation becomes the workout itself, as the brain begins to associate sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins — those feel-good chemicals released in the brain that are responsible for that exhilarating rush you get after a great exercise session. Once you’ve trained your brain to recognize that the workout itself is the reward, you won’t even need the treat.
  • Sign a Commitment Contract — Research shows we’re more likely to follow through with pledges when we make them in front of friends. You can up the ante even more by signing a contract agreeing to pay a pal $20 every time you skip your planned workout. Studies of people who created contracts found that those who signed longer contracts ended up exercising more than those who agreed to shorter time spans. Once we get past the initial pain and discomfort, it’s much easier to recognize the benefits of sticking to the routine.
  • Rethink Positive Thinking — Believers in the power of positive thinking also believe in the power of positive imaging, where you actual visualize the behavior and the beneficial outcomes of it as well. For example, when deciding whether to get out of bed to go running in the morning, it helps to imagine how the sun will feel on your face as you run. Or visualize your happiness as you see the results of your fitness routine. You can also visualize the obstacles to getting in the workouts you desire. Once you have those images, it’s easier to find solutions to work around the things blocking your wellness path. 
  • Find Your Fitness Tribe — What will ultimately inspire you to get up and start moving is a strong, supportive community. The laughs, high fives, and words of encouragement from the bonds people make are things that can’t be replicated. Find a workout that makes you feel good and surround yourself with people that help build your confidence as much as your strength. 

If you’re in the Las Vegas area and are considering weight-loss surgery, schedule an appointment at VIPSurg. Dr. Tsuda and his team of experts will find the right treatment for you.

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The Family that Plays Together Gets Healthy Together

Even though it gets tougher to find time for ourselves when we become parents, exercise remains just as important as it ever was. In fact, with little ones watching us as an example, exercise becomes even more important. If we as adults wish to create a future full of happy, healthy, disease-free adults for our kids, it’s time we start practicing what we preach.

Our kids model our behavior. If we want our kids to eat well, we need to eat well. If we want them to exercise, we need to exercise.

This modeling creates a culture of wellness in the home. In this environment, children learn that healthy habits are a positive way of life, not punishment for Mom and Dad for eating too much delicious food. One great way to be good exercise role models for your children is to find exercise activities you can do as a family. Here are some suggestions to get you started: 

  • Take a walk. Walking is a wonderful family activity. There are so many benefits to walking, and the whole family can participate (even the baby in her stroller and the family dog too). Whether you head into town or just cruise the neighborhood, building a walk into your daily schedule ensures that it won’t get put off.
  • Jump rope. Jumping rope is a kid-friendly exercise that is great for the whole family. In fact, kids usually dominate at this exercise once they get the hang of it thanks to their lower center of gravity. Just ten minutes of jump rope is enough to get the blood flowing, and with more than one person, it’s fun to learn all kinds of fun jumps.
  • Try structured exercise.There are many types of more structured exercises that can be done as a family. Some families like to take martial arts or yoga classes together. 
  • Try roller blading or biking. Head out as a family unit to try your hand at skating or biking. Both can be great exercise activities that are fun for any active family.
  • Get to work in the garden. Kids are great at digging up dirt, so let them turn over the soil and help you plant new bulbs. Research shows that gardening is as good as weight training when it comes to preventing osteoporosis, and if you’re planting vegetables, it can make them more appetizing to kids. 

When you’re planning your exercise routine, keep in mind that everyone in the family
needs to do this. Try to find activities that are fun and exhilarating for the entire group!

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5 Steps to Lead a Healthier Lifestyle

Do you think that you are living a healthy lifestyle? It’s easy to put off healthy living habits, but if you feel that you need to make improvements to your lifestyle for your health, you’re not alone. Although it’s hard to get out of old habits, a healthy lifestyle can give you more energy, improved mental health, and can increase your chances of defeating illnesses.

Here are five steps you can take to managing a healthier lifestyle:

1. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet

Adding fruits and vegetables is a perfect foundation for starting a healthy routine. Vegetables and fruits contain plentiful amounts of nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants that help boost your immune system and fight off disease. Antioxidants help fight eye disease, promote healthy skin, and overall health. The World Health Organization recommends eating fruits and veggies as a regular part of your diet, so you’ll have a better chance of fighting some cancers, diseases, and heart disease. Make sure to eat five to nine servings of varied vegetables and fruits per day.

2. Drink water

You can save money and improve your health by drinking water throughout the day. This natural liquid offers the benefits of hydration, nourishment, and improved wellbeing. Water can cleanse toxins from the body, improve brain function, energize muscles, control weight gain, and balance body temperature and fluids. It’s recommended to drink about 8 glasses, or 64 ounces, of water per day.

3. Manage your mental health

When it comes to building a healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to concentrate on the physical aspects of health and ignore the mental upkeep. Remember that your mental health is a foundation of your overall health. It’s important to manage and asses your feelings on a day-to-day basis. If you feel negative towards others, you could cause more unhappiness at work, school, or in your social life. Some ways you can improve your mental health include:

  • Exercise
  • Socialize with loved ones
  • Join a club
  • Sleep 7-9 hours every night
  • Do something creative

If you continue to feel unhappy or even depressed, consult your physician or talk to a professional about ways you can improve your mental health.

4. De-stress

Sometimes it’s beneficial to stop, take a deep breath, and relax. You can help maintain your physical and mental health by decompressing from a long, stressful school or work week. Try some relaxing activities to help you relieve stress. Take advantage of meditation, listening to music, reading, watching a comedy, or exercising. These activities can help you unwind, and they cause feelings of happiness and clam.

5. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to stimulate your health, and studies show that physical activity photo-1527247737617-ca8e5f18e4f6helps improve longevity and overall health. Try to exercise up to three times a week. The American Heart Association advises for 150 minutes of exercise each week or an hour at least three times a week. Remember to keep your workouts fun. You should enjoy your workout and not feel like it’s a chore. Some fun physical activities include:

  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Aerobics
  • Running
  • Hiking

These lifestyle tips can help you maintain healthy and happier habits. Talk to your healthcare professionals about ways to improve your health. We are here for you at VIPSurg if you are interested in weight-loss/bariatric surgery in the Las Vegas area. Call (702) 487-6000 for all your general and bariatric surgery needs. 

Start Small for Big Results

If you are obese or overweight, exercise can be a tricky topic. Often, working out with extra weight becomes a vicious, negative cycle. Excess body weight puts stress on your joints, bones, and connective tissue, so when you do try to start a regular exercise routine, you end up hurting yourself, making many workouts too uncomfortable or even impossible to do. However, even though your knees probably hurt, your back probably hurts, and you probably already don’t feel good, you must start somewhere.

At the risk of generalizing, often gyms just aren’t that big-person friendly. When you’re obese, walking into a space where other people are already fit can be quite intimidating. On the other hand, for some, going to the gym is what motivates them, and there are certainly good choices for overweight and obese people. Cross-trainers and recumbent bikes all alleviate impact on the joints and lower back as do swimming and aqua aerobics.

For those who wish for something that doesn’t require machines or specialized equipment, here are some simple ways to get started at home:

  • Make A Plan Find the smallest thing you can do right now and commit to doing it every day. “Today I will walk around the block.” Or “Today I will spend 10 minutes doing chair exercises.”  Once you’ve met your small goal for the week, you can always add just a little more to it.
  • Enlist Support — Find someone in your life – a colleague, family member, or next-door neighbor – who will support and encourage you. The use of social support is an undisputed strategy for success. You don’t need another lecture about the health dangers of being overweight; you need positive motivation to make healthier choices.
  • Start Slow — The goal is to start exercising little by little, not to overdo it and end up frustrated, burnt out, or hurt right away. Gentle, easy exercise is the way to begin!

Just as not exercising becomes a routine, so can doing simple and easy workouts. Soon you’ll be craving something a little more challenging. Listen to your body and be aware of problems, but the bottom line is that most of us can do some kind of physical activity to make us healthier.

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Resolve to Happy and Healthy in 2018

The new year can be an exciting time — the promise of new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s also a good time to recommit to your health and well-being. Creating health resolutions is easy enough. Sticking to them past the month of January, however, is another story.

These are the resolutions health professionals wish you would make and keep in 2018:

  • Practice mindful eating – In these days of technology and devices, it’s common to eat with your eyes glued to a screen. Unfortunately, distracted eating often leads to overeating. Slow down and pay attention to your food, pausing to put down the fork or spoon between bites. It’s easier to notice when you feel full, plus you’re more likely to enjoy the foods you eat. Resolve to cut down on guilty pleasures, but don’t prohibit them completely. Enjoy your cravings once in a while, and it will make staying on track the rest of the time easier.
  • Chill out and rest up — According to Johns Hopkins sleep expert Rachel Salas, M.D., when it’s time to sleep, it’s time to chill – literally. Lowering the thermostat to 68 degrees or colder before you tuck into bed can help you sleep better. Darken your room by drawing the curtains or dimming the display on your alarm clock to really get that quality sleep. If vowing to get eight hours of sleep every night is totally unrealistic, tell yourself you’ll go to bed 15 minutes earlier than your usual 2018 goals listbedtime. Keep shifting that number earlier and earlier. If you keep doing it, eventually you will be going to sleep at an hour that makes better sense for your life.
  • Be grateful — Take some time at the beginning or end of the day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Reminding ourselves of the small, everyday positive aspects of our lives helps to develop a sense of balance and perspective that can enhance well-being. Research has shown that those who regularly journal what they’re grateful for sleep better, work out more, and visit the doctor less. If keeping a journal isn’t for you, you can download gratitude-centric apps for your smartphone.
  • Find 30 minutes a day to walk — Getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day can be as simple as taking a walk. If you’re very busy, take three 10-minute walks throughout your day. Make it fun! Grab a partner at work to get you through your lunch routine, or have a friend or family member meet you for an evening stroll. Instead of worrying about working out during the week, focus on accumulating more steps during your day-to-day activities. Even 500 extra steps for five days can lead to significant changes. You can schedule breaks during the day to stroll around the block or walk to your coworkers’ desks instead of emailing. This way, you’re focusing on overall wellness rather than just shedding pounds. Making small, daily changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator may seem minor, but they can make a big difference for your heart in the long run.

Happy, Healthy, New Year from all of us at VIP Surg!