Plan for the Perfect 4th of July

Sunshine! Barbecues! Fireworks! The big national day is coming, and who doesn’t love a good July 4th celebration? If you’re planning on hosting or even just attending any of the festivities, planning and preparation can go a long way toward being safe and healthy this Independence Day. The fun times of the 4th can be fraught with peril if you’re not careful, but don’t worry; we’ve got the best tips to make sure this is your best 4th of July ever.

  • Bring some earplugs. A report from Loyola University Health System found that the sounds of summer—such as fireworks and marching bands—can damage your hearing. In fact, fireworks have a sound decibel of 150, and ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85. When noise is too loud, it begins to kill the hair cells and nerve endings in the inner ear; the longer you’re exposed to loud noise, the more likely you are to permanently damage your hearing. Toss some plugs in your bag or use your hands to cover your ears in a pinch. 
  • Swim in clear water. Swimming is great exercise, and a super way to cool off when overheated; However, a good rule of thumb is to only dip into clear, good-smelling water. For lake goers, make sure there isn’t any blue-green algae, or slimy, smelly, green film floating on the lake’s surface. Some forms of this can produce toxic bacteria that’s bad news for your health. 
  • Practice smart and safe eating. Keep from throwing your diet to the (hot) dogs by choosing wisely. Try to fill up on the delicious fresh fruits and veggies of summer instead of high carb, high calorie picnic foods. Choose lean proteins like skinless, grilled chicken over fatty burgers or ribs, for example. Avoid food-borne illnesses by eschewing mayonnaise-based salads. Instead go for options with oil and vinegar-based dressings which are generally lower in calories and risk of spoilage. 
  • SPF in advance. Applying your sunscreen in advance—and reapplying frequently—means you can significantly improve your skin’s protection from harmful rays.  
  • Follow the heat & humidity rule. To keep from dehydrating, implement the 70/70 rule: When the temperature and humidity are both above 70, you enter the dehydration danger zone. Stay safe by sipping frequently from a water bottle and drinking plenty of water before, during, and after activity.
  • Alternate your alcohol. If you choose to have a cocktail or two, the safest way to consume them is to make sure you have plenty of food in your stomach and to alternate each cocktail with a non-alcoholic beverage like water or decaf soda to help stave off alcohol-induced dehydration.

With a bit of preparation, some thoughtful food choices, and common-sense summer safety, you can have a wonderful holiday celebration. And don’t deprive yourself of a treat! Just choose wisely to get the most “bang” for your calorie choice. Happy holiday planning from all of us at VIPSurg.

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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!

Your Chemical Romance

It’s no secret that many of us eat for emotional reasons, but did you know that research suggests that the brain circuit for eating overlaps with the brain circuit for interpersonal relationships? The neurobiology suggests that improving social relationships can actually help you lose weight. There may even be a few ways to trick the brain to achieve the same effect.

The neurotransmitter responsible for close, trusting relationships is oxytocin. Oxytocin is released by physical contact and supportive interactions with other people. Release of oxytocin increases feelings of trust and generosity. It also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

Amazingly, the act of eating actually releases oxytocin. In fact, eating releases oxytocin in dopamine rich brain areas, which helps explain why eating can be soothing and pleasurable. After all, part of the reason we’re drawn to emotional eating is that eating mimics the same feelings of comfort we get from close friends and family.

If you’re trying to lose weight, try boosting your oxytocin. Luckily, the best way to do that is to improve the quality and closeness of your relationships with family, friends, and significant others.

It seems like a simple suggestion, but unfortunately, problems with these relationships are often what triggers emotional eating in the first place. As a temporary measure — while you’re working on your relationships — here are a few ways to boost your oxytocin that don’t involve snacking:

  • Get a massage. Physical contact with another person is the surest way of boosting oxytocin. If you’re not in a relationship, it can be difficult to accomplish that. If you are in a relationship, then yes, your partner is a great source of oxytocin, but don’t rely on getting all your oxytocin from one person. Getting a massage releases large amounts of oxytocin, and will help you de-stress.
  • Say or do something nice for a friend. When other people trust and rely on you it boosts your oxytocin. Showing support for someone else helps that happen.
  • Pet a pet. Petting furry pets, whether it’s yours or someone else’s can help increase oxytocin. Part of it is their furry warmth, and part of it, particularly with dogs, is their trust in you. Being trusted helps increase oxytocin whether it’s a person or a dog.
  • Hug a friend. Ask a friend for a long hug, or ask them if they would like a hug. Hugs, particularly long ones, release oxytocin. In fact frequent hugging not only increases oxytocin, it also decreases blood pressure.
  • Have a conversation (in person or on the phone). The human voice can release oxytocin in ways that the written (or texted word) doesn’t.
  • Have a warm cup of tea while wrapped in a blanket. Physical warmth helps promote feelings of trust and generosity.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for ways to treat your obesity and the diseases that often accompany it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help you find the best treatment for your unique situation.

Happy group of diverse people, friends, family, team together

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.

 

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Obesity: The Disease that Keeps on Growing

A number of studies have shown that individuals who are obese are often stereotyped as “lazy” or “lacking in willpower.” However, obesity is no longer considered a cosmetic issue that is caused by overeating and a lack of self-control. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.), along with National and International medical and scientific societies, now recognize obesity as a chronic progressive disease resulting from multiple environmental and genetic factors.

In the United States, epidemiological data from a study that measured the actual body size of thousands of Americans, showed that 34 percent of adults more than 20 years old are affected by obesity and 68 percent are overweight (2007-2008 data). Obesity affected 10 percent of children between two and five years of age, 2 percent of those between 6 to 11 years old, and 18 percent of adolescents.

Throughout the last 3 decades, the prevalence of obesity has been increasing at an alarming rate. Since 1985, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has supported an ongoing study, conducted on a yearly basis by state health departments, to examine changes in obesity prevalence state-to-state, and has found the following:

  • In 1990, the obesity prevalence for most of the states was 10 percent or less.
  • By 1995, more than half the states had a prevalence of 15 percent.
  • By 2000, nearly half the states had a prevalence of 20 percent or higher.
  • Five years later (2005), all but three states had a prevalence greater than 20 percent and nearly a third had a prevalence of 25 percent or more.
  • By 2010, the data show that most of U.S. states had a prevalence of 25 percent and many had a prevalence of 30 percent or higher.

Obesity is considered a multifactorial disease with a strong genetic component. Acting upon a genetic background are a number of hormonal, metabolic, psychological, cultural and behavioral factors that promote fat accumulation and weight gain.

Many other conditions associated with obesity contribute to the progression of the AdobeStock_69574863 (2).jpgdisease. Obesity reduces mobility and the number of calories that would be burned in the performance of activity. Weight gain may also cause psychological or emotional distress which, in turn, produces hormonal changes that may cause further weight gain by stimulating appetite and by increasing fat uptake into fat storage depots.

Sleep duration is reduced by weight gain due to a number of conditions that impair sleep quality such as pain, sleep apnea and other breathing problems, a need to urinate more frequently, use of certain medications, and altered regulation of body temperature. Shortened sleep duration, in turn, produces certain hormones that both stimulate appetite and increase the uptake of fat into fat storage depots.

Weight gain also contributes to the development of other diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and depression, and these conditions are often treated with medications that contribute to even further weight gain. In all of these ways and more, obesity ’begets’ obesity, trapping the individual in a vicious weight gain cycle.

Multiple factors acting upon a genetic background cause weight gain and obesity. Conditions associated with weight gain and biological changes in the body that occur as a result of weight gain contribute to progression of the disease, often trapping the individual in a vicious weight gain cycle. Obesity is a complex disease influenced by several issues, including genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are concerned about your weight, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda to learn more about how to improve your weight and health.

 

Instead of Making Yourself Over this Year Make Over your Resolutions

The new year is here, and if you are like many, many people you’ve made resolutions about how you’re going to lose weight, exercise regularly, and generally live a healthier lifestyle starting now. Of course, these are all noble goals; unfortunately the hordes of people who will be back to their old ways by the end of the month far outnumber those who keep true to their intentions.

Perhaps the top reason that well-meaning “resolution-ers” fail is that the goals they set for themselves are unrealistic and set up to fail from the beginning. This year, instead of making over yourself, here are some tips to makeover your resolutions. This year, resolve to be successful!

Old resolution: I am going to lose weight—somehow. Making list of New Year's resolutions
People often will just set a weight-loss goal, but they don’t have a good plan on how to get there. Without a detailed plan, you’re likely to go back to previous eating and exercise patterns.
Makeover: Set a goal that is specific, measurable, realistic, and trackable. Walk for 15 minutes three times a week or add a serving each of fruits and vegetables. Focus on changes that you can make a part of your lifestyle seamlessly, so you’ll be able to sustain them for the long term.

Old resolution: That’s it, no more chocolate—ever!
Banning your favorite treat—whether it’s chocolate, soda, lattes, or french fries– is bound to backfire. Dieters often eat it, binge on it, feel bad, and then throw in the towel and revert back to their old eating patterns.
Makeover: Make peace with your trigger foods. Don’t have them at home staring you in the face, but allow yourself to have them once or twice a week.

Old resolution: Those holiday parties went straight to my hips. I’m going to have to starve
myself to undo the damage.
Too often when somebody says diet, they’re thinking deprivation. If your weight loss plan feels like a drag, you’re going to feel punished and abandon it.
Makeover: Rejoice in the lifelong health benefits you’ll be creating instead of getting down about dieting. Losing weight becomes easy when you invest your mental energy in making positive, healthy changes for yourself.

Drastic resolutions are simply not realistic. You’ll just get discouraged and give up. Instead, make some basic alterations to your lifestyle. These changes don’t all have to happen at once, but changes in what you eat, when you eat it, and how much you move your body will ultimately cause you to lose the weight. People who aren’t willing to change their lifestyle will never be successful with weight loss.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are ready to change your lifestyle and do what it takes to finally be successful with weight loss, schedule an appointment with Dr, Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help find the right treatment for you.