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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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.