Exercise

A Complete Guide to Following your New Year’s Resolutions

From eating healthy to keeping an active lifestyle, the New Year's Resolutions you set for this upcoming year can pave the way to a healthier & better you.January 1st – a day that commemorates a brand new year and marks the beginning of a new set of New Year’s resolutions. From eating healthy to keeping an active lifestyle, the goals you set for this upcoming year can pave the way to a healthier and better you. Oftentimes, the resolutions we set for ourselves are unrealistic and difficult to sustain, causing many of us to fall back to our old habits after a few days. But have no fear, we came up with a few tips that can help you not only set obtainable goals, but also uphold and maintain them long-term.

1. Set specific goals.
Perhaps the most common mistake that we make while writing our New Year’s resolutions is that we typically make them too broad and not measurable. We vow to “eat healthy,” “stop eating fast food,” and my personal favorite, “exercise every day.” Although these are great objectives, they aren’t exactly quantifiable or specific. Instead, you can commit to eating at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, limiting fast food to once or twice a week, and including 20-30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week. These goals are much more specific and calculable, making it more likely that you’ll actually follow them.

2. Focus on one goal at a time.
It is unrealistic to expect that overnight, you will adopt healthy eating habits and start exercising. Healthy habits that are sustainable typically develop over time, little by little; with every health-promoting decision you make, your conviction becomes stronger, allowing your next decision to become easier. Ultimately, this will result in the permanent adoption of healthy habits. Therefore, focusing on one goal at a time can help you maintain these resolutions on a long-term basis so that they start becoming part of your routine.

3. Always be prepared.
A wise man once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This quote can be applied to perhaps any situation, from planning your meals to planning your days, workouts, and so on. If your goal is to limit fast food, make sure that you prepare your meals ahead of time and pack them in containers to take to work or school. You can even make a big batch of a recipe so that you have meals prepared for the rest of the week. If you know that you get hungry around midday and are typically away from home at that time, be sure to have plenty of healthy snacks, such as nuts and fresh fruit, on hand. Lastly, if your goal is to take a 30-minute walk around the block every day, lay out your workout clothes ahead of time so you have no excuses to get out and get moving.

While writing your New Year’s resolutions, remember that it’s not the end of the world if you have setbacks. Welcome each challenge you encounter with open arms, and have a plan in mind to overcome it. Ultimately, the key to keeping your New Year’s resolutions lies in upholding your goals and objectives with every health-forwarding decision you make and every health-forwarding action you take.

If your resolutions include improving your health and weight loss, let Emory Bariatric Center help you. We offer both surgical and non-surgical weight loss programs. View our website www.emoryhealthcare.org/bariatrics for program options or call 404-778-7777 for more information.

From Your Seat to Your Feet: Standing More Leads to Better Health

standing-at-work“Come in and take a seat!”

As a society, we sit a lot. We sit to work at our desks, to eat our meals, to commute to work or school, to watch TV and movies, and to play on our computers. Have you ever wondered what so much sitting might be doing to your body? Researchers have recently shed some light on just how much sitting is impacting our bodies…and the findings are not helping our waistlines.

Several studies have looked at what too much sitting can do to our bodies and our health. The studies have shown that there is a link between too much sitting and a larger waist circumference (a predictor of poorer health and metabolic syndrome) and a higher Body Mass Index (BMI). On a positive note, the opposite also rings true. People who stood more and moved more had smaller waist circumferences and lower BMIs.

So what does this mean for people trying to lose weight? The answer: stand up and keep it moving. Below are some ideas to help you decrease your sitting time throughout the day.

1. Take walk breaks: Sitting at your desk is unavoidable for many, but everyone takes breaks, so why not keep them moving? Break up the day with a quick walk around the office or block.

2. Try a standing desk: Many companies are becoming aware of the risks of increased sitting time on their employees. The companies are adding stand-up or adjustable desks to their offices. Ask your supervisor for a standing desk.

3. Stand up while on the phone: This is one work task that does not require being seated, so why not stand.

4. Quick trip? Try walking instead: Replace your quick car trips with a walking trip. Walk to the store, to restaurants, and to your neighbor’s house to cut out some of the sitting spent in the car. It saves on gas too!

5. Choose social activities: Swap sitting activities for active ones. Instead of watching a movie with friends, go bowling instead. Start a new tradition of walking with your family after dinner. Take shopping trips with lots of walking or volunteer at a local garden. Find an activity you enjoy, and get out there.

For more ideas on decreasing your sitting time, check out these resources:
American College of Sports Medicine
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Be Active Your Way Blog

National Eating Healthy Day

Pumpkin Soup RecipeThere are lots of holidays approaching this time of year, but there is one that we are particularly excited about. Did you know that Wednesday, Nov. 5 is National Eating Healthy Day?

We encourage everyone to strive to maintain healthy diets and remain active. Whether you overindulged on Halloween candy or need some new recipes to add to your fall dinner rotation, we have 3 delicious ones to try: pumpkin soup, Mediterranean baked sweet potatoes and cranberry Brussels sprouts.

Follow us on Pinterest (@EmoryHealthcare) to stay up-to-date on recipes. You can even share your favorite healthy recipes with others by posting to our community board, “Healthy Recipes We Love!

Click here to see our latest recipes on Pinterest!

Top Five Ways to Boost Your Metabolism & Lose Extra Weight

Because of words like diet, cleanses and fasts, our definition of normal eating has gotten lost. Normal eating should be flexible, and it should change based on your response to hunger, your schedule, your feelings and your proximity to food. A lot of people want to know how to jumpstart their metabolism, normalize their eating pattern and utilize what they eat more efficiently. We all know that if your goal is to lose weight then you must expend more energy (calories) than you take in. With that in mind, here are five tips to boost your metabolism.

Renew Your Weight Loss Goals for 2013

Exercise Fitness Weight LossThe new year is an exciting time. As 2012 comes to the end, it is the perfect time to renew your commitment to the goals you want to achieve.  Set yourself up for success by following these tips for setting achievable goals.

Tip 1: Set SMART goals

SMART goals are:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time-bound

Tip 2: Set a Lifetime Goal

The best goal you can set would be a lifetime goal. Why? Because it is a goal that you can always improve on, and it shapes the way all your other goals are attained. Set a goal that you want to achieve, not what others feel you should accomplish.

Tip 3: Set small goals

Setting smaller, achievable goals will help you reach your main goal by achieving  smaller milestones along the way. By setting smaller goals, you allow yourself to specialize and focus in one area at a time. It is easier to stay motivated when you are accomplishing many small goals rather than falling short on one large, unrealistic goal. Stay positive, smaller goals add up over time.

Tip 4: Reward Yourself

Once you complete a goal, take time to enjoy your accomplishments!  A reward should be something for yourself that you enjoy and deserve. It can be tangible or intangible such a buying a new shirt or going for a walk to clear your mind. These rewards will give you motivation to continue setting new attainable goals since you know there is something at the finish line.  Never reward yourself with food.

Diet Frustrations? 5 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight

5 reasonsLosing weight is hard and can be very frustrating at times.  Here are some common pitfalls that people make and suggestions on how to get over them.

  1. You think fat-free also means calorie-free – When a food claims to be fat-free, sugar-free, or light, it doesn’t mean the food is low in calories or even healthy.  Eating these foods often lead people to think they can eat more!  How many times have you thought, “These cookies are low-fat, which means I can eat more.”?  Always check to see how many calories there are in one serving before you begin eating to avoid any unwanted surprises.
  2. You’re not being truthful to yourself – No one saw you eat that handful of potato chips, so it doesn’t count, right?  Accountability is a big part of weight loss, and it’s a lot harder to be accountable to ourselves than to other people.  Many people find using food diary websites or Smartphone apps to log their food intake as a great way to stay accountable.  Try using My Fitness Pal or Lose It!
  3. You are skipping breakfast to save calories – People who skip breakfast actually eat more!  Eating breakfast kick-starts your metabolism for the rest of the day.  Eating only one or two large meals at the end of the day is like throwing wood into a fire that has no flame.   Eat something within one hour of waking up.  If you are not a breakfast person, try having a meal replacement shake or smoothie, which are not as heavy on the stomach.
  4. You think you can’t exercise Anything that raises your heart rate counts as exercise.  Think about what kind of physical activity you enjoy doing — you are much more likely to stick to it if you like it.  For those that are short on time, exercise is cumulative.  You don’t need to exercise for long periods of time to see the benefits.  And most importantly, remember that some exercise is always better than none at all.
  5. You are expecting perfection – We all know that no one is perfect.  But for some reason, we expect ourselves to be perfect when it comes to losing weight.  We get angry with ourselves for “falling off the wagon”.  Learn to forgive yourself.  Remember that we don’t have to hit a home run; we just need to get on base.

 

Emory Bariatric Center Patient Prepares for his First Peachtree Road Race

Just a couple of years after undergoing gastric bypass surgery, Jim Blackburn prepares for his first Peachtree Road Race. Since the operation, Blackburn has dropped over 200 pounds and no longer needs a C-PAP to help with snoring.  Jim stated, before receiving care at Emory University Hospital, his knees and ankles hurt terribly from carrying his weight. Along with high blood pressure and sleep apnea he began to experience the early on-set of diabetes.

Since surgery, “My life has changed 180 degrees. It’s totally turned around,” said Blackburn.

Check out Blackburn’s interview with Fox 5 Atlanta.

Are you running the Peachtree Road Race along with Jim? Then check out 10 tips that will ensure you get to the finish safely.

Related Resources

Helping You Overcome the Exercise Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas

Exercise excusesReasons we are not Exercising and Strategies to Overcome all of the Excuses

Weight loss is not an easy task to accomplish.  Often times it involves a lifestyle change in which we are forced to change habits we have developed over a lifetime. Many of us have trouble incorporating physical activity into our daily routines and come up with a number of excuses as to why we are not going to do it.  It is time to combat these excuses with pre-contemplated strategies so these excuses cannot hold us back.

With that said, these are the top 5 excuses we hear most often for not exercising and tips to help you overcome excuses:

1) I’m Too Tired

  • Wake up 30 minutes early and work out.  It will increase your energy for the rest the day!
  • Choose to do an activity you enjoy instead of “working out.” Garden in the spring or ice-skate in the winter to burn away the calories.
  • Start small; exercise will increase your energy.  Try going on a 5-minute walk and see how you can progress each day!

2) I Don’t Have Time

  • Utilize your lunch break.  Walk outside, or try going up and down the stairs for a challenge!
  • While watching your favorite TV show, do crunches or push-ups during the commercials!
  • Schedule time to exercise in your calendar, phone, etc the same as you would for a meeting or your child’s play date.

3) I’m Too Sore from My Last Work Out

  • Exercise a different part of your body.  If your legs hurt from walking, focus on your upper body.
  • Stretch!  This can help to improve flexibility and reduce the tension in your muscles.

4) Exercise is Boring

  • Experiment! Try swimming or Zumba — find something you enjoy!
  • Bring a book, magazine, or iPod to entertain you while you exercise.
  • Bring a friend!  Ask someone to join you to chat and the time will fly by.

5) I Hate to Sweat

  • Exercise in the pool! Join a water aerobics class or just kick your feet while holding onto the side of the pool.
  • Walk indoors! Ladies try a walk around the mall, and men try a sporting good store to workout and cool off.
  • Try resistance exercises.  Not all exercise makes you sweat.  Try this website for some great strength training suggestions!

So now it is time to stop with all of the excuses, and get moving.  Incorporate one or all of these strategies into your workout routine to keep you focused and motivated on your long-term goals.  It is not always easy, but when you feel the excuses escape your lips, recall these strategies to keep active!

Looking for even more ways to incorporate effective weight management techniques into your daily life? Tomorrow, Meagan Mohammadione, Registered Dietitian from the Emory Bariatric Center, is hosting a free web chat to discuss healthy recipe modification tips to boost the nutrition of your Thanksgiving menu, while lessening the guilt! There’s still time to sign up and join her!