Tag Archives: weight loss

How to watch your weight during wedding season

food table at a reception filled with fruits and pastries

It’s that time of year again: wedding season. This can be a time of blissful happiness or a time that stretches the limits of self-restraint while trying to keep your health in check.

“It’s important to remember to limit yourself while attending a wedding,” says Dr. Gabriel Berendes, a Mayo Clinic Health System Family Medicine physician. “Most often, people become so caught up in the festivities, they forget to remember to take care of themselves.”

Most people have more than one wedding to attend during the year which can  add on pounds, if not watched closely.

“Overeating can lead to numerous health issues, such as emotional and physical damage to the body and mind,” adds Dr. Berendes. “This can be due to loss of confidence and increased weight, as well as causing damage to the digestive system.”

Dr. Berendes recommends these tips for watching your wedding season weight:

  • Participate in morning activity.
    Go for a run or walk, or a quick workout, or go golfing. These ideas, among others, can help clear the mind, as well as help you feel calm, centered and more in control of the choices you’ll make later in the day.
  • Don’t skip meals.
    Trying to save up calories will leave you feeling tired, angry and more likely to overconsume during cocktail hour.
  • Pace yourself.
    Choose the amount you want to drink. One drink per course (cocktail hour, dinner and reception) is a good rule of thumb. If that’s not sensible to you, limit yourself to one drink per hour, alternating water with alcohol. This advice is for of-age wedding guests who plan to stay put. Never to drink and drive.
  • Choose wisely.
    There’s no law saying you can’t have one of everything, although it’s good to limit yourself to a few options. Determine what you want to make room for. Try sticking to one plate, filling half with vegetables and the rest with protein and starchy vegetables, such as beans and potatoes.”
  • Dance.
    Hitting the dance floor can help you lose 200 to 300 calories per half hour. This gives you an extra excuse to show off your dance moves — good or bad — and burn off the calories you’ve consumed during the day.

Housecall: Caffeine and your health

an overhead view of a single cup of steaming coffee on a green wooden surfaceTHIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
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Shopping for shades?
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can damage your eyes — not just your skin. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Opt for wraparound or close-fitting sunglasses with wide lenses that protect your eyes from every angle. Keep in mind that the color and degree of darkness sunglasses provide have nothing to do with their ability to block UV rays.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

Invest in yourself if you want the best chance for success

The future belongs to the fit. Despite gifts, skills and talents, if you don’t invest in yourself physically, you won’t go the distance

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Active Voice: Too Little Exercise, Too Much Sitting and Expanding Waistlines!

By Ai Shibata, Ph.D., Neville Owen, Ph.D. 

Ai Shibata, Ph.D.Neville Owen, Ph.D.

Sedentary behaviors, put simply, mean too much sitting, as distinct from too little exercise. We now understand such behavior to constitute a risk to health, beyond that attributable to lack of physical activity. While research on sedentary behavior puts a novel slant on ways to think about physical inactivity, it should not be taken to negate or downplay the importance of public health and clinical recommendations on improving health outcomes through regular exercising and taking every opportunity to include bouts of moderate-vigorous activity in your daily life. 

Rather, this new focus helps to expand our perspective, providing further ways to think about the determinants of poor health within the overall texture of people’s everyday lives. A great many of us are deskbound in the workplace, through time spent sitting in cars and spending long periods of time in front of computer screens at the office and TV screens in the domestic environment. 

Against this background, we set out to examine – concurrently – the roles of moderate-vigorous physical activity and TV viewing time in determining the extent of increases in adults’ waist circumference. The national AusDiab study provided us with a unique opportunity to do so, using unique prospective epidemiological data. 

AusDiab originally examined more than 11,000 adults in 1999-2000 and, subsequently, conducted five-year and 12-year follow-ups. This landmark Australian study conducted a comprehensive assessment of risk factors for obesity and diabetes, with clinical assessments that included directly-measured waist circumference. We were fortunate, also, to be able to include from the very start of AusDiab not only the standard Active Australia questionnaire for characterizing moderate-vigorous physical activity, but also a simple self-report measure of daily TV viewing time. 

In our study, as reported in the April 2016 issue of MSSE, we use data from the three observation points of the AusDiab prospective cohort to identify the extent of 12-year changes in waist circumference. We examined those changes in relation to the changes in moderate-vigorous physical activity and TV viewing time that took place over the five years between the first and second AusDiab observations. With the multiple clinical and behavioral measures that were available, we were able to control for several potential confounding factors (including total energy and alcohol intakes) in our analyses. 

The logic of the comparisons described above gave our study some strong, but also challenging, scientific traction. Most previous studies on this topic have identified cross-sectional associations, or have used exposure measures taken at only one preceding time point. Our approach in our Australia-Japan collaboration resulted in us being able to identify stronger relationships of waist circumference change with the moderate-vigorous activity changes – and then to examine how these compared to what we saw for changes in TV viewing time. Of some interest in the context of the “either-or” debates that have emerged about physical activity and sedentary behavior, there were compelling (and as we see things, expected) combined effects – that is, we observed a 6.7 cm average increase in waist circumference for those who reduced their moderate-vigorous activity and increased their TV time. 

These findings add support to the case for addressing the two interrelated problems of too little exercise and too much sitting. Several countries – including Australia – have already adopted (or are considering) new sedentary behavior elements to be integrated into their physical activity guidelines. In practice, this can provide a commonsense and straightforward basis for advising patients and the public – we need to be emphasizing the importance of being physically active each day and, at the same time, taking every opportunity to reduce and break up sitting time. 

Too little exercise and too much sitting characterize the daily lives of far too many adults in developed countries. This pattern also is now highly prevalent in the rapidly-urbanizing populations of low- and middle-income countries. Both elements of the activity equation – moving more and sitting less – are keys that can contribute to a healthier population. Together with those two behavior changes is the need for a healthy, less energy-dense and energy-replete diet. With these changes, we can more effectively address the “epidemic” of obesity, as well as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other serious adverse metabolic health outcomes. 

The simple bottom line is: Sit Less, Move More and More Often!

Viewpoints presented on the ACSM blog reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM. 

Ai Shibata, Ph.D., is an exercise and behavioral scientist at the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki, Japan. Her research addresses how best to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior in clinical groups, the general population and among older adults through observational and intervention studies that employ objective measurement tools, such as accelerometers. 

Neville Owen, Ph.D., is head of the behavioral epidemiology laboratory at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. His current research is focused on understanding and influencing sedentary behaviors. His research spans experimental studies in the laboratory, observational epidemiological studies, real-world intervention trials and large-scale international work to identify the environmental determinants of physical activity and sedentary behavior. 

This commentary presents the authors’ views on the topic related to a research article which they and their colleagues from Australia and Japan have authored. Their research article appears in the April 2016 issue ofMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE). 

Consumer Health Tips: Get help to quit smoking

a smiling middle-aged woman with a nicotine patch on her upper armSmoking cessation products: Boost your chance of success
Want to stop smoking? Using smoking cessation products can increase your chance of success, and there are several approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Here’s what you need to know.


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Fall prevention: Simple tips to prevent trips
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Video: Find your motivation for weight loss
What motivates one person to make healthy lifestyle changes may not motivate another. Your motivation is personal and unique, and it can be as simple as wanting to wear a favorite outfit more comfortably or being able to keep up with your grandchildren. Whatever it is, find that goal, and use it to your advantage.

Concussion: Treatment
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. Usually, concussions are caused by a blow to the head. Rest is the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover, and your doctor will recommend that you rest physically and mentally to recover from a concussion.

Vitamin C: When is too much, too much?
Your body needs vitamin C, but megadoses can cause many digestive problems. Find out how much vitamin C you really need.

Mayo Clinic Minute: Ditch your resolutions day? No way

Group of New Year resolutions written on Post It notesJan. 17 has been dubbed Ditch Your Resolutions Day, because, by that date, many people have returned to their old habits. Why is it so hard to keep New Year’s resolutions? Mayo experts say one reason may be that people make drastic changes that are just too difficult to maintain, especially when it comes to weight loss.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, nutrition expert Dr. Donald Hensrud has tips on how to reach your New Year’s weight-loss goals. Vivien Williams reports.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads. Read the script.