Vacation Health Hacks

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Ahh, Spring Break. Its arrival is inevitable, yet its presence sneaks up on us every year.

Whether you’re planning on jetting off to paradise with the family or staying home in your swimsuit for a backyard tanning session, vacation time requires strict planning to ensure that you stay on track. When you’re in a state of relaxation, you may not have the same sense of urgency regarding healthy eating and active living, but this can have severe consequences! You may not have the same access to your usual resources (like Tucson Medical Weight Loss), but that doesn’t mean that you cannot do it on your own.

Committing to living life the Tucson Medical Weight Loss Way means staying dedicated, even when times get tough. Sometimes, it’s all about getting creative, and other times, it’s about keeping yourself motivated. Don’t give yourself any other options other than healthy living during your next vacation; you’ll never regret accomplishing your goals. Keep these vacation hacks in mind throughout the duration of your next trip and keep the memories of your vacation nothing but happy.

Keep a pair of tennis shoes on hand
Make a pair of athletic footwear the first thing you pack. Or last. Or 4th. Or 10th. It doesn’t really matter, as long as they’re packed! Having your tennis shoes alongside your flip-flops and other footwear will act as a reminder to get out and get moving whenever you leave to go anywhere. Not only that, having a pair of sneakers will keep you from opting out of unplanned events like hikes or other outdoor ventures that will get you moving!

Plan your outfits strategically
Bring a variety of clothes, including active wear. A great hack to motivate yourself to get active is actually wearing your running shorts to bed! If you wake up early enough, there’s no reason you can’t go on a quick walk or stop by the hotel fitness center. If you’re already dressed appropriately, the only thing coming between you and physical activity is yourself.

Shower in the morning
There’s a good chance you’ll be staying up late anyways, so you might actually end up knocking out and doing this anyways. Regardless of the reason why you opted out of a nighttime shower, saving the suds for the morning can benefit you in two ways. First, going along with waking up early to go for a walk or work out, if you take a morning shower then you don’t have an excuse to opt out of AM activity because you “might sweat”. Second, showering in the morning will jumpstart your day. When you’re forced to get ready, you actually become more motivated to do things, minimizing lounge time and maximizing vacation excitement.

Put that Mini-Fridge to good use
There’s no reason to be eating out for every meal when you have a functional refrigerator! Of course, dining out while on vacation is part of the experience, but that’s no excuse for eating against your diet plan for a whole week. For casual lunches and snacks especially, it’s a good idea to stop by the grocery store for a quick haul of fruits and veggies, and lean meats too if you have access to a stove or grill.

Wake up early
We’ve all experienced it – if you wake up at 10am or later, you end up feeling like your day flew by in the blink of an eye. While rest is one of the luxuries of being on vacation, so is getting to jam-pack your day with activities you actually want to do! When you wake up early, even if you’re not necessarily doing anything, you end up feeling more like you had a wholesome experience, as any opting-out of activities was done with complete awareness. Plus, if you’re awake, you’re likely also up and moving which is good for your health.

Keep a full itinerary
You can have a “lazy day” on any other weekend throughout the year, so don’t waste one of your vacation days renting a Redbox and lounging around. Now is the time to do the things you don’t usually have the opportunity to do – so do them! It doesn’t matter whether you’re at home or in a far off place, a quick Google search will come up with hundreds, even thousands, of options on what you can fill your day with. Shopping, surfing, swimming, and sightseeing are just a few of the things you can occupy yourself with.

If you must splurge, do so on a new experience
You can have a cheeseburger ANYWHERE, so don’t waste your calories on something so universal. If you’re going to cheat your diet, cheat mindfully and make it worthwhile. Try an exotic dish so you can boast the amazing experience to your friends or eat something your destination is known for so you know what authentic cuisine tastes like. Hot Cheetos are mediocre and forgettable; a new experience is not.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Spring Clean the Healthy Way

Spring Clean the Healthy Way

Whether you like it or not, your pantry and refrigerator are central parts of your home, and their centrality is the exact reason why they deserve to be kept clean – and not just in the literal sense.

While it’s important to keep everything in the kitchen neat and tidy to avoid the spread of bacteria, it’s also important to keep tabs on what exactly you’re stocking your home with. If you’re like most people, you’ve fallen victim to mindless snacking more than just once or twice. While eating throughout the day is actually recommended, shoving handfuls of chips into your mouth as you pass through the kitchen isn’t quite what nutritionists had in mind. Keeping your home free of high-calorie goods like snack crackers and sugary drinks is guaranteed to help you make better choices, as temptation will have been eliminated. It’s easier to choose the celery sticks over the pretzels when you don’t actually have any pretzels.

Spring is a time of renewal, giving you the perfect excuse to take charge of your kitchen. As you go about your spring cleaning, ask yourself the following questions to ensure you’re not leaving any potentially detrimental goods behind:

1. Can I pronounce everything on the ingredients list?
A great rule of thumb to follow in terms of choosing the goods to fill your home with is to always check out the ingredient list and have a hand at pronouncing everything on it. Often times, brands list unhealthy sugars and preservatives under complicated names, like sorghum, xylitol, and scant.

2. Does this fit my diet plan?
It may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes we get caught in the trap of saying “it’s not for me,” and before we know it we’re elbow-deep in Oreo crumbs. Don’t fall victim to your own negligence, get rid of the temptations before they wreak any havoc!

3. Have I over-indulged on this before?
Don’t keep anything lying around that you’ve been known to revisit time after time without planning for. Even if it’s a healthy food, over-indulging can throw a curveball at your weight loss success – don’t present yourself with the opportunity to have a setback.

4. Can I use this to cook a healthy dish?
Sometimes, we get caught up in the wonders of the grocery store aisles and end up coming home with way more than we need. Often times, this includes kitchen utensils, spices, and condiments – the worst of the bunch. While a simple bottle of dressing may seem innocent to the untrained eye, many condiments sold in stores have monstrous amounts of unhealthy fats and sugars. Don’t hoard condiments just because you have room for them, ask yourself, “can I incorporate this into a dish into a healthy manner?” If the answer is “no,” it’s time to wave goodbye.

5. Is it a “gateway food?”
Funny-sounding as it may be, keeping certain foods laying around can make it easier to slip-up. For example, salsa – when homemade, salsa is a delicious and healthy dip to snack on, but there’s a good chance you’ll end up breaking out the over-salted tortilla chips as a compliment. If there’s any doubt in your mind that one thing might lead to another, it’s best to avoid the food altogether.

Take on your kitchen full force this spring and set yourself up for success during the upcoming year! Before you know it, these practices will become habit, and you’ll become a pro at living life the #TucsonMedicalWeightLossWay.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

4 Effective Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable

4 Effective Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we make excuses all of the time. Phrases like “I’m too tired” or “I’m too busy” tend to surface whenever we know we should be doing something, but aren’t. It is difficult to stop oneself from making excuses, as it is the mind’s natural defense against doing things we may expect to be unpleasant. They are dangerous though, as once you begin to tell yourself something, you may begin to believe it.

This phenomenon is especially true as it pertains to long-term lifestyle changes, as Tucson Medical Weight Loss attempts to instill in each individual whom walks through our doors. Many people find the transition into healthy living difficult and revert back to their old ways from time to time, slowing down their progress and inciting frustration. A good way to keep yourself from throwing away all of your hard work is to come up with an accountability plan.

By holding yourself to some sort of a standard, it will be easier to keep your goals in sight. Accountability is instrumental in success for everything from playing guitar to doing household chores. If you don’t encourage yourself to do something, the reality of it is that it won’t get done.

If you’re having a hard time holding yourself accountable or wondering how you can improve your efforts, think about implementing one of these into your daily routine:

1. Ask a Loved One to Keep Tabs on You
Whether it be your spouse, brother, sister, daughter or son, loved ones, especially ones who reside in the same household, have the potential to offer close to 24/7 accountability for your actions. Because they can see exactly what you are spending your time doing, they have the power to regulate, or at least influence your lifestyle choices.

Loved ones tend to be effective means of accountability, as they are generally trusted and may be able to notice things that you may not be able to notice about yourself. Additionally, we tend to take the commentary of family members more seriously than that of a stranger, or even friend. If your inner circle is on your side, nothing can stop you.

2. Start a Blog
Blogging is similar to keeping a daily log of your activities, except it’s public — which is the best part. Making your daily activities and meal choices public knowledge will undoubtedly influence you to make better choices, as you won’t want to disappoint readers or have them think any less of you.

Not only that, but proper blogging has the potential to generate you a dedicated support group for when you are in times of great hardship or have questions regarding what to do next. Sometimes, all we need is a little nudge or kind words to get us back in the right mindset.

3. Keep a Money Jar
The “money jar” method is perfect for those who either still want to be independent, or respond well to negative punishment. The idea with the “money jar” is that every time you make a lifestyle slip-up, you must “pay” a certain amount of money by placing it into a jar, only earning it back once your ultimate goal has been reached.

The idea of having to “pay” every time you slip up forces the realization that there is an actual cost associated with every action, which resonates well with frugal people as well as those who enjoy thinking about things in theory or putting life into perspective.

4. Implement a Prize System
Much like a scavenger hunt, the prize system is set up in a way that rewards you with incentives to keep moving in the right direction. This is especially effective for those who find their long-term goal to be impossibly attainable or those who choose to live day-by-day.

Implement this into your life by choosing a fixed increment to act as your “goal” – this can be pounds lost in a fixed period of time, number of clean meals eaten consecutively, or anything else you consider appropriate. Then, choose a [health-friendly] reward for each time you reach one of these checkpoints. We recommend pampering services, such as facials or massages at one of our Med Spa locations, new shoes, clothes, home décor, or anything else that would motivate you to keep moving!

Discouragement is a treatable issue, especially when you have a system in place to keep yourself moving. Your journey doesn’t have to be alone or completely internal. In fact, it will actually be more pleasant if you share it or turn it into something fun for yourself! Don’t be scared to go stray from the status quo, whatever works for you will give you the most positive experience. Just remember – there is always more than one way! As long as you are keeping yourself accountable, success is inevitable.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

The Dangers of Girl Scout Cookie Season

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Every year, all across America, citizens fall victim to their calculated trickery. Legend has it, if you open your front door when the bell-ringing ritual is completed, you’re doomed. Even if you pretend that your home is vacant when they visit, carefully avoiding the line of sight of the windows at all costs, you’re still susceptible to their wrath through office-targeting initiatives and centralized supermarket booths. Once you enter within the surveyable distance of their neatly-braided hair and symbolic patch-laden sash, there’s almost no turning back. Girl Scouts are every dieter’s worst nightmare.
It usually goes something like this:

As you approach, they entice you with their sweet, innocent smiles. Phase one, complete.

Next, after you inevitably decide to entertain the young salespeople, you become engulfed in the descriptions of Thin Mints®, Samoas®, and the Girl Scout brand’s newest cookie. Sample? Of course! You don’t want to be rude and object, right?

Then, just when you’re complimenting the cookies’ unparalleled flavor, they hit you with the “would you like to make an order?” with a huge grin adorning their face, eyes twinkling. If you’re like most people, you do one of two things: agree reluctantly, or decline and seek out the cookies later, either out of guilt or a persistent craving.

Girl Scout season comes in conjunction with the most crucial time in the year as it pertains to new lifestyle habit forming, and can wreak serious havoc. There’s something hypnotizing about those green cardboard packages of cookie sleeves that makes you pull just “one more” until you’re knee-deep in crumbs (and not to mention regret). Contrary to popular belief, Thin Mints® are named for their size, not for their calorie count – just one of their #1 selling cookie is 40 calories – 1,280 calories per box – and we all know you can never buy just one box.

Even as a motivated, goal-oriented individual, it is still a possibility you will be included as a purchase order in the Girl Scout’s over 200 million boxes expected to be sold. The Girl Scout’s sales pitch of teaching girls valuable life skills through raw experience and their devotion to using the proceeds to benefit society is pretty much irresistible. Often times, people buy the cookies just because they feel guilty that they aren’t putting their money towards the charitable cause being benefitted, so they shell out the cash for a box or two, putting their consciences to rest, but risking their health.
This Girl Scout cookie season, we challenge you to put your foot down in terms of cookie consumption. You’ve committed to a healthy lifestyle; don’t erase your progress for the temporary satisfaction of a sweet treat! There are countless alternatives that will leave you with the same feelings of fulfillment, both conscience-wise and in terms of taste.

1. Cash Donations
Second only to the cookies’ taste (for many), a great satisfaction comes from knowing that 100% of the proceeds from your cookie purchase stay local. Often times, this point is what reels customers in, as they feel guilty for declining and “failing” their neighbors. One of the most common justifications for cookie purchase is that it is “benefitting the community” and “for a good cause,” but there are other ways to benefit the community that don’t involve gorging yourself on Tagalongs®.

If you’re okay with saying no, politely tell whomever is trying to sell you cookies that you intend to donate money to a local charity of your choice in place of a cookie purchase. This way, your money is still being put to good use and your conscience will be laid to rest.

In the case that you’re not okay with telling young girl scouts “no” in fear of their puppy-eyed faces growing pouty with somber, offer to donate money directly to their cause. Because their goal is to raise money, it’s safe to say that they’ll find the free funding more than sufficient.

2. Donate your cookies
If you do end up getting sucked in to buying the dreadfully addictive seasonal treats, or already have, consider boxing and shipping them to our troops overseas or even donating them to a local food bank.
There are plenty of people that would love to have the opportunity to enjoy these American favorites; give them the opportunity! When you donate Girl Scout cookies, you’re doing twice the good – benefitting your immediate community and filling someone in need’s snack drawer. Plus, doing this is fun, interactive, and the kind of feel-good you can’t get by blindly donating.

3. Get your flavor fix with protein drinks and bars
If you’re known to succumb to purchase because of the great flavors, try making a healthy swap! Protein Bars and Drinks are a great option, as they are low calorie, nutritious, and come in great flavors. Tucson Medical Weight Loss offers a variety of delicious and healthy treats that act as perfect swaps!

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*Protein bars are not approved on RM3® or HCG

Stay strong this cookie season; you are better than your cravings! Supporting the Girl Scout organization is fine and good, but there are smarter ways to do it than purchasing an armful of boxes. Next time you’re confronted by a Girl Scout, whether it be at home or at the supermarket, use these tips as a means to stay on track with your health.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.