Have you tried to lose weight on your own, but have not had success? Trying to lose weight can feel overwhelming and discouraging when you try to do it alone.
Using a weight loss accountability plan can make all the difference! Weight loss accountability can come from the encouragement and support of another person or group of people. Accountability can also come from a system you set up to check if you are taking the steps necessary to achieve your goal.
The first step? Create SMART goals. No accountability system will work unless you have SMART goals. SMART weight loss goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. SMART goals turn your goal of “losing weight” into steps you can be held accountable to like “walk 30 minutes five times a week” and “eat seven vegetable servings a day.”
Once you have created SMART goals, then you are ready to set up a system of accountability.
Where can you find accountability for weight loss management?
Why does accountability work for weight loss?
If you are in need of accountability for your weight loss goal or any other healthy lifestyle goal, schedule your free first session with Dr. Mehri. If you live in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, you may want to meet in person. If not, or if you live anywhere else in the world, you can meet with Dr. Mehri online or by phone. Schedule your session by clicking the "schedule now" button to the right.
Small businesses are more productive when the employees are healthy.
Many large businesses implement an extensive, expensive program to promote wellness as a top priority. Small businesses can benefit from workplace wellness programs, too, but money and time are often a barrier to implementing a grand-scale corporate wellness solution.
The good news is that an effective health and wellness solutions program does not have to cost a lot. Plus some insurance companies offer discounts when there is a health and wellness program in place. Many of these inexpensive workplace wellness solutions do not require much time either.
Try these top 10 workplace health and wellness solutions for small businesses:
#1 Encourage your employees to take part in a fitness program. Provide on-site or off-site gym memberships. During lunch time offer a gym shuttle. Organize group workouts or stretching sessions in the morning. Physically active employees have less stress, increased self-esteem, and a more positive mood which helps them focus on their job. Exercise also increases energy levels which increases productivity.
#2 Host health education sessions to inform your employees about healthy choices. Some helpful topics include nutrition and managing stress.
#3 Offer incentives for wellness activities. Be creative. Have a gift card raffle. Every time an employee takes the stairs instead of the elevator, he gets a ticket. Offer free lunch for attending a wellness activity like a sport, exercise, course, seminar, etc. Invite a massage therapist to the office to give free massages to those who had an annual physical during the year.
#4 The physical layout of the workplace matters. Design the space to suit a healthy lifestyle. Include houseplants in the office for both air quality and a serene atmosphere. Create a walking trail around your building or property.
#5 Provide healthy food. What snacks are in the vending machines? When hosting a lunch, order in gourmet salads instead of pizza. Bring in trays of fresh fruit instead of donuts. If there is a cafeteria in the building, be sure the food served features fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
#6 Offer alternatives for desk seating such as stability balls for desk chairs or a standing desk. Set up a treadmill desk for long conference calls.
#7 Have an expert evaluate your workplace environment to diagnose the health risks. Invite a workplace wellness educator to assess the risks.
#8 Prevent the flu from spreading through the office by inviting health professionals to give the flu vaccinations and screenings at the workplace.
#9 Lengthen the lunch break to give opportunity for employees to hit the gym, eat at a leisurely pace, or read a book before getting back to work for the afternoon. These stress-relieving activities will rejuvenate the employees for a productive afternoon. The longer lunch will also allow time for a nutritious meal instead of wolfing down a candy bar and a soda at the desk, contributing to the long term health of the employees.
#10 Put an end to tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse. Host a quit smoking program. If you suspect alcohol or substance abuse, support your employee getting help to end their addiction.
Which of these top 10 solutions can you implement in your office this week?
What other wellness solutions have worked for your business?
If you need wellness and health solutions for your small business, call Dr. Mehri, a medical doctor and certified health coach trained in workplace wellness by WELCOA.
She will give health education sessions in your workplace and provide one-on-one health coaching services for your employees. Ask her to come assess the health risks in your office.
Call 484-240-9730 for more information.
Sometimes I hear from patients a defeated attitude about heart disease because of their family history.
“My grandmother died of a heart attack and my mother has trouble, too. I know my genetics are against me. There is no point in living a healthy life style.”
On the contrary, a recent study looked at 55,000 people and examined both their genetics and their lifestyle to determine which contributed greater to heart disease.
What did they find?
The study showed that while having a genetic risk for heart disease can double the chances of getting the disease, a healthy lifestyle can cut your chances in half. If you have an exceedingly unhealthy lifestyle, the benefits of your good genes are cut in half.
The bottom line: lifestyle matters for preventing heart disease no matter your genetic makeup.
What kind of lifestyle will prevent heart disease?
Here are seven scientifically-proven courses of action to do your part in preventing heart disease.
A healthy diet in regards to heart disease means:
Take a look at a BMI calculator or ask your doctor or health coach to calculate it for you. The BMI isn’t an absolute indication of healthy weight, but it can help.
Health professionals recommend 30 minutes of physical activity for most days of the week. Brisk walking is an excellent exercise. Gardening or yard work can be exercise as well. If you have trouble with your knees or have other issues, a health coach can recommend an appropriate physical activity.
Smoking is tied to the constriction of the blood vessels and chemical plaque buildup from tobacco. This can lead to a heart attack.
The sooner you quit, the better! Although this may be difficult to do, a health coach can provide accountability for you as you quit. You can do it!
The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than one drink per day for women and men over 65; two per day for men under 65. One drink is defined as 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, and 1.5 oz of spirits. Although you may have heard that some alcohol can be good for your heart, it is not recommended that you begin drinking if you do not already do so.
Get enough sleep
Adults need 7-9 hours. You can tell you have had enough sleep when you can wake up easily without an alarm clock. Make it easier on your body by picking a routine and sticking to it.
Overwhelming stress is often managed with unhealthy habits like overeating and smoking. A health coach can help you find healthy ways to manage the stress you have in your life.
Do you have a family history of heart disease? Are you ready to make lifestyle changes?
Schedule your free 30 minutes of health coaching today for a healthier tomorrow. Let’s do this!
Every December and several times throughout the year, Mark decides that he will lose weight. It usually comes after he has been to the doctor and both the doctor and he notice that the scale shows he is heavier. He knows about diet and exercise, but isn’t really sure what is best for him. His resolution? Lose weight.
Sandy wants to eat well. She knows she should be eating regularly and not just bits here and there. She wants to eat fruits and vegetables, but the task seems overwhelming. Her resolution? Eat healthy food.
Giana just doesn’t feel well. She is tired of being tired and run down and she is sure that if she changed some things in her life she would feel better, but she isn’t really sure what to change or how to do it. Her resolution for this year? Be more healthy.
Rob is stressed at work. There is a lot to deal with because of his boss. Home is stressful, too, because of the kid’s busy schedules and managing things at home between his full time job and his wife’s full time job. He wants to live less stressed, but isn’t sure what to change. He doesn’t want to end up drinking too much like he used to. His resolution? Live less stressed.
Each of these resolutions is commendable. Each person has pinpointed what needs to change in their lives. The trouble comes in knowing exactly how to meet these goals.
Each resolution will fail unless the person creates a plan. Not just any plan, but a SMART plan.
That’s where a health coach comes in. A health coach can help you make a SMART plan for your health and wellness related goals.
A SMART plan has five different aspects:
What resolutions are you thinking of for the New Year?
How will you break down those resolutions into SMART goals?
Ask your family or friends to help you word the goals and write them down so that you have a visual reminder. Typing them and printing them out is even better since it looks authoritative.
If your goals are more complex or you don’t have support for your goals, Dr. Mehri is here to help you formulate your SMART goals so they can be achieved.
A health coach not only helps you formulate the plans, but also holds you accountable while you are working to achieve the goals and helps tweak the plan if need be.
If your health related goals are complicated because of your medical issues, Dr, Mehri is the health coach you need. Because she is also a medical doctor, she understands the complexities of medical issues and uses scientifically-based research to inform your plan.
Contact Dr. Mehri Ulas today for your free 15 minute introductory session so you can begin the New Year with specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals.
Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Happen with SMART Goals
Each resolution will fail unless the person creates a plan. Not just any plan, but a SMART plan.
Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Happen with SMART Goals.
Every December and several times throughout
Wonder Health and Wellness
“I tried to live differently for years, but all of my efforts only led me to exhaustion,” said one of my patients who was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. From the changes that she was trying to make, I could tell that she knew the importance of adopting healthier behaviors to keep her blood glucose level under control.
Unfortunately, as with many of my clients, she did not know where to begin and how to proceed.
Today, on World Diabetes Day, there is a fresh focus on the challenges of living with Type 2 diabetes.
Here are 5 tips that I share with diabetics to help them manage their diabetes:
A study has shown that adding health coaching services to current diabetes management led to additional benefits: reduced stress, increased exercise, and significantly reduced HbA1c levels (marker for improved blood glucose control).
Integrative health coaching is like a missing piece of the puzzle in diabetes management. Undoubtedly, we need to use every worthwhile support to improve quality of life and to decrease medical costs over time. There is no need to wait for the perfect moment. Now is the time to take the first step towards change! Contact me, Dr. Mehri Ulas, and we will meet together to come up with a plan for your life. The first introductory session is free, so you have nothing to lose! I look forward to meeting you.
Mehri Ulas MD, CHC
Wonder Health and Wellness
How often do you experience a pounding headache, muscle tension or pain, or upset stomach? Have you noticed you have trouble sleeping at night even though you feel fatigued? Does your mind seem cloudy, foggy, or overwhelmed? Do you have an increased heart rate whenever you think or talk about a certain area of your life? Have you experienced a change in your sex drive?
What about your mood? Do you find yourself irritable or feeling unmotivated? Restless or anxious?
If even just a few of these describe you, it’s time to deal with your stress. Left unchecked, the stress in your life could put you on the path to destructive behaviors like over or under eating, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol abuse, tobacco use, withdrawing socially, or putting off exercise.
The first step to reducing or eliminating the stress in your life is to discover the relationship between the symptoms of stress and the sources of stress.
When we know the sources of stress, we can solve the problem and eliminate the stress source.
But how can you pinpoint the cause of your stress?
A stress diary is one way. First, take a moment to list the physical or mental symptoms of your stress. Ask your family and friends how they can tell when you are stressed.
Next, write down external stressors. Has anything unpredictable happened? Have you had a major life change either positive or negative? Any stress in the workplace or in social situations?
Thirdly, jot down some internal stressors. Do you have any fears? Is there anything in your life that feels out of your control? What kinds of expectations do you put on yourself?
Writing down our observations in a stress diary helps us gather information. It takes our stress out of the intangible realm and places it on paper so that we can look and reflect on our specific, personal stress.
Once the stressors are identified, then you can make an intentional plan to manage each stressor.
Identifying symptoms of stress and the stressors that cause it can be difficult to find on your own. It is helpful to have someone walk beside you so that you can overcome living with stress. This can be a friend or family member who is a good listener, speaks truth, and is observant about your life. But not everyone has this type of person in their life.
Or you may want a fresh perspective on your life from someone who has helped many others manage stress.
If so, we invite you to join the Stress Management Workshop through Wonder Health and Wellness.
The Stress Not Included Workshop is available both online and in person.
In addition to complete instructions for use of a stress diary, the workshop will look at:
Don’t live another day with unmanaged stress! Contact Dr. Mehriban Ulas, MD, CHC. She is passionate about helping you to live stress-free. With over 20 years of medical experience, Dr. Ulas has combined her previous experiences with health coaching techniques to empower her clients to be healthy, energetic, and productive. You can overcome the stress in your life. Dr. Ulas is here to help.
Work stress! Home stress! Career stress! Traffic stress! You name it. Stress is everywhere. Is it even possible to find a stress-free zone in your life? My answer is both “yes” and “no.” It is completely up to you and no one else! Let me explain:
Stress is a well-known entity. Sometimes we ignore it, and sometimes we carry it like a badge of honor. But are we really understanding stress? Its basic definition is “to be in a situation that you can’t handle.” Scientifically speaking, it is “your body’s response to demands placed on it.”
When facing a stressful situation, realize the implications it has on our soul, body, and mind. Our response toward stress is either fight or flight. During a fight response, we stand our ground, defend our position, and attack! On the other hand, in a flight response, we surrender, remove ourselves from the situation, and move on. Person to person, we can have differing responses to the same stressful situation.
Within a short period of time, we can tolerate a certain degree of stress. However, chronic stress, persisting over hours, days, or months, greatly impacts our body, mental health, and relationships in the long run.
Under stress, our muscles tense, mouth dries up, heart beats faster, pupils dilate, digestion slows down, and blood glucose increases and so on. Mentally, our mind becomes foggy, causing lack of concentration and productivity. Socially, we lose track of our interactions with others, resulting in relationship problems.
Can we defeat stress by covering up its symptoms? Or would it be better to get to the root of our stress and learn to manage or eliminate our stressors?
In the next series of blogs, I will dive into stress further, and share with you the practical tips on stress management. Let’s explore these stress-free zones together.
Mehriban Ulas, MD, CHC
"Eat only when you are really hungry; stop eating right before feeling full". This is the perfect motto for healthy eating in many aspects.
A new study on correlations between eating habits and life quality has showed that people with obesity and without obesity alike who eat less have better stamina, quality of life, sleep, and sexual function.
The researchers assessed young to middle aged men and women with normal BMI values for stages of mood, quality of life, perceived sleep quality, and sexual function. With 15% calorie restriction, participants lost an average of 18 pounds per year and experienced a definite decrease in depression, which points to an improvement in overall mood.
Contrary to the popular belief, eating less with control has no negative effect in terms of quality of life or sleep. Good news! Taking in less calories won't keep you up at night! On top of this, less calorie intake leads to improved sexual drive and relationships. Men especially had higher arousal scores in this group.
So far, everything may sound awesome. But honestly, it can be a lot of work changing something as stern as a habit. As you are reading this, you may ask yourself, "How do I actually change habits with my hands full with work, financials, and family? Won't this just make my life even more complicated than it already is?"
The rewards for even a slight shift in behavior such as eating less is promising. But even expects admit that such change is not easy to reach without help. I think that is why the health and wellness coaches are an essential part of health care team today.
Source: JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 02, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1189.
Mehriban Ulas, MD, CHC