“How to Lose Weight?”

I know the holidays are right around the corner but that also means that New Years resolutions will be here before you know it.  One of the most common questions I hear nearly everyday in clinic is “How to lose weight?”  The fact is that there is no simple answer to that question.  Body types respond differently to diet changes and exercise so there is truly no magic regimen for effective weight loss.  Of course we have all heard of the popular keto diets, counting your macros and high protein diets like Atkins.  These “diets” do work but require a lot of self-control and dedication or you are not going to get the results you want to see on the scale.

We really need to make a conscious decision to improve our health and incorporate a “lifestyle change”  rather than trying yet another “diet.”  Another thing to keep in mind is that muscle really does weigh more than fat but takes up less space so consider taking weekly or monthly body measurements to track your progress.  It’s easy to become disheartened if the number on the scale doesn’t decrease, especially if you have been watching what you eat and exercising.  One of the best tips I can give my patients is to become involved in a weight loss support group whether it be a group of friends at your workplace or individually with a health coach.  Studies have shown that accountability is very effective in losing weight and keeping it off.  Let’s be honest, knowing that you are going to have to report your weight to someone else really does make it easier to choose not to eat that piece of cake!  Just remember that we are all going to make mistakes with our diet but we have to choose to let it go and get right back on track.  I have posted a couple helpful links below if you would like more information.

Teaming up to drop pounds

10 ways to stay accountable for weight loss

 

Brandee Yarbrough, FNP

318-367-2236

 

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Flu Season Ahead

It’s that time of year again, time to prepare yourself and your family to fight the flu. Flu shots available now at Essential Family Medicine.  Call 367-2236 for an appointment or walk-ins are welcome during business hours.  Find more details including common symptoms, treatment and flu activity by location at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/

 

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Tips to Fighting Back to School Germs

As our little one’s head back to school, it’s time to start taking a few extra steps to keep them healthy.  I know, I know, we have all read these lists before but I have included some less obvious things that you may not be aware of.

  1. Immunizations–  Let’s just go ahead and get this one out of the way.  I know that there are plenty of mixed feelings regarding whether to immunize your children but this is one of the easiest ways to keep your child healthy.  Vaccines are recommended on a schedule and when given on-time will provide your child with the immunity needed to fight potential life-threatening diseases before they are exposed.  Here is a handout from the CDC regarding Vaccines and vaccination schedule, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/growing/images/global/CDC-Growing-Up-with-Vaccines.pdf
  2. Handwashing– Of course, one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of germs is to wash our hands.  Most children (and sadly some adults) do not wash their hands after using the restroom.  First off, children learn from our behaviors so lead by example. Teach your children how to properly wash the back of their hands, between their fingers, and around their nails every time they wash.  And always use warm water and SOAP!
  3. Multi-Vitamins– Most every kid loves a chewy vitamin as an extra treat approved by mom.  Daily vitamins help keep their immune system working like it should by making sure they get the nutrients they may be missing.
  4. Sharing– I know we spend their entire childhood teaching them to share with their peers but lets not share everything.  I recommend sending your child with their own water bottle every day so they can avoid the water fountain.  Certain classroom items must be shared but remind your child not to share drinks or chap-stick with another student.
  5. Sleep– I’m sorry kiddos, but adequate rest helps our bodies recharge.  The CDC recommends school-age children get at least 10 hours of sleep daily.
  6. Avoid the “T-zone”– Teach your child to avoid touching their face, especially around his or her eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs that could be on their hands find a fast track through these mucus membranes to make them sick.
  7. Cover your Mouth– Another lesson that we have taught our children but let’s be more specific… teach them to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze with the crook of their elbow.  Kids think that they are doing the right thing by coughing into their hands but that’s a sure way to spread those germs.
  8. Sick-Day- Okay parents, this one is mostly for you.  Hopefully your child will stay well all year long but just in case let me remind you of the somewhat obvious. If your child has had any fever, vomiting, diarrhea or rash then they shouldn’t be at school.  Your child should not return to school until they have been fever free (without medication) for 24 hours.  They should also stay home 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea.  Any unusual rash should be checked by your healthcare provider to be sure it is not contagious.

Another thing to keep in mind is that our children’s backpacks are with them all day long, sometimes everywhere. Backpacks are excellent for carrying books and supplies but they can also carry bacteria, including fecal matter. Try not to think about that the next time your little one excitedly slings their backpack onto your kitchen counter to show you what they made at school that day. To prevent spreading those germs I suggest making a spot just for your little ones to hang their backpack when they get home.  Try to remember to occasionally wipe the bottom of their backpack with a clorox wipe.

I hope these tips can help your family to stay healthy this school year.  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss.

Stay Well,

Brandee Yarbrough, FNP

318-367-2236

 

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Your Health Matters

Thanks for joining me!  In case we have not had the pleasure of meeting just yet, let me share a little about myself.  I am a Family Nurse Practitioner in Monroe, Louisiana.  I care for men and women of all ages.  Visit types include yearly wellness visits, such as pap smears, breast exams, blood pressure management and thyroid management as well as same day problem or sick visits.  My clinic is open Monday- Thursday from 8am-4:30pm.  Appointments available by phone at 318-367-2236.  Please don’t hesitate to call with your healthcare needs, I look forward to meeting you soon!

-Brandee

 

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Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.           Proverbs 16:3