Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Prevent Weight Gain Before Losing Weight

Prevention of weight gain is often overlooked when we talk about weight management or weight loss. Many times people do not concern themselves with preventing weight gain until physical symptoms of pain or discomfort show. Or, some people forget the step of preventing weight from gaining further before they can start to see a reasonable amount weight-loss. After all, you cannot run until you have learned to walk.

Obesity is a chronic condition just like diabetes is a chronic condition. Chronic conditions are chronic partly because they progress over time. So why not stop obesity in its tracks before pain emerges and risk for developing associated diseases increases.

How?  With nutrition!

A significant portion of preventing weight gain involves being aware of what you eat, and the quality of food you put in your body, and particularly, how many calories you consume in a day.

What are calories? And where are they found?

Calories are units of energy found in food and drink. If you are eating and drinking more calories than your body can use or burn, then you will gain weight. If you are eating and drinking the same amount of calories that your body can use or burn, then you would stay at the same weight. This is called weight maintenance. You need to achieve weight maintenance before weight loss can be a sustainable goal. That is part of the reason why yo-yo diets do not work.

How many calories do I need?  

That’s very individual as not everyone’s age, muscle mass, metabolism, health condition, hormonal balance and other factors that affect our energy needs, are the same. The most practical way to know how many calories you need is paying attention to how many calories you are eating and how your body weight responds over the course of weeks to months. Our body’s weight fluctuates on a day-to-day basis because of fluids, food in our stomachs, and stool in our bowels. So tracking our weight over time gives you a better idea of whether you are gaining or losing body weight. That is part of the reason why family doctors measure your weight yearly at your physical exams.

Generally speaking, most people need about 1500-1800 Calories per day to normal day-to-day activity. Unless you are exercising intensely for more than 150 minutes per week, do not eat or drink extra for the calories you burn from physical activity. Meaning, do not justify that chocolate bar or slush with “because I exercised…”

The steps:

1) Track your food intake:
I know people often loathe tracking food intake, but think about it this way.  You have a calorie budget to spend on food and drink, just like how you have a money budget to spend on essentials like rent and “fun” things.  If you overspend money on “fun” items like a cute pair of shoes that are more pretty than functional, and still need to pay rent, you are going to be carrying debt.  Along the same lines, calorie debt is accumulated around your belly if you overspend your calorie budget.
So unless you know where you’re “overspending,” you will not know where to cut back.

If you do not like numbers and calories, then track based on portions compared to Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide for your gender and age group.  

The foods that do not fit into the food groups, are ones you want to limit as much as you can.  And no, potato chips are not a vegetable….unfortunately.

2) Read nutrition facts labels for calorie information and record these on your food journal:
I will be writing a blog entry on label reading in the near future, but for now, track those numbers so you know how much you’re “spending.”

3) Review your food journal to spot trends.  If you do not know how to, get the help of a dietitian:
Click here to find a dietitian or ask for a referral to a dietitian from your family doctor who is part of a Primary Care Network.

4) Be as active as you possibly can: 
Any safe form of movement that is more than what you would do is increasing your physical activity.  You do not need to go to a gym to obtain that.

Overall, the key is awareness - calorie and food awareness.  When you are aware, you can cut back on portions or calories, and prevent weight gain.

Good nutrition helps you attain health, and physical activity helps you maintain health.

~Sally Ho, Registered Dietitian
Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network

Thursday, 19 June 2014

June is Recreation and Parks Month

June is Recreation and Parks Month; it's time to get outside and increase our daily physical activity! Now that the harsh winter has subsided, lets all refresh and breathe in as much fresh air as we can before winter hits us again.  

Get the whole family involved and make it a daily evening activity.  There are many options available in Leduc for getting in some outdoor activity; go for a walk on one of the many outdoor trails or for the adventurous - try dragon boating at Telford Lake.  

For more information and ideas, take a look at the City of Leduc website.

 Corinne Culter is an Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Healthcare Videos

A few members of our healthcare team recently produced videos with HUTV, our patient education television provider. What is a PCN? What is their role within a PCN? What type of services do they provide? Check out each video to find out!

Exercise Specialist - Corinne Cutler

Registered Nurse - Cherie deBoer

Registered Psychologist - Sheila Gothjelpsen

Our Registered Psychologist, Sheila Gothjelpsen also created a video on Depression and Stress Management. Find out more about the symptoms, risks, treatments and where to get support:

Depression and Stress Management - Sheila Gothjelpsen

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Dementia: Signs, Prevention & Treatment

LBD PCN member physician, Dr. Trevpr Byers and LBD PCN Geriatric Nurse, Carla Moore, operate the Leduc Eldercare Consultation Team one day per week out of the Leduc Community Hospital.

The goal of this program is to ensure seniors living in Leduc, Beaumont, Devon, Calmar and Leduc County enjoy optimal health and quality of life while remaining in the community for as long as possible.

The team provides consultation to seniors experiencing the following:

  • cognitive/behavioural concerns
  • functional decline (falls, mobility issues)
  • review of medications
  • capacity assessment
Recently Dr. Byers was interviewed by the Leduc Representative about dementia. Please read the article, here: Dementia: Signs, Prevention & Treatment

Monday, 9 June 2014

Thank you!

Over the last 2 weeks, our PCN has been conducting a patient satisfaction survey. We have had paper copies available in all of our member clinics and provided a link to the survey from our website, blog and social media.

The survey has now concluded; THANK YOU to all that participated and provided your opinion and feedback on healthcare in our region.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) will compile the information and analyze the results and also make the draw for the iPad Air on our behalf. The winner will be contacted by phone or email and the announcement will be made when we have permission.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Running away from your fork

This video by Yoni Freedhoff, MD from the Weight Matters website is seriously one of the best and to the point videos I have seen about the myths of exercise and weight loss. It stresses the health benefits of exercise and how it helps to promote healthy eating habits, pointing out that being more active can assist with weight management, when paired with healthy food choices.   Exercise alone will not provide that significant weight loss that some are striving for, unless of course you have enough hours in your day to devote to high intensity exercise sessions. 

Due to the ever increasing quick pace of life with high demands from work and family, most people find it extremely difficult to commit 30 minutes a day to activity. Unfortunately, some people who want to change their lifestyle to promote weight loss are putting too much emphasis on weight loss coming from increased activity levels. Instead they should be looking at the evidence-based research that has proven results of weight loss occurring with healthy eating choices and habits, which include journaling food intake. (click here to download a copy of our food journal)

Overall, a healthy lifestyle includes being more active, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and balancing life with work and family.  Eat healthy, journal your food to track calorie intake and keep a close eye on those hidden “liquid calories”.  Stop putting so much focus on the number on the scale, get and stay active for your health, your strength and your overall well-being. Chances are you won’t be disappointed. Check out the video, below. 

Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist with the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network. 

"Approximately 80% of your modifiable weight is likely determined by your dietary choices leaving only 20% for your fitness choices. While exercise has truly fantastic health benefits and markedly mitigates the risks of weight, you're far more likely to lose weight in your kitchen than you are in your gym, and if you're exercising solely for the purpose of weight management, you run the risk of quitting perhaps the single healthiest behaviour you could adopt if and when the scales don't fly down. Unless you plan on spending a heroic part of each and every day running, you're not going to outrun your fork."

~ Yoni Freedhoff MD

Weighty Matters