We are in the midst of a tough season for weight loss patients: SUMMER. Between high-calorie backyard BBQs, hot weather that makes us more lethargic, and sweet cold treats, there are so many reasons why patients falling victim to summer weight gain.
When it comes to seasonal weight gain, the causes of winter weight gain for most people are obvious. Then, after the winter months, New Year’s Resolutions and the prospect of getting “beach ready” kick people back into gear with their weight loss goals and diets. Unfortunately, once the summer season is upon us, new challenges present themselves that many don’t think much about.
These days, everything needs to be fast. We need fast internet, fast traffic, fast DMV lines. Fast is almost always better, right? The keyword is almost. Fast seems great on a surface level but when it comes to fast food, the tradeoff is fast weight gain.
Every year, weight loss centers see a huge influx of dieters eager to lose weight on January 2. Not much effort needs to go into getting people through the door when weight loss is top of mind for New Year’s resolutions.
In our culture, we often associate happy childhood experiences with unhealthy behaviors or foods. Who can forget summers filled with ice cream, lollipops secretly passed to you by grandparents, getting the first warm cookie out of the oven, or even licking the cake batter out of the bowl?
On February 2, 2018 — Groundhog Day — Pennsylvania's most famous woodchuck, Punxsutawney Phil, made his annual prediction. Unfortunately, in his infinite wisdom, he announced six more weeks of winter. And that means six more weeks of potential winter weight gain!
Losing weight is easy — said no one ever! Patients sometimes approach weight loss with unrealistic expectations. Some think that if they just exercise and eat better, the weight will melt off and they’ll drop 20 pounds in a couple weeks. However, the reality is that people can work really hard, be super committed to their diet and exercise plan, and yet still not see the kind of progress they hope for as quickly as they want to see it. On top of the fact that in this time of the year, patients may also be dealing with winter weight gain that has thrown off their previous progress. So is it time to throw in the towel?
The winter months can be fun and festive. It’s also the season when dieters can lose momentum and throw months of progress right out the window. According to research reported by Johns Hopkins University, people tend to gain five to seven pounds on average during the winter months. Sounds like Santa isn’t the only one enjoying some cookies and milk.
Dieters don’t need to be doomed to winter weight gain. Being aware of the common causes for seasonal weight gain can help dieters work to avoid the usual hurdles, and set themselves up for a positive start to the New Year. Here are three of the most common causes for winter weight gain, and what dieters can do to stay on track when the weather outside is frightful:
1. COLD WEATHER: Finding time to take a walk seems a lot easier when the weather is warm and beautiful — but not so much when it’s below freezing and there’s snow on the ground. Dieters may even lose motivation to go to the gym when they have to leave their comfy, warm house and defrost the car.
What can you do? Call on your friends, family, or significant other to help hold you accountable to your workout routine. Give yourself an incentive to go, such as putting $5 in a jar every time you do a workout. Use the money at the end of the week to treat yourself to some shopping or a healthy snack. You can also consider using a workout app or routine that can be done in the comfort of your living room so you never even have to leave the house. For workouts you can do at home in just seven minutes with just a chair and a wall, try this app.
2. HOLIDAY MEALS: The winter months can mean quality time with family and friends, as well as fun holiday parties for work. Those gatherings tend to have a lot of fattening and sugary foods that can easily throw a dieter off.
What can you do? Never attend a holiday party hungry. Eat a healthy, protein-filled meal before going to the party to control hunger and make it easier to beat cravings. Bringing a protein-rich meal replacement bar or shake can also help if hunger strikes during the event. For even more tips on how to avoid holiday snacking, check out this recent blog.
3. WINTER GROGGINESS: The cold weather and decreased sunlight can cause many people to feel extra sleepy, causing a lack of motivation to stay active. Winter grogginess can even negatively influence productivity during the day and at the workplace, impacting not just our weight but our overall mood. This can cause a snowball effect.
What can you do? Find a few moments throughout the day to get up, move around, and increase your energy. Deskercise is a great way to stay active throughout the day by decreasing your sitting time at work, and you can do it right at your desk! Incorporating energizing routines like this can also help keep you motivated throughout the winter season.
What are some other challenges to staying on a diet during the winter months? Share with us on Facebook, and let’s toss around some ideas of how to stay on track through the New Year!
Source: Eat This, Not That
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
When it comes to calorie counting, not many people — if any at all — like doing it. It’s monotonous, tedious, and restrictive. It takes all the joy out of eating. You counted all your calories, so you should be losing weight, right? Well, not necessarily. If you stop to think about what a calorie is, you will find that it’s not just how many calories you consume that affects healthy weight loss, but what kinds of calories.
Download the Calorie Equation: Learn to indulge in colorful, flavorful foods without loads of calories with this picture lesson from Dr. Howard Shapiro’s book, Picture Perfect Weight Loss.
Simply put, a calorie is a unit of energy. Our bodies actually need calories to survive because without energy, our cells would die, and our organs would stop functioning. We acquire this energy through food and drink in the form of calories. The number of calories food contains tells us how much potential energy they possess.
Keeping track of how many calories one consumes is, of course, important to weight loss. If you burn off more calories than you consume through physical activity, the body will locate other calories to burn for energy, ultimately using the calories from the body’s fat reserves, and thus stimulating weight loss.
The problem comes in when “empty calories” are consumed; that is, foods high in energy but low in nutritional value. Such foods include fast foods, and foods high in fat and/or sugar, such as ice cream and bacon. More than 11% of Americans’ daily calories come from fast foods, and Americans consume an average of 336 calories per day from sugary beverages alone. To put it more simply, 2,000 calories in the form of vegetables and lean protein will provide a very different result than 2,000 calories in the form of a large fast food burger.
Ultimately, to achieve fast and, most importantly, healthy weight loss, it is important to advise patients to stick to a low calorie diet, but through foods and supplements that are high in nutritional value. Many people continue to find it challenging to stick to a low calorie diet on their own. This is why it is important for health professionals to be proactive in asking overweight patients about their weight loss goals*, and educating them not just about the benefits of achieving a healthy weight, but also about the options that are available to them, such as a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) or Low Calorie Diet (LCD). With a medically supervised VLCD, patients could expect to lose 3-5 pounds a week, enjoying a variety of meal replacements, snacks, and food products that taste great and are scientifically designed to have high nutritional value.
Obesity is on the rise, and healthcare costs and early mortality rates are rising with it. But adding weight loss as a service for your patients is easier than you might think, and can actually get started in 60 days or less with the help of an experienced partner. Contact Robard today and learn how you can increase the quality of care for your patients by starting an obesity treatment program.
*For practical tips on how to speak with patients about their weight, check out this free webcast!
Sources: Medical News Today
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Blog written and edited by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
October until the New Year is a tough season for dieters. Every month, there is a holiday that can present numerous challenges to remaining compliant to a diet, with temptation lurking around every corner in the form of candy corn, warm apple pies, buffets, and dining room tables full of fattening, delicious food. By the time New Year’s rolls around — if they are not careful — dieters can find that in three months they put on more weight than they lost in the previous six months. It can be even more difficult to come back from such a setback.
The key is prevention. Set your patients up for success this holiday season by making plans now to deal with holiday temptation. To get the conversation started, click here to download Robard’s helpful Holiday Goal Setter worksheet. Then, use the tips below to have some proactive discussion with your patients to help them stay compliant between now and the New Year:
1. Stock up on Tricks, not Treats
When trick or treating time rolls around, that bowl of candy can look mighty appetizing. Your patients might be eating one piece of candy for every five they give out. Suggest that if they choose to be festive on this holiday, instead of handing out candy, provide fun non-candy dollar store items that the kids will still love, like glow sticks, whoopee cushions, crayons, bubbles, stickers, and temporary tattoos. In addition to avoiding candy cravings, they’ll also be accommodating children who may have food sensitivities/ allergies.
2. Eat healthy first.
If your patients have company or family holiday parties to attend, suggest that they be proactive and control hunger by eating a healthy meal or snack before they arrive to the party. They can even bring along a yummy weight loss shake packet or protein bar that complies with their diet to enjoy just before or during the party to ensure that they are satiated enough to avoid giving in to hunger and overeating. Robard’s meal replacement shakes and bars are delicious and scientifically designed for the highest level of satiety to curb hunger and cravings.
3. Bring your own portion-controlled plate and cup
Those large dinner plates can cause people to pile on far more than a single portion of food, and people are inclined to try and finish all the food on their plate. To help with this, suggest that patients bring their own smaller plate, maybe even find one with sectioned out portions, so that they are aware of how much they are consuming. Bring a five ounce cup and limit oneself to one high calorie beverage a night, and stick to water for the rest of the night.
4. Eat mindfully.
People often overeat because they revert to unconscious eating, leading them to not recognize when they are full. Eating mindfully helps dieters to slow down and focus on what they are eating and how much to create a better connection between their physiological need and their mental state. This can also help them make healthier choices about food selection in addition to eating less. Click here for 9 easy tips on how to eat mindfully during the holidays.
5. Buddy up.
When possible, patients can identify a friend, family member, coworker, or significant other who can be their support system through the holidays. This person may also be on a diet, have similar weight loss goals, or may be someone who can just be there to eat healthier with them, cheer them on, and remind them of their goals (without shaming). It is important that this buddy be positive and uplifting, and can help bring a sense of joy and camaraderie to the pursuit of eating healthy during the holidays. Ask your patients if they have someone in their lives that can support them in this way, and coach them on how to approach such people and make the request for support.
Want more tips on how to keep your patients on track through the holiday season? For Robard customers, there is a wealth of complimentary resources and information available to you in the Holiday section of Robard.com. Simply click the link, log in, and start browsing. For non-Robard customers, contact us today to learn more about our services and resources!
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation