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?
We are in the midst of one of the toughest seasons for weight loss patients: WINTER. As the weather gets colder and the holidays approach, dieters may find themselves losing momentum, and falling victim to winter weight gain.
It is important for providers to be compassionate and sympathetic to their patients during this difficult season. However, they must also do what they can to help keep patients on track. Without support and encouragement, patients may feel shame and/or guilt for not adhering to their weight loss program or exercise plan and this may cause them to skip appointments — or not come back altogether. This is the moment to look closely at your retention strategies. Stay connected with patients. Provide them with the encouragement they may need to keep going, even despite setbacks.
Sometimes all dieters need to hear are some positive affirmations to let them know their goals are still achievable. Let them know they have your support. We’ve put together 10 Affirmation Cards for you to download to use with your patients that can remind them of their worth, their progress, and motivate them to keep going despite the season’s challenges.
Download our 10 Affirmation Cards now! Print them on cardstock and have them available in your waiting room. Give them to your patients after an appointment. Send one via text or email along with their appointment reminder. Or share on social media and patient forums to stay connected. Your patients will appreciate this compassionate approach to helping them stay on track, and your business will benefit from the increased retention, compliance, and communication with your patients.
Need some more in-depth support with patient retention through the holidays? Log into your account on www.Robard.com, and click here to listen to a complimentary webcast, Holiday Survival: Compliance and Retention through January.
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
We all experience stress in our lives. But, did you know that stress could be a contributor to weight gain and preventing you from losing weight? Stress causes our bodies to produce increased amounts of stress hormones. These hormones cause a rush of adrenaline that is sometimes referred to as the “Fight or Flight Response.” When the brain receives a signal that the body is under stress, it releases the stress hormones to help the body endure whatever is upon it. It makes one ready for action and endurance. The human body is made to survive.
However, after the adrenaline rush is over, the body continues to make cortisol. This is the hormone that triggers hunger or the “replenish mode.” For our ancestors, this was necessary. They may have gone long periods of time without eating and endured a harsh physical environment without knowing when they would eat again. Our ancestors needed the cortisol due to high levels of physical stress and activity. Often, they burned double the calories they consumed just looking for their food.
We can hardly say that now. However, despite the decline in physical activity, we are under as much stress today as our ancestors. Much of our stress comes in the form of mental and emotional. Even physical stress, such as chronic illness, brings with it an emotional toll.
Cortisol and the “replenish mode” are designed to allow for survival. Cortisol slows our metabolism to conserve energy and resources. This means we hang on to fat stores. This may not have been a problem for our great-great-great grandparents who hunted and gathered their food supply, however, driving to the nearest drive-through or ordering take-out is not such strenuous work. Add a slow metabolism from cortisol and you get added weight gain.
So, how can you start now to decrease your stress and prevent weight gain? Here are some tips:
1. Take your vitamins. Your B-vitamins and magnesium to be exact. The B-vitamins provide energy and nervous system function and magnesium is known to reduce anxiety. Most of us are not getting enough of these vitamins in our diets.
2. Get protein for breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day only if it is protein packed. Experts recommend 35 grams or more to get your metabolism cranked, increase your energy level, and keep you satiated longer.
3. Exercise more. Not only are you burning calories and increasing your metabolism, you are reducing your stress level. When you are on the elliptical, bike, treadmill, or in a yoga pose, you can sweat away the day’s concerns and burn off that adrenaline.
4. Get a good night’s sleep. At least 7-9 hours per night to combat cravings. Lack of sleep makes you hungry.
5. No crash diets or starving. When you drastically restrict a food group or reduce your calorie intake, you slow your metabolism further. This will not help when under stress. Instead, find a well-balanced, high protein, low carb diet plan and drink plenty of water. There are plenty of food options for quick, on-the-go nutrition and protein.
6. Eat mindfully. By eating slowly, you give your body time to realize you are full. Mindful eating makes us more aware of emotional eating and combats the cortisol levels our bodies are producing from stress.
7. Seek help. Often stress in life is more than we can handle alone. Seek out a therapist, a health care professional, a support group, or health coach. Do not be ashamed to ask assistance during a difficult time.
If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk. And that’s just what Robard Corporation’s Vice President of Sales, Mario Testa, decided to do on Super Bowl Sunday 2016. As the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers, Mario was set to launch his own fight. He weighed 217 pounds, felt sluggish, tired and had very little energy. He had never struggled with weight as a youth, but age, lack of exercise, work, travel and, what he calls “perhaps a bit of laziness,” took their toll.
“I didn’t feel I was heavy until I saw a picture that ‘woke me up,’” recalls Testa. “It was a picture of me at my son’s sports banquet. It actually brought tears to my eyes.”
Mario had calculated that he had gained 85 pounds since he graduated high school — nearly three pounds a year. In addition to the weight, he faced a handful of related medical conditions, including high cholesterol and triglycerides and pre-diabetes. However, after just a week of using New Direction System products mixed with an occasional NutriMed shake, he began to notice a difference.
“I could tell it was working — and I was being disciplined to the program — because my pants felt a bit loose,” he says. “It was a huge motivator because I never ‘dieted’ before.”
Within a few weeks, his energy was improving, and he wasn’t getting out of breath as quickly. “I started exercising and being more active with my kids,” he says. “It also increased my confidence because I didn’t feel self-conscious anymore.”
Along with products, Testa began a simple exercise routine. He would walk around his neighborhood three nights a week and run on a treadmill one night a week without setting a distance or time. “I just do it until I work up a good sweat,” says Mario.
The discipline paid off. Now at 162 pounds, Mario’s showing no signs of slowing down. He’s got his eyes set on a strength conditioning program, and says that the current state of his health is excellent.
“My whole outlook on food has improved," he says. “I’m much more disciplined with what I eat, when I eat, how I eat and no longer have the cravings for the foods that fell into my danger zone. I’ve been able to keep all the weight off after nearly a year on the program.”
Mario never thought he would be so passionate about how losing weight and keeping it off could have such a positive impact on the overall quality his life — physically and emotionally. “I’m a true evangelist for healthy lifestyle and a disciple for our products,” he says. “It hasn’t changed my life. It saved my life.”
To find a New Direction System or NutriMed program near you, please visit our Find a Clinic page. If you’re a healthcare provider interested in Robard’s proven weight management programs, nutrition products and business services, you can learn more by visiting us here.
Blog written by Kevin Boyce/Robard Corporation
Finding the motivation to pursue a healthy weight can be difficult sometimes. But a new study out of Stanford University may be able to add an increased sense of urgency and purpose, particularly for parents: Do it for the kids!
Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. While many factors have contributed to this, including increased access to fast foods and higher birth weight, more evidence shows that the factor that puts children at greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents.
“The findings of this study suggest that at-risk children may be identifiable in the first few years of life,” says W. Stewart Agras, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, whose team assessed both established and hypothesized risk factors in a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.
Agras says parental obesity represented the most potent risk factor, a finding that confirms previous observations, and the connection between overweight parents and overweight children is likely due to a combination of genetics and family environmental influences.
Childhood obesity can lead to many other health issues for children. According to the American Obesity Association, pediatricians are reporting more frequent cases of obesity-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and hypertension — diseases that once were considered adult conditions.
It can be emotionally conflicting to think about the ways that one’s own health can negatively impact one’s children. But remember that the focus of this study and its findings is not about blame or shaming overweight parents, but rather about prevention. “It’s important to identify risk factors because they may provide a way to alter the child’s environment and reduce the chance of becoming overweight,” Agras says.
Remember: Good health is paramount for many reasons. The first reason is YOU. Obesity can prevent you from living a long, happy, and healthy life. The next reason is the people that you love. You play an integral role in building a healthy family. But while bad eating and exercise habits in children can be passed down from parents, the good news is that we have the power to change those unhealthy habits for ourselves, as well as for our children. Stay tuned for Part 2 for 5 tips for a healthier family….
Sources: American Heart Association, News Medical, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
I recently saw a picture on Facebook that was captioned: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” It’s a common saying, but thought-provoking at the same time. It puts things in perspective and helps you understand that the decisions you make now can affect you in the future.
One thing that we can all do now is decide to make a conscious effort to watch our diet and weight over the next three months; our future selves will thank us for it. Remember, from now until the end of the year we are all likely to gain weight. Why? Blame our friends, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Yes, the holiday season is upon us, and if we aren’t careful we will gain weight that will take a lot of effort and time to lose. Actually, according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it will take upwards of five months to lose that weight. Think of all the work you put in throughout this past year trying to reach your fitness goal, only for it to vanish in a span of a few months, then you have start again when the calendar flips to 2017.
So, what do we do? First, let’s all agree that for the majority of us there will be a few days during the holidays that our diet goes haywire. However, the goal should be to minimize those days, which is tough to do when the leftovers in the fridge are begging to be eaten; we have to find ways to control those urges and cravings.
Another thing we can do is make sure we have a consistent exercise plan. With the holiday season comes traveling, relaxation, and at times lack of motivation to workout. But even if it’s just a short walk, commit to do something! It will be easier to get back into your normal workout routine if you are starting somewhere instead of starting from a place where you went an extended period of time with little to no physical activity. Try to keep your regimen as close to normal as possible.
Cornell Food and Brand Lab Director Brian Wansink said it best: “It’s easier to avoid holiday pounds altogether than to lose them after they happen.” With research showing it will take five months to lose three months of weight, it’s hard to disagree. So stay motivated, be consistent and focused on reaching your good health goals. If we’re mindful of watching our weight over the next three months, our future selves will thank us for it.
Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab
Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation
Reaching your goal weight can be equated to the pause in the middle of a roller coaster. You’ve reached your weight loss goal and you’ve been on this roller coaster before. Can you keep it off and stop the roller coaster? Here are some tips to get you on solid ground.
Develop a maintenance plan ASAP! Create or find a structure to keep you from sliding back into your old eating habits and support you in moving forward confidently. One idea is to figure out what your daily caloric intake should be to maintain this new weight. This calculator will estimate how many calories you need based on your gender, age, weight and activity level; use it as your guide. Or make a daily eating plan so that you have a road map and don’t go off course. Whichever approach you choose — one of these or another of your own choosing — it will take practice to make it habit. The good news is that it will become second nature after a while, and one way to do it is going through the S.T.A.R Plan® - Steps To Avoid Regain.
Develop a mantra (or two). Your mindset is one of the biggest keys to your success. Choose two or three mantras and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. You might want to try “Maintaining my weight is easier than losing weight.” Or “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” “I am eating for my health” may encourage you to make healthier choices. When tempted to have that extra piece of cake, you can also remind yourself what you like about being this current weight.
Find motivators to stay on track. Plan a trip where you have to wear a bathing suit. Shop for new clothes that look good and admire yourself when you wear them. (A little vanity doesn’t hurt anyone.) Find other motivators that work for you.
Stock up on healthy snacks. Pack a piece of your favorite fruit, a handful of nuts or a tasty yogurt so you have a satisfying snack for when hunger hits, wherever you may be. This will support you in avoiding the vending machine or the sweets in the office lunch room. Robard provides a variety of portion controlled protein snacks that can be ideal to stay away from those vending machine cravings.
Weigh Yourself Daily. Best way to know if you are gearing up to ride that roller coaster again is to keep a close eye on your weight. If you gain a pound or two, reset your weight by going back on your diet until you return to your goal weight.
Exercise is the magic pill. It’s not a pill, but being active does make it easier to stay on track. You burn more calories, your metabolism gets a boost and your appetite is suppressed for a while after you exercise. You also feel good about yourself. It doesn’t have to be every day and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Choose any activity you enjoy. I have a friend who exercises every other day and has for years. She says she looks forward to it on the off days and looks forward to the off days after she exercises. That has helped her stay motivated for the long term. Find your formula.
We all know that we need more than willpower for the long haul. Use these tips to help build a support structure for your long time weight loss success, and if you are at the beginning of your weight loss journey and would like some assistance fill out our brief Find a Clinic form and we will locate a center near you!
In the age of social media, the Internet, reality TV, and pop culture, women and girls face an enormous amount of pressure to look a certain way or be a certain weight. More now than ever, weight and body image concerns create an immense amount of anxiety for women, but increasingly more so for young girls. Girls’ dissatisfaction manifests around body image, particularly weight, at an alarmingly young age:
• Over 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat.
• By middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and body satisfaction hits rock bottom between the ages of 12 and 15.
And while it’s natural to be concerned about our daughters’ weight and to encourage them to be healthy, a recent study from Cornell Food & Brand Lab says that one of the best things you can do to encourage healthy weight and positive body image is … don’t talk about her weight!
The study published in Eating and Weight Disorders surveyed 501 women between the ages of 20 and 35 and asked them to recall how often their parent(s) commented on their weight. The findings showed that women whose parents were less likely to comment on their weight or how much food they ate were also less likely to be overweight as adults. Interestingly, women who recalled their parents commenting on their weight in their youth were generally more likely to be dissatisfied with their weight in adulthood, regardless of whether they were overweight or not.
“If you're worried about your child's weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food. Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient," recommends lead author Brian Wansink. "After all, it's the choices that children make for themselves that will lead to lifelong habits."
If you are a parent and hope to encourage a healthy weight and positive body image in your daughter, there are many other ways to do so that won’t lead to unintended negative affects later in life. Take a look at the slideshow that suggest 5 positive ways to teach your daughter about healthy weight and body image.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? How do you feel? If you were given a magic wand that enabled you to change anything about your body, would your body weight, size, or shape be high on the list? If you find yourself being extra critical of your body in your reflection, you’re not alone.
- Newer posts
- Older posts