5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain

by Robard Corporation Staff April 28, 2016


If you’re trying to figure out why you’re exercising and sticking to your diet, and yet you STILL aren’t losing weight, it looks like you could have your basal ganglia to blame! Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, while decisions are made in a completely different part of the brain. When your basal ganglia kicks in, the decision-making part of your brain goes into sleep mode… and congratulations, you are officially on autopilot! Unfortunately, we can often be on autopilot when it comes to bad eating habits, habits that can seriously sabotage our efforts when it comes to health and weight loss.

Habits are a natural part of our daily process, but let’s face it… we have good habits and we have bad ones. There are a number of habits that we engage in every day that can actually slow or even counteract our progress when it comes to our weight loss goals. Many people often attribute bad eating habits simply to low motivation or lack of self-control. But don’t feel bad… in actuality, science supports the fact that our brains are hardwired to routinize and habitualize behaviors so that we have more mental space to do other things. Those pesky, multi-tasking brains of ours!

Fortunately, when we become aware of what our bad habits are and how they may be slowing our progress toward weight loss, we can begin working to change them. Habits can be pretty hard to change because by their very nature, our brains cling stubbornly to routine. But with some awareness, commitment, and new tools, we can work to develop new habits that will better support our weight loss goals.

Check out the slideshow below for 5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain. At the end of the slideshow is a link to a great resource on the mechanics of creating a new habit, and how you can start new, healthier habits that actually stick.




Shoot us a comment on Facebook and let us know your worst habit and what you plan to do to change it!

 
Sources: NPR, James Clear (Behavioral Psychology)


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Obesity

Want a Great Workout in 7 Minutes? Try This App

by Robard Corporation Staff April 25, 2016


You keep telling yourself you need to lose weight and get in shape. You make your New Year’s resolution. You start up your gym membership. Then inevitably around this time of year, you realize you haven’t been to the gym in at least 3 weeks. And with all your good intentions, somehow you’ve managed to GAIN a few extra pounds. Sound familiar?

If you’re like most people, you want to be healthier. But between work, kids’ afterschool activities, laundry, grocery shopping, and everything else you have going on in your to-do list, finding the time to go to the gym and work out never seems to make it into your week. Well, according to this new app, if you want to get in a great workout backed by science, all you need is 7 minutes.

The 7-minute workout, designed by Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the
Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, is a fast, science-based way to work out anywhere, anytime. No gym equipment required… all you need is a chair and a wall.

Downloaded by over 1.4 million people so far, the app is increasing in popularity, and there is a strong scientific argument to back its efficacy.

“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Jordan. Other recent studies have agreed with this perspective showing that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.

The way interval training works is to combine periods of high intensity activity with brief periods of recovery, or rest. In the 7-minute workout app, this is structured as twelve 30-second exercises with 10 seconds of rest in between, designed to be performed in rapid succession. Additionally, the exercises are ordered in such a way that alternates emphasis on the upper body and lower body to provide additional rest to certain muscles while you work out others. Essentially, the complete workout makes the most of every single minute, and while it is described as very intense and uncomfortable, can you really complain when you’re done in 7 minutes?

If you’re intrigued, take a look at the app preview in the video below and check out the 7-minute workout website to learn more. The app itself is available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play, so give it a try!



Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Lifestyle

The Disconnect Between Dieter and Provider

by Robard Corporation Staff April 21, 2016


The obesity rate hasn’t slowed, but it isn’t because of lack of trying. The dieter surely wants to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle and their provider surely wants to help them, so where do we go wrong? Both sides can point the finger at the other, but a recent study shows there’s enough responsibility to go around.

Medscape surveyed more than 1,400 medical professionals comprised of family medicine physicians, endocrinologist, internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and OB/GYNs. These providers on average see almost 200 patients a month who are either obese or overweight that also have comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension.

The good news is that these providers are taking action to help with their patients’ weight issues, with the main courses of action being prescribing weight loss drugs to manage their patients’ weight, diet modification, exercise, behavioral therapy, and in extreme cases, bariatric surgery. However, these methods are not producing positive results, but why? The answer you get depends on who you ask.

“Clinicians are trying to help their patients manage [their] weight, but they are frustrated because their patients are struggling with lifestyle change,” says Dr. Donna H Ryan, professor emerita, Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The survey showed that only 40 percent of the providers used behavioral therapy as a method of weight loss, paling in comparison of diet modification and exercise implementation (85 and 80 percent respectively). The issue with this is if you don’t deal with a person’s behaviors, how can you expect things they don’t normally do such as diet modification or exercise implementation to resonate with them to the point it truly becomes a part of their life? Without that intrinsic change in one’s behavior and habits we are more so looking at short-term goals as opposed to long-lasting development.

Then you have the issue of unattainable expectations. Many times when we look at weight loss we take a “gulp, not sip” approach. We envision ourselves with brand new bodies and pounds melting off of us, when in reality that isn’t a realistic goal, and maybe it shouldn’t be. You would be surprised how much a difference just a ten pound weight loss would make, in appearance and health.

So where do we go from here? Well, there are things that both sides can do to make things better. From the provider side of things, “It takes an educated clinician to be effective,” says Dr. Ryan. Providers need to equip themselves with the proper education and tools needed to not only engage change in their patient, but produce results that stick with us. Coaching skills are a key component to helping their patients gain those behavioral developments needed to not just lose weight, but to have a better and healthier lifestyle.

As for the dieter, expectations could be tempered. The journey maybe long, but it starts with the first step, and there are destinations along the way. A healthier lifestyle doesn’t come just when you hit that target weight; it comes when you have created habits and routines that make for a better you for the long-term.

 

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Education | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Treating Obesity

3 Tips to Erase Negative Body Image

by Robard Corporation Staff April 20, 2016


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.

In a 2014 survey of 2,000 adults conducted by TODAY/AOL about body image, 60 percent of adult women and 36 percent of men have negative thoughts about themselves weekly, with a particular preoccupation with the appearance of their stomachs (69 percent of women worrying about their tummies compared to 52 percent of men).

It’s hard to feel happy about ourselves in an increasingly social media-driven world. We are bombarded daily by the images of the super-thin, super-fit, and seemingly super-happy celebrity elite in magazines, TV, Instagram, and more. And on the flip side, there is an immense amount of disparaging stigma in society around being overweight or obese. Many scientific studies demonstrate this point, showing that people with excess weight are often perceived as being “less intelligent, lonelier, having less self-control, more lazy.”

While losing weight for many is crucial to improving their health, it’s also important to acknowledge the psychological and emotional toll that can come with being overweight, which can lead to negative body image and become harmful in our daily lives, even sabotaging healthy weight loss goals.

If you are embarking on a dieting, weight management, or exercise plan to lose weight and be healthier, remember that the journey can and should be an empowering one. Rather than being motivated by guilt or shame, replace those feelings with joy and pride for the amazing changes you are making for your health and your life.

Negative body image is not something that you can necessarily change overnight; however, with some helpful tools and habit changes, you may start to see yourself differently, even before you start shedding major pounds.
Here are three tips you can start today to start turning around negative body image:

1. Start daily affirmations. Tell yourself how awesome, beautiful, and worthy you are – even if you don’t quite believe it yet. Look yourself in the mirror, smile, and say OUT LOUD at least one thing about yourself that makes you feel proud to be you.
2. Be mindful of negative thinking. We drown ourselves in negative thinking more often than we realize. When you find yourself having negative thoughts about your body, stop and check in with yourself. Be present with the thought and remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be true. Replace the negative thought with a positive one, smile, breathe, and move on.
3. Avoid disparaging media. If you find that looking at magazines with wafer thin models make you feel bad about yourself, stop consuming them. Instead, consciously seek out media that reinforces positive self-image. Look for magazines, TV shows, or social media that speak to your interests outside of physical appearance, like travel or gardening. Or look to informational blogs or articles that emphasize the importance of wellness and health to support healthy weight loss goals.

If you need a push in the right direction, click through the slideshow below for some inspirational quotes and messages that will lift your spirits. Maybe one of them will serve as tomorrow’s daily affirmation!




Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation



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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Self Esteem

Organic Food: Pesticides vs. Your Budget

by Robard Corporation Staff April 15, 2016


In an increasingly health-conscious society, buzz words about healthy eating are rampant, and consumers are being constantly overwhelmed with information about what kinds of foods are healthier and why. This is definitely the case when it comes to organic. Today, organic options are not only found at specialty stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s; they can now be found in your local ShopRite or Acme.

But while much of the hype around organic is about nutritional value, organic produce actually has not been shown to be that much better for you. Rather, the real concerns when it comes to organic versus conventional food are two main safety issues: chemical contamination and bacterial contamination.

Focusing on chemical contamination, countless studies have shown that exposure to pesticide residue was more than five times higher in conventional food than in organic food (38 percent versus 7 percent), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are traces of 29 different pesticides in the average American’s body. While the long-term health risks of pesticides remain unclear and controversial, a recent Consumer Reports survey of 1,050 people found that pesticides are a concern for 85 percent of Americans. And let’s be honest, we’ve only recently begun to understand and experience the tragic effects of DDT (one of the first pesticides) on the environment and on humans, which have included breast and other cancers, male infertility, miscarriages and low birth weight, developmental delay, and liver damage.

While health is of course a concern, the average consumer is also worried about how to stretch a tight grocery budget. According to Consumer Reports, the price of organic produce can be on average 49 percent more than non-organic options, which really add up by the time you get to the register.

So what is a smart, health-conscious shopper on a budget to do?

Well, when it comes to produce specifically, not all non-organic options pose as much of a threat to consumers. If you can’t afford to go full organic, experts suggest choosing organic for the foods containing the highest amount of chemical residue, and choosing conventional foods for those with the least residue. Foods that absorb the least amount of residue are generally those with thick skins that are not consumed, such as onions, avocados, and bananas.

When it comes to chemical and pesticide exposure, certain fruits and vegetables have a reputation for being more egregious offenders. Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) singles out produce with the highest pesticide loads for its Dirty Dozen™ list. In being a more health-conscious, but strategic shopper, refer to the Dirty Dozen™ list for items you should always try to buy organic, and go the non-organic route for the other items that didn’t make the list. See the graphic below for a full list of the Dirty Dozen™ to help guide you in your organic shopping journeys!


(Image courtesy of Environmental Working Group)

For which foods did you make the switch to organic? Share on Facebook!


Sources:
Consumer Reports, Columbia University Medical Center, Environmental Working Group


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Cooking | Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Health and Money | Healthy Eating

Kick the Can – 5 Healthier Soda Alternatives

by Robard Corporation Staff April 12, 2016


To most it’s not a shocker that soda is not the most nutritious beverage you could consume. And to be honest, nutrition is probably not what you think of when you reach for a soda; but rather, you’re probably yearning for that sugary sweet fizz that pairs divinely with a juicy cheeseburger or greasy pizza.

In fact, as reported by the Huffington Post, a Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity study found that a majority of Americans understand that soda is bad for them, and even still, nearly half of surveyed Americans (48 percent) drink soda on a daily basis, with 28 percent drinking one a day, on average, and with 20 percent drinking two or more glasses.

When it comes to young people, the Center for Disease Control reported that soda is the largest source of sugar in the diet of children and adolescents. You may already have a sense of soda’s complete lack of nutritional value, but consider these four disturbing, but little-known facts about (both diet AND non-diet) soda:

Fun Soda Fact #1: Aspartame breaks down in our bodies and converts to methanol. Our natural body temperature converts the methanol into formaldehyde, which preserves the dead. 

Fun Soda Fact #2:
Phosphoric acid is used in home cleaning products and drains calcium from bones and teeth. According to a case study published in the journal General Dentistry, a comparison was done on the mouths of a cocaine-user, a methamphetamine-user, and a habitual diet-soda drinker, and found the same level of tooth erosion in each of them.
 

Fun Soda Fact #3: A study showed that two or more cans a day increases your waistline by 70 percent more than non-drinkers in just 10 years. Participants who slurped down two or more sodas a day experienced a 500 percent greater increase.


Fun Soda Fact #4:
Soda is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, infertility, kidney damage, diabetes, high blood pressure.


If these facts have you cringing about the amount of formaldehyde being produced in your body as you read this, try not to worry. Today is as good a day as any to kick the can and start reducing your soda intake. If you are still looking for a sweet drink to enjoy this summer, but with added nutritional benefits, check out our five tasty and healthier alternatives to soda:


Sources: Infographic by Brandon Gaille, Health.com, Huffington Post


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Obesity

How ONE STEP Can Help You Overcome Your Weight Issues Starting Today

by Robard Corporation Staff April 7, 2016


THE GYM. Did the word make you shudder? In all reality, the gym can be a scary and intimidating place. Gym membership advertisements sell us these glamorous images of thin, fit people working out with smiles on their faces, and not a single bead of sweat on their brows. Clearly working out is easy and fun, right? Well… not necessarily…

For many average Americans, losing weight is something that just does not seem that simple. And while it’s obvious to most that exercise is a vital component of losing weight, where and how to start can be questions that many overweight and obese people just aren’t sure how to answer.

In a study by the Center for Disease Control in 2012, more than two thirds (69 percent) of adults are overweight or obese and more than one third (35 percent) are obese. And while the American Heart Association advises at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity for most or all days of the week, 80 percent of American adults do not get the weekly recommended amounts of physical activity. Moreover, a study last year linked physical inactivity to more than 5 million deaths worldwide per year, more than those caused by smoking.

Starting an exercise program or a gym membership can be tough, especially when considering some of the real (or perceived) barriers to physical activity that many people face. In a survey conducted by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, respondents reported barriers to exercising such as being too fat, being too shy or embarrassed to exercise; being too lazy or not motivated; having an injury or disability (males only); and being not the sporty type (females only). And when we look at those upbeat gym commercials, it feels easy to say, “I can’t do that.”

But actually… YOU CAN. And there is ONE important step that can get you on the path to a healthier you!

THE FIRST STEP

Exercising requires hard work and commitment, and it can even be dangerous for those who are severely overweight or obese and more susceptible to suffering injuries, as activities they participate in have the potential to place a significant amount of stress on their ankles, knees, hips and lower back. But with the will to make a change, you can choose wellness and life, and it can be as easy as that first step. And your first step does NOT need to be in a gym.

If you are committed to making a healthy change in your life and losing some weight, start by focusing on low impact activities. Thirty minutes a day is all you need, and you can even split up that 30 minutes into several smaller sessions, such as 10 minutes of brisk activity in the morning, during lunch, and after work.

Try to make your first step a nice walk. Throw on your headphones and take a walk around your neighborhood. Or for added cardio and strength, walk up and down a flight of stairs for ten minutes, and you’ll be guaranteed to feel the burn. Don’t forget to stretch! Warming up your muscles, especially when you are a beginner to exercising, can help you avoid injury.

Most importantly—DON’T GIVE UP. Taking that first step can be hard. Taking the next step and then the next can seem even harder. But the more steps you take, the easier it will become. And before you know it, a new you will be staring back at you in the mirror, and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t started sooner.

For some inspiration in getting your weight loss journey started, check out these video testimonials from people like Jim Carpenter, who lost more than 290 pounds and just participated in his first 5k walk, or Bill DiNicola, who was excited to ride a roller coaster for the first time in 15 years after losing an astonishing 226 pounds. 

If you are really concerned about your weight and want to also get your diet on track, consider seeing a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist who can provide even more comprehensive, personal, and specialized advice on how to lose weight safely. Find a clinic with a weight loss program here.

So are you ready to get started? What change are you going to make to your routine TODAY to be more active? Let us know how your first step went and keep us posted on your progress by commenting below.

 

Sources: CBS News, Center for Disease Control, The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Livestrong


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Obesity | Weight Loss Programs

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