Name One Person You Know That Doesn’t…

by Robard Corporation Staff September 20, 2016

… Have a Cell Phone. Odds are you don’t know anyone. Even my beloved 98 year old Aunt has a mobile phone. In fact, by 2019, it is estimated that five billion people will own a mobile phone. This is good news and a great opportunity for your obesity treatment center.
 
Each day, programs like yours struggle to motivate and retain their weight loss patients. Patients start the program highly motivated to lose the weight, exercise and improve their health. Their energy is contagious. You are sure they will follow through… but they don’t. A couple of weeks into your program, they lose interest or simply disappear. Why? Well, lots of reasons, actually: Patients gain confidence to forge forward towards their goal independently; they revert back to their old habits; friends or family members become jealous and sabotage their success. There are many reasons behind patient drop-off or their failure to increase activity or lose weight while on your program.

Here is the good news: There is a way to increase success among your patients, and it’s supported by new research.

A review of 224 studies, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, revealed that the effect of using the internet and various digital devices, including a mobile phone, found that, “Participants in mobile device interventions (using smartphone apps or receiving text or voicemail messages) increased their physical activity and lost body weight/fat.”

“Programs that have components such as goal-setting and self-monitoring and use multiple modes of communication with tailored messages tended to be more effective,” says author Ashkan Afshin, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD, Acting Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “We also found these programs were more effective if they included some interactions with healthcare providers. Clinicians, in particular in primary care settings, can use such programs to help people improve their lifestyle behaviors and reduce the risk of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

Therefore, it is logical to conclude, as a result of this study, that combining your personal in-office interactions with a digital tool will enhance your patient’s outcomes. So, it’s not just about providing high protein meal replacement shakes or weight loss supplements to achieve success. Patients need increased contact between in-office interventions through messaging or an app in addition to an effective way to set goals and monitor their own progress to achieve weight loss success.

There are many options out there that you could leverage. Check out one option from Robard: The MyCare Tools Patient Engagement System, a free* monitoring and communication tool that helps you maintain regular and consistent contact with your patients, set nutrition and exercise goals, deliver behavior modification resources, monitor progress, access data and so much more. For more information on MyCare Tools, give Robard a call at (800) 222.9201 or click here to learn more about providing Robard’s weight loss programs and products to your patients.

Source: Ashkan Afshin, Damilola Babalola, Mireille Mclean, Zhi Yu, Wenjie Ma, Cheng‐Yu Chen, Mandana Arabi, Dariush Mozaffarian. Information Technology and Lifestyle: A Systematic Evaluation of Internet and Mobile Interventions for Improving Diet, Physical Activity, Obesity, Tobacco, and Alcohol Use. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2016; 5 (9): e003058 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.115.003058

*Terms and conditions apply, inquire within.


Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Setting Goals | Weight Loss Programs

Sitting on an Empty Wallet: The Cost of Physical Inactivity

by Robard Corporation Staff September 14, 2016


A lot of people that are physically inactive throughout the day aren’t so by choice. More and more jobs are in an office setting. These environments are sedentary by nature, and don’t tend to encourage physical activity. While some try to remedy their lack of movement during the day by doing some basic things at their desks, others will do their best to get some exercise in after the workday is over. Some, if they’re smart, try to do both. Nonetheless, our inactivity is costing us more than our just our health. A lot more.

A study conducted by the University of Sydney showed that physical inactivity had a world cost of $67.6 billion in 2013. That’s billion with a “B.” Researchers came up with that hefty total by observing healthcare cost, productivity losses, and disability-adjusted life years for five diseases that are generally associated with physical inactivity and obesity: coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.

There are a lot of layers to this study and its results, but it starts with the issue of physical inactivity. And this is not just a domestic problem; it’s a global issue. The study included 142 countries which contains 93.2 percent of the world’s population, making this a rather holistic perspective of how much our lack of inactivity is costing us. That isn’t lost on the researchers.

“Physical inactivity is recognized as a global pandemic and not only leads to diseases and early deaths, but imposes a major burden to the economy”, says Dr. Melody Ding, lead author of the study and Senior Research Fellow from the University School of Public Health.  The economic burden is a real one. Out of the $805 million Australia paid for inactivity, $91 million was from the private sector.

And while some people pay the price with their wallet, others pay with their health.

Although this is an expensive problem, there seems to be a rather easy solution: We need to be more physically active — especially those at a younger age. Adolescents are practically given every reason to not be active; 3-D televisions, social media, and iPads can make them feel as though they are living a full life while sitting on the couch.

As for adults, there are many short-cuts we can employ when it comes to combatting a sedentary lifestyle. Finding at least some time in the day to be physically active, even at your desk, is a healthier option than succumbing to the outcomes that studies like this suggest. Living a more active lifestyle is always better — physically, mentally and fiscally.

Source: University of Sydney


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Cardiovascular Disease | Childhood Obesity | Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Treating Obesity

Creating a Web Experience in 4 Steps

by Robard Corporation Staff September 7, 2016


The Internet is a vast marketplace of information about anything and everything — all available at your fingertips.

Oftentimes people use the Internet for personal reasons, but fail to understand its power and application to their business.

Consider this… You use the internet to gain knowledge, right? And if you are one of the 89 percent of consumers who search online before making a purchase, you buy items based on what you learn online. So, it’s highly likely that dieters, your target market, are also searching for information online and are “buying” based on the information they read. If you have a website, dieters who need help losing weight can “Google It” and hopefully find your great program.

Deciding whether or not to have a website is the easy part — building a web experience is more challenging. (Insider Tip: Don’t have a website? Create your own website for free.)

1. Create. An effective website has a purpose, is user friendly, and provides credible content. While all three of these attributes are important, it is vital to first determine what the purpose of the website will be. Is it to simply create awareness? Is the purpose to encourage dieters to order your products or perhaps to make an appointment? Once the purpose is decided, build your website around that purpose.

2. Drive. A website isn’t useful unless you can drive traffic — the right traffic — to that website. Increasing traffic takes time and testing. The good news: There are many ways to increase traffic. Common ways to make your website known within the dieting community are through paid search engine advertising/remarketing, social media, blog articles, traditional mailings, emails, and the most desirable, organic visits (free). To be successful, it is best to test each and monitor your site visits through Google Analytics.  (Insider Tip: After signing up for Google Analytics, they provide a tracking code that must be added to every page of your website.)

3. Enroll. Turning online visitors into onsite visitors is key to your return on your investment. Having 1,000 visitors a day is good, but it is only valuable to your business if you turn those (or a good amount) of those visitors into enrolled dieters.

4. Focus. The most efficient and cost effective way to know what is working so you can focus your marketing efforts is to simply know what’s working. Keep records of how your dieters find you by asking each person who inquiries about your program how they heard about you. Keep this information in a log with the activity indicated (Google ad, social media outlet, blog, etc.) along with their status (enrolled, etc.)  In the end, you will learn what combination of marketing activities drives inquiries and enrollments.

Increasing the likelihood that your center is found online and turning visitors into enrollments is challenging. (Insider Tip: Robard provides free comprehensive website reviews that provide specific suggestions for increasing traffic for customers.)

Good luck and contact our knowledgeable staff if you need any assistance. Be sure to inquire about our upcoming free webcast, “Fix Your Website & Social Media,” which will cover best practices for both. It’s exclusively for customers — but for you, we’ll make an exception. Just mention this blog to our staff to join or email marcus@robard.com!

Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: About Robard | For Providers | Weight Loss Business

Guest Blog: 5 Tips to Stop that Weight Loss Rollercoaster

by Robard Corporation Staff August 19, 2016


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!



This Guest Blog was written by Sima Michaels Dembo, MPH (pictured, right), who is a health care consultant and writer in North Bethesda, MD. She writes on nutrition, weight loss, exercise and other health care topics.  She is the principal of SMD Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in writing on timely health care issues for lay and professional audiences.


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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Self Esteem | Setting Goals | Treating Obesity

Guest Blog: Defeat Sitting Disease — Deskercise!

by Robard Corporation Staff August 17, 2016


Moving more every day isn’t complicated or impossible even if you have a sedentary job. The good news is that moving just a little more often than you already do can extend your life. Today nearly everyone in office-bound and transportation-intense jobs sits too much and too long at a time. The result: sore, stiff necks, backs and hips. But pain and stiffness aren’t the only side effects of sedentary working conditions.

The startling conclusion: In 2013, the Public Library of Science reported that high levels of sitting time (the Sitting Disease) — seven or more hours per day — is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. In fact, every single hour of uninterrupted sitting results in as much as an eight percent increase in all types of mortality causes. 

Health Complications Multiply the More Sedentary Your Lifestyle

What If I Exercise Already?
The average office worker and long-haul driver sits between seven and thirteen hours every working day, and that’s not including when they sleep — so as much as 80 percent of a worker’s life can be sedentary. If you work out thirty to sixty minutes every day, that’s just three to four percent of an entire 24-hour day. According to Genevieve Healy, PhD, a foremost researcher of the effects of sedentary lifestyles, thirty minutes of exercise a day may not be enough to fully counteract the negative effects of sitting eight to ten hours every working day.

Help Reverse the Damage Caused by Too Much Sitting in Just Two Minutes per Hour
In 2015, The American Society of Nephrology published research showing that just two minutes of light activity between every hour of sedentary activity resulted in an estimated 33 percent decrease in the risk in premature death. So although your routine workouts certainly count, just the simple act of getting up and/or moving for brief periods of time every hour offers tremendous benefit. This single, simple solution also helps reduce stress and excess weight. Here are some simple tips and easy-to-do movements to help keep you in shape while you defeat the Sitting Disease:




This Guest Blog was written by JJ Rodriguez, B.S. (pictured, right), who is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist having worked with and in settings of athletes, cardiac rehab, general fitness (personal training), corporate wellness, executive health, and currently weight management and bariatric programs. His credentials include ACSM CEP, C-PT, Exercise is Medicine® Credential Level II, NASM CES, WLS, BCS.

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

5 Questions to Increase Dieter Enrollment

by Robard Corporation Staff August 16, 2016


Need more enrollments? Who doesn’t, right? When we’re approached by a weight management center that’s concerned about low dieter sign-ups for their program, we start with one basic question: “What is your plan to build enrollment?” Surprisingly (and sometimes, not so surprisingly), they have no set plan and fail to track their activities.

There are numerous ways to communicate with potential dieters. To help jump-start your marketing plan and increase program enrollments, ask yourself these five basic questions:

1. What’s your goal? Well, we already know this answer: Increase enrollments. Great. Move on to question number two.

2. Why should a dieter choose your program? Having a variety of benefits can help set you apart from your competitors. For example, extended weekday or weekend hours, an on-site gym, new protein products, discounted packages, online patient engagement tools and more. (Insider Tip: Check out this Patient Engagement System – available free of charge to Robard customers!)

3. Who are you trying to enroll? Does your program cater to the working professional, stay at home parent, older adult or adolescent? Do you offer a medical program for individuals who need to lose weight because of a medical condition? Or is your program most appropriate for overweight individuals just looking to look and feel better? Determine the demographics and behavior profiles along with their goals for losing weight so you can target the right market and tailor your message and benefit statements to that target.

4. What message will appeal to your target? Even professional marketers struggle with the content of their message. The basics are to be clear, concise and directed at your target markets. The best messages reach your market on an emotional level and/or countering any “barriers” they see to joining your program (i.e. “time”). A recent emotional-driven marketing campaign we launched was “I Wish I Could.” It pictured everyday experiences overweight people struggle with or have desires for, both of which resolved by losing weight. For example, “I Wish I Could… Sit There,” with a picture of a common restaurant booth. And, “I Wish I Could… Wear That,” with a picture of a little black dress. (Insider Tip: Robard customers receive this and other marketing materials free of charge! Simply complete this short form to learn more.) A great way to create your message is to begin by speaking with your current dieters. Ask them why they joined your program? What keeps them returning? What new experiences or feelings do they have as a result of their weight loss? Speak to at least five and look for common threads to use in your messaging.

5. Where should your message appear? The easiest way to determine where your message should appear so that you reach your specified target is to review your key operating statistics. This will determine where your messaging has been successful for you to drive enrollments. If you don’t track this information, then go back to the profile of your target market and determine the how best to reach your audience. Is it Facebook, Twitter, blog articles, a mailing, local shopping magazine or even the supermarket bulletin board? Most likely it is a combination of avenues. Make sure you ask every new dieter how they heard about you so you will know what is working for next time.

Good luck and contact our knowledgeable staff if you need any assistance. Be sure to inquire about our upcoming free webcast on Building Your Patient Census. It’s exclusively for customers — but for you, we’ll make an exception. Just mention this blog to join!


Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: About Robard | Education | For Providers | Treating Obesity | Weight Loss Business | Weight Loss Programs

Researchers Offer a New Look at Nutrition

by Robard Corporation Staff August 12, 2016


We generally judge healthy foods by the nutrition it holds, and we decide how healthy our diet is by the nutrients we take in. We consider nutrients a rather linear concept; we either take in enough or we don’t — and if we don’t its lack of presence in our bodies could result in an ailment. This way of thinking seems rather logical… on the surface.

Some researchers think we are looking at nutrition completely wrong, and have proposed an alternative way to look at it. First let’s look at what they think is the problem, which is how we view nutrition now. We generally view nutrients on a singular basis, such as how many carbs are we getting, or how much fat, or sugar. Researchers believe the issues that we face on a nutrient basis are more complex than the singular nutrient model that we follow now. Its lack of complexity isn’t keeping up with foods that contain blends of nutrients as well as how mixtures of nutrients affect us.

Now for the solution: Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre created a new framework on how we look at nutrition that considers how mixtures of nutrients and other dietary components influence health and disease, as opposed to just focusing on a singular nutrient at a time. Researchers call this “nutritional geometry,” and they believe it’s the future of how we view human nutrition.

“Our new approach provides a unique method to unify observations from many fields and better understand how nutrients, foods and diets interact to affect health and disease in humans,” says Professor David Raubenheimer, who heads the Nutrition Theme at the Charles Perkins Centre.

It’s a unique concept for unique problems — specifically obesity. This approach doesn’t just look at one nutrient, but rather how that one nutrient interacts with others and how our bodies interact with that. The researchers’ goal with this is to look at issues such as obesity from multiple angles with the hopes of being able to produce solutions that will have optimal benefits.

As noble as that may sound, it may sound excessive to some. Yes, it may be beneficial to offer new ways to see a problem, but for many when it comes to being overweight it could be because of over-consumption in general or over-consumption of the wrong foods. The issue of overeating or make bad food choices can be solved, even if it’s easier said than done. However, with a change in our nutrition labels on the horizon, this may be a welcomed accompaniment to we view what we eat in the future.

Source: University of Sydney

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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

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With more than three decades of field-tested experience in the weight management industry, Robard Corporation’s comprehensive medical and non-medical obesity treatment programs, state of the art nutrition products, and executive level business management services have assisted a vast network of physicians, large medical groups, hospital systems and clinics to successfully treat thousands of overweight and obese patients. Our turnkey programs offer significant business growth potential, and our dedicated team provides hands-on staff training, services and education to add a new, billable service line for safe and effective obesity treatment within 60 days. For more information, visit us at www.Robard.com or call (800) 222-9201.

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