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.
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:
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.
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
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
August 2, 2016
Aside from growing health concerns related to obesity, many Americans worry about the winter season weight gain which they struggle to lose before the summer season. Some resort to drastic measures like obesity surgeries without having the ability to maintain weight loss with a healthy lifestyle. And many others have tried the so-called “magical ingredients” of our grandmothers to jump-start more rapid weight loss. One of these magical ingredients is the red pepper or hot chili pepper. But, do you really know the story behind it?
Herbs and spices in diet were previously used for their potential health benefits. They can be used as substitutes to other ingredients such as table salt, table sugar, and saturated fatty acids — and many are used to increase flavor and taste. In addition, they also seem to have many nutritional and health benefits, particularly related to weight.
In a prospective cohort study done in China, men and women aged 30 to 79 years were tested for a possible relationship between the regular consumption of spicy foods in their meals and deaths due to specific chronic conditions such as diabetes and coronary Heart Diseases (CHD).
The study showed that excess abdominal fat may shrink with long-term consumption of spicy foods. This loss of fat can subsequently decrease your risk of having diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. Choosing spicy foods containing Capsaicin/capsaicinoids (CAPs), which happens to be the active ingredient in chili peppers, may supplement these benefits as CAPS have the ability to increase your body’s heat production and trigger fat loss. They also help you feel fuller, so you may decrease your food intake as a result, contributing to further weight loss.
The question remains about the amount to be consumed daily to achieve optimal weight loss. For most, it doesn’t have to be a large amount; just one teaspoon of chili pepper can make your body burn significant fat, believe it or not! However, you should pay attention to a certain “plateau effect” that your body may experience after long-term, continuous pepper consumption. Thus, you may want to “trick” your body, and consume it on different times of the day and at certain times when your body burns the most fat (which is usually early morning or right after exercise). This, along with a constant and regular amount of physical activity, can support you in achieving your ideal body weight!
Source: Juturu, Capsaicinoids Modulating Cardiometabolic Syndrome Risk Factors: Current Perspectives, Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism; 2016:1-11.
Guest Blog written by Karine Ismail (pictured, right), who
is a registered dietitian with a Master’s degree in Nutrition from the
American University of Beirut. She currently is a research assistant and
study coordinator at the American University of Beirut Medical Center.
One of her studies includes nutritional factors associated with myopia.
Visit Karine’s Facebook page: Better Nutrition, Better Health.
July 29, 2016
The weekend is here! You did a great job this week of exercising regularly and sticking to your diet. What are you going to do to celebrate?
Pig out and eat what I want!
Wait, what? Yes, even though it may not seem like the right thing to do, it’s a pitfall that many of us fall in. We go through the week feeling good about the eating decisions we’ve made, only for the weekend to get here and our all of our hard work from the previous five days seemingly goes down the drain, only to see if we can start over again on Monday.
It’s a vicious cycle many of us go through. So what do we do about it? How do we fight off those inevitable weekend cravings that are sure to happen? View this slideshow for some helpful tips.Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation
July 26, 2016
As research continues to show, the connection between cancer and obesity continues to be proven. However, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston believe they may have found an answer in stymieing the process of cancer growing in people overweight.
The answer comes in CXCL1, a signaling molecule that regulates cell trafficking. This is what researchers believe is causing all the trouble. When activated, this molecule attracts cells from fat to the tumor. Furthermore, the cells they attract — adipose stromal cells (ASC) — support tumor-nourishing blood vessels. As a result, the tumor is fed and continues to become more malignant.
So the question is what happens when you block CXCL1 from the tumor? That’s what the researchers sought out to find. The researchers primarily focused on prostate cancer. They originally tested their theory on mice with favorable results. In this test, they actually saw the progression of the tumor decrease when the molecule was blocked, so they decided to then move on to see what the molecule levels were in humans.
What they found was CXCL1 was higher in the overweight patient when compared to a patient that wasn’t overweight. This means that the overweight patient has a higher chance of a tumor developing and increasing as compared to a person who isn’t overweight. Researchers are calling this mechanism an “on/off switch” and believe that it can play a key role in cancer treatment, particularly those that are overweight.
“As the prevalence of obesity is rising, insights into the mechanisms underlying its link with cancer aggressiveness are urgently needed to develop new strategies for reducing prostate cancer morbidity and mortality,” the study authors concluded.
Hopefully this new finding will lead to favorable prevention of one of the most dangerous diseases we know: Cancer.
Source: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation