November 15, 2016
For at least the last three decades, a shadow has been cast over butter as the artery clogging scourge of all saturated fats to be avoided at all cost, lest we put ourselves at risk for obesity and heart disease. But new information is coming out that suggests that reducing one’s intake of butter and similar dietary fats does not necessarily make you healthier or less at risk for obesity and other comorbid conditions.
A recent paper published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that butter actually has more of a neutral association with mortality; that is, it’s not really bad for you, but it’s not really good for you either. The researchers collected data on butter consumption and health risks from nine previous studies that, in total, included 636,151 participants, and found that “no significant associations were seen between butter consumption and heart health.”
To be clear, this does not mean that butter is healthy. Small amounts of butter is not an issue, but regular consumption, such as using butter on bread, cooking and frying, can contribute to health risks. The key is to not consume large amounts of butter regularly, and when possible, to substitute it with healthy alternatives. (PRO TIP for weight loss providers: between apple pies and cookies, this is the season when dieters over-consume butter! Download our free staff training guide for tools and strategies to keep your dieters on track.)
“It doesn’t matter that you’re eating it; what matters is what you’re eating it in place of and what else you’re eating,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and senior author of the paper. “Butter is neither the villain it was made out to be, nor a health food,” he added. “So it’s about your other food choices, not about the butter.”
It’s also important to remember that not all fats are created equal. While limiting saturated fats is a good idea, the trans fats found in butter alternatives like margarine are even worse for you. Plus, there are actually “good” fats known as polyunsaturated fats, found in foods such as avocados, fatty fish like salmon, and olive oil. These fats help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. And oils rich in polyunsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.
So is butter back? Well… kinda sorta. Don’t stress over a little here and there, but pay attention to your food choices overall. Instead of emphasizing one nutrient, focus on food-based recommendations… whole, minimally processed, nutritious food that is as close to its natural form as possible. Need more help to get your diet on track? Find provider who can help you start a meal program that’s right for you.
Are you a provider dealing with retention challenges during holiday season? We’ve got you covered. Register for Robard’s upcoming free webcast “2017: Your Year to Retain and Regain Clients.”
Sources: CNN, Harvard Public Health, American Heart Association
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
November 8, 2016
The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year can be the most challenging for your staff and your patients. There’s temptation around every corner — saboteurs are everywhere and, as a result, many patients fall victim to the mentality that “no‐one can maintain a diet during this time of year.” This mindset causes a chain of negative events that result in lost retention, decreased program effectiveness, lost revenue and momentum within your business.
But facts confirm that it’s simply not true. It’s time for you to prepare and educate your staff so your patients can break through the obstacles of tempting delights so they can enjoy a January filled with weight loss achievement.
The belief that patients can’t be successful during the holidays is based on outdated assumptions. Years ago, before we had an obesity crisis — before over 65 percent of Americans were overweight — the diet industry largely catered to cosmetic and seasonal weight loss. From January to May and from September to Thanksgiving, consumers turned to weight loss programs and then dropped their program during the summer and holidays. Today, more people join weight loss programs for health and wellness and to eradicate medical issues. These reasons are impervious to seasons, but patients are still susceptible to sabotage and exposure to diminished expectations. It’s during these times that we need to increase our vigilance against excuses and sabotage.
Educate your staff to counter all of the excuses, uncover sneaky saboteurs and eliminate them.
9 Tried and True Strategies for Retaining Your Patients
1. Create a weekly calendar with each client for each week during the holiday season and include their upcoming social events. Let the patient see how many of the 42 weekly eating occasions don’t involve a social event. (Assuming a patient eats six meals/snacks daily).
2. Stock up on Robard snacks and protein bars. These are easy to take on-the-go and require no prep. Perfect for shopping!
3. Re‐do goals with every patient and give specifics to focus on. Remind them it’s a series of small daily choices, not all or nothing. Help them counter the, “Well, I had cake at lunch, so I will start again tomorrow” approach.
4. Help patients visualize January 1.
5. Have patients fill out their food log.
6. Go over socializing basics. For example, if there is a dinner? On that day, eat breakfast, a snack, and lunch (preferably products). Eat just before arriving. Consider trade‐offs. For example: wine vs appetizer/appetizer vs dessert/sharing dessert. At the event, relax and socialize. Keep high‐fat treats out of sight.
7. Eat regularly every 3–4 hours and sleep regularly.
8. Don’t buy or make holiday treats until the last possible moment. Buy or make things that are not your personal favorites.
9. Maintain and increase physical activity. Great walking opportunities can be had with shopping or taking the family for a stroll to view the holiday lights.
While we would all like our patients to be perfect throughout the holiday, many struggle. For the struggling patients, continue to encourage them by letting them know that moving forward, even without perfection, is a goal worth driving towards.
For more tips and information on helping your patients and your business succeed through the holidays, Robard customers can download one of Robard Corporation’s many resources that help patients successfully navigate through the season. We also invite non-customers to download a holiday staff training kit, titled Visualizing January, by clicking here. Good luck and have a wonderful holiday season!
Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation
November 3, 2016
In many households, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. can feel like the busiest, most hectic part of the day. You arrive home after what can be a stressful commute from work; the kids have homework and need to get ready for bed; the house is a mess; you’re tired from pulling an eight-hour shift (or more)… How do you fit in making the time to cook a healthy, family-friendly meal without driving yourself crazy?
Firstly, don’t be quick to come home with fast food just to save yourself some sanity. A recent study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that home cooking is a main ingredient in a healthier diet.
“When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all — even if they are not trying to lose weight,” says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.
The findings also suggest that those who frequently cooked at home — six-to-seven nights a week — also consumed fewer calories on the occasions when they ate out.
Making dinner happen after work on a consistent basis can feel like a challenge. Even just figuring out what to cook can be hard, let along doing it quickly and with results the whole family will enjoy. But believe it or not, a healthy dinner is achievable… and you can even do it in less than 30 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients.
Start off by committing to ONE WEEK of home-cooked meals. To get you started off right, we’ve compiled a list of 7 recipes for healthy dinners you can make in 30 minutes or less. Give it a try and share your favorite recipe with us on Facebook!
TIP FOR DIETERS: When it comes to cooking while on a diet, portion control is everything! Download Robard’s Portion Platter to learn how to properly portion your meals. Weight management clinics offer programs with helpful resources and food education like our portion platter… to learn more about joining a weight management program, visit Robard’s Find a Clinic page.
TIP FOR PROVIDERS: Cooking healthy meals is a vital part of maintenance for any dieter. Robard’s programs offer tailored resources like meal plans to help your dieters keep the weight off. For more information on Robard’s programs, fill out Robard’s Become a Provider form.
Sources: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Food Network, Better Homes and Gardens
Blog written by By Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
October 27, 2016
“Losing weight is easy!” – said no one ever.
Let’s be honest… losing weight can be extremely challenging, especially when you’re trying to figure it out on your own. Between TV, the internet, magazines, friends and family, and countless other sources that try to tell you how to do it, separating fact from fiction can seem nearly impossible. With all of this information overload, how do you figure out what will work for YOU?
First and foremost, if weight loss has been a challenge, and especially if you need to lose a significant amount of weight, it’s always best to consult a physician, registered dietician, or another professional with a background in weight loss. There are also many clinics that specialize in weight loss and that have programs that can be tailored to your specific needs, and finding a clinic is not as hard as it may seem. Sometimes, asking for help is the first step to seeing real, long-lasting results.
In the meantime, we’ve done some of the work for you and found some of the most common dieting myths on the Internet. Take a look at the slideshow below with 6 dieting myths you may have heard, as well as the facts behind them!
October 20, 2016
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
October 13, 2016
Minnesota doesn’t seem like it would have much in common with New York, but they do share some common ground in the battle against obesity. According to a report published by the nonprofit organization, Trust for America’s Health, Minnesota and New York, along with Montana and Ohio, stand alone as the only four states that have seen their obesity rates decrease between 2014 and 2015. Other than the capital district of Washington, D.C., in 2010, this marks the first time in the last decade that we have seen state-wide decreases in obesity.
This is good news… but how good? Yes, we have four states that have seen a decline in obesity. But the rest of the country’s rate either stayed the same or increased. And even the four states that saw a decrease still have what would is considered high obesity rates. So the question is: What is it that those four states are doing that the others are not (or perhaps not as well), that is steering them into the right direction? Let’s take a deeper look.
There is no one solution to fight the disease of obesity, even with the programs previously mentioned, these states still did plenty more to bring their rates down. The question becomes, what can I do? What can you do? What can WE do?
As a healthcare provider, you can make obesity treatment a main component of your practice; it’s almost a necessity with how obesity has gripped the population. If you are trying to figure out how to get started with one, click here.
It is something that we all have to continue to work at so that not just these states, or the United States, but rather the whole world can lead a healthier lifestyle.
Sources: Montana State University, Healthline
October 6, 2016
Is there a connection between fatty food consumption and lack of sleep? Do you find yourself agreeing with this, have you noticed that your bad night’s sleep is leading to poor food choices? When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? Do you work nights, have you found yourself eating more and more? Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between food and sleep.
Source: Health Day - Could a Bad Night’s Sleep Make you Eat More Fatty Food?