Get Back on Track

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff February 2, 2015


Here’s a scenario: You’re a month into the New Year and there’s a problem with your New Year’s resolution: You aren’t where you want to be with your weight loss. You set a goal, but at this point you’ve either stopped making progress or haven’t started at all. Anxiety might be setting in.

Don’t fret! Here are some things that you can do to regain control:

You’re still eating the same calories: Sometimes we can be under the misconception that, just because we exercised, we can consume our regular amount of calories (or even more) and still reach our desired effect. The problem is that diet is just as important to weight loss as exercising; if you are consuming a high amount of calories, the calorie deficit benefits from exercise won’t be enough to see any significant changes in weight. Cut the calories.

Not enough volume:
When adding muscle, the most important thing is to continuously add more reputations, weight, or both. The point is, as you build muscle, you must build resistance to continue to benefit. If you aren’t increasing your volume you’re leaving yourself susceptible to plateauing. Gradually add more weights and reps to your routine, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Slow and steady wins the race.

Where’s the cardio? Compared to other exercises, cardio is essential to weight loss because it allows you to burn more calories at an accelerated rate. Although JUST cardio won’t do the job, it should definitely be integrated into your regimen if you have your eyes set on losing weight. Take a walk, swim, or bike ride. Just get moving.

Get some help: If you don’t feel you are heading in the right direction, it may be a good time to call in the reserves. Whether it’s your personal physician, certified physical trainer, dietitian, or friend, there’s someone that can help you with the knowledge and support to get you back on track. You just have to look for it. Never be afraid to reach out.

Remember, falling off track or feeling like your goals are stalled is never a reason to give up completely. The sun rises each day to meet the challenges of a new morning. You can too.

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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | Healthy Lifestyle

Failing Doesn’t Make You a Failure

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff January 6, 2015


“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

This quote has been said in different ways and echoed by many people, and for good reason. When we enter anything the more prepared you are and the more you learn from your previous experiences could be the deciding factor in whether you succeed THIS time.

The New Year has arrived and for many of us it’s our time to begin again more intelligently when it comes to our weight loss journey. How do we do that?

Let’s start with exercise. One of the most important things that you have to know when you’re making your workout plan is to remember it’s your workout plan! Take ownership of it and have a clear understanding of the results you want from it.

You’re initial fitness level will determine things such as your endurance level and your recovery time after your workout. It also gives you a starting point and you will be able to track your progress in a more accurate fashion.

What about your diet? Finding alternatives to unhealthy delights is a key to your diet. The best way to forget about an old treat is to find a new one. If you don’t monitor how many calories you consume it could be beneficial to start tracking what and how much you eat.

One thing to remember is no matter how long your weight loss journey may be the formula remains simple. Burn more calories than you consume. If you keep that in mind with everything you do (and eat) you’ll find yourself happy with the results.

Remember, if you need help, click here. We wish you a happy and healthy New Year!


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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Exercise | For Dieters | Healthy Lifestyle | Setting Goals

Excess Weight Can Decrease Life Expectancy by Eight Years

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff December 15, 2014


Scientific studies have often shown that excess body weight can negatively affect our life expectancy. But many, if not all of us, we were unaware of the actual number of years one would lose due to excess weight. A recent study sought out to put a number to the damage.

The conclusion?

Overweight individuals may shorten their life expectancy by eight years. Moreover, additional medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, could arise, possibly resulting in health difficulties lasting up to twenty years.

Equipped with this information, the researchers’ can probe further. “What may be interesting for patients are the ‘what if’ questions. What if they lose 10 to 15 pounds? Or, what if they are more active? How will this change the numbers?” says Dr. Steven Grover, Clinical Epidemiologist at the RI-MUHC and lead author of the study.

The next few years will be used as a trial period for a web-based program spurred on from this study. The program will assist people with the necessary modifications to their lifestyle in hopes to add the years that were taken away from their life expectancy.

Studies such as this one can be startling, yet extremely beneficial. With obesity quickly turning into one of the biggest issues in this country we need to continue to find potential solutions. If providers can present solutions and how they will specifically aid the dieter, it could incentivize the dieter to make the improvements to habits that could be taking away years from their life.

Source: Nutraceuticals World

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

Give Me 10: The Benefits of 10 Percent Weight Loss

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff October 21, 2014


Article by Sandra Melloni RN, BSN, BA: Can be found on DiabetesCare.net.

Most patients with type 2 come into my office wanting to lose weight.  Often, their goals are lofty:  “Nurse, I really need to lose 130 pounds”  or “Nurse, I’ve gained 80 pounds over the past decade; I need to lose it all.”  They are often frustrated and overwhelmed. Where do they begin?

We know that weight gain is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and that more than 80 percent  of type 2s are overweight. If we study the incidence of type 2 diabetes in America, the statistics are staggering.  With over 29 million people with diabetes in the U.S., the disease is booming. Past forecasts and studies predicted 30 million diabetics in the US by the year 2030, so we are well ahead of schedule. The truth is Americans are becoming increasingly less active and consuming more calories. The result? Our waistlines have increased and so has the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

We have long known that obesity is responsible for the development of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.  Weight gain exacerbates these conditions.  Has your patient put on an extra twenty pounds?  Chances are they will need an adjustment in their diabetes medication, often a dose increase or the addition of another pill. The same goes for their cholesterol and blood pressure.

During the 2013 meeting of the ADA, Philipp Scherer, PhD, professor and director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in Dallas, was interviewed on his latest research. He studies diabetes on a cellular level, and obesity’s effects on diabetes, describing fat tissue as a “solid tumor,” containing adipose cells. He explains that when a patient gains weight, fat tissue expands rapidly. This rapid expansion does not allow time for proper vascularization--in other words, the blood supply cannot keep up. The adipose tissues become hypoxic (lack of oxygen) leading to fibrosis of the tissue, and eventually, cell death.  This cell death produces surrounding inflammation, which in turn, damages pancreatic beta cells and causes insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the main mode of pathophysiology in type 2 diabetes. (1)

And if weight gain compromises patient health, certainly weight loss will improve it. However, striving for your patient’s weight as a high school junior just isn’t realistic. Sheri Colberg, PhD, author, exercise physiologist and professor at Old Dominion University discusses in a recent article about weight loss and insulin resistance.  “Just a seven percent loss of body weight (only 14 lbs. if you are 200 lbs.) will improve insulin action by 57 percent. That is a bigger benefit than a patient would get from most diabetes pills.” (2)  The American Diabetes Association confirms that a 10-15 pound reduction in body weight will lower blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce stress on knees and hips.  And a 10 percent weight loss may decrease the risk of certain complications like sleep apnea or particular cancers.

In my diabetes self-management classes, I often suggest to patients that they view healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss as importantly as taking their prescribed medications. These are the tools we have to control diabetes, and overlooking them is like not using all the weapons in our arsenal.

Setting a goal to lose 80 pounds can be overwhelming, but requesting they lose just 10 percent of their body weight is definitely achievable. I often ask a patient to mentally calculate what 10 percent of their body weight is. So if a patient weighs 230 pounds, then a 10 percent weight loss would be about 23 pounds, certainly an achievable goal over a one year time period. Weight loss would average about two pounds per month or a half pound per week. Most projects in life are better managed by splitting them into smaller tasks. At the end of the year, your patient would realize an improvement in blood sugar and no new additional medications.  

So let’s imagine that 23 pounds is our patient’s weight loss goal. This could be achieved with a reduction in calories of about 230 per day. That might be a small bowl of ice cream or a can of soda with some chips. These small changes will add up. Add some physical activity to the mix, and your patient may only need to reduce their calories by 100 per day.

First there are some considerations, particularly if your patient is taking certain medications like insulin or insulin secretagogues, like Glimepiride or Glipizide. Losing weight and eating less may require a change to those medications in order to prevent hypoglycemia. I often suggest that those patients meet with their dietician or diabetes nurse educator before embarking on their weight loss journey. Below are some tips that my colleagues and I often share for weight loss.  Remember, your patient doesn’t have to be perfect but make small changes which will add up.

Weight Loss Tips for Diabetes Patients:

  • Think Do, not Don’t. If I tell a patient to quit eating chips, it’s often the first thing they crave when they get home.  They begin to focus on the “forbidden goodies.”  But when we ask them to add three vegetables and two fruits per day, they don’t feel cheated.  Mixing it up with some frozen grapes or some crunchy snow peas with dressing with their lunch will keep things interesting.
  • Water, Water, everywhere. We know water is great but try having your patient drink a tall glass ten minutes before meals.
  • Lose the tube. When we watch TV and eat simultaneously, we eat more due to the distraction. Ask them to shut off the television and sit at a table.
  • Eat to Live.  We have all heard the saying “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”  Ask your patient which hobbies they miss. If food is the only source of pleasure, it’s a recipe for disaster.  Suggest music, drawing, volunteering or calling an old friend.  Yes, even sex. To read more about how food can replace sex and intimacy in some relationships, check out a recent DiabetesCare.net blog here.
  • Park Farther and Take the Stairs!  Old, but good advice.
  • Don’t forget Fido. Just walking the dog twice daily for fifteen minutes each time will help your patient reach their goal of 150 minutes per week of exercise.
  • Choose an Exercise you like. If you hate walking, don’t choose it as your exercise.  Aqua classes, biking, and Zumba are becoming more popular for men and women alike. Remind patients that gardening and raking burn calories, so put that leaf blower away!
  • Put the box down and back away.  Everyone is going to cheat sometimes.  If they want some ice cream or chips, have your patient measure it out and put the box away.
  • Catch some ZZZZZ’s.  Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones and cause overeating during the day.
  • Sugar-free gum. If you have a chewing fix, break out the gum and save on calories. 
  • Keep a food diary.  We all know it—we eat more than we think we do. Writing it down in black and white can help to think more about what and how much you consume. 
  • What’s Eating You? If your patient suspects that he or she is an emotional eater, you may want to ask them to keep a journal for one week. Before eating or binging, they might record how they feel, what happened at work, any conversations replaying in their mind and then what they ate. It can certainly be a reflective exercise in why we eat and a great way to become more conscious of the connection between food and emotions.
Again, most people with type 2 want to lose weight. This doesn’t have to be a formidable task or race.  Ask patients to “give you 10.”

Sources: 1, 2
 

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers

Move to the Beat!

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff September 3, 2014


Music has the unique ability to be many things to many people. It can be a mood changer, mood-setter, or simply express our current mood in a more artistic and creative way. What can music do for you while you’re exercising? Regardless of the setting you will find headphones in the ears of the majority of the people you see working out.

Why? For starters, music is a great motivational tool for us. It can be a welcomed distraction to the amount of exertion we are using, allowing us to push that much more.  A study even showed that music can improve performance by up to 15 percent.  That number maybe high and also varies depending on the person, but it also makes sense.

What songs tend to have the best effects? Typically songs that have a 120-140 beats per minute (BPM) ratio have the most significant change in an exerciser. Meaning a song like “Timber” by Kesha and Pitbull (130 bpm) could have a different effect on you compared to “Burn” by Ellie Goulding (86 bpm). Both songs can serve a purpose, the lower rate for warm up and the higher rate for cardio.

Depending what you are listening to music can either keep you on pace, or erratically change it.  While exercising, we often find ourselves working out to the rhythm of what we are listening to.  We would like for that rhythm and pace to be steady, however some music can cause dips and spikes in our pacing.

Find out what works for you! The great part about music is one size doesn’t fit all, but there is something for ALL of us. 

Links: Webmd, Huffington Post, Bases.org


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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | Healthy Lifestyle

Weight Loss is the Best Medicine

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff July 15, 2014


From hypertension to bad knees, nowadays you can get a prescription for practically any ailment you have.  However, medication can only provide relief fora certain amount of time and even though you are treating the ailment, you may not be treating the cause.

Obesity can be the cause of many health risks such as elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, back pain, diabetes, the list can get extensive but I think you get the point. Even though you have different complications they could all be coming from the same source.

Take Jim Carpenter for example, he once weighed 518 pounds, and had the health risks to prove it. Jim suffered from heart failure, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stage one kidney failure, knee pain, and other health issues. Needless to say he took a multitude of medication for these varying ailments. But guess what medicine worked best for him?

After Jim lost almost 300 pounds he no longer needed medications for his diabetes, blood pressure, kidneys, as well as decreased his cholesterol medication. All this from losing weight! Weight gain and obesity can bring on many health problems and risks, but WEIGHT LOSS can potentially to do the exact opposite, without the medications that only deal with the surface and not the underlying problem.

Recent study found that doctors find it more and more difficult to talk to their patients about their weight. As a result when the patient brings up a health problem, instead of getting to the core of the issue, they write a prescription. As a provider, don’t fall victim to filling out prescriptions when there are better more effective ways of treatment. As a dieter, medicine will alleviate the pain (even if temporary), but see if there are other ways to improve your quality of life!


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

Study Shows Benefits to High-Protein Breakfast

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff June 17, 2014


A recent study may give another reason why breakfast can be your most important meal of the day, especially for women.

Study conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia resulted in the conclusion that a high-protein breakfast helps women maintain their glucose control. Why is this beneficial? Eating naturally increases glucose levels. However, too much of an increase can lead to poor glucose control, possibly resulting in diabetes or other health complications.

"Protein-rich breakfasts led to lower spikes in glucose and insulin after meals compared to the low-protein, high-carb breakfast," says Kevin Maki of Biofortis Clinical Research. Protein is found in many popular breakfast items such as eggs, oatmeal, and cottage cheese and if this study is any indication, we may be better off reaching for these items in the morning compared ones higher in carbs such as certain cereals or juices. 

Link: University of Missouri-Columbia 


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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters

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