Why Should You Eat a Pear a Day?

by Robard Corporation Staff January 11, 2017

Eat an apple a day? What about eat a pear a day? A North Dakota State University study examined the benefits of Bartlett and Starkrimson pears and found that “pears as part of a healthy diet could play a role in helping to manage type 2 diabetes and diabetes-induced hypertension.”



Sources: USA Pears, Science Daily

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

5 Tips to a Healthier Family (Part 2)

by Robard Corporation Staff January 3, 2017


Studies are increasingly showing that the epidemic of obesity is rapidly growing, becoming not just a public health crisis for adults, but for entire families. In our recent blog post Childhood Obesity Predictors May Not Be What You Think (Part 1), we found that not only is childhood obesity rising (doubled in the past 30 years), but it has also been strongly linked to parental obesity.

Research on families and obesity reveals that children of overweight parents have an 80 percent chance of also being overweight. You might be tempted to think that the majority of this is due to the family’s genetic predisposition, but researchers have shown that the link between one’s genetics and one’s weight accounts for only a small part of this 80 percent chance. What seems to matter more is your family environment.

In fact, establishing healthy routines for your entire household can support you in staying on track in your own diet and weight loss journey. Being healthy has a reciprocal effect; what you do for your children will positively affect you and vice versa. The key is to identify the problem and work to slowly chip away at it. To get started, try a few of these tips to start implementing healthier routines in your household this week:

1. Enjoy meals together. When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much.

2. Explore mindful eating and introduce the idea to your family to prevent overeating. For more about mindful eating, read our blog post.

3. Get kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus. For easy meals that even the kids can help with, check out these recipes for a week’s worth of healthy meals.

4. Make physical activity a weekly goal with your family, and find ways to make it fun and help bring you all together. For some ideas on fun ways to stay active with your family, check out this slideshow.

5. Talk to your kids. If you struggle with your weight, it may be impacting your kids whether you know it or not. Strive to be open about your struggles and your journey with your children. Model for them the importance of making your health a priority so they can learn to do so for themselves as they grow older. Try daily affirmations for positive body image with your kids. Plus, we don’t have to keep these struggles to ourselves. When we have the support of our family, so many things are possible. You may find that achieving a healthier weight can be more enjoyable, in addition to bringing your family closer together.


Sources: American Heart Association, Obesity Action Coalition


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation



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

Feeling Out of Control Over Your Eating Habits? It’s Treatable!

by Robard Corporation Staff December 23, 2016


In a society that continues to stigmatize obesity, many believe that overeating and obesity are the result of lack of motivation or self-control. However, for many that struggle with weight loss, the problem goes much deeper than sheer will power. In fact, there are a number of signs and symptoms that point to Binge Eating Disorder (or BED) as a potential cause for overeating which can lead to obesity.

Binge eating disorder is more than just eating too much food. “Insatiable cravings that lead to eating large amounts of food, often quickly and to the point of physical pain, and followed by intense shame and self-loathing, characterize binge eating disorder,” says Kathleen Murphy, M.A., LPC, and Executive Clinical Director at Breathe Life Healing Centers, where the Breakfree@Breathe program specializes in treating binge eating disorder. This overeating/guilt pattern is a vicious cycle; people who suffer from BED feel that they have lost total control.

While anorexia and bulimia are more commonly known, BED is actually the most common eating disorder in the United States, with 5 million sufferers nationwide. Additionally, two out of three people with BED are obese and 30 percent of people looking into weight loss treatments likely exhibit symptoms of the disorder.

How do you know if you have BED? People with binge eating disorder display a combination of symptoms. These include:

• Regularly eating more food than most people would in a single sitting
• Feeling out of control while you’re eating
• Having binge eating episodes at least once a week for three months or longer

In addition to the above, people with binge eating disorder must have at least three of the following symptoms:

• Eating really fast or past the point of feeling full
• Experiencing negative feelings of shame, guilt or remorse about binge eating
• Eating a lot — even when you’re not hungry
• Eating alone, particularly because you’re embarrassed about how much you’re eating

Although BED is a treatable disorder, it’s estimated that 57 percent of people with binge eating disorder never receive treatment. However, in 2013, binge eating disorder was finally categorized as a recognizable and treatable diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) produced by the American Psychiatric Association™. This was incredibly important to the treatment of the disease, since a diagnosis that can be documented leads to greater access to care for sufferers. Since BED is now listed as a disorder, many insurance plans cover treatment.

If you think you may have Binge Eating Disorder, getting support and treatment is paramount. If left untreated, BED can perpetuate the disease of obesity, in addition to a host of other health conditions and comorbidities. Treatment options are now more available than ever, and the prognosis for recovery is good. To find a treatment provider who specializes in binge eating disorder, please visit the National Eating Disorder Association’s Treatment Options database today. Once you are receiving proper treatment for your BED, you may find more success in a weight management program. To discuss starting a weight management program and starting the journey toward a healthier you, visit our Find a Clinic page.

Sources: National Eating Disorders Association, Healthline


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Obesity | Treating Obesity | Weight Loss Programs

7 Great Ways to Use Greek Yogurt

by Robard Corporation Staff December 16, 2016


Choose no fat (0%) Greek yogurt for a high protein, high calcium, and low fat punch! The high protein of Greek yogurt can help you feel fuller longer, which can help you to eat less and help with weight loss. Greek yogurt also contains calcium to promote bone health, and contains probiotics to help digestive health. Here are some great ways to add Greek yogurt to your diet:


1. Replace your flavored yogurt with 0% fat Greek yogurt and make a fun flavorful fruit parfait. Simply take a tall glass, and layer to create an elegant unique breakfast. This is great for the whole family, have the kids join in! Add a bottom layer of Greek yogurt and add mixed berries or fruit of choice on top. Repeat until the glass or container is full. For added crunch without the added carbohydrates, try chopped walnuts or almonds instead of granola.
2. Create sweet or savory dips. Replace full fat, high calorie sour cream with 0% fat Greek yogurt. For a great side item to your favorite raw vegetables, try taking a small container of 0% fat Greek yogurt and mixing it with a quarter of a seasoning pack or try shaking no sodium spices, such as Mrs. Dash™, into the yogurt, flavoring it to your liking. For a sweeter fruit dip, add a no calorie sweetener or agave and mix it in your Greek yogurt. Top with cinnamon for a sweet treat!
3. Replace high-fat, high-calorie mayonnaise with 0% fat Greek yogurt for all your favorite salads, like chicken salad, egg salad or tuna salad. If you do not want to cut out all the mayonnaise completely, simply reduce it and replace the rest with Greek yogurt. This will still save calories!
4. Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream on your baked potatoes, or top your quesadilla with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to decrease the saturated (bad) fat and add more calcium to your diet.
5. Make a delicious creamy soup without all the fat and calories from cream or half & half! For a soup that will be talked about for months, simply roast your choice of vegetables with olive oil and seasoning in oven for 30 minutes on 350 degrees. Place in blender with chicken or vegetable broth and, instead of adding cream or cheese, use 0% fat Greek yogurt. Blend well, and that’s it! You can also do this without roasting the vegetables. Boil vegetables in pot with chicken or vegetable broth until soft, season to preference, and then place in blender with Greek yogurt and blend well!
6. When baking, instead of using one cup oil, replace with ¾ cup Greek yogurt. One cup of canola is roughly 1,920 calories, whereas ¾ cup fat free Greek yogurt is roughly 100 calories. That’s a 1,820 calorie reduction!  If you’re using butter, use one stick of butter and ¼ cup Greek yogurt instead of using two sticks of butter (1,600 calories). This will save you 764 calories!
7. The next time you make a smoothie, add Greek yogurt! This will increase the amount of protein and help you feel fuller!

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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating

New App Helps Providers Talk with Patients about Childhood Obesity

by Robard Corporation Staff December 14, 2016


There is an increasing problem in how healthcare providers are approaching obesity and no one is talking about it —because they don’t know how to.

Obesity and its related chronic conditions is one the biggest detrimental health issues in America, but medical schools fail to teach their students — future healthcare providers — how to interact with patients about their weight. This is unacceptable, as this leaves our future medical providers without the knowledge of basic conversational approaches to initiate treatment of one of our country’s leading epidemics.

In an effort to teach and improve providers’ interaction with their patients about obesity, Kognito, a New York City-based company that designs immersive learning experiences with virtual humans to bring about positive changes in health behaviors, created an application for the Apple App Store and Google Play called “Change Talk 2.0.” This application, which has a goal of changing the conversation about childhood obesity, has the user enter a “virtual scenario,” enter a question, and then get feedback from a “virtual family” about the encounter. It was created to offer a simulation-type experience in the hopes that it will make it easier for the provider to broach the sensitive subject of weight to their adolescent patient.

Since launching in 2014, the first iteration of the application boasted 30,000 users. Now that the second version has been released, one would anticipate additional growth and perhaps expansion into virtual simulations that focus on motivational interviewing approaches to obesity with the adult patient population. There’s certainly a market for it. In fact, a survey was conducted of providers that used the original application and a resounding 93 percent said that they would make changes to provide better healthcare to their patients. Eighty-eight percent of the providers made changes within a month after completing the survey.

Applications like “Change Talk” are proving to be indispensable tools for healthcare, and the market is only beginning to scratch the surface. Healthcare and technology will continue to merge, and the ultimate result will be improved healthcare and outcomes for patients. As app developers continue to dip into the healthcare market, healthcare providers will benefit from new technology as an extension of their services, allowing for broader and individualized attention on the patient. If you haven’t already, it’s best to get on board now.

Source: Fast Company

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Childhood Obesity | Eating Habits | Education | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Obesity | Treating Obesity

5 Tips to Avoid the Ups and Downs of Yo-Yo Dieting

by Robard Corporation Staff December 6, 2016


Yo-Yos go up and down… but your weight isn’t supposed to! Nonetheless, many dieters find themselves in an endless cycle of losing a portion of pounds, only to gain it back all over again — and then some. When you get stuck in what seems like an endless cycle of weight loss and regain, losing weight can become a frustrating and unachievable pursuit. How do you keep up the motivation to lose weight when you can’t seem to keep it off?

Don’t feel alone. Most dieters will experience weight regain at some point, and it is definitely frustrating. "People go on diets over and over again - and keep failing," says professor Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. "It's a very common problem. Up to 50 percent of obese people suffer this relapsing pattern.” Such a pattern can lead to a lot of mental and emotional anguish, making dieters more likely to give up on their dreams of achieving a healthy weight.

But in addition to being emotionally and mentally draining, Yo-Yo dieting can actually come with health risks. Due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, consistently losing and gaining weight can increase your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner claims that Yo-Yo dieting can also damage arteries and cause an increase in LDL cholesterol — both of which increase the risk of heart disease. And, there are many other health risks associated with being overweight and/or obese.

Additionally, Yo-Yo dieting is often associated with rapid weight loss in a short amount of time by limiting calorie intake. When you are undergoing low calorie diets without the supervision of a doctor or dietician, you can actually be depriving yourself of important nutrients and healthy calories. This type of dieting can slow your metabolism, lead to low energy levels, tiredness, fatigue and irritability. Not fun!

Step one of losing weight healthily and keeping it off in the long-term is to find support. Working with a weight loss professional who can provide you with proven tools and resources can be a far greater investment than any fad diet out there. Also consider these additional tips on how to avoid the endless cycle of Yo-Yo dieting:

Be realistic: A weight loss professional can help you set achievable goals. Make sure your goals come with a realistic time frame and can fit reasonably into your life, and that are aligned with health objectives. Having a goal to lose 20 pounds for a wedding two months from now can set you up for failure, and promote unhealthy habits. As a starting point, commit to goals that can be achieved with moderate effort.

Reward yourself: But not with food. When you reach a weight milestone, treat yourself to a massage. Or start a change jar and add the equivalent of what you would spend on junk food. At the end of every month, use the money accumulated to go on a shopping spree.

Identify your motivation: Motivation is key to success. “That is the number one most important thing,” says Judy Caplan, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. List out why you want to get healthy, and refer to those reasons during moments of weakness.

Don’t give up: “One of the most important tips for being a successful weight loser is not to let past failed attempts keep you from trying again,” says Michael Dansinger, M.D., weight loss and nutrition advisor for “The Biggest Loser” and assistant professor at Tufts School of Medicine in Boston. “Every time you fail, you get more insight about what to do differently next time.”

Sources: Livestrong, U.S. News


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Diabetes | Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Setting Goals | Treating Obesity

The Truth About Butter

by Robard Corporation Staff 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


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

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