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

Candy, Cake and Tempting Delights. How Can You Compete?

by Robard Corporation Staff 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


5 Ways to Teach Your Daughter about Healthy Weight & Body Image

by Robard Corporation Staff June 28, 2016


In the age of social media, the Internet, reality TV, and pop culture, women and girls face an enormous amount of pressure to look a certain way or be a certain weight. More now than ever, weight and body image concerns create an immense amount of anxiety for women, but increasingly more so for young girls. Girls’ dissatisfaction manifests around body image, particularly weight, at an alarmingly young age:

• Over 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat.
• By middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and body satisfaction hits rock bottom between the ages of 12 and 15.

And while it’s natural to be concerned about our daughters’ weight and to encourage them to be healthy, a recent study from Cornell Food & Brand Lab says that one of the best things you can do to encourage healthy weight and positive body image is … don’t talk about her weight!

The study published in Eating and Weight Disorders surveyed 501 women between the ages of 20 and 35 and asked them to recall how often their parent(s) commented on their weight. The findings showed that women whose parents were less likely to comment on their weight or how much food they ate were also less likely to be overweight as adults. Interestingly, women who recalled their parents commenting on their weight in their youth were generally more likely to be dissatisfied with their weight in adulthood, regardless of whether they were overweight or not.

“If you're worried about your child's weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food. Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient," recommends lead author Brian Wansink. "After all, it's the choices that children make for themselves that will lead to lifelong habits." 

If you are a parent and hope to encourage a healthy weight and positive body image in your daughter, there are many other ways to do so that won’t lead to unintended negative affects later in life. Take a look at the slideshow that suggest 5 positive ways to teach your daughter about healthy weight and body image.



Sources: Cornell Food & Brand Lab, NYC Girls Project


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Lifestyle | Self Esteem

Here’s How to tell if you’re an Emotional Eater

by Robard Corporation Staff May 19, 2016


There’s no denying that food makes us feel good. There’s something about that tub of Häagen-Dazs after your first major breakup or devouring that entire bag of chips while you’re up late cramming for an exam that is immensely satisfying. When we eat large amounts of food — especially “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings as opposed to hunger, it’s called emotional eating. And while it may seem harmless, emotional eating is actually a form of disordered eating that can send your weight spiraling out of control before you know it.

The link between food and emotions has been well documented. Carbs can cause actual changes in your brain chemistry, boosting a chemical in the brain called serotonin. The higher the levels of serotonin, the more content you feel (at least temporarily). Overeating can also be related to chronic stress, which creates elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, tricking your body into thinking you’re going through a famine and increasing food cravings. And according to a recent study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, consumption of foods high in sugar and fat releases dopamine, the chemical that stimulates the brain’s pleasure center and makes us feel euphoric. That chocolate is actually working like a drug in your body, numbing feelings of stress or sadness, and giving you a temporary high… with a much less temporary muffin top!

If you are unsure about whether or not you are emotionally eating, look to these four tell-tale signs:
 
• You eat when you are not physically hungry.
• It is hard to find food that satisfies you.
• Cravings are triggered by an emotion such as anger, anxiety, or boredom, etc.
• Comfort eating has a mindless component to it. You may not enjoy or taste the food because you are eating it mechanically, as if in a trance.

While emotional eating can feel great at the height of a stressful situation, making it a habit can have a negative impact on your life, as well as sabotaging your weight loss goals. But like any other lifestyle change, emotional eating can be controlled through awareness and the consistent practice of new behaviors, with some helpful tips like these:

1. To deal with food cravings that result from negative emotions, check out our 5 Tips to Control Your Worst Food Cravings.
2. Use your non-dominant hand to eat. A 2011 study by researchers from the University of Southern California found that this practical strategy can reduce the amount that you eat. This action breaks up the automatic hand-to-mouth flow and encourages you to think about each bite.
3. Develop an awareness of your emotions and what feelings give you the urge to eat. Start a journal and write it down so you can start to figure out what your triggers are.
4. Replace food with a more positive coping mechanism. Once you’ve identified what feelings make you want to eat, replace the urge to eat with a different activity — it can be something fun, physical, or even creative. Make it something you enjoy doing that can serve as a pick-me-up on a tough day that doesn’t add calories.

Take control of your weight by taking control of your emotions. With a little bit of practice, you can put a stop to emotional eating… and you’ll be happy you did!


Sources: Dr. Oz, Shape, Everyday Health, CNN


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Hunger | Obesity | Setting Goals

5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain

by Robard Corporation Staff April 28, 2016


If you’re trying to figure out why you’re exercising and sticking to your diet, and yet you STILL aren’t losing weight, it looks like you could have your basal ganglia to blame! Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, while decisions are made in a completely different part of the brain. When your basal ganglia kicks in, the decision-making part of your brain goes into sleep mode… and congratulations, you are officially on autopilot! Unfortunately, we can often be on autopilot when it comes to bad eating habits, habits that can seriously sabotage our efforts when it comes to health and weight loss.

Habits are a natural part of our daily process, but let’s face it… we have good habits and we have bad ones. There are a number of habits that we engage in every day that can actually slow or even counteract our progress when it comes to our weight loss goals. Many people often attribute bad eating habits simply to low motivation or lack of self-control. But don’t feel bad… in actuality, science supports the fact that our brains are hardwired to routinize and habitualize behaviors so that we have more mental space to do other things. Those pesky, multi-tasking brains of ours!

Fortunately, when we become aware of what our bad habits are and how they may be slowing our progress toward weight loss, we can begin working to change them. Habits can be pretty hard to change because by their very nature, our brains cling stubbornly to routine. But with some awareness, commitment, and new tools, we can work to develop new habits that will better support our weight loss goals.

Check out the slideshow below for 5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain. At the end of the slideshow is a link to a great resource on the mechanics of creating a new habit, and how you can start new, healthier habits that actually stick.




Shoot us a comment on Facebook and let us know your worst habit and what you plan to do to change it!

 
Sources: NPR, James Clear (Behavioral Psychology)


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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

Eat More, Exercise Less...?

by Robard Corporation Staff June 29, 2015

Quick: What’s the first thing you think of after you eat a Clif Bar or a bowl of Wheaties? Do you want more? You wouldn’t be the only one according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marketing Research which states that not only will you eat more of these “fitness foods,” but you will also exercise less. Researchers believe the root of this comes from “fitness branding” where marketers promote their products as “fitness foods” resulting in the mental relaxation of how much food you’re actually consuming, and you’re your physical activity.

I was a little taken back when I saw this. I’m a fan of Quest Bars personally, as well as Robard’s very own protein supplement bars. But I tend to limit myself to one bar a day, and in the case of me eating more than one, I certainly wouldn’t charge it to “well, its fitness food, so it must be OK.”

But then I noticed that “restrained eaters” were used as the subjects of the study. Restrained eaters are eaters who are chronically concerned about their body weight and, probably most importantly, they are susceptible to overeating. This is a stark contrast from a “natural eater” who “usually eats when hungry, stops when sated, and doesn’t think much about food in-between meals.”

Participants were given trail-mix marked both “Fitness” and “Trail Mix,” and were told to “pretend that they were at home helping themselves to an afternoon snack.” Then, they were given eight minutes to taste and rate the product. Now even though the study wanted to see how the branding of the snacks would affect the eaters, wouldn’t the type of eater they are also play a factor into how they would react?

Studies have been conducted between the correlation between obesity and restrained eating, partially because being a restrained eater could lead to overeating. Signals of hunger, satiety, and other factors that play a role in how you eat aren’t necessarily concise with a restrained eater. However, it is in the natural eaters’ nature to only eat when they have to, no more no less.

The study’s ultimate goal was to have marketers of these products do a better job of including other fitness cues that are a part of being healthy as well as letting people know that there is more to fitness than just the products they are marketing. But don’t we know that? What do you think?

Source: American Marketing Association, Calorie Count

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Meal Replacements

More Protein Can Improve Appetite and Diet in Teens

by Robard Corporation Staff June 8, 2015


Controlling your appetite is essential to maintaining a healthy diet and weight. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri shows that protein in the afternoon can reduce your appetite for the rest of the day and reduces unhealthy snacking among teenagers.

“Our research showed that eating high-protein snacks in the afternoon helps teens improve the quality of their diets as well as control appetite,” says Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU.
 
The study observed male and female teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19. The snack of choice for the study was a soy-protein pudding. Their findings indicated that including more protein throughout the day helped people consume less fat and improved certain facets in mood and cognitive function.

The study confirms the tangible benefits of snacking healthy as opposed to grabbing the more “convenient” treats, which are often high in fat and sugar. The study also reinforces how protein is immensely beneficial to a healthy diet, showing marked improvements in mood, appetite, and the overall management of weight.

“Our study demonstrated that the positive effects on appetite and satiety can be extended to consuming soy-protein products,” says Leidy. Protein’s role in snacking is similar to its role in weight loss; it can provide satiety for a dieter and be a deterrent from less healthy alternatives.

Source: University of Missouri

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

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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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