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A New Discovery Might Help Explain Winter Weight Gain



On February 2, 2018 — Groundhog Day — Pennsylvania's most famous woodchuck, Punxsutawney Phil, made his annual prediction. Unfortunately, in his infinite wisdom, he announced six more weeks of winter. And that means six more weeks of potential winter weight gain!

In our blog article 3 Tips to Avoid Winter Weight Gain, we explained some of the reasons why weight gain in the winter months is so common. But a new study from the University of Alberta pinpointed another cause, and it is connected to how our fat cells respond to Vitamin D, which is found plentifully in sunlight.

“When the sun's blue light wavelengths — the light we can see with our eye — penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don't store as much fat,” said Peter Light, senior author of the study, who is a Professor of Pharmacology and the Director of UAlberta’s Alberta Diabetes Institute.

Conversely, during the winter months when the days are shorter and people spend less time outside, our exposure to the sun dwindles causing us to take in less vitamin D, which may promote fat storage and ultimately weight gain. This discovery opens up new avenues of future scientific exploration which could eventually lead to pharmacological or light-based treatments for obesity and other related health issues such as diabetes.

In the meantime, there are ways to combat winter weight gain — even with a few more weeks left of winter if good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil turns out to be right. Download our 10 Weight Loss Affirmation Cards for additional motivation to get through the final weeks of winter and stay on target with diets and exercise.

Plus, you can’t always rely on getting adequate vitamin D on sunlight alone, even during the summer. In many cases, food and supplements can support not only getting adequate nutrition, but with the right products and programs, can support healthy weight loss as well. Many of Robard’s scientifically-developed products are fortified with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D. Regulated by the FDA, manufactured with safety and quality certifications, and physician reviewed, our products have been known in the industry as the best in taste, nutrition, and effectiveness for more than 40 years. Learn more about our product offerings today!

We also provide really helpful health resources for physicians and patients. Want to learn more about Vitamins and Minerals? Download this free easy, but helpful fact sheet — just one of our many Patient Education Materials available for free to our customers.


Source: ScienceDaily


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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10 Weight Loss Affirmations to Motivate and Retain Patients (Free Download)



We are in the midst of one of the toughest seasons for weight loss patients: WINTER. As the weather gets colder and the holidays approach, dieters may find themselves losing momentum, and falling victim to winter weight gain.

It is important for providers to be compassionate and sympathetic to their patients during this difficult season. However, they must also do what they can to help keep patients on track. Without support and encouragement, patients may feel shame and/or guilt for not adhering to their weight loss program or exercise plan and this may cause them to skip appointments — or not come back altogether. This is the moment to look closely at your retention strategies. Stay connected with patients. Provide them with the encouragement they may need to keep going, even despite setbacks.

Sometimes all dieters need to hear are some positive affirmations to let them know their goals are still achievable. Let them know they have your support. We’ve put together 10 Affirmation Cards for you to download to use with your patients that can remind them of their worth, their progress, and motivate them to keep going despite the season’s challenges.

Download our 10 Affirmation Cards now! Print them on cardstock and have them available in your waiting room. Give them to your patients after an appointment. Send one via text or email along with their appointment reminder. Or share on social media and patient forums to stay connected. Your patients will appreciate this compassionate approach to helping them stay on track, and your business will benefit from the increased retention, compliance, and communication with your patients.

Need some more in-depth support with patient retention through the holidays? Log into your account on www.Robard.com, and click here to listen to a complimentary webcast, Holiday Survival: Compliance and Retention through January.


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Being Sensitive to Weight Loss Patients’ 'Bad Habits'



How do you get patients to stick with the plan?
Compliance to a medical treatment can be challenging, to say the least. Patients want to be healthier, more active, and more energetic. Yet time and time again, they fall off the wagon and resort to going back into the same old habits that don’t support their progress. Why? (Click here for a flashback on 5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain)

For health care providers, it can be frustrating to check in with a patient and hear that their diet or exercise plan isn’t going so well. But it can also help to understand how habits form so you can not only help set realistic expectations for your patient, but also for yourself.

Studies on habit formation have shown that habits form as part of a three-step process. First, there’s a cue, or trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and let a behavior unfold (i.e. hunger). Then, there’s the routine, which is the actual behavior that we associate as being the “bad habit.” The third step is the reward: Something that your brain likes that helps it remember the “habit loop” in the future. In the case of overweight patients, the pleasure of enjoying “off-limits” food can be their reward. (Learn more about this physiological pleasure connection for those suffering from food addiction in our free white paper.)

Neuroscience has shown that habitual behavior and conscious decision-making are handled by two different parts of the brain, and the area of the brain that controls habits can often supersede and shut down the decision-making area. So when patients revert back to old habits, it is not that they are just battling low motivation or self-control. Their brains are hardwired to return to the behavior that it is used to, even when they no longer benefit from it.

So what can health care providers do?
First off, be patient with your patients. It’s not that they are less committed to their goals; for many it can just be that they require a little more time to relearn healthier habits. Studies show that it can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit. And there will be trips along the way.

Secondly, don’t stress too much about when they mess up. Researchers have found that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.” In other words, it doesn’t matter if you mess up every now and then. Reassure your patients that an occasional binge is not the end of the world and encourage them to get back on the horse.

Third, understand that old habits are not forgotten, but replaced with new ones. We can’t magically expect patients to stop a damaging behavior without providing an easier alternative. For overweight people who have an unhealthy relationship with food, there can be a benefit to introducing something like meal replacements. Rather than expecting patients to completely change how they relate to food, they can replace their normal food habits with an easy shake or bar and make it part of a new routine that is easier to implement.

Dr. Valerie Sutherland of Rainier Medical Weight Loss and Wellness notes, “[Patients] typically report that taking food away for a period made a huge difference, even if only for a month. Since food can be addictive for some people, taking it away completely can be crucial for long term change, which is the opposite effect that you may be warned about by some critics of a short term rapid weight loss program that is ‘unsustainable.’”

For a more help on helping patients set realistic goals they can stick with, instantly download our free Short Term Goal Helper Worksheet!

Sources: NPR, MIT News, HuffPost


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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