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Relating Mental Health & Behavior to the Weight Loss Journey




In my experience working at the Dr. Rogers Centers, a provider of fitness, wellness and weight loss services in San Antonio, Texas, behavioral techniques are introduced to help participants modify eating and exercise habits. Weight loss program participants have access to a Licensed Professional Counselor/Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor to receive cognitive behavioral therapy to help treat their symptoms and how to think differently about food and their lives.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
According to the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the importance of thinking about how we feel and what we do. Much of this therapy involves changing our thoughts about different aspects of our lives. This therapy also utilizes mindfulness therapy to keep the participant in the present moment to help relieve anxieties about past experiences.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques can help controlling cravings and primitive impulses. Cravings and other addictive behaviors that trigger pleasure are controlled by our limbic system, sometimes called the “lizard brain.” Our primal instincts are managed in this part of the brain as well. During mindfulness therapy, breathing techniques are used to reengage the frontal cortex. The frontal cortex supports impulse control and is also responsible for decision making. Weight loss program participants can make clearer, conscious decisions about their cravings through this simple therapy.

The Reciprocal Relationship
Many weight loss program participants suffer from co-occurring disorders — typically obesity and depression, or obesity and anxiety. With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, healthcare professionals are able to treat both problems. It is important to treat both issues simultaneously as they are in a reciprocal relationship and will feed off of each other. Learning what our triggers are and recognizing our disordered eating patterns is the key to success. There must be an understanding that food is not the problem; rather, food is fuel for our bodies. The problems lie in our lifestyles, are emotional, and can even involve negative feelings towards certain foods or exercise.

Healthy Supplementation
In addition to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and understanding the relationship between obesity and mental health issues, a professional counselor may recommend supplements to support mental health. Exercise is one example of a “supplement.” It increases dopamine, which is the “feel good” chemical in our brains. Instead of increasing dopamine from unhealthy cravings or other addictions, exercise can be used to achieve this “high.”

Other vitamins and nutrients that are commonly recommended are:

• Vitamin D3: Important for all body functions. For brain health, it helps to release neurotransmitters that affect brain function and development.
• 5-HTP: Converts into two important chemicals: Melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin supports sleep and wake cycles. Serotonin is known for being a “happy chemical” and supports positive mood and outlook.
• Calcium: Essential for healthy brain function. Deficiencies can lead to anxiety and moodiness.

For medical professionals interested in turnkey weight loss programs that incorporate all of the elements for behavioral change for long-lasting results, you can request more information here. Also, take a look at Robard’s upcoming webcast on “Brain Systems Underlying the Munchies.” To register for this webcast, please click here.


Blog written by Gabrielle Harden, Guest Blogger



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5 Tips to Stay Motivated When You’re Not Losing Weight



Losing weight is easy — said no one ever! Perhaps you thought that if you exercise and eat better, the weight will just melt off and you’ll drop five pounds in a couple weeks. However, the reality is that you can work really hard, be super committed to your diet and exercise plan, and yet still not see the kind of progress you hope for as quickly as you want to see it. So is it time to throw in the towel?

No way. Remember that the journey of weight loss is a process, filled with ups and downs. A lot of factors may contribute to weight not coming off quickly; but as you work to figure it out, it’s important to have some tools that will keep you in the game mentally so that you maintain the motivation to keep going, despite slow or even backwards progress.

Take a look at our slideshow of five tips that will help you stay motivated to keep trying, even if you aren’t losing weight. If you’re doing this on your own and have a significant amount of weight to lose, finding a provider to help you can make all the difference. A provider can get you started on a medically supervised diet, where dieters lose three-five pounds a week on average.



For healthcare providers whose patients struggle with losing weight, learn more about how a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) can create fast and lasting results, and then contact us for more information here.


Blog written by By Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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