Walk the Walk: Robard’s VP of Sales Gets with the Program

by Robard Corporation Staff February 17, 2017


If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk. And that’s just what Robard Corporation’s Vice President of Sales, Mario Testa, decided to do on Super Bowl Sunday 2016. As the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers, Mario was set to launch his own fight. He weighed 217 pounds, felt sluggish, tired and had very little energy. He had never struggled with weight as a youth, but age, lack of exercise, work, travel and, what he calls “perhaps a bit of laziness,” took their toll.

“I didn’t feel I was heavy until I saw a picture that ‘woke me up,’” recalls Testa. “It was a picture of me at my son’s sports banquet. It actually brought tears to my eyes.”

Mario had calculated that he had gained 85 pounds since he graduated high school — nearly three pounds a year. In addition to the weight, he faced a handful of related medical conditions, including high cholesterol and triglycerides and pre-diabetes. However, after just a week of using New Direction System products mixed with an occasional NutriMed shake, he began to notice a difference.

“I could tell it was working — and I was being disciplined to the program — because my pants felt a bit loose,” he says. “It was a huge motivator because I never ‘dieted’ before.”

Within a few weeks, his energy was improving, and he wasn’t getting out of breath as quickly. “I started exercising and being more active with my kids,” he says. “It also increased my confidence because I didn’t feel self-conscious anymore.”

Along with products, Testa began a simple exercise routine. He would walk around his neighborhood three nights a week and run on a treadmill one night a week without setting a distance or time. “I just do it until I work up a good sweat,” says Mario.

The discipline paid off. Now at 162 pounds, Mario’s showing no signs of slowing down. He’s got his eyes set on a strength conditioning program, and says that the current state of his health is excellent.

“My whole outlook on food has improved," he says. “I’m much more disciplined with what I eat, when I eat, how I eat and no longer have the cravings for the foods that fell into my danger zone. I’ve been able to keep all the weight off after nearly a year on the program.”

Mario never thought he would be so passionate about how losing weight and keeping it off could have such a positive impact on the overall quality his life — physically and emotionally. “I’m a true evangelist for healthy lifestyle and a disciple for our products,” he says. “It hasn’t changed my life. It saved my life.”

To find a New Direction System or NutriMed program near you, please visit our Find a Clinic page. If you’re a healthcare provider interested in Robard’s proven weight management programs, nutrition products and business services, you can learn more by visiting us here.


Blog written by Kevin Boyce/Robard Corporation

Healthier Concession Stand Options Yield Positive Results

by Robard Corporation Staff February 7, 2017


When we go a sporting event, chances are we’re going to visit the concession stand during the game. The lines may be long and the prices exorbitant, but we still get in the queue for one thing: The food. And let’s be honest, no one goes to a sporting event concession stand to eat a salad. And while the options we have at these events generally don’t lead to healthy food choices, a recent study may show that a revamped concession stand menu may not only help people’s diets, but overall profits as well.

The University of Iowa and Cornell University joined a booster organization to perform a study to see what happens when healthier options were made available to people that attended sporting events at Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa, for two fall sports seasons one year apart. The results? “We found that an average of 77 percent of students purchased healthier foods when they were available and that revenue also increased when a variety of healthy items were available,” says study co-author Brian Wansink, PhD, Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Whether the students thought adding healthy options was important or not, an overwhelming majority — 77.5 percent — purchased at least one healthy item from the concession stand at some point in the school year. Although the study has a small sample size and is focused on one school and their students, the findings may open to the door to adding healthier items at large scale sporting events.

Millions of people go through the turnstile annually to see their favorite team or player perform, and many of them will purchase items at the concession stands. There is no guarantee that they will purchase a healthy option when looking at the menu, but studies like this suggest that just making the healthy options available could lead to better choices made by the consumer. The fact that the study also showed an increase in sales (9.2 percent of total sales went to healthier items) indicates that the healthier choices also could help overall profits. That’s big business when you’re looking at a sold out football stadium.

Until healthier choices become more readily available at these events, you can still take action to stay on track and maintain a good diet. For example, bring a small snack of your own. A simple plan like this helps to develop good habits and reinforces avoiding bad ones that could result in unwanted weight gain or stalled progress with your diet. If you’d like to start your own weight loss journey and learn how to make better health decisions, fill out our brief Find a Clinic form and we will find a weight management program near you! In the meantime, game on!


Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation

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

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

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

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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About Robard Corporation

www.Robard.com

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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