February 1, 2017
So fat is fat, and all fat is bad, right?
“Not all fat is equal,” says Professor Alexander Pfeifer from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Hospital Bonn. Apparently, according to recent research out of University of Bonn, researchers have found a way to use what is called “brown fat” to burn energy from food and stimulate weight loss.
Humans actually have two different kinds of fat: white fat (which is the bad fat that makes our “love handles” that we want to get rid of) and brown fat which acts like a desirable heater to convert excess energy into heat. In essence, white fat stores energy, while brown fat helps the body burn energy through heat. In adults, people with higher amounts of brown fat have lower body mass, and according to studies, increasing brown fat by as little as 50 grams could lead up to a 10 to 20 pound weight loss in one year.
Using adenosine, a new signaling molecule typically released during stress, researchers at University of Bonn have discovered a way to activate these brown fat cells, and even turn white fat cells into brown fat cells, a process called “browning.”
More recently, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes identified an FDA-approved drug that can help create more of this brown fat. “Introducing brown fat is an exciting new approach to treating obesity and associated metabolic diseases, such as diabetes,” said study first author Baoming Nie, PhD, a former postdoctoral scholar at Gladstone.
Such a method of treating obesity is still in the research phase, and may not likely become a commonly accepted practice for some time yet. There are several potential side effects that may arise from taking the drug, and more development is necessary before human trials can be explored. Nonetheless, it is an exciting direction in the field of obesity treatment that healthcare professionals should keep a close eye on.
In the meantime, weight management is still an urgent need for so many across the country. For healthcare providers, there are already many effective ways to begin treating obesity. Learn more about how to start a weight management program, or if you are a dieter, connect with a provider who can get you started on your weight loss journey today. Need more inspiration? Listen to some success stories of dieters who have lost more than 200 pounds by starting a medically supervised program.
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
January 18, 2017
Regardless of industry, it is
well known that acquiring a new customer is more expensive and time
consuming than keeping a current customer active. According to Bain and Co.,
it costs approximately six to seven times more to acquire a new
customer; in addition, they state that a five percent increase in
customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75 percent.
While these statistics differ based on your industry, the fact remains —
keeping your current dieters on program longer is essential to your
Begin your retention on day one, sale day. Say thank you.
While this concept is basic, its value is underestimated. Thank your
dieter for choosing your weight loss program — remember, with an
increasing amount of choices, they choose you. Consider a hand written
card or personalized email.
Three weeks into the program, find out how they are feeling about the program. Get feedback on what they like and don’t like. More importantly, ask questions that will provide insight to how they are feeling
about the program and their journey. While “I like the shakes” is
important, knowing that they are anxious on weekends because of the lack
of routine is more valuable to retention.
Spread the good news; highlight a success story. It is not new that testimonials
are powerful. When choosing your testimonial, however, it is better to
highlight a dieter who achieves common results. While it is wonderful
when a dieter loses 200 pounds, most will lose less. Choose a
testimonial story and person that others can relate to.
Finally, address sabotage
when it appears. Some dieters change their mindsets after only one
month into their program. As their weight loss advisor, it’s important
to recognize sabotaging thoughts and patterns so the dieter can be
Let’s look at a few examples of when a dieter may veer off track:
1. When a short term goal is achieved. “Everyone is telling me I look great. I don’t need to be serious anymore!” Solution:
Have dieters set both short and long term goals beyond the first month.
When short term goals are achieved, celebrate and then set new goals
2. When the dieter starts to perceive the diet as punishment, they’re not looking at the big picture. “I’m sick of sticking to a diet.” Solution:
Celebrate successes with dieters other than the scale. For example,
praise a new activity they can enjoy as a result of their weight loss.
3. When the dieter views the diet as deprivation. “I’m missing out. It’s not fair.” Solution:
Remind dieters that they are choosing to be on a diet. They can have
anything they want, but would they rather choose to enjoy life at their
goal weight, or eat a doughnut now?
How would you know your new strategies are working? Keep Data.
Key Operating Statistics (KOS) helps you make informed decisions about
all of your business questions and modify the course of business for
continued growth and future positioning. Keep data relating to
inquiries, conversions, drop offs, weight loss achieved and more, and
then, deeply analyze the data. While it is good to know how many dieters
drop off, it is better to know the most common week that dieter’s
leave, and it’s even better to know the reasons why that drop off week is so common so you can implement a strategy to address the reasons behind the loss. Check out this article for harnessing data in the healthcare field. Robard provides customers with an extensive KOS data collection system, for access, contact Robard.
Want more? Access retention resources on www.Robard.com:
1. Video: Customer Service and Compliance: Better Compliance and Retention from Simple Touch Points and More Focused Visits
2. Staff Training Kit: One Month in Retention Strategies
3. Staff Training Kit: Keep Retention Strong
Not a customer? Request information here.
Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation
December 29, 2016
We’ve come a long way since January, and we appreciate you allowing us to take this weight loss journey with you. As we start to make plans, goals, and resolutions for the New Year, let’s take a moment to look back on some of the things we’ve learned in the past 12 months. Check out the slideshow below where we’ve highlighted 12 of our best weight loss tips, one for every month of 2016. Take inventory of things you tried that did or didn’t work, as well as things you meant to try but never got around to. Use this as a guideline for how you can set a clear roadmap to weight loss success in 2017. Download our free Goal Helper Worksheet to help you discuss New Year’s Goals with your weight loss provider. If you still need to find a provider to help you set a firm foundation for the New Year, visit our Find a Clinic page.
And for weight loss professionals, don’t forget, Robard offers a wealth of complimentary resources to aid you in recruiting and retaining patients for 2017, including Staff Training Kits, Customizable Marketing Materials, Educational modules, and more. Click here to get more information, or for customers, simply log on and start browsing our Holiday Resources! All of us at Robard wish you a healthy and productive New Year!
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
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
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
October 27, 2016
“Losing weight is easy!” – said no one ever.
Let’s be honest… losing weight can be extremely challenging, especially when you’re trying to figure it out on your own. Between TV, the internet, magazines, friends and family, and countless other sources that try to tell you how to do it, separating fact from fiction can seem nearly impossible. With all of this information overload, how do you figure out what will work for YOU?
First and foremost, if weight loss has been a challenge, and especially if you need to lose a significant amount of weight, it’s always best to consult a physician, registered dietician, or another professional with a background in weight loss. There are also many clinics that specialize in weight loss and that have programs that can be tailored to your specific needs, and finding a clinic is not as hard as it may seem. Sometimes, asking for help is the first step to seeing real, long-lasting results.
In the meantime, we’ve done some of the work for you and found some of the most common dieting myths on the Internet. Take a look at the slideshow below with 6 dieting myths you may have heard, as well as the facts behind them!
August 16, 2016
Need more enrollments? Who doesn’t, right? When we’re approached by a weight management center that’s concerned about low dieter sign-ups for their program, we start with one basic question: “What is your plan to build enrollment?” Surprisingly (and sometimes, not so surprisingly), they have no set plan and fail to track their activities.
There are numerous ways to communicate with potential dieters. To help jump-start your marketing plan and increase program enrollments, ask yourself these five basic questions:
1. What’s your goal? Well, we already know this answer: Increase enrollments. Great. Move on to question number two.
2. Why should a dieter choose your program? Having a variety of benefits can help set you apart from your competitors. For example, extended weekday or weekend hours, an on-site gym, new protein products, discounted packages, online patient engagement tools and more. (Insider Tip: Check out this Patient Engagement System – available free of charge to Robard customers!)
3. Who are you trying to enroll? Does your program cater to the working professional, stay at home parent, older adult or adolescent? Do you offer a medical program for individuals who need to lose weight because of a medical condition? Or is your program most appropriate for overweight individuals just looking to look and feel better? Determine the demographics and behavior profiles along with their goals for losing weight so you can target the right market and tailor your message and benefit statements to that target.
4. What message will appeal to your target? Even professional marketers struggle with the content of their message. The basics are to be clear, concise and directed at your target markets. The best messages reach your market on an emotional level and/or countering any “barriers” they see to joining your program (i.e. “time”). A recent emotional-driven marketing campaign we launched was “I Wish I Could.” It pictured everyday experiences overweight people struggle with or have desires for, both of which resolved by losing weight. For example, “I Wish I Could… Sit There,” with a picture of a common restaurant booth. And, “I Wish I Could… Wear That,” with a picture of a little black dress. (Insider Tip: Robard customers receive this and other marketing materials free of charge! Simply complete this short form to learn more.) A great way to create your message is to begin by speaking with your current dieters. Ask them why they joined your program? What keeps them returning? What new experiences or feelings do they have as a result of their weight loss? Speak to at least five and look for common threads to use in your messaging.
5. Where should your message appear? The easiest way to determine where your message should appear so that you reach your specified target is to review your key operating statistics. This will determine where your messaging has been successful for you to drive enrollments. If you don’t track this information, then go back to the profile of your target market and determine the how best to reach your audience. Is it Facebook, Twitter, blog articles, a mailing, local shopping magazine or even the supermarket bulletin board? Most likely it is a combination of avenues. Make sure you ask every new dieter how they heard about you so you will know what is working for next time.
Good luck and contact our knowledgeable staff if you need any assistance. Be sure to inquire about our upcoming free webcast on Building Your Patient Census. It’s exclusively for customers — but for you, we’ll make an exception. Just mention this blog to join!
Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation