Using Technology to Stay Accountable to Your Weight Loss Program

by Robard Corporation Staff February 23, 2017



If you’ve decided it’s time to lose weight, you might be wondering how you can stay on track and achieve your goal. With available apps that do everything from tracking your food to connecting you with online fitness buddies, smartphones offer numerous solutions to help you get healthy.

Food Tracking
Studies have shown as many as two-thirds of adults underestimate the number of calories we consume at any meal. Since a caloric deficit is essential for weight loss, it’s important to know how many calories you are consuming throughout the day.

There are many different apps you can download to your mobile device to help you keep track of your food intake. Apps such as LoseIt and MyPlate focus mainly on nutrition and calorie tracking. Other apps, including My Fitness Pal and SparkPeople, are more robust and have many features to help you live a healthier lifestyle in addition to basic nutrition tracking.

Activity Tracking
Improving your fitness level and losing weight isn’t just about healthy eating. The human body is meant to move. Our modern, sedentary lifestyle isn’t doing our bodies any favors.

Again, technology has provided some very useful solutions to help us move more. Many people rely on smartwatches and other watch-like fitness trackers to help them track their daily fitness. Products such as Garmin’s Vivofit come with a wide variety of options and can help you track everything from your daily steps to your heart rate and more.

Health Record Tracking
Before embarking on a new fitness routine, you should always check with your doctor regarding your current level of health and fitness. Getting regular check-ups and monitoring the results of various tests is a great motivator. Seeing your efforts to eat healthy and work out affect physical changes in your health might be the best reward of all.

There are apps and websites available, such as My Medical and Track My Medical Records, which allow you to manage all of your medical records in one place and compare results between tests.

Since privacy can be a real concern when accessing sensitive information online, you should consider taking steps to protect your privacy when using a computer or smartphone to access and store your medical information.

Online Communities
If you’re nervous about discussing your weight loss goals with your friends or family, you can find support online with other people who are working towards the same goals as you. Online communities like SparkPeople and apps such as WellSquad and Jaha Running can match you with people who have fitness or weight loss goals similar to your own.

Though feeling better and improving your health will be your ultimate motivation to stick with your weight loss program, using technology to track your progress and celebrate milestones can be very helpful if you start to lose interest or feel overwhelmed by the lifestyle changes you’re making. Any of these innovations can offer the extra bit of help you need to stay on track when you might feel like giving up.

Ready to Get Started? To find a Robard 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 Cassie Phillips, Guest Blogger

About the Author: Cassie Phillips is a nurse who is interested in living the healthiest life possible. A busy mom, she knows how hard it can be to live a healthy life while raising a family. She enjoys sharing what she has learned to help others live healthier lives as well.

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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Setting Goals

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

Why You Should Discuss Exercise and Weight Loss with Your Aging Patients

by Robard Corporation Staff February 14, 2017


In our recent blog post about 6 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise, we learned that not only can exercise help you lose weight and feel great, but it can also help improve memory and overall brain performance, and even help protect from cognitive decline. This insight is all the more important when talking to older adults about exercise and weight loss.

More than half of all 85-year-olds suffer some form of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is a broad term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

Dementia has begun to be thought of as an inevitability of aging; however, recent research has shown that that is not necessarily true. Neuroscientist Art Kramer, who directs the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, says the best thing you can do for your brain is exercise.

In his 2010 study, Kramer found that with just 45 minutes, three days a week of moderate aerobic exercise (mostly walking), MRI scans showed that for the aerobic group, the volume of their brains actually increased, while individuals in the control group lost about 1.5 percent of their brain volume. This added up to a 3.5 percent difference between individuals who took part in aerobic exercise and those who did not. Further tests showed that increased brain volume translated into better memory.

For providers working with aging patients, the strong possibility of preventing or delaying the onset of dementia-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s can prove to be a great motivator in encouraging patients to engage in more regular exercise. Approaching them about their weight is a critical step in the right direction. By doing so, they’ll start to also feel the other great benefits of weight management and exercise, such as a potential decrease in related comorbid conditions, reliance on medications, and more.

To alleviate some of the potential discomfort in having conversations about weight with your patients, Robard Corporation has produced a three part video series, “How to Speak with Patients about Obesity,” that presents multiple avenues one could take while speaking with patients about obesity. We invite you to watch this free educational resource by clicking here.

We invite all healthcare providers to learn more about Robard’s proven weight management programs, products and services. To do so, please click here and try some of our delicious nutritional products for free!


Sources: NPR, Alzheimer’s Association


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | 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


'Tis the 'Weight-Gaining' Season

by Robard Corporation Staff October 20, 2016


I recently saw a picture on Facebook that was captioned: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” It’s a common saying, but thought-provoking at the same time. It puts things in perspective and helps you understand that the decisions you make now can affect you in the future.

One thing that we can all do now is decide to make a conscious effort to watch our diet and weight over the next three months; our future selves will thank us for it. Remember, from now until the end of the year we are all likely to gain weight. Why? Blame our friends, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Yes, the holiday season is upon us, and if we aren’t careful we will gain weight that will take a lot of effort and time to lose. Actually, according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it will take upwards of five months to lose that weight. Think of all the work you put in throughout this past year trying to reach your fitness goal, only for it to vanish in a span of a few months, then you have start again when the calendar flips to 2017.

So, what do we do? First, let’s all agree that for the majority of us there will be a few days during the holidays that our diet goes haywire. However, the goal should be to minimize those days, which is tough to do when the leftovers in the fridge are begging to be eaten; we have to find ways to control those urges and cravings.

Another thing we can do is make sure we have a consistent exercise plan. With the holiday season comes traveling, relaxation, and at times lack of motivation to workout. But even if it’s just a short walk, commit to do something! It will be easier to get back into your normal workout routine if you are starting somewhere instead of starting from a place where you went an extended period of time with little to no physical activity. Try to keep your regimen as close to normal as possible.

Cornell Food and Brand Lab Director Brian Wansink said it best: “It’s easier to avoid holiday pounds altogether than to lose them after they happen.” With research showing it will take five months to lose three months of weight, it’s hard to disagree. So stay motivated, be consistent and focused on reaching your good health goals. If we’re mindful of watching our weight over the next three months, our future selves will thank us for it.


Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


Name One Person You Know That Doesn’t…

by Robard Corporation Staff September 20, 2016

… Have a Cell Phone. Odds are you don’t know anyone. Even my beloved 98 year old Aunt has a mobile phone. In fact, by 2019, it is estimated that five billion people will own a mobile phone. This is good news and a great opportunity for your obesity treatment center.
 
Each day, programs like yours struggle to motivate and retain their weight loss patients. Patients start the program highly motivated to lose the weight, exercise and improve their health. Their energy is contagious. You are sure they will follow through… but they don’t. A couple of weeks into your program, they lose interest or simply disappear. Why? Well, lots of reasons, actually: Patients gain confidence to forge forward towards their goal independently; they revert back to their old habits; friends or family members become jealous and sabotage their success. There are many reasons behind patient drop-off or their failure to increase activity or lose weight while on your program.

Here is the good news: There is a way to increase success among your patients, and it’s supported by new research.

A review of 224 studies, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, revealed that the effect of using the internet and various digital devices, including a mobile phone, found that, “Participants in mobile device interventions (using smartphone apps or receiving text or voicemail messages) increased their physical activity and lost body weight/fat.”

“Programs that have components such as goal-setting and self-monitoring and use multiple modes of communication with tailored messages tended to be more effective,” says author Ashkan Afshin, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD, Acting Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “We also found these programs were more effective if they included some interactions with healthcare providers. Clinicians, in particular in primary care settings, can use such programs to help people improve their lifestyle behaviors and reduce the risk of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

Therefore, it is logical to conclude, as a result of this study, that combining your personal in-office interactions with a digital tool will enhance your patient’s outcomes. So, it’s not just about providing high protein meal replacement shakes or weight loss supplements to achieve success. Patients need increased contact between in-office interventions through messaging or an app in addition to an effective way to set goals and monitor their own progress to achieve weight loss success.


Source: Ashkan Afshin, Damilola Babalola, Mireille Mclean, Zhi Yu, Wenjie Ma, Cheng‐Yu Chen, Mandana Arabi, Dariush Mozaffarian. Information Technology and Lifestyle: A Systematic Evaluation of Internet and Mobile Interventions for Improving Diet, Physical Activity, Obesity, Tobacco, and Alcohol Use. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2016; 5 (9): e003058 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.115.003058



Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Setting Goals | Weight Loss Programs

Sitting on an Empty Wallet: The Cost of Physical Inactivity

by Robard Corporation Staff September 14, 2016


A lot of people that are physically inactive throughout the day aren’t so by choice. More and more jobs are in an office setting. These environments are sedentary by nature, and don’t tend to encourage physical activity. While some try to remedy their lack of movement during the day by doing some basic things at their desks, others will do their best to get some exercise in after the workday is over. Some, if they’re smart, try to do both. Nonetheless, our inactivity is costing us more than our just our health. A lot more.

A study conducted by the University of Sydney showed that physical inactivity had a world cost of $67.6 billion in 2013. That’s billion with a “B.” Researchers came up with that hefty total by observing healthcare cost, productivity losses, and disability-adjusted life years for five diseases that are generally associated with physical inactivity and obesity: coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.

There are a lot of layers to this study and its results, but it starts with the issue of physical inactivity. And this is not just a domestic problem; it’s a global issue. The study included 142 countries which contains 93.2 percent of the world’s population, making this a rather holistic perspective of how much our lack of inactivity is costing us. That isn’t lost on the researchers.

“Physical inactivity is recognized as a global pandemic and not only leads to diseases and early deaths, but imposes a major burden to the economy”, says Dr. Melody Ding, lead author of the study and Senior Research Fellow from the University School of Public Health.  The economic burden is a real one. Out of the $805 million Australia paid for inactivity, $91 million was from the private sector.

And while some people pay the price with their wallet, others pay with their health.

Although this is an expensive problem, there seems to be a rather easy solution: We need to be more physically active — especially those at a younger age. Adolescents are practically given every reason to not be active; 3-D televisions, social media, and iPads can make them feel as though they are living a full life while sitting on the couch.

As for adults, there are many short-cuts we can employ when it comes to combatting a sedentary lifestyle. Finding at least some time in the day to be physically active, even at your desk, is a healthier option than succumbing to the outcomes that studies like this suggest. Living a more active lifestyle is always better — physically, mentally and fiscally.

Source: University of Sydney


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Cardiovascular Disease | Childhood Obesity | Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Treating 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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