RobardUser Robard Corporation | Healthy Eating

How Social Support Aids Weight Loss



Physicians are making great strides in learning how to effectively treat obesity despite the innumerable challenges that stand in the way of patients’ success. Overweight and obese patients sometime must face their own internalized stigma — but what happens when they leave their provider’s office? If a patient doesn’t have social support, their success can be derailed — and not just at the beginning stages of weight loss, but also when it comes to long-term maintenance.

Of course, having their physician’s support is crucial, as many patients are not familiar with the most effective and safe methods to lose weight. For those with a significant amount of weight to lose, a medically supervised diet may be the only successful way to get to a healthy weight (short of costly and sometimes invasive surgeries). It is usually the doctor’s role to provide the information, resources, and expertise necessary to make such a drastic health change happen. But recent studies are starting to show that positive (rather than instructive) social support appears beneficial in weight loss maintenance.

If you’re a health care provider seeing overweight patients who are reluctant to start a weight loss program, having trouble being compliant, or experience regain after successfully completing a program, you may need to assess whether or not a lack of social support is a factor.

Don’t be afraid to ask your patients directly about what kind of support they have (or don’t have) outside your office. Do they experience bullying or fat shaming in their workplace or community? Do they have family or friends who encourage them? Do they have family or friends that enable their bad eating habits?

As a provider, there may be some things you can do to fill these gaps to help your patients be more successful. Consider some of these strategies:

1. Do you have a psychologist, nutritionist, or health educator on staff?
Perhaps this person can start a weekly or monthly support group for weight loss patients, a “no judgement group” where patients can meet with other patients to vent, share successes and frustrations, and know they are not alone in the process. This can create wonderful morale that supports the weight loss journey. If you don’t have a staff member who can facilitate this, perhaps you can identify a patient or volunteer who would be willing to facilitate this kind of gathering.

2. Encourage your patients to buddy up. 
According to one study, participants who enrolled in a weight loss program with friends did a better job of keeping their weight off. In addition to teaming up with friends, these enrollees were given social support in addition to standard treatment. Two-thirds of those who enrolled with friends had kept their weight off six months after the meetings ended. In contrast, only a quarter of those who attended on their own had achieved that same success. Ask your patients if they have family or friends who are interested in losing weight too, and provide a referral incentive for getting them onboard. That’s a win-win for both of you because that also adds to your patient census!

3. Start an online community for your patients.
If you don’t have the time, money, or space to do a formal support group, social media provides us with great free alternatives. For example, you can create a secret, invitation-only Facebook group that allows patients to interact with and support each other, while still being a safe and confidential space. Have a staff member moderate the group to ensure ground rules are being followed, and incorporate it into your practice’s usual social media routine. Need some help with exploring the possibilities through social media? Download our free helpful guide of tips to learn how to effectively use social media for your weight loss program.

Sources: American Psychological Association, NCBI, Mayo Clinic


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Is Fast Food Making Your Patients Overweight?



These days, everything needs to be fast. We need fast internet, fast traffic, fast DMV lines. Fast is almost always better, right? The keyword is almost. Fast seems great on a surface level but when it comes to fast food, the tradeoff is fast weight gain.

According to a 15-year study of 3,000 adults, people who visited fast food restaurants more than twice per week gained roughly nine to 11 pounds more than people who visited them less than once per week. And if you’re patients are grabbing fast foods more than twice per week, there’s the potential that they will put on a lot of extra pounds.

There are a wide variety of fast food options, but they all tend to have something in common: Most fast food ingredients contain more energy, total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates and added sugars than healthier food of the same weight. As a result of these less healthy ingredients, eating fast food has been found to be directly associated with both being overweight and exceeding the recommended levels of fat and sugar

Fast food also tends to be loaded with empty calories. As we discussed in our blog article, Why Weight Loss is not as Simple as Cutting Calories, health care professionals cannot just discuss limiting calories with their patients. They also need to discuss the nutritional value present in the foods their calories are coming from.

Unlike healthier food items, most fast foods contain substantially fewer vitamins and minerals, and tend to be filled with carbs and sugars devoid of any real nutritional value. Conversely, healthier foods that contain more vitamins and minerals, like fruits and veggies, can help people feel satiated longer and reduce daily calorie intake.

Convenience is a huge reason that many Americans opt for fast food. But physicians can support patients in making healthier food choices while still not sacrificing convenience, satiety, or even taste. Robard’s meal replacement products are scientifically designed for optimal nutrition, provide all the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy weight loss, while decreasing caloric intake. Plus, with easy, convenient options like ready to drink shakes and bars, patients can still grab and go without settling for empty, non-nutritious fast foods.

Curious about how using meal replacements can help your patients make better food choices while losing weight? Check out our free, on-demand video Meal Replacements for Short and Long Term Success and learn how meal replacements can benefit your patients at any stage of their journey! Then contact us for some free samples so you can taste them yourself!

Source: Bariatric Surgery Source


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Helping Dieters Stick to their Goals Post-New Year… Not as Difficult as You Might Think!



Every year, weight loss centers see a huge influx of dieters eager to lose weight on January 2. Not much effort needs to go into getting people through the door when weight loss is top of mind for New Year’s resolutions.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, almost 1/3 of New Year’s resolutions pertain to weight. But by the one month mark, only about half of resolution makers will have maintained their resolve. And after the one month mark? Forget about it. By this point, patients will start to miss appointments, cheat on their diets, stop their exercise routines, and give up on their goals. New clients are great, but what’s the point if you can’t maintain their engagement and retain them?

As professionals in the weight loss industry for more than 40 years, Robard has learned a thing or two about why dieters fall off from their grand New Year’s plans, and we have some tips about how to get them back on track. Because we are committed to your success, we’d like to share some of the insights we’ve learned over the years straight out of one of our exclusive staff training kits: Retention Strategies for weeks 5-8.

First, it’s important to recognize some of the common obstacles that cause dieters’ mindsets to change during the first month of their program. These include:
 
1. When dieters put ownership of results on the program, not themselves.
2. When dieters don’t see their own sabotage pattern. 
3. Dieters are not aware of their self-sabotaging thoughts. Thinking failure “just happens” gives them permission to fail.
4. When there are no new goals beyond her first month. There is no strong, positive long‐term vision.
5. Using fear to motivate (medical issues, spouse disapproval) and then once the pressure is off, the dieter is done.
6. Not using visualization or positive desire for motivation. Dieters never pictured living at their goal weight or creating a strong image of success.

Have your staff look to uncover hidden patterns and thoughts dieters might be unaware of. Once dieters are aware, they become empowered and they benefit from new strategies, insights and staff support. If these hidden patterns are not uncovered, the dieter quits your program and then starts all over again somewhere NEW. This cycle will continue all because they believe the magic is in that first month!

Below are 4 out of our 15 proven strategies from our Retention Staff Training Kit that can be used to solidify your dieter’s commitment for the second month of their program:

1. Bring up the subject for a focused discussion: “Mary, how many times in the past did your efforts seem to come to a stop after the first month? Do you want it to be different this time?”
2. Be on guard for all red flags and signals, and confront the dieter immediately. For example:
    • Suddenly claiming stress or daily life issues as major obstacles.
    • Relinquishing personal control and accountability, is just a victim of circumstance, powerless to impact.
3. Use questions to uncover hidden thoughts. The dieter needs to admit it herself and then use visualization to create powerful, meaningful long‐term motivation.
4. Set both short and long‐term goals. Remind your dieters to celebrate every short‐term goal achieved and then set a new one immediately.

Recognizing the signs that your dieters are losing momentum and nipping it in the bud QUICK are essential to maintaining good retention before things get out of control. Now that you have a small taste of some of the helpful tips in our Staff Training Kit, download the full kit now and take control of dieter retention at your practice!

Source: Statistic Brain Research Institute


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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