RobardUser Robard Corporation | April 2016

5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain

If you’re trying to figure out why you’re exercising and sticking to your diet, and yet you STILL aren’t losing weight, it looks like you could have your basal ganglia to blame! Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, while decisions are made in a completely different part of the brain. When your basal ganglia kicks in, the decision-making part of your brain goes into sleep mode… and congratulations, you are officially on autopilot! Unfortunately, we can often be on autopilot when it comes to bad eating habits, habits that can seriously sabotage our efforts when it comes to health and weight loss.

Habits are a natural part of our daily process, but let’s face it… we have good habits and we have bad ones. There are a number of habits that we engage in every day that can actually slow or even counteract our progress when it comes to our weight loss goals. Many people often attribute bad eating habits simply to low motivation or lack of self-control. But don’t feel bad… in actuality, science supports the fact that our brains are hardwired to routinize and habitualize behaviors so that we have more mental space to do other things. Those pesky, multi-tasking brains of ours!

Fortunately, when we become aware of what our bad habits are and how they may be slowing our progress toward weight loss, we can begin working to change them. Habits can be pretty hard to change because by their very nature, our brains cling stubbornly to routine. But with some awareness, commitment, and new tools, we can work to develop new habits that will better support our weight loss goals.

Check out the slideshow below for 5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain. At the end of the slideshow is a link to a great resource on the mechanics of creating a new habit, and how you can start new, healthier habits that actually stick.

Shoot us a comment on Facebook and let us know your worst habit and what you plan to do to change it!

Sources: NPR, James Clear (Behavioral Psychology)

Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


Want a Great Workout in 7 Minutes? Try This App

You keep telling yourself you need to lose weight and get in shape. You make your New Year’s resolution. You start up your gym membership. Then inevitably around this time of year, you realize you haven’t been to the gym in at least 3 weeks. And with all your good intentions, somehow you’ve managed to GAIN a few extra pounds. Sound familiar?

If you’re like most people, you want to be healthier. But between work, kids’ afterschool activities, laundry, grocery shopping, and everything else you have going on in your to-do list, finding the time to go to the gym and work out never seems to make it into your week. Well, according to this new app, if you want to get in a great workout backed by science, all you need is 7 minutes.

The 7-minute workout, designed by Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the
Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, is a fast, science-based way to work out anywhere, anytime. No gym equipment required… all you need is a chair and a wall.

Downloaded by over 1.4 million people so far, the app is increasing in popularity, and there is a strong scientific argument to back its efficacy.

“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Jordan. Other recent studies have agreed with this perspective showing that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.

The way interval training works is to combine periods of high intensity activity with brief periods of recovery, or rest. In the 7-minute workout app, this is structured as twelve 30-second exercises with 10 seconds of rest in between, designed to be performed in rapid succession. Additionally, the exercises are ordered in such a way that alternates emphasis on the upper body and lower body to provide additional rest to certain muscles while you work out others. Essentially, the complete workout makes the most of every single minute, and while it is described as very intense and uncomfortable, can you really complain when you’re done in 7 minutes?

If you’re intrigued, take a look at the app preview in the video below and check out the 7-minute workout website to learn more. The app itself is available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play, so give it a try!

Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


The Disconnect Between Dieter and Provider

The obesity rate hasn’t slowed, but it isn’t because of lack of trying. The dieter surely wants to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle and their provider surely wants to help them, so where do we go wrong? Both sides can point the finger at the other, but a recent study shows there’s enough responsibility to go around.

Medscape surveyed more than 1,400 medical professionals comprised of family medicine physicians, endocrinologist, internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and OB/GYNs. These providers on average see almost 200 patients a month who are either obese or overweight that also have comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension.

The good news is that these providers are taking action to help with their patients’ weight issues, with the main courses of action being prescribing weight loss drugs to manage their patients’ weight, diet modification, exercise, behavioral therapy, and in extreme cases, bariatric surgery. However, these methods are not producing positive results, but why? The answer you get depends on who you ask.

“Clinicians are trying to help their patients manage [their] weight, but they are frustrated because their patients are struggling with lifestyle change,” says Dr. Donna H Ryan, professor emerita, Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The survey showed that only 40 percent of the providers used behavioral therapy as a method of weight loss, paling in comparison of diet modification and exercise implementation (85 and 80 percent respectively). The issue with this is if you don’t deal with a person’s behaviors, how can you expect things they don’t normally do such as diet modification or exercise implementation to resonate with them to the point it truly becomes a part of their life? Without that intrinsic change in one’s behavior and habits we are more so looking at short-term goals as opposed to long-lasting development.

Then you have the issue of unattainable expectations. Many times when we look at weight loss we take a “gulp, not sip” approach. We envision ourselves with brand new bodies and pounds melting off of us, when in reality that isn’t a realistic goal, and maybe it shouldn’t be. You would be surprised how much a difference just a ten pound weight loss would make, in appearance and health.

So where do we go from here? Well, there are things that both sides can do to make things better. From the provider side of things, “It takes an educated clinician to be effective,” says Dr. Ryan. Providers need to equip themselves with the proper education and tools needed to not only engage change in their patient, but produce results that stick with us. Coaching skills are a key component to helping their patients gain those behavioral developments needed to not just lose weight, but to have a better and healthier lifestyle.

As for the dieter, expectations could be tempered. The journey maybe long, but it starts with the first step, and there are destinations along the way. A healthier lifestyle doesn’t come just when you hit that target weight; it comes when you have created habits and routines that make for a better you for the long-term.


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation