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Maintaining Weight Loss in the Summer Months: Free Staff Training Kit



When it comes to seasonal weight gain, the causes of winter weight gain for most people are obvious. Then, after the winter months, New Year’s Resolutions and the prospect of getting “beach ready” kick people back into gear with their weight loss goals and diets. Unfortunately, once the summer season is upon us, new challenges present themselves that many don’t think much about.

Like winter, there are many causes for summer weight gain that can sabotage the progress your patients may have made. Don’t let your patients fall into the summer trap! Below are some reasons why the summer season can lead to weight gain:

1. BBQs: Cookouts are a summer staple in the U.S., and for good reason. They’re fun opportunities to get together with friends and family and enjoy good weather and good food. Unfortunately, that food is very often full of bad calories! Between BBQ sauce, sugary sweat teas and lemonades, sodium-filled hot dogs, and beers full of empty calories, BBQs are a haven for diet temptations. Check out our blog with some great diet-friendly tips on how to enjoy your summer BBQs without cheating too much.
2. Heat: Did you know the heat itself can actually contribute to weight gain? Many people assume that just because they are sweating, they are losing weight. That’s not necessarily the case. Heat can actually slow your metabolism since your body is not actively working to heat up your body internally like it does during colder weather months. Additionally, when it’s hot, people are less likely to be as physically active and actually move more slowly when outside. Physical activity outdoors tends to drop — and so does the calorie burn. If staying active in the heat is a challenge, encourage your patients to workout indoors or visit the gym where it is air conditioned, or take a swim in a pool which is a full body workout!
3. Summer desserts: What’s the first thing people crave on a hot day? Cold desserts, of course! Ice cream, frozen yogurt, popsicles, and water ice help to combat the summer heat. But they’re also full of sugar, fat, and empty calories. If you’re craving something sweet, Robard offers a variety of dessert products that nutritionally support weight loss, as well as a variety of shakes that can be blended with ice for a cool and delicious treat. And of course, remind your patients to drink plenty of water with ice to cool down and stay hydrated.

Summer can be a difficult season for weight loss patients, but with the proper training and resources, health care providers can be one of the biggest support systems to get them through the season without feeling like they can’t enjoy themselves. Download our free staff training kit, “Added Value Maintenance,” which guides your staff through clear, easy-to-implement guidelines on how to help your patients succeed in the Maintenance Phase of Weight Loss. 

And if your patients need a little extra motivation, download and print out our free Weight Loss Affirmation Cards to keep them thinking positively and help them stay on track!

Sources: Health, NBC News


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Can’t Losing Weight Be Fun?



OK, we get it already! Being overweight has all these health risks… and two-thirds of people are overweight… and being overweight can complicate chronic conditions… and you have to lose weight NOW! Stop eating your favorite foods. Eat less. Workout, workout, workout…

Breathe.

This sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Of course, weight loss patients should be informed about the importance of weight loss to their health, as well as the lifestyle and diet changes that make weight loss possible. But does conversation about it always have to be so serious? Sometimes, a lighter approach is appropriate and helpful.

So why not talk to patients about how weight loss can be FUN?

Patients are already dealing with learning to say “no” to their favorite foods, and adopting activities that seem difficult and challenging, especially where exercise is concerned. Having a lighthearted tone and ensuring your patients that exercise can be fun — even relaxing or stress relieving — can help your patients approach weight loss with a positive mental attitude and a sense of excitement that can set them up for success.

Here are five suggestions for activities your patients can try this weekend that are both fun and burn a ton of calories:

1. Take a walking tour of your city. Get some fresh air and some great exercise by mapping out some interesting historic sites in your city and making it a half day walking activity with family or friends. Stopping to see sites provides for ample rest in between walking. Go at your own pace and make it an enjoyable outing, and don’t forget to bring water and healthy snacks!
2. Dance the night away. When was the last time you went to a club? Get dressed up, grab a friend, and treat yourself to a night out with some good music. If you do go to a club or bar, just watch the alcoholic beverages as they contain empty calories. Make it a sober, but fun night.
3. Become a dog walker. If you like animals, this is a great way to get some weekly exercise, snuggle dogs, and make a few extra bucks! There are actually dog walking apps such as Wag! where you can actually get paid to walk dogs. Or just do it as a favor for friends or neighbors. Walking is a great, low impact exercise, so why not make it fun by adding a cute dog to the picture?
4. Play a game. Did you know there are lots of video games that are designed to help you be active? If you want to get some exercise in the comfort of your own home, and you like video games, try a few rounds of “Dance, Dance Revolution” or “Wii Fit!”
5. Jump! Take a trip to a trampoline park or take an urban rebounding class. Trampoline exercise is another low impact activity that is easy on the joints but provides great cardio in a short period of time. You can even buy your own portable trampoline to use for exercising in your house. What better way to lose weight and feel like a kid again.

For even more ideas on fun ways to lose weight, download one of Robard’s Patient Education Exercise Modules. Our exercise modules are just one of the many complimentary resources that Robard offers our customers to make running a weight loss program easy. If you want to learn more about our complimentary services for weight management professionals, contact us today!


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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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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