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The Dos and Don’ts of a Healthy Halloweeen



Halloween is right around the corner! Here are some dos and don’ts to keep you on track on this All Hallows’ Eve:

DON’T give out candy on an empty stomach. The hungrier you are with a bowl of candy close by, the more likely you are to indulge in eating some. Be sure to keep your regular eating habits, and that includes dinner.

DO have healthy snacks close. Even if you aren’t hungry, it can be hard to resist taking a little dive into the sea of miniature candies. Have some fruit or nuts close by that you can reach for instead. Even better, stock up on some Robard bars and snacks. You’ll thank yourself later.

DON’T have the candy in a place you have to look at it all the time. Having the candy right next to you on the couch or table makes it more tempting. Keep the candy by the door and the only time you’ll see it is when you are handing it out to trick-or-treaters. Out of sight, out of mind.

DO buy candy as close to the day as possible. The sooner you buy it, the longer it’s in your house. And that means you have to maintain the willpower to avoid it for a longer period of time. Instead, wait until a day or two before October 31.

DON’T bring left over candy with you wherever you go after Halloween is over. Before you know it you’ll be eating candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner — and a snack in between. If you have leftover candy, leave it at home so after a long day’s work (and a nice workout), you can indulge in a piece if you feel so inclined — but leave it at a piece. Better yet? Save yourself the temptation and bring the leftover candy to work and leave it out for co-workers to enjoy!

DO give out as many treats as you can and leave as little as possible leftover. If the night is over and you have three unopened bags of candy left it means one of two things: 1.) You overestimated how many trick-or-treaters you were going to get; or 2.) You bought too much candy for the occasion. It’s OK to have a little surplus at the end but make a conscious effort to buy only what you’ll think you’ll need.

DON’T buy more candy than you need to. When this time of year comes around candy can be bought at a bargain. Buy just enough so that trick-or-treaters leave your house with a smile on their faces. Don’t buy so much that you will be in a sugar coma by the end of the night by eating leftovers that you didn’t give out.

DO dress in a costume. For our last “do” let’s get into the spirit of the occasion. Halloween has become a day that gives us a reason to have fun! Enjoy yourself! If you’re invited to a costume party then go, but go WITH a costume. It’s more fun and is always a conversation starter!


Blog written by Marcus Miller/ Robard Corporation

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3 Facts About Food Addiction




As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, more and more physicians are considering treatment. Obesity is recognized as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association, and even binge eating, which can lead to obesity, has been officially classified as an eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

As doctors work to find more effective ways to treat obesity, the underlying causes of weight gain are also being considered. While societal factors and lack of education on exercise and dieting certainly play a role, physicians should also consider even deeper causes of excessive weight in the individual, including food addiction.

Recent studies have begun to show that the pattern of weight loss and regain, combined with the inability to control eating habits, clinically presents like an addiction. The clinical presentation and symptom profile between substance abuse and food addiction is
well documented.

To learn a little more about food addiction, take a look at this infographic and download our free white paper on food addiction by clicking here.


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Your Biggest Enemy When It Comes to Cravings Could Be… Your Brain



Obesity stigma may lead many of us to believe that giving in to cravings is just a problem with overweight people and that it is solely the result of a lack of willpower and self-control. But the truth is we all experience food cravings that range from mildly annoying to completely distracting. But what makes us crave foods, particularly foods with the most fat and sugar and the least nutrition? Many studies suggest the answer lies in our brain.

Most of us have food cravings. In fact, 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men who participated in a study published in the journal Appetite reported experiencing them. Cravings are motivational states that give us the urge to seek out and consume a particular food.

Some theories suggest that cravings signal areas that are nutritionally deficient in our diets; for instance, if you are deficient in sodium, you may crave salty foods. However, that is not always the full picture. Other theories suggest that cravings for high-fat, high-calorie foods are linked to hard-wired survival mechanisms in our brains because our instinctual hunter-gatherer origins connect this type of energy dense food with our ability to sustain our bodies till the next meal.

Another reason we may crave fatty foods? Opioids. Fatty, sugary foods release chemicals called opioids into our bloodstream. Opioids bind to receptors in our brains and give us feelings of pleasure and even mild euphoria. Similarly, in a 2004 study, participants were asked to think about a favorite food. This triggered various areas in the brain and ultimately the dopamine reward system. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone also produced during sex, compulsive gambling and drug activity. That’s right… you can get high on chocolate.

Psychological factors can also influence the intensity and timing of cravings. Studies on mood have found that our emotional state normally has a greater impact on cravings than hunger. Diet influences our levels of the hormone serotonin, which regulates our disposition. Read more about whether or not you are an emotional eater here.

So what can you do about cravings? Well, first off, be gentle with yourself. Acknowledging that there is a physiological and mental component to why you crave unhealthy foods can be the first step in letting go of the shame that can contribute to overeating and giving in to cravings. Then, you can start to use various tools and tricks to control them, such as our 5 Tips to Control Your Worst Food Cravings.

Interested in learning more about how the brain and hormones influence appetite? Join us for a free webcast, “Brain Systems Underlying the Munchies,” at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Dr. Alfonso Abizaid will discuss the problems associated with dieting, as well as identify hormonal mechanisms associated with the generation of appetite, and how the motivation to eat may change under normal and during stressful situations. Register now!

Sources: Lifehacker, How Stuff Works: Science, Tufts University


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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