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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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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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