The first of January inevitably brings on a list of common resolutions among your patients as well as yourself as a professional. Most of these are directed towards what we perceive as something that will lead to a healthier, if not happier life. With any luck it results in both.
A while back I wrote an article that explained how a popular weight loss program (Ideal Protein) worked. I still believe it to be the best we have available to safely lose weight, both in scientific background and in personal clinical results. It stands as our most popular blog to this day. Many key points however are often lost on the patient we help to lose weight and both the patient and the clinician MUST regularly remind themselves of these points. Failing to do so steers us and the patient gradually away from reality, and more towards a route that can often result in disappointment.
I have found these so vital to the understanding of the concept of weight that I have pinned them on the wall of my consultation room. In a time when our patients are bombarded daily with the best ways to lose weight and how to eat healthy and “clean”, I’m a big fan on grounding them with a few simple concepts:
- Weight is not a measure of health
- Suffering yourself down to a goal weight that you will suffer to remain at results in no quality of life
- Your weight is not as directly under your control as some will have you believe
- There are unhealthy thin people and healthy overweight people
- Extremist forms of eating that are difficult to maintain will result in a waste of your time and money
- If your excess weight is determined by your doctor to be detrimental to your health and quality of life, then an overall change in your lifestyle is required
- Typical exercise that 99% of us do, does not result in lost weight (It will help with blood glucose, lung capacity, joint mobility, cholesterol, mood, cardiovascular health, and make it more difficult to gain weight however)
- It is estimated that 80% of those that lose weight will gain it back
- Eating food is not only cultural, but it should also be enjoyable. Eating in moderation and doing your best to avoid added sugars and any trans fat is recommended.
- The weight you are at is not as simple as calories in vs calories out
- There are many ways to lose weight that are effective and safe. If you decide to lose weight, pick one that is sustainable for you and ask your healthcare professional for advice.
Graham MacKenzie Ph.C.