By Dr. Michael Wald - Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco
914-242-8844 - www.intmedny.com
Okay, so let me get this straight – you’re fat once again and you don’t understand why because you’ve tried every diet in the book. In fact, you follow them so well that you’re completely baffled as to why. You’ve not only not kept the weight off, but you’ve actually gained more weight over the last ten or fifteen years of trying one diet after the next. The answer to why you’re baffled is simply this – diets do not work!
What does work for losing weight, keeping it off and maintaining health and preventing disease is developing a food plan which is reasonable (Non neurotic) and that allows consistent weight loss and weight maintenance through the retention of lean organ muscle tissue and increasing your metabolic rate over a period of time. Tools that help the practicing clinical nutritionist like myself figure out how this is accomplished in each person includes special laboratory tests (beyond just thyroid testing) including various hormonal tests, basal metabolic rate, toxins and hormones among others. Only the careful consideration of all of these and other factors unique to the individual can help to ensure that weight loss efforts work and continue to work.
A variety of health problems may result in weight gain over time, including stress, cardiovascular and hormonal imbalances including thyroid disease as well as blood sugar and blood fat issues just to name a few. Therefore, the answer to managing weight loss is to develop a customized lifestyle plan which includes exercise, foods and nutritional supplements based on the unique biochemical makeup of individual. For example, if a person has high cholesterol and is taking statin medications to lower it, his or her nutritional intake for best weight loss results will be different than in a person who does not have high cholesterol or a person who has high cholesterol but is not on a statin medication. What’s important to understand in this example is that all weight loss efforts must be based on the individual biochemical and genetic needs of the person. Ask yourself this, “Have you followed your various diets to the letter?” If the answer is yes, then this should behoove you to recognize that some other approach must be the answer. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; therefore, how can you expect to continue to try one diet after the other and expect it to work. The answer is that you should not expect them to work.
I’m commonly asked what is more important – a perfect diet for weight loss and health or rigorous exercise? My answer would be, “Which is better, to shoot your right foot or your left foot?” The answer is shooting either foot will amount to the same thing – pain and discomfort. Why shoot off your right foot or your left foot for that matter in a feeble attempt to make life easier when what you really need to do is combine the benefits of BOTH proper diet and exercise. In my experience, most people have no idea what a proper diet is and work only on information they’ve heard from the media thinking that they “already eat a healthy diet”. Well, once again, if this was true, you wouldn’t have read this far into the article, you would already be at your ideal weight and level of health.
My personal goal in life is to exercise as little as possible and to allow myself some freedoms in terms of eating that create the least amount of stress but give the greatest amount of health gain. The only way that I have found this to be possible, is to carefully examine the individual biochemical needs of each person and also, by looking at their lifestyles and carefully assessing aspects of their lifestyle needs; determine how much they need to change and how willing is the individual to change what needs to be done. At the end of the day it is essential for me, as a practicing clinical nutritionist, to recognize the limitations and willingness of individuals to make change and start there, gradually progressing forward as results are achieved and weight loss as well as great health are more and more within reach.
For more information on weight loss and health in general please go to www.intmedny.com and visit the Q&A and articles section of website. Feel free to call us at (904) 242-8844.