We live in America where gyms are plenitful and fat to burn is also in a full abundance. A quick perusal of Instagram and you’ll have no trouble finding fitness sites or before and after pictures of amazing success stories. These are inspirational and a welcome site for me, to see such an interest in health. Kind of…
I am in a very fortunate position, in that I get to talk to patients every day about spinal health and health in general.
Weight loss is a very common topic…very common. It has been for as long as I can remember. When I did a survey last month, the number one topic people wanted info on was….weight loss. Even from people who don’t need to lose weight. So, lets switch hats. You be the doctor.
Dr. You–“So, John Doe, what have you tried to lose weight?”
John– “Well, I started exercising, stopped snacking, and ate less in general.”
Dr. You–“Awesome John, keep up the good work.”
See… You know how to lose weight. This is like me telling a smoker, “Hey, cigarettes are going to kill you”. They know that. They smoke any way.
Here’s what I want to avoid, just telling you the same old stuff, you know already. I want to delve into deeper issues. These are psychological issues, hormonal issues, and fundamental nutrition issues.
One of the big problems is that you don’t just wake up chubby. You don’t go from a high school athlete to an extra 200lbs, overnight. People slowly drift of course. You don’t fall off course, you drift, ever so slowly, you don’t realize it. This whole series is going to be focused on the little things that push you off course.
-added stress (I’ll tell you my story later)
-even tap water
Real weight loss isn’t about tricks, diet pills, special diets, exercise, or meals in a box from a MLM diet company. Rewind…I wish I could make that cool rewind noise in writing. You can lose weight with the above and most people do, but is that real?
Yes, exercise is a sacred cow here in the land-o’-10,000 gyms. So, DO NOT misunderstand, exercise is good for your body, and can cause weight loss, but, it is often misused. Exercise for fitness and strength is awesome, but exercise for weightloss is inefficient.
Being fit and being healthy are actually different. Exercise is very good at hiding underlying problems. We talked about it in the Chronic Pain article. In relationship to weight loss, two scenario’s show up. I hear these complaints weekly in the office.
#1 If I don’t exercise, I’ll gain weight.
#2 I exercise everyday and don’t lose a pound.
If you identify with either of those statements, then this series could be very good for you. Especially #1.
People who identify with #2 already know something is off, they just haven’t found it.
The #1’s are blessed that exercise still makes a difference. Here is something to think about. It is a very common statement for trainers / fitness guru’s to make, that “abs are made in the kitchen”.
The rough estimate is 80% of weight loss is dietary and exercise is 20%. So lets start with the majority, not the minority. Lot’s of exercise can burn off the extra calories, but if the diet is laden with processed foods and nutritional deficiencies, over time hormone problems, mineral loss, digestive problems can create a unhealthy body hidden by awesome abs.
So over the weekend really take a moment to think about your weight. Obesity is a major health problem that leads to so many chronic diseases. If you are at your ideal weight and happy as a clam, please email me so I can hear your story. You are in the minority.
If you aren’t at your ideal weight / health, write down your goal. Just saying you want to lose weight isn’t good enough. It’ll never happen. You need a target, a goal, a destination, or you’ll drift of course.