Thursday, February 18, 2010

Been told your health problems are all due to being overweight?

Many clients come to me for weight loss, having been told by MDs that their health problems are all due to being overweight. For example, their knee pain is automatically attributed to their excess weight, with the unfortunate consequence that other possible causes are not investigated and treated.

There is a lot more to good health than just being thin, and there is a lot more to a complete medical examination than just being weighed and measured. Some tests that are very informative are blood sugar, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and cardiovascular fitness (how you do on a treadmill test). People who score well on these tests live longer than thin people because good health comes from eating well and exercising, not from being skinny.

Why does this distinction matter? Because if your goal is good health rather than weight loss, you are more likely to succeed. For example by focusing on increasing your energy level, you will feel more like working out. By investigating medical approaches to healing your knee, you will be better able to exercise. This will be much more effective than beating yourself up for not being able to resist eating food. I like to help clients navigate areas of overlap between nutrition and medicine in the most constructive way.

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