Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where Good Doctors Miss The Boat

Let me start out by saying that there are a growing number of physicians that are genuinely interested in their patients health and in getting their patients healthy without drugs. I just wish more of them would do it without filling their patients bodies with crap. I just watched a webinar on obesity in America and a number of physicians and a chiropractor spoke passionately about patients they have helped and personal stories. It was an industry webinar, by invitation, so I genuinely believe that these doctors are in this for good reasons and that their passion is real. The program is based on immediate rapid weightloss, including meal supplements(shakes, bars, cereals) every three hours and then one "healthy" meal a day. This is followed by health coaching and support to keep them on the program.

Ok, so they are getting people thinner to get them to the point where they are interested in their health and wanting to stay thin and "healthy". This is a great idea, but the reason I have healthy in quotes is that the way they are helping them lose weight is anything but healthy. It is for sure better in quantity than the fast food and other garbage people shove into their mouths, but the fact is you do not need supplements and meal replacements to lose weight and be healthy! What you need is real food! Look at the labels on these supplements, they are horrible! I decided not to post one or the name of the company that produces them or the name of the plan. But any time you are faced with some sort of meal replacement, read the label as if your life depended on it, because it does. Most have more chemicals, sugars, cheap soy and whey protein isolates, and more fillers than some fast food.

If you want to lose weight and change your life, start listening to your body. Cut out sugar, refined carbohydrates, and commercially farmed meat and fish. Pay attention to what you are eating. Trust your body to tell you what it needs. Most people think that a healthy diet means eating boiled chicken and vegetables every day. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Depending on your body chemistry a nice juicy grass fed steak could be just what the doctor ordered. What about Cholesterol you say? If you still believe anything you have heard about cholesterol, do some research.

My point is that you can have people achieve these same results if not better, by putting them on better eating plans of real food without all of the crap supplements and replacements. But then, no one could make money off of selling all of that cheap crap. Doctors get what are called compliance fees, basically a portion about 20 to 30 percent of the the profit off of the patients purchases for the meal replacements. This is not really that big of a deal I guess, but it is certainly incentive for the doctors to push the products instead of whole foods.

The chiropractor on the call claimed that optimal health is a place you have never been too. I agree for most people. He then went on to say that it is not that you will wake up one day and say "wow, I feel optimal!" Here is where I disagree, feeling optimal is not easy, but it can be done. If you start to detox your body from chemicals as in those found in meal replacements and any other food replacements and processed foods, you will wake up every day and feel more and more optimal. Optimal health is never ending in the beginning, you don't realize how bad you felt before, until you start to feel so good. But he later goes on to say that he has reached optimum health, so I am not sure what is going on there.

These doctors did touch on congruency, a very important topic. The best compliment you can receive in my mind as a health care professional, is that you seem like you really live your words. Health care professionals should be healthy, otherwise, what is the point. You can have all the information in the world, if you haven't figured out how to make it work for you, how are you going to help your patients?

They also mentioned another fact about helping people get healthy. It turns into a chain reaction. People want to help each other, they want to become health coaches and tell their friends to get on board. This kind of chain reaction is a huge source of hope. If you can build it, they will come.

So overall, I applaud these doctors for going into territory off the mainstream and genuinely trying to help their patients. But buyer beware if you are faced with meal replacements. There are other, much tastier, much healthier, ways to go about it.

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