Our vision at Northwest Metabolic Medicine is to serve metabolically ill and overweight people in our community by rebuilding wellness together. This will be accomplished in a compassionate environment through treatment and support that is comprehensive, state-of-the-art, and ongoing.
No two people I meet are exactly alike. Your set of circumstances is unique. There is no one else in the world with your specific combination of genetics, metabolic physiology, factors affecting your stress level, your sleep quality, your support system, as well as any medications you take. This fact is why I believe evaluating you and your situation individually is an absolute requirement. It is also why I believe, unless you are lucky, one-size-fits-all weight loss programs are not really effective over time.
Put Away The Scale
It seems to me that our society, including the medical establishment, has developed an unhealthy fixation on what the scale says. Do you feel good or bad about yourself depending on your weight on any given day? Contrary to popular belief, scale-weight offers limited value regarding how healthy you are or how well you feel. Also, your weight tells me very little about how your body is shaped, or what your body can do. Because of this, I ask patients NOT to weigh themselves when we start working together. I certainly do anticipate patients will lose weight, but that number will never be the most important indicator of your success.
Keep Your Muscle
And speaking of weight loss, it is the quality (not the quantity ) of your weight loss that determines whether it will be durable or temporary. It works like this: when we develop an individualized plan at Northwest Metabolic Medicine that addresses all the interrelated metabolic factors, weight that you lose comes from fat tissue. This is what you want! Other weight loss programs that are more “cookie cutter” in design will often cause loss of muscle tissue. This makes it look like you are being successful, losing weight, but in reality this is not healthy at all. Unfortunately, when you are finished with a program like that, weight that was lost usually gradually returns.
Eat Real Food
With very rare exception, nutrition will be least 85% of your solution. If you want to be successful long-term, that means you will need to eat real food! While meal replacements are convenient and can serve a temporary purpose in particular situations, to rely on them instead of eating food isn’t healthy or sustainable. They generally lack quality protein, are full of artificial ingredients, and contain a huge amount of sweeteners. Further, they tend to be very expensive, and eventually most people will stop purchasing costly meal replacement products. Without individualized direction, which most weight loss programs using meal replacements can’t provide you, it is difficult to transition from meal replacements to eating regular food without regaining weight.
It Isn’t a Simple Equation — Calories In ≠ Calories Out
We have so much more knowledge about how human metabolism works than we did when this kind of “equation” seemed to make sense. You may have tried cutting calories and exercising more and wondered why it didn’t work for you. The way our bodies process nutrients is much more complicated and variable between individuals than we used to think. Fortunately, my experience with this means that you won’t need to be hungry or spend hours on the treadmill in order to make progress.
Shift Your Focus
When setting goals it is easy to focus on what you want to lose, like a certain number of pounds, or excess fat around your middle, or a pants size. My most successful patients have a different focus. They tend to focus on what they want to gain back. For example, being able to ride their horse again, get on the floor to play with grandchildren, regain energy, improve blood sugars, or normalize blood pressures.
This Is a Process
We need to agree not only on big, long-term goals, but also all the small steps that come in between. Before your body will use fat efficiently instead of storing it, your metabolism needs to function well. Before we expect your metabolism to function well, any vitamin, hormone and nutritional imbalances and/or medication obstacles you have need to be corrected. It is important to view this as a process in order to avoid the frustration and impatience that can be experienced as you work through the steps that allow your body to adjust to a healthy metabolic state. Keeping a positive perspective is how you will have lasting success with improving your health and quality of life.
There Is No Finish Line
Once you have done all the work required to build up your strength, repair your metabolism and health, and get your body functioning well again, you have to maintain your focus to make the effect lasting. Patients have told me countless times how easy it is to slip back into old, unhealthy habits. This is why, right from the beginning, I encourage you to start creating a supportive environment for yourself and to follow up in clinic at regular intervals.
I Am Committed
One of the things I love most about the field of medicine, and Medical Bariatrics specifically, is that I know I will never be done learning. There is always something new to know, and more to understand. I am absolutely dedicated to continuing my education so that I can serve my patients with the safest, most up-to-date, cutting-edge information available. Being a physician is a privilege that I do not take lightly. Simply put, I will always do my best.