Thursday, October 20, 2005
The DrM weight loss plan: An introduction to a holistic approach of tackling weight issues(not to mention preventing heart attacks and diabetes)
While I've been meaning to blog about this for the past year or so, something always dissuaded or distracted me, until now. I was checking out Sister Scorpian's blog the other day where she cites her personal health struggles. So what better time then Ramadan to put my soon-to-be-famous weight loss plan up? As hard as it is for some of you to believe, I actually am an MD fresh out of medical school and one of the reasons I am so confident about my approach to the battle of bulge is that I've tried it on myself and lost nearly 40 lbs. I've done research on Metabolic syndrome(formerly known as pre-diabetes syndrome) and currently work at a diabetes research center in California. Its rather personal, I've lost two family members to diabetes and heart disease, my father himself is a type 2 diabetic(and the best managed one alhamdulilah). So what exactly is Metabolic sysndrome ? Essentially this is a loose term given to high risk factors such as family history of diabetes and/or heart disease, lab tests of LDL, HDL, Triglycerides etc. This set of protocols was developed to catch an individual before they got hit, and make no mistake a lot of us will get this condition. Thats where my plan(I'm begining to sound like John Kerry) comes in.
Before I divulge the details, a number of sobering observations need to be made.
If you're an American, chances are you are overweight. Recently, a woman sued a doctor for calling her obese. This means that I myself will get sued at some point because I believe in telling it as it is. Many people die from lack of food, Americans die from an overabundance of it. No, it is not your metabolism, its that crunch bar in your back pocket. You should be more horrified at the prospect of dying relatively young instead of being upset of being told the truth. How about genetics? Uh NO. Look at people from 50 years back, were they as obese? Lets be real, the fate of your waist line is largely determined by what you stuff your face with. Am I done bashing you yet? Not really, the first thing to do is to take charge, which means no more silly excuses about metabolism, genes etc. Now granted, there are certain genetic traits which are expressed more in some people then others, excluding explicit genetic disorders, but you are responsible for your condition.
How about those fad diets? How about Atkins? Back when I was a medical student, the Atkins craze was all over the place. I was constantly at odds with many people over the long term effect of Atkins. In case you didnt know they went bankrupt this year.
Think about it for a minute, does it sound right to restrict an entire food group in your diet? Isnt there something fishy about being to told eat anything but carbohydrates? Well, I do know people who lost weight on Atkins, lots of weight....which they gained back in a few months. I will not be surprised to hear in the coming months and years of serious kidney problems amongst those people who still adhere to Atkins. This will happen because the kidneys cannot handle the high protein intake. Do you really want to eat so much meat? Acording to the the late Dr.Atkins' autopsy, his arteries were like sausages, even though his death was caused by a fall. Ever wonder why the Japanese, who have the highest life expectency can eat rice and stay in decent shape? They dont eat as much!
Bottom line? Fad diets simply dont work, and are not viable on a long term basis.
Looking for a good doctor? Go look in the mirror, theres your ultimate health care provider(excluding Allah(swt) ofcourse). You know how you feel, you know your weaknesses and strengths. Even if you have a great MD to give you excellent care, at the end of the day you're just another patient out of hundreds seen by your doctor. Dont expect help someone else to help if you dont want to help yourself. Why the heck am I blabbing on about this? I mean, isnt this common sense? Yes it is, and unfortunetly its not as common as you may think. Reality and confidence are not something which can be bought from a pharmacy. Keep it real.
So what made me serious about this issue? Yes I was a bit overweight, even though you couldnt really tell on my 6'1 frame. Yes, I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease, but that doesnt necessarily mean I'll get it, right? What really drove the point home for me was seeing patients at different stages of the disease process. Trust me folks, theres only so many amputations, so much gangrene and kidney failure you see before wondering if you're next. The worst part of it is that much of it is PREVENTABLE. Dont get me wrong, if you are on a regimen per doctors orders, stick to it, I am simply advocating a more global approach to a multi-faceted pathology. It may not work as well for you as it did for me, depending on age, BMI and a host of other factors, but I can guarentee you that you'll feel a hell of a lot better.
I've got other work to do, so I'll stop here. If any of this semi-rant made sense, let me know and I'll post some more information on the next step to better health.