So I am sitting at home in the office this morning reviewing some of the latest and greatest research and my phone rings. I look at the screen and smile, it’s a good friend of mine, and a client I have plenty of time for.
So I answer, and we have a great chat. The conversation had a few dynamics in regards to topics of discussion, but the one I am going to discuss here is the one “I’m so good damn angry about”.
But before we go any further I want to share this with you all. Every single client I have the opportunity to work with is a privilege, not a right of passage, not a given right, its something over time that a strong trust, and mutual respect is built, and its something that I never take for granted (I don’t see my education and skill set should provide me the demi-god status). You see when a client in a clinical environment is seeking my professional help, I must always respect that this is real, and my advice truly has long standing implications. In my practice I treat every single case individually and with the utmost respect, its my professional duty of care, and my own very personal morale compass.
So now I’ll move on to what all this is about: (heavy sigh as it reminds me how angry I still am)
You see this amazing client of mine, and good friend called, as they needed some advice. They were confused, bamboozled, flabbergasted, concerned, and just feeling totally lost. They had been to consult with a “medical specialist” earlier in the week for a general check up to see how the control and treatment of a certain medical ailment was tracking. The blood test results are good, that’s the great news. The specific areas that were malfunctioning previously and of concern have improved dramatically, their physiology is responding well, they are re-engineering their metabolism to be working for them, not against them.
However, at a latter stage in their conversation the topic moves to weight loss. (This is where this story gets messy L)! This amazing person who is turning their life around, eating very well, exercising to improve their physiology, eating and exercising to improve their mental health, and eating, exercising and undertaking the necessary mental training (mind massaging) to allow this process to become a lifestyle that is sustainable, achievable, enjoyable, rewarding, and leading to optimising their health (and hello the blood test results are providing us with the necessary data to measure this success) is told to stop exercising and drop their calorie intake to a low 1200kcal a day to improve their weight loss.
Now this is when this amazing person gets quite confused! They are under the understanding that both the sensible eating regime, and regular exercise have assisted with the improved internal environment (AKA METABOLISM), and they would be right in thinking this. However, the “Specialist” does not agree. Again, this client is told to stop the exercise they are undertaking just twice a week, and reduce their energy intake to that crazy 1200kcal intake.
This is when this client really does get confused! Who is right the “Specialist” or “Craig”. Who do I listen too? Is what I’m doing with “Craig” all wrong? And they have every right to question this information!
So the client undertakes the advice of the “specialist” and reduces their energy intake to the 1200kcal a day. Sure enough, they become tired, they are starving, they are unable to undertake their exercise, they are anxious, they are stressed, and guess what? They start craving things they have not craved for, for some time? Why? Put simply, its because its outright ludicrous. I see this client in a working environment, I am aware of their actual life activities, their day-to-day events. I see them train (and wow they train with all cylinders pumping – there is no reserve tanks) they leave it all at the panel beater, the body shape changing Shoppe. I assess the case on an individual bases, not a blue print. (Please don’t get me wrong – I do respect most of the medical fraternity and those who make their profession in their chosen fields, however, once this information provided is in my professional opinion incorrect, and they advise against my skill set, my speciality (Clinical Nutrition and Exercise Science its then I stand to the challenge, and look to protect my client, and friend.)
Long story short, after our long conversation this morning my client and friend is in a much better headspace. Less confused and ready once more to put the holistic equation of food, exercise, mind massage, and support back to work. They are once again aligned to how long term weight loss success takes place, and how undertaking drastic weight loss strategies only leads to further collateral damage, and metabolic decline.
I leave you all with this:
Diets decrease thyroid hormones!
“Low calorie diets can have a major impact on hormone levels. Since thyroid levels help regulate your metabolic rate, maintaining thyroid function is important fro successful fat loss and overall health and wellbeing. Endocrinologists have measured reductions in triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels as quickly as one week after starting a very low calorie diet, even before there is a decrease in body weight. As the severity and duration of the calorie restriction continues, the risks of negative effects increase exponentially. Yes, you need a slight calorie deficit to burn fat and lose weight, but cutting calories too far – especially when you reduce your carbohydrate intake heavily as well, can wreak absolute carnage with the very hormones you need working for you, not against you”.
It’s my personal professional morale compass to never, ever provide information to my clients that will jeopardise their health, wellbeing, or goals in any way or form. This would be negligent, and negate my morale duty as an “Allied Health Professional” in regards to my duty of care.