(Part of our January series on S3 Weight Management - Systematic, Stratified and Sustainable)
The first step in transforming your health and gaining control of your weight is knowing your health.
Understanding whether your extra weight is caused by a medical condition OR whether your weight is contributing to a medical condition.
Or put another way:
Are there medical reasons why you have gained weight or why you may be struggling to lose weight?
Fortunately this is not hard - a review of your medical history, current symptoms, and a few lab tests will give you clarity.
In terms of conditions causing your weight gain the most common in our experience is insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance (IR), as we have written elsewhere on this blog, is a process where, for a variety of reasons, your body requires more insulin to store the same amount of glucose. These reasons include age, genetics, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet (high in CRAP - calorie rich and processed foods), stress and sleep disorders.
IR can cause weight gain because high levels of insulin suppress your ability to burn fat. In turn, weight gain worsens IR. This vicious cycle is common, and left unchecked leads to progressive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.
Fortunately IR is reversible - using the 4 + 2 Strategy - and this reversal generally leads to significant and sustainable weight loss.
Other conditions that can lead to weight gain that can be ruled out include inflammation, liver disease, thyroid dysfunction, and abnormal sex hormones.
Pairing this medical assessment with a behavioural review to understand how your core behaviours - nutrition, movement, sleep, stress tolerance, relationships and purpose - are affecting your health is the KEY to unlocking the right strategy for weight loss.
From a sequence perspective - we start with getting the behaviours right and addressing any medical cause or consequence of weight gain.
For most people - this simple alignment of behaviour with their health, combined with the ‘better’ mindset is all that needs to be done.
Simple, but not easy.
The right behaviours are all very simple - they are unfortunately not all easy to apply consistently, and it is consistency over time that delivers results.
Over the next few weeks we will review the foundational behaviours of health and some tips and tricks to apply the ‘better’ mindset to change you habits one small change at a time.
For other posts in this series:
On January 22nd - we will launch a new group program - fully covered by MSP (for those with a BMI >30 or a BMI between 27 and 30 and a weight related diagnosis).
During the month of January - we will be posting about the foundational behaviours for sustainable weight management - stay tuned.
If you would like to learn more about the S3 program and whether you are eligible please check out our Sustainable Weight Management program page.
Dr. Brendan Byrne