Let us talk about weight loss shaming by health professionals – I had a patient come in the other day, let us call her Jane. Jane had recently seen her naturopath and ended up feeling confused and ashamed. Jane had a family history of obesity and has successfully managed her weight with a low carb eating approach and with a low dose of weight loss medication to suppress her biological hunger.
However, the naturopath convinced her she did not need that help “It’s a cheat way out” “it is only masking your symptoms” “it is all about intuitive eating” “listen to your body”
Now imagine if we said this to someone who has epilepsy! Taking medication is a cheat way out, it is only masking your symptoms and you just need to ride those seizures out!
Obesity or excess weight has a large genetic and biological component. 40 to 70% of a person’s weight can be attributed to their genetics. In obesity, body weight is dysregulated and excess weight is seen by the body as a survival advantage – if you are storing extra fat, then you are going to survive the famine! Helpful 10,000 years ago, however in 2023 we are living in an obesogenic environment and combine that with the fact that most of us are designed to store energy, is it any wonder that we are putting on weight. Having the eat less, move more approach, whilst appealing in its simplicity, ignores the biology that is at play and simply places the blame with the individual, and stigmatizing them for the condition they are living with. It does not recognise hunger hormones that are involved in regulating energy intake and the strong systems we have in our body to protect us against running out of energy.
My advice to Jane: it is okay to get help for your weight condition, it will enable you to feel less hungry and put into place the healthy diet and exercise regime that you are aspiring to. Shake off the shame, and let us get on with managing your health condition.
If you would like the help from a non-judgemental and compassionate doctor who understands the struggle with weight, but also can help you to manage your condition and live your best life, then get in contact with us at Alevia.