Weight management is a concern I help many of my patients with, some of who are battling short term changes in weight due to age and hormone levels and others who have been working to manage their weight for years. Body weight can be an important predictor of long term risk factors - but studies show weight is not the only factor that determines health. I work with patients to balance nutrition habits, exercise patterns and metabolism while screening for underlying causes of weight issues like thyroid function that can be contributing to imbalances.
When it comes to diet, abstinence is rarely the key to weight management success. My approach to nutritional counselling is not only based on calorie counting but rather optimizing intake of nutritionally dense foods to best support the body's metabolic functions. Balancing blood sugar levels to target cravings, identifying and removing food sensitivities and working to find strategies that fit each patient's lifestyle is what I have had the most success with in my practice. I also find many patients appreciate the accountability of follow-up visits when first changing their nutritional patterns, in which we analyze barriers and brainstorm ways to overcome them.
Many patients I see who are struggling with weight management issues have yet to find an exercise pattern they can stick with, or are simply focusing their efforts on dietary changes. Boosting your metabolism and burning the calories you consume is just as important as monitoring what you put on your plate! Finding an exercise routine that you enjoy is essential for success, be it a brisk walk in the evening with friends or a peppy cardio class at the gym. I work with patients to try and identify strategies that will fit in their life, and are appropriate for their ability levels and goals.
Does acupuncture work for weight loss? This is a question I get quite a bit - and my answer is not exactly, but it might help some in a round about way. One factor that can play a serious role in weight management concerns for many patients is stress levels - stress hormones lead to abdominal weight gain and for most of us poor eating habits. Acupuncture is one tool that I use to help patients calm their mind and get their stress levels under control, along with counselling and supplement support when indicated.
Weight management issues can also be related to various metabolic changes in the body due to hormonal shifts during menopause, changes in thyroid hormone, elevated stress hormones or other imbalances. I consider these factors when looking for the underlying cause of concerns like weight management issues, and spend time taking a thorough case to identify any clues that these changes might be the cause.