No one wants to hear it, but sometimes the best thing you can hear is your doctor telling you that you need to lose weight. There is no question that we take what doctors say to us more seriously than almost anyone else (except maybe a judge or IRS agent).
Sitting in a doctor’s office and having to face the reality that you’re at an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or any other weight related issues is a very powerful experience which can become the spark needed to finally commit to living a healthier lifestyle and dropping the extra weight.
However, that initial spark is usually about as much as you can expect from the doctor because the truth is that in spite of all the schooling a doctor goes through when it comes to actually losing weight, most don’t know anymore than the average person.
#1 How to Eat
Although you probably think your doctor knows what you should eat to lose weight, the truth is that most doctors receive very limited training in nutrition. A University of North Carolina study found most medical students receive an average of only 19.6 hours of total nutrition training over their entire four years of medical school.
Now I have some conspiracy minded friends that say this is intentional because the money is in the treatment and not in the cure (or prevention) of diseases. Whether this is the reason or not, I don’t know, but it does seem clear that the current healthcare system is more set up to treat symptoms than what causes them.
Even with all the advancement in medicine worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. Doctors are very good at identifying if you should lose weight, but in most cases the suggestions they give you come down to this…
Eat Better. And Exercise.
Basically, they’re just telling you things you already know.
#2 How to Exercise
Even though study after study is proving just how important exercise is to our weight, overall health and quality of life. Fewer than a quarter of doctors surveyed in a 2013 report felt they had adequate training on nutrition or physical activity to counsel patients.
And this lack of training is negatively affecting them too. According to a Medscape study in 2012, over 42% of male doctors and 36% of female doctors were overweight or obese. It can be hard to get your mind around the idea that the people you trust most with your body are not trained extensively in the two areas that are the very foundation of health, but it’s true.
#3 How to Stay Motivated
Honestly, if I had to pick the type of doctor who would be most effective in helping people lose weight, I’d choose a Psychiatrist (as long as treatment didn’t include medications). Because ultimately, losing weight comes down to getting your mindset right.
Most overweight people know what to do to lose weight (eat better, exercise more). The problem is they don’t know how to get themselves to do it consistently. This is the third and most important aspect of losing weight that most medical doctors are not able to help you with.
Knowing how to motivate yourself is the most overlooked part of almost every weight loss plan. A lot of people who want to lose weight end up struggling because they’ve never been taught the simple mental techniques you can use to get yourself to WANT to eat better and exercise.
Instead people try to fight against themselves and rely solely on willpower to deal with cravings and bad habits, but as we’ve all experienced, the willpower usually fades as time goes on.
And once the willpower fades it’s very difficult to maintain your new behaviors.
Luckily, there are much more effective ways to change your behaviors than willpower and they all start with being able to motivate yourself (I’ll show you how in a moment).
But first, I want to finish by making clear that I am not unappreciative of doctors. In fact, I’m super thankful for everything they do and am not blaming them in any way.
The bigger point I want to make is that our healthcare system is currently not set up to help you achieve the level of health you want and deserve. You need to accept that it’s your responsibility to find the strategies and support you need to take control of your weight because no one is going to do it for you.
Now if you want to experience how much easier it is to lose weight when you’re motivated, then I have a gift for you. It’s called the Motivation Machine