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Weight Loss Programs-

...ARE MAKING YOU MORE UNHEALTHY

Partner Content Gray Nutrition

Article by Emily Mobley

Photography by Amanda Donaho

A physician backed weight loss program must be healthy because it is by a doctor...True/False?

FALSEEEEEE- SO MUCH FALSE!

I want to talk about a client of mine and how messed up her experience was working with this "company" below: 

I began weight loss program on July 4th, 2022 at 157 pounds with the goal weight of 130 pounds. I reached 129.8 pounds on September 13th, 2022, and I began to reverse diet, adding in an additional 100 calories per week. I am currently eating 900 calories per day. I would still like to lose more body fat and gain muscle. 

In 9 weeks she lost 27lbs!!!! 

When #1 she did not have this weight to lose to begin with. 

This is 3lbs of weight per week! Although that might sound amazing to you it’s actually TERRIFYING for someone of her size (5 ft 8 in) let alone her mental state of dieting already (she had been dieting since 10 years old... now in young 30's) to lose weight rapidly like this. It’s not healthy.  

She came out of this program:

  • In a worse relationship with food (she had been dieting since 10 years old prior to this... do you think they cared? No- not at all)
  • She was eating <900 calories a day AND doing Tennis 2x/week plus adding 60 minutes of cardio daily. (WHAT?! I am so glad she survived this honestly) 
  • She was TERRIFIED she was going to get physically sick or gain back the weight if she ate more. 
  • She had night sweats (low blood sugar)
  • She has irregular periods
  • She had constipation and some irregularity with bowel movement (hello digestion slowing down) 
  • She felt she had to eat the same thing everyday with no variability (lack of good nutrition)
  • She was having tons of sugar cravings (eating lots of artificial sweeteners) 
  • She stopped eating foods she could not track perfectly in my fitness pal

I wish I could say this is uncommon, but I see this ALL the time whether it be to this extreme or partially like this story... THIS is only one example of what "physician weight loss" programs are doing to help you get "healthy". 

THIS IS NOT HEALTH. THIS IS TERRIFYING. 

So- What did we do to help her?

  • Reversed dieted her slowly back up to 2300 calories a day to stabilize her weight.
  • Stopped cardio daily and just had her walk leisurely.
  • Got her to maintenance of weight with no more weight loss and had her make sure periods were becoming more regular, digestion was in a good place, etc before starting some more exercise. 
  • Started weight training 2-3x/week once fueling her body adequately. 

At this point her goal is to not lose anymore "fat", it is to build muscle. According to her Inbody test she is at adequate fat stores for her height/age. This requires more calories, more protein, and focusing on strength to help get her metabolism and body back to a healthier place. 

I am saying all of this because I am thankful she did not do this program for more than 3 months. The repercussions of programs like this are NOT worth it. Her health could have continued to rapidly decline, let alone her mental state. 

I feel for people that have been on and off programs like this for 20+ years of their life thinking these are the answers because they crave the quick, drastic, results. 

I beg you- DON'T DO THIS. Find an expert, and work with a dietitian 1-on-1 that can customize a nutrition approach to fit you so you can play the long-game that is much healthier for you! 

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