It is no secret that Americans are getting fatter at an alarming rate and the obesity statistics are becoming very concerning for doctors and health care practitioners. Obesity is associated with increased risk of just about every disease and is bankrupting our health care system. Despite more and more attention given to this topic, nothing seems to be working well. In my anti aging medical practice, I will lay out a simple plan for what truly works.
1. What is your why?
If you don’t have a great reason to stay in shape then you will 100% fail every time you try. Last night it was 10:30PM and my wife was heading up to bed and she said “come on Sean you need to get some sleep”. But the truth was that I promised myself I would go for a run that evening and 5PM turned into 8PM and before I knew it it was 10:30PM and I still had not gone for a run. I was tired and simply wanted to go to bed! At that moment, I thought of my “why” and was motivated enough to get off my butt and do a 36 minute run through the hills of San Clemente, California.
For me, I thought about my 4 and 2 year old boys sleeping upstairs and how I want to see them grow up and be there for them until they become men and can take care of themselves.
It was that neuro-association that I created in my mind (Exercise = seeing my kids grow up = pleasure and not exercising = dying prematurely = pain) that gave me the motivation to work out. Without that neuro-association I was in bed with not exercising that day.
What I recommend to all my patients is that they buy Anthony Robbins CD series (you can probably download online) and get through the first 7 of the 30 days. In the second CD he talks about pain and pleasure and how out minds will do everything to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Once you master this concept you have cured your obesity problem.
Here is a link to purchase that CD series: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/products/personal-growth-development/personal-power/
2. Once you have your “why”, now what?
The next step of the process is to get your hormone levels checked. Specifically you want detailed thyroid studies (TSH, free t3, free t4, thyroid anti-bodies, reverse t3), testosterone free and total, DHEA-S, IGF-1, 8AM cortisol, Insulin, estradiol (women only) and progesterone (women only). In my practice I optimize all hormone levels because most hormones are lipolytic meaning they accelerate fat loss. You can diet and exercise all day long but with suboptimal thyroid, growth hormone, testosterone and DHEA you will not achieve the results you want.
This morning I had a 6 week follow up with a 51 year old man who came to me last month complaining of fatigue, low sex drive, poor recovery and no energy. I optimized his testosterone, thyroid, DHEA and growth hormone levels. When he came in 6 weeks later he had lost 6.2 pounds of actual fat and gained 3 pounds of lean muscle.
Those numbers really are not that impressive in comparison to what I normally see but when I asked him about lifestyle changes he said “I only started doing any exercise last week sand worked out 3 times, and I was on vacation in Cancun for 10 days since I last came in, and I am still overeating at dinner.” He did cut way back on sugar but that was the only real change he made. What is impressive about that story is that despite exercise and still eating like a pig on vacation he was able to lose 6.2 pounds of fat and gain 3 pounds of muscle without really trying.
What I typically see is a 10-15 pound gain in lean mass and anywhere from 5-20 pounds of fat loss at my patients first follow up if they exercise and eat clean.
3. What exercise and meal plan do I recommend?
This will vary but in general I think the approach that Bill Phillip uses in his Body For Life program is the most well rounded for the average individual. However, every patient is different and because I do carotid ultrasounds looking for plaque and also do food allergy testing I have a nutritionist in my office that customizes meal plans for my patients. For example, some patients can eat gluten and animal proteins, others have to avoid gluten and all animal proteins. So it is for this reason that I can’t give you inexact meal plan. it needs to be customized
The bottom line though is it generally takes 200-300minutes per week of exercise to really see gains in shedding the fat.
Here is great link on the 9 things that you need to do to beat obesity http://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Metabolic-Health/Obesity/Page-01
4. Are there any weight loss medications that work?
In my anti aging practice I am trained in prescribing medications to help with obese patients. The two most common drugs prescribed in weight loss centers are phentermine and Qsymia (combination of phentermine and topiramate). Properly prescribed, they are very well tolerated and have shown to increase weight loss in patients suffering from obesity.
The bottom line obesity is a major challenge in the United States right now. The majority of anti aging and weight loss clinics are not focusing on hormone optimization which in my practice makes all the difference between success and failure.
The steps to truly be successful are:
1. Find your “why”
2. Optimize your hormones
3. nutrition and exercise and
4. Weight loss medication.
If you would like more information and make an appointment to get your blood levels checked, please call Dr. Breen’s office at 877-721-0047