Picture this: You made a commitment to your health and worked hard to change your lifestyle. You’re proud of your accomplishments–how much easier it is to run up the stairs, how you’ve gotten off your medications, how your sleep is better. Everything is going smoothly until your friends want to know–when are you finished with your diet???
My patients do their best to explain that their lifestyle change is not a “diet” and that they intend to live this way from now on. The problem is, no-one else does!
In February of 2022, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that 93% of Americans have metabolic dysfunction. This was defined as having at least one fo the following conditions: increased blood pressure, increased fasting blood sugar, increased fatness, lipid dysfunction, personal history of heart disease. Another way to look at it is that 310.8 million people in America have metabolic conditions related mostly to poor lifestyle choices.
Imagine trying to keep your healthy habits in a world where your friends and family members serve unhealthy meals/snacks at all social events, where work environments encourage sedentary behavior and social jet lag imposes poor sleep habits on you. No wonder one of the most common reasons a patient of mine gets off track or loses motivation is the difficulty in making their new lifestyle stick in a world defined by unhealthy living.
I’ve been asked numerous times if I can help their loved ones or bring my program to people living outside of Massachusetts. It’s been something I’ve kept at the back of my mind. I’ve had years of experience teaching and working with patients and have designed a program to optimize metabolic health based on the most up-to-date science. But I could only work with those in the Boston area where I am based. I have had patients travel from surrounding states and even California to work with me (one person flew in weekly from Manhattan!) but this was limited to the few who had the flexibility and resources to do this.
Based on demand I started to work on an online program that could reach people anywhere in the world to deliver a first-class program to reverse or prevent chronic disease. Online video medical classes provide meaningful medical education on the root cause of disease while others provide the basics of stress management through cognitive-based therapies and neuroscience techniques for emotional regulation. I address exercise and movement with videos demonstrating proper technique and form for resistance training with modifications for all levels including those who are bed or wheelchair bound. My live online sessions provide ample opportunity for questions and answers and allow me to do group coaching to help people stay on track.
My clinical experience in metabolic health, obesity and internal medicine made me realize that behavior change must be guided by sound scientific principles, as well as structured and specific (no vague instructions or general, unhelpful exhortations to ‘lose weight and exercise’). In addition a program to address lifestyle change should help build community and support for those changes; if we can’t live with our lifestyle changes, they’re not going to stick!
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