Can Obesity Medicine and Life Coaching really overlap when looking at weight loss?
Isn’t Obesity Medicine just writing medication?
And Life Coaching is all about your mind right?
There are lots of American Board of Obesity Medicine diplomates out there. And there are even more life coaches. But, I have only found a few who have both certifications. I’m one of them.
Here’s your answers to the weight loss approaches in each area – and why using these 2 unique approaches TOGETHER may be your best option yet.
Obesity Medicine and Weight Loss
Obesity Medicine is the study of being overweight (known as obesity medically when you get past a certain BMI). It is also the treatment of the disease itself and diseases associated with weight gain. And obesity medicine physicians, researches, nutritionists, etc., are evidence-based in their approaches. That means they do studies and follow study results. They mean scientific business.
The standard “pillars” in obesity medicine look at 4 general categories for weight loss: nutrition, physical activity, behavior, and medication. Let’s break those down.
4 Pillars of Weight Loss in Obesity Medicine
- Nutrition – that’s your diet. See my post on https://doctormome.com/post/how-to-find-your-best-diet/ for more information on that. The Obesity Medicine emphasis for weight loss can be simplified to this: create a calorie deficit in a way that works for you. There is no one study that has proven weight loss only comes from one diet. And most diets are better than the American diet. Period.
- Physical Activity – that’s exercise AND general activity in your day. All of medicine supports physical activity for a healthy lifestyle, heart health, better blood sugar readings, etc. The weight loss is seen more in general activity in your day than hours of grueling exercise, though.
- Behavior – this generally entails counseling or motivational interviewing to determine how your behaviors lead to you being overweight. Snacking, binge eating, meal choices, emotional eating – they all contribute to your weight battle.
- Medication – Medications when discussing obesity are two-fold: the medications you take for other diseases that may cause weight gain as a side effect. We try to avoid those, obviously. And the medications that help with weight loss. For more on this, check out my post on https://doctormome.com/post/weight-loss-pills-for-women/. Both can be reviewed by your Obesity Medicine physician.
Life Coaching and Weight Loss
Believe it or not, many life coaches focus on weight loss for obvious reasons. Being overweight effects your self-confidence, your relationships, your job, and your health. Being overweight can hold you back from your dreams in life. And losing the weight can change your life.
Life coaching, in the form of weight loss coaching, focuses on mind management around food. The general theory in life coaching, as taught through The Life Coach School (https://thelifecoachschool.com/), is that your thoughts lead to your actions in life. Overeating as an action is the result of your thoughts about food. That’s simplified but you get the point.
Let’s take a look at those same 4 pillars from a Life Coaching perspective:
- Nutrition – go with a diet that works for you. You will see a lot of variation in diet in the weight loss coaching world. And many coaches only really know one diet.
- Physical activity – again, a lot of variation. The recommendations would be generally to find something that you enjoy and stick with that.
- Behavior – and this is where life/weight loss coaching shines. Learning how to mindfully eat by engaging your “higher” brain or prefrontal cortex, seeing where you are emotionally eating or using food as an emotional buffer, and recognizing how to change that. That’s the true strength of weight loss coaching.
- Medications – yeah, not so much. Life coaches should not be dealing with medications anyway.
The Value of Both Obesity Medicine and Life Coaching for Weight Loss
We are not beating obesity as a disease in the United States today. There is no singular expert out there with the magic pill – as much as we wish there were. If it was that easy, we would all be onboard. And, believe me, that soon-to-be very rich individual would not be hiding their magic.
Obesity is complicated. If someone tells you that they have the magic pill, run in the other direction. They’re just trying to take your money. Take it from someone who has REALLY researched this topic.
We absolutely can use multiple modalities and make a big difference. And we should. I look for the overlap between body and mind for weight loss – those are the places of our greatest power.
The overlap lies in the following:
- Diet – picking and sticking with a diet that is medically supported but works for you. A diet you can live with for life.
- Physical activity – Being active for improved life and health
- Behavior – learning where emotional eating, habits, and mind-management around food can change your weight and your life.
That is powerful.
That is life-changing.
That will help you lose weight AND change your life.
For more information on weight loss coaching, check out my post: https://doctormome.com/post/what-is-weight-loss-coaching/
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