Why healthy weight is so important

Rebecca Hanzen contributed to this article

Women measuring waistlineWe CANNOT understate how important it is for your overall health and well-being to stay at a healthy weight. Obesity contributes to numerous health problems: heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more.

Weight loss helps lower your risk for the following serious issues, which can threaten your life or your quality of life:

  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and other breathing problems
  • Mental health problems such as low self-esteem and/or depression

Yet weight loss is not easy. Those people who succeed at weight loss most often have tools to help them. Finding that tool that will work for you is also not easy. There are hundreds of diet plans out there and not all of them will help you achieve lasting success.

At Avera Medical Group Integrative Medicine, we offer Integrative Nutrition. People who have gone through our weight loss program report some of these surprising benefits:

  • Being able to keep up with children and grandkids
  • Having energy to function at work
  • Being able to tie their own shoes
  • Fitting in booths at restaurants
  • Not falling asleep in the middle of a conversation
  • Being able to eat healthier for the whole family
  • Getting back on the horse after three years of not being able to ride due to weight.
  • Now being able to ride bike around the Sioux Falls trails

A number of people also have decreased or been able to get off some of their medications.

My colleague, Dr. Dawn Flickema, and I feel it’s important to provide medical oversight in weight loss.

We’re concerned with your nutrition, and how changing your diet will impact any current conditions you have or medications you take. Our medical direction is complemented by health coaching, provided by Becky Hanzen and Kandace Brands. Both are certified in Integrative Nutrition.  In this field, they have studied over 100 diets, the pros and cons of each, why they work for some and not for all.

Coaches not only provide education, they provide accountability and the support of a friend along the journey.

Primarily, in Integrative Nutrition we work with finding the right balance of nutrition for the individual.  Joshua Rosenthal, the founding father of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition located in New York, has been acknowledged for coining the term, “bioindividuality” – which basically means, we are all different. What works for one, may not and often does not work for another. This is why for everything we know to be true in nutrition there is an opposite – which also is held to be true – but not for all.  It is no wonder there are a lot of questions and concerns in the area of personal nutrition.

Nutrition is the only field in which science continually agrees and disagrees and proves and disproves each theory over and over again.  Because of the many variables in nutrition, to say that this “one” plan is the right plan for all does not work.

We must take into consideration the make-up of each person, their history of their life (smoker, stress, exercise, etc), their disease – or lack of, their family history, their gender and a number of other considerations including environment, family situation, stress at work, spiritual well-being, friendships, etc.

It is rewarding to help individuals piece together strategies and plans that enable them to function better in our world.  My hope is that they can develop a plan that works for them.  This includes nutrition, of course, but to better balance this we also look at many other components.

In Integrative Nutrition – we are taught that food is secondary – and that the “primary food” in our lives is a balance of the following:

  • Spirituality – however that looks for the individual
  • Career
  • Physical activity
  • Relationships

In no particular order, the above life principals must be considered and balanced in order for the world of “secondary food” to be as it is intended – food intake for the sake of nutrition.

If you would like to learn more about Integrative Nutrition, feel free to contact our clinic at 322-3241.

 

 

By Dr. Sally Williams

Integrative Medicine Physician at Avera Medical Group

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