Taking Charge of Your Health

Phil: If a patient comes into you and is overweight,
what do you do? Dr. Paola: I would do a really thorough assessment
as to what sort of impact the extra weight is having on their system. So that I can recommend
an exercise regime accordingly. When people sometimes they’re overweight and they’re having
joint problems or lower back problems, I can’t necessarily tell them you need to go and run.
That’s not going to be realistic. Having a thorough understanding how their weight is
impacting not only their joints but their heart. Their lungs and their breathing. Are
there other muscular or skeletal issues we need to address as well before they can actually
start to become a little more mobile and start spending a little more calories.
Obviously the diet is something that is really important to assess so that we can make recommendations
and changes in that case. One of the things I like to focus on with some of the people
who want to implement weight-loss strategy, is that I ask them to track, to monitor their
progress. We have the phones now, but we can get wearable technology that’s always trying
to see how many steps we’re taking in a day. How active we are, how many calories we’re
spending. I find that as a good motivator for people to say okay I did 5000 steps, tomorrow
I might do 6000. It’s a good incentive for people to challenge themselves.
They can even enter into a contest with other people in different parts of the world or
with their friends even, but tracking and to monitor their progress is why in a good
tool that they have. To say I’m doing all these changes for myself and it feels great,
and it’s a good motivator as well. Phil: You touched on diet and exercise being
very important, and it sounds like as a naturopathic doctor you could help figure out what’s right
for them. Especially, with both diet and exercise it’s going to depend on the person.
Dr. Paola: Yes, absolutely. Phil: What else would you do beyond that?
Dr. Paola: I would assess also the state of the gastrointestinal tract as well. For now
more studies are coming out trying to shed some light on something that we as naturopathic
doctors have known for a while. Of the importance of having a good gut bacteria-flora balance.
I would take a look at that as well very closely. I would take a look at their digestive patterns,
things that are bothering them, so that I could potentially recommend a probiotic sort
of replenish the bacteria that’s been lost over the years. Or products that are going
to enhance or support the digestive process in their systems as well.
Phil: Is there anything else to talk about in regards to weight loss? Or does it really
come down to diet, exercise and digestive health?
Dr. Paola: One of the things I ask the patients that are interested in doing some weight loss
is for them to analyze the sort of emotional relationship they have with their foods. We
with the internet, and even before that, we know more or less what healthy eating means.
Things that people should be eating in order to maintain good health, and the people that…
the things that people should be trying to stay away from. In order to implement an effective
weight loss strategy you have to take a look at what the emotional attachment is to food.
If anyone wanted to start losing weight, I’d urge them to see why is it that I’m gravitating
towards getting tidbits instead of going to buy myself an apple and things like that.
What is it about the carbohydrates or the refined carbohydrates that they’re taking,
or the trans-fats that they’re having that is bringing them some sense of reward. What
is it that it means to them? That they’re not getting from the health food… of healthful
foods for example. I would advise that people take a look at that to ensure better results
over the long run. Phil: Yeah I think that weight loss is as
much a mental and emotional game as it is just physical. Makes sense.
Dr. Paola: Yeah for sure. weight loss paola

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