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a general pice of advice

i just wanted to put this out there:

no one should jump into a weight-loss journey without at least consulting with their physician first. it's really important to know what your body needs nutritionally and how it may respond to a sudden decrease in calories coupled with a sudden increase in exercise. know about your heart health/stealth and what if any limitations you may have to impose on your regimen. i say this because, from the forum topics/questions i've read, it seems obvious that many people are dieting, limiting their food intake and exercising without any professional advice or evaluations beforehand.

Thu. Mar 1, 9:11am

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I vehemently disagree. Based on what I see, people have read some of the most advanced data out there regarding diets and nutrition and make excellent choices.

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 9:14 AM

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maybe we're not reading the exact same threads...i'm referring to questions about proper calorie intake, how many hours should i exercise, what kinds of foods should i eat, how much is too much weight to lose in a week, should i avoid sugar, am i eating too much salt, these types of questions indicate a lack of communication with a health care professional. i am really not trying to deny any members' knowledge or anything like that. i am suggesting that, in my opinion, many answers can be found before you begin dieting/exercising/changing your daily food intake by first consulting with your doctor. and if you haven't been to the doctor recently and are very overweight and are suddenly altering your whole daily routine with regard to food and exercise, it is advisable to consult a doctor or other health care provider to ensure you do not endanger yourself.

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 10:47 AM

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When I mentioned to my doctor that I was going to start losing my 80 extra pounds and wanted the green light, he said to stop looking for medical excuses for my weight problem, took my blood pressure, and handed me a food list. He's not the first doctor to react like this - I got it from a female doctor back when I "only" had 30 lbs to lose. Might I add that the male doctor was 50 lbs overweight and the female doctor was about as overweight as I was?

I envy those of you with good, approachable doctors, but I, for one, will never speak to one again about my weight. I'm better off with a subscription to a reputable magazine like Prevention or Self and membership to Weight Watchers.

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 12:05 PM

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moreover, most doctors are not diet/weightloss experts. They recieve very little training on that in med school. Proper advice should come from a nutritionist or a dietician, because they are the ones trained to give that advice.

I for one am very leary of traditional doctors, and wouldn't trust the advice most of them would give about weightloss. I follow a diet that's out of a book, and it was the diet recommended by my mothers *homeopathic* doctor. Later, when my mother had to see a dietician, the dietician said "Great diet choice, how can I help you make it work?" However, when I explained my diet to the medical officer when joining the air force, he had the gall to say "I'm surprised that as a lawyer you would believe that kind of stuff." He can believe what he wants, but my weightloss and improved health are evidence enough for me.

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 12:24 PM

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and let's not forget that doctors are still just people. they may have lots of schooling and knowledge, but they still may have their biases and faults and own problems, etc. some of them may be bitter about the fact that so much of their knowledge is readily available online.

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 2:11 PM

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so do you also just check out automotive sites and diagnose and fix your own car?

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 2:30 PM

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I go to Chilton's to diagnose and fix my car, as do many mechanics and I'm sure they have a great website - I'd go there in a heartbeat! Understanding your car's various systems not only helps you take better care of it and keep it running better longer, but helps keep you from getting ripped off by ignorant or malicious repair shops when you do need to take it in. If everyone knew more about their cars and basic care and maintenance, many major repairs would be unecessary.

For weight loss and exercise tips I often go to mayo clinic - they are a highly reputable institution. I care more about my health than anyone including my doctor, so why shouldn't I research and 'own' my health? Of course I will consult a doctor if I need expertise and experience, but my own doctor uses many of the same websites I do, and even makes recommendations, so why shouldn't I do some of my own research?

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 3:41 PM

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car talk has helped given immeasurable results.

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 4:02 PM

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The problem I've noticed with the getting all your health advice off the interwebs is that there's a HUGE difference between information and knowledge.

Information is what's available online. Knowledge is what's in the head of a skilled professional- information+experience.

Without experience, information is often useless. Having information doesn't mean you understand that information, just like having Lance Armstrong's bike won't make you ride like Lance.

Personally, I've never had very few bad interactions with doctors in my life. If a fat doctor tells you you need to lose weight, does it make it any less true?

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 4:57 PM

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OP, did you consult with your physician before you began your weight loss journey here? I'm curious, what did they say and have they checked in with you for your results?

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 5:21 PM

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Actually, my doctor was concerned that I had lost 10 pounds over the year since I last saw her. I told her that I had started exercising regularly and she was fine with it. I think that unless you are extremely sedentary or obese, a little exercise never hurt anyone. Also I think that dieticians and personal trainers have a better understanding of what a person needs to do when starting an exercise program than a doctor does. Doctors deal mainly with symptoms of problems and preventative medicine.

Thursday, March 01, 2007, 5:41 PM

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op here. i did consult with my doctor and through regular visits and monitoring have discovered a few things that initially gave me a very hard time with respect to my weight loss efforts and nutrition. for instance, i am wheat-intolerant and have iron-poor blood. the two go together, actually. because i was eating so much wheat, and was unknowingly intolerant, i had digestive pains/discomforts which mocked hunger pangs. i thought i was always hungry and that it was a result of cutting calories. and the dietary iron i was getting was not being absorbed properly because of the wheat making my system stress-out. so i was weak and fatigued a lot of the time, seemingly for no reason. and i wasn't losing weight or having any success with keeping up with a regular exercise routine or lasting changes in my diet. since those two discoveries, i am way better off and my efforts are much more fruitful.

here's the thing. my 35 year old cousin, athletic, not overweight, big build, was playing a pick-up game of basketball recently. he hadn't been to the doctor for years. he fell hard on the court and thought he broke a rib, so went for xrays. they discovered he had an enlarged heart, blocked arteries, an irregular heartbeat and told him that if he hadn't fallen and had instead continued playing basketball, he probably would have died on the court. he had to have immediate open-heart surgery. this is another reason i stress to consult your doctor, if for nothing more than a routine physical, before beginning an exercise regimen. the reason i suggest the visit for dietary changes is due to my wheat & iron experience.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 8:53 AM

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And this is why I think homeopaths are bunk. There's no amount of herbs, magic crystals or energy-redistributing massage that would have solved either of these problems.

Yay western medicine!

Friday, March 02, 2007, 12:24 PM

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Respectfully, OP, not everyone has health insurance that they can go to the doctor for regular visits and monitoring. Most doctors spend 5 minutes with you, go through a mental checklist and sometimes it can take months, sometimes years to solve a problem. Sometimes it's not a matter of health insurance but the time it takes to figure out a problem, who has a job/life that lets them do that? You are a privledged individual exemplified by the fact that you had the time/money/resources to devote to monitoring and figuring out your problem. If you're obese, sure, visiting a doctor is probably something you do anyway, because you most likely have other health problems anyway and you're most likely on medication. But generally speaking? Telling someone to visit a doctor might be fine, but if you're concerned, you should be giving a whole host of resources and advice to consult with.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 12:58 PM

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op here

first of all, i work a full-time 40 hour work week monday-friday, and i cater on the weekends to make ends meet. when i take time to go to the doctor so that i can improve my overall health and life, i have to come into work early and / or stay at work late to make up the time. my health insurance is extremely limited and many of the tests i had done were not fully covered (like the bone-density and spinal xrays). and the nutritionist was not covered at all ($160 first visit, $85 each additional visit. i went 6 times). and these diagnoses took well over 6 months. but i am worth the time it takes. my health is too important to me to find excuses to ignore doing that which further improves it. so i have a little less time to myself, so i work 60 hours at least most weeks, so i pay for medical tests instead of buying new clothes or going to the movies...these are sacrifices i am willing to make. no one held my hand and took me through the steps it takes to get things done. i researched for many hours online at the public library, looked through medical books and helped contribute to the end diagnosis by becoming aware of my body's responses. some people spend every waking moment calculating calories consumed and calories burned, weighing themselves every hour, trying every new diet fad/trend that comes around. we each choose how to address our own weight issues. i found such success after learning more about my own particular body that i wanted to suggest that maybe others could also benefit from a visit to their doctor (or other health care professional). i do not agree that i should provide a whole host of resources simply because i offered advice. and the assertion that i am obese and already going to the doctor and probably on medication does not deserve further comment.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 1:37 PM

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I could work 60 hours a week and still not have the $700 dollars to see the nutritionist that you have for disposable income. I need that for my childcare. Of course I'm worth it, but someone needs to watch my children. You illustrated my point; it is a priveledge. Not all of us have the option of, should I spend my money on my health or new clothes. Some decisions are, should I pay my rent or should I go visit the doctor. Didn't you see the Oprah episode all about this?

Friday, March 02, 2007, 1:41 PM

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i do not have a tv or time during the day to watch oprah if i did have a tv. it's not disposable income. i do not have children because i cannot afford to. if i had children and had to choose between a doctor and rent, i would be working instead of logging onto a website to insult others.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 1:45 PM

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I've been respectful in both of my responses. I'm not insulting you, if you feel insulted, I am sorry, This was not my intent. My intent is to show the realities of life for some people.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 1:52 PM

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I agree with parts of what the OP said, as well as what some of the critics of that point of view. Doctors are most certainly part of the problem. They have very high error rates and the entire health care system is set up to fix sick people rather than keep people healthy.

In terms of diet, if you are overweight you are almost certainly not getting the proper nutrition. Not enough real foods and vegetables. Simply cutting back on the junk you eat will make you thinner, but not necessarily healthier. If you change your diet to get at least 50% of your calories from fruits, veggies and beans then you are probably on the right track.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 1:57 PM

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The "entire health care system" is well set up to catch things before they become problems- It falls apart when you don't go to the doctor regularly. It falls apart when you don't tell your doctor, "hey, I'm having a problem" instead of just expecting them to figure it out on their own. Yep, they'll spend their alloted 5 minutes with you if you don't give them any reasons, but if you ask them questions, they'll gladly spend as much time as they can trying to help you solve your problem.

It'd be great if our system were set up so that everyone had health care, but we keep electing idiots who tell us we need to spend our money fighting gay marriage instead of working for health care for everyone. Don't blame the doctors for your lack of coverage- it's not their fault. But, I'm pretty sure there's a number of people on both sides of the aisle in Washington who's fault your lack of coverage really is- Get mad at them.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:07 PM

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4:07- do you work in the health care industry? I am not talking about lack of coverage at all. My comment was not remotely political. My point is, if you get sick, the odds of a doctor solving your problem in an effiencent manner is suprisingly low. Even more surprising is that this affects rich and poor alike.

The reality is that individuals need to be their own doctor in many ways, or at least take an extremely active role in their own care. More of a role than most people have time for. Doctors, insurance or not, want you in and out, so that they can see as many patients as they want. You almost need a full time health advocate to guide you through the process if you have a serious problem. A health concierge of sorts.

My point I guess is that people need to take on a ton of the responsibility for their own care- to think that you can put your fate blindly in the hands of someone because they are an "MD" is ludircrous.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:23 PM

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"i'm referring to questions about"

-proper calorie intake? most likely less than you are currently eating if you are overweight.

how many hours should i exercise? more than you currently are, if you are overweight.

what kinds of foods should i eat? Healthy foods most likely. Doesn't take an MD to figure out that you should never step foot in a KFC.

how much is too much weight to lose in a week? Passing out in the subway is a warning sign and you should take that VERY seriously.

should i avoid sugar? Yes

am i eating too much salt? Probably

these types of questions indicate a lack of communication with a health care professional. i am really not trying to deny any members' knowledge or anything like that. i am suggesting that, in my opinion, many answers can be found before you begin dieting/exercising/changing your daily food intake by first consulting with your doctor. and if you haven't been to the doctor recently and are very overweight and are suddenly altering your whole daily routine with regard to food and exercise, it is advisable to consult a doctor or other health care provider to ensure you do not endanger yourself.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:28 PM

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and the point of restating/repasting a comment? is that for emphasis or ridicule?

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:42 PM

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4:28, lol!

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:45 PM

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4:23- no, I don't work in the health care industry. And, whether you realize it or not, you ARE talking about lack of coverage.

DOCTORS don't want you in and out. It's your insurance provider wants you in and out. Your doctor is trapped in the same system you are- they'd like to be able to spend more time with you, but they are given 5 minutes by the HMO that's paying for your visit. They will make time if you ask them to- This has been my experience for the last 20 years, on every health care plan from good to bad.

Yeah, you do need to take responsibility for your own care- regular appointments and a list of questions for your doctor are a good start.

When my doctor told me it's time to start regulating my high blood pressure with medicine (it's genetic, inherited from both mom and dad, unrelated to weight or fitness levels), he sat with me and talked about my options and my fears for 30-40 minutes. He had me try out several different medicines until we found one that worked with the minimum amount of side effects. He met with me every 2 weeks for 2 months until we got everything working right.

I put my fate in doctor's hands because they've shown me time and time again that they do have my best interests in mind.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:47 PM

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it's odd that, although i agree with your answers, i don't come across those kind of frank answers in the threads that pose those questions. it's as though the "dumb question threads" somehow suck people into being all uber-nice so as not to offend anyone. they are all common-sense questions that don't even need to be asked outloud.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:49 PM

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If they were common sense, we wouldn't have fat people now, would we...

Friday, March 02, 2007, 4:58 PM

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We have fat people for lots of reasons... One of the biggest ones being lack of self control in my opinion...

You can't tell me it isn't common sense that fruits and veggies are better for you than chips. Or that no exercise is better than some exercie... Come one now, why all the excuses?

Friday, March 02, 2007, 5:04 PM

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because excuses are easier than change, DUH!

Friday, March 02, 2007, 5:07 PM

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Wait a minute, chips are bad for you?

Friday, March 02, 2007, 5:10 PM

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5:04, lack of self-control with food (or alcohol, or heroin, or fill-in-the-vice) is usually symptom of much bigger issues. So unless you don't believe in abuse, depression, trauma, you might want to keep a limited and un-asked-for opinion like that to yourself.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 5:19 PM

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there are very very few of us without some sort of vice/outlet. Booze for some, food for others etc. Lets try not to judge too much. He that is without sin and all that good stuff.

Friday, March 02, 2007, 5:24 PM

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5:04 here again

Why is it then that 30 years ago obesity wasn't the problem it is today?

Are abuse, depression or trauma new in the last 10 years? I don't think so. It's hard to admit that the world has become lazy and self-loathing isn't it?

Friday, March 02, 2007, 5:25 PM

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not hard to admit at all. It would also seem to have gotten a lot more smug and self satisfied...

Friday, March 02, 2007, 7:20 PM

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