FOLLOW UP: “Is Your Weight Loss Going to Make You Healthy?”

As you can see there have been some passionate responses with a variety of views in response to my recent article: Is Your Weight Loss Going to Make You Healthy? The response has been overwhelming. Typically this is a quiet little blog that reaches my small circle of friends and patients. This one has literally been around the world. Thank you to everybody who has reposted and shared. Please keep it up! To put things in perspective, in 3 days this article has generated more visits to my blog than in the previous 3 years combined. In part this is really exciting because I need many people to hear and understand the message in the article which is: We need to stop chasing a body image and start getting healthy.

Along the way I used a specific program: MediFast as an example of what is in my opinion, doing it the wrong way. I am still philosophically opposed to this program and do not endorse it. However, there is more that I should have said.

#1) I don’t think that MediFast or Take Shape For Life people are bad people. As I indicated in the article I have friends and family involved in this program. I know that most of them have geniune intentions. This is true of Health Coaches and the people they work with. I am happy for ANYBODY who arrives at a place where they are working toward health and not just a dress size. I applaud ANYBODY who helps them get there regardless of education or certification.

#2) While MediFast is the only method I called out by name in the article they are by no means alone. Gastric Bypass, Weight Watchers, Adkins, South Beach, Nutrisystem, I could make a long long list and I’m sure you could add some that should be on there too.

#3) TSFL Health Coaches are trained to encourage exercise at some point during the weight loss phase. I know that good Health Coaches do encourage their people to develop a lifelong habit of exercise. My comments about this were based on observations I have made about how the program is marketed by some individuals as an alternative to exercise or other behaviours that in my experience are necessary for a healthy lifestyle. I can understand the desire to have people to give it a shot and how the idea of exercising can scare people away. However, I disagree with this type of promotion. I also understand that some people fail despite even the best efforts of their Health Coach. I know people who fail despite the best efforts of their Chiropractor (me) because they never fully catch on to the lifestyle we teach.

Let me tell you one thing that TSFL and Weight Watchers in particular do well. This is also a reason that I recommend They provide social support for people in their health pursuits. Too many of us have to get healthy in spite of a spouse, our kids, or our friends. Getting to health sometimes means ditching old friends and making new ones who are going to support you along the way. Obesity, poor health, and limited capability are such isolating experiences. It can be hard to feel loved and connected if you are having difficulty loving yourself. It is almost impossible to love yourself if you feel crappy all the time. This is one way that we can all knock it out of the park is by being there for each other. When you are trying to get healthy it can really be threatening to the people around you because they may feel like your goal in getting well is to be better than them. This is such a tough, tough obstacle. Not everybody arrives at the place where they are sick and tired of being sick and tired at the same time. So to everybody who is out there supporting anybody in their quest for health I tip my hat.

God bless you in your pursuits for awesomeness!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Shanna B.

    Jason, I loved both of your articles. They were very encouraging and full of great information on how to get and stay healthy. I have a question about the water (drink 1/2 your body weight in oz.). When I drink the prescribed amount (either the method you mentioned or 6-8 8 oz. glasses of water/day)I have to pee all the time. Seriously, like every 20 min. So it’s hard for me to stick to drinking that much water on an ongoing basis, because some days I need to get stuff done. :)Is this normal?

    I love your cheat day philosophy too. It helps me keep my sanity.

    You’re awesome! I’m glad to see you’ve become so successful in following your dreams.

  2. Jason Young, DC

    Yeah Shanna one of the consequences of frequent hydration is frequent urination. This is a bigger problem for some people than others. Here are a few good tips to tell if you are getting enough water:

    1) The color of your urine. Under normal circumstances the more clear your urine is the better hydrated you are. Bright or dark yellow urine indicates a poor level of hydration. I say “under normal circumstances” because there are some medications or supplements that may discolor your urine.

    2) Pinch the skin on the back of your hand causing it to “tent up”. Hold this for a few seconds and then release. If it takes a while for the skin to return to its normal shape then this is an indicator that you may be dehydrated. Skin that snaps back into place is indicative of better hydration.

    3) Look out for symptoms of dehydration such as headaches, fatigue, dry mouth, thirst, muscle pain, and constipation.

    Your person physiology maybe such that you can still do well with less than the amount of water recommended. If that’s the case then find the happy medium that satisfies the conditions above and limits your trips to the bathroom (although I think running to the bathroom is great exercise!)

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