This blog explains the vital importance of how integrating weight management into your practice by first establishing foundational care and then adding in personalized approaches for your patients can help address their needs.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WEIGHT MANAGEMENT?
“Paradoxically coexisting with undernutrition, an escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity—“globesity”—is taking over many parts of the world. If immediate action is not taken, millions will suffer from an array of serious health disorders.” – World Health Organization1
Obesity and weight gain are an epidemic, with around 70% of the US population currently considered overweight or obese with the prevalence rising 30-40% over the past two decades3.
As the WHO points out, obesity is a risk factor for many chronic conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, diabetes, fatty liver, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, and much more. The silent symptoms not commonly reported can also include the psychosocial stress associated with being overweight or obese.1
In her lecture, Dr. Caroline Cederquist+ makes the case for Functional and Integrative medical practices to take the lead on offering weight management support for patients: “Weight management is not often addressed in the traditional medical model … [doctors] don’t have the time and the setup to really work somebody through the lifestyle adjustments that are needed to make this happen, and if 80% of functional medicine is lifestyle adjustment, then weight management really should be at the top of the list because it affects so many other medical conditions that follow it.”
She suggests establishing foundational interventions for weight management in your practice, and then adding methods of personalization to optimize care for individual patients.
The first step when integrating caloric restriction in your weight management plan is myth-busting—it is not about diets or only eating certain foods. Options like ketogenic or plant-based may not be appropriate for your patient, and it is vital to create an approach to food that is going to give them enough fuel to get through their day, without overloading them on calories.
DIET HIGHER IN PROTEIN
In order to ensure the highest quality of calories, it is crucial to establish a higher intake of protein. Reduced-calorie diets higher in protein have repeatedly been associated with healthy weight management, satiety, and body composition. Think of this like a scale—as the total amount of calories decreases each day, the amount that comes from protein must increase.
Standard diets recommend 15% of daily calories come from protein, which won’t be sufficient if overall calories are restricted. Dr. Cederquist recommends 100-140g of protein per day based on the patient’s body composition and lifestyle. While this may initially seem high, eating > 100g protein per day is associated with enhanced body composition, reduced risk of regain, and preservation of lean muscle mass.
DIET HIGHER IN FIBER
Adequate dietary fiber supports healthy weight, satiety, cardiovascular function, the microbiome, and the innate immune response. Unfortunately, only around 5% of Americans consume the recommended amount of fiber.
When working on weight management with your patients, be sure to set reasonable expectations for increasing fiber in their diets.
Dr. Cederquist keeps it simple by suggesting two fruits and a minimum of three non-starchy vegetables per day to increase fiber and support satiety while maintaining low caloric intake.
Weight gain causes stress on the body is associated with lower plasma concentration of essential vitamins and minerals. When reframing dietary intake, it is vital to ensure proper levels of micronutrients. If it is not possible or difficult to meet this need by diet alone, many patients find it convenient to take a well-balanced multivitamin to supplement micronutrient levels.
After the nutritional aspects of your weight management plan is in place, then you can begin the conversation on exercise. Exercise is more than simply burning calories; healthy levels of exercise activate AMPK and SIRT1, improves vascular function, and decreases fat in visceral adipose tissue. Of course, exercise has many mental health benefits as well, which can be helpful in offsetting the stress and pressure associated with weight.
PERSONALIZING YOUR CARE
Lab assessments don’t have to be complicated, and Dr. Cederquist recommends starting with 10 basic tests to help understand weight management patients:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- TSH, Free T3 and Free T4
- Comprehensive Metabolic Profile (CMP)
- Serum Vitamin B12
- Fasting Serum Insulin
- 5-hydroxy Vitamin D
- Magnesium RBC
- Lipid Profile
These tests are commonly available through services such as LabCorp® and Quest®.
An additional test gaining popularity is a genetic test. Whether your patient has completed an at-home testing kit or you would like to order one through your lab, genetic testing can help answer important questions for those establishing a weight management care plan.
PureGenomics® is a complimentary service which offers a science-backed nutritional genomic assessment based on insights from genetic variants associated with weight management, glucose metabolism, exercise response, and other metabolic aspects of health.
The final aspect of Dr. Cederquist’s approach to weight management is to address insulin function and metabolic rate.
Regarding insulin function, Dr. Cederquist found almost 90% of the people in her clinic had labs indicating problems with insulin function. She says understanding the status of insulin function “has been the cornerstone of my medical weight loss practice in terms of really getting our patients to buy into the adequate protein and controlling the carbohydrate content—that they have to switch from high-starch carbs to more vegetables and lower glycemic carbohydrates and continuing to keep fat intake at a normal range.”
Sometimes, even when the patient does everything right, they still have a hard time getting their weight where they want it. These patients might say their metabolism is “broken” or “not what it used to be”. Of course, our bodies age and change, but to assess if metabolism is to blame for lackluster results, you can use an indirect calorimeter. This tool compares CO2 intake to CO2 output to give you metabolic rate which can help establish an understanding of metabolic rate in your patients.
Dr. Cederquist also acknowledges the important role of sleep and stress in weight management. Poor sleep and elevated stress can be related to weight gain and/or poor dietary choices. Studies have shown overtired individuals have increased levels of the “hunger hormone”, ghrelin, as well as increased salt retention, decreased levels of leptin, and decreased insulin function. To support healthy sleep habits and to lower stress levels, regular exercise can be helpful, as long as it is not within one hour of bedtime or it may interfere with sleep.
Achieving healthy weight management is rarely quick or simple, and often requires time and effort from both you and your patient. Dr. Cederquist’s approach helps to create a coachable care plan that will help you and your patient on the path to success by establishing a foundation and layering in personalized care for your patients.
For additional information, or to learn more, please visit our PureLean Exclusives found here.
Interested in purchasing our PureLean line of supplements from Pure Encapsulations? Please head right to our product page here.
- “Obesity and Overweight.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight.
- Mitchell NS, Catenacci VA, Wyatt HR, Hill JO. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2011;34(4):717-732
- Fast Stats: Obesity and Overweight. National Center for Health Statistics. Last reviewed Feb 2020.
- Pi-Sunyer X. Postgrad Med. 2009;121(6):21-33.
- Moon J, Koh G. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020;29(3):166-173.
- Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Nijs I, et al. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Jan;28(1):57-64.
- Manninen AH. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004;1(1):45-51.
- Quagliani D, Felt-Gunderson P. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016;11(1):80-85.
- Hosseini, B, et al. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Jun 22.
- Amara NB, et al. Genes Nutr. 2014 Jul;9(4):410.
- Gardner C, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug; 92(2): 304–312.
- Li. et. al. Inter J of Obes. 2010. 34; 1070-1077.
- Dias, K. A., Green, D. J., Ingul, C. B., et al. Pediatrics, 2015. 136(3), e648-e659.
- Goedecke, J. H., & Micklesfield, L. K Medicine and Sport Science, 2014. 6082-93.
- Cooper CB, Neufeld EV, Dolezal BA, Martin JL. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2018;4(1):e000392.
PureGenomics® nutritional information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease.
LabCorp® is the registered trademark of Laboratory Corporation of America. Pure Encapsulations is not affiliated with or endorsed by LabCorp®.
Quest® is the registered trademark of Quest Diagnostics. Pure Encapsulations is not affiliated with or endorsed by Quest®.
+Dr. Caroline Cederquist is a retained advisor for Pure Encapsulations®.