It's fun being a Holistic Nutritionist, because we are not regulated. This means that my practice - and that of my peers - can shift and morph. Each one of us can be doing something completely different than the Holistic Nutritionist standing next to us. With that in mind, my business is not really about weight loss. I don't weigh my clients or take measurements. For me, weight loss is a wickedly awesome side effect of getting your body working. "Creating health" as Dr. Mark Hyman puts it: "One thing I’ve learned in 15 years of treating diseases and health conditions of all kinds is that, very often, the things that make people sick are the same things that make them fat. When underlying health problems like inflammation and toxicity are resolved, excess weight simply drops away." Experience Life, July/August 2010 The body knows what to do to feel effortlessly happy and healthy; all we have to do is get out of its way. Despite the fact that calorie counting is going out of style faster than harem pants in hip hop class (I'm happy about the calorie thing but sad about the harem pant thing...), it is still important to recognize that, yes, a calorie deficit is still the key to weight loss. But the HOW and WHY of calorie deficit is where we can make improvements. Improvements in our understanding. And I always say that education is the first step to buy-in. I don't believe my nutrition clients will fully buy into a program if I hand you a meal plan and tell you simply WHAT to eat and WHEN. You need to know WHY. You deserve to know.
The problem with "calories in/calories out" is that it tragically oversimplifies the body. As though we are just bags of blood and organs and nerves - a vacuum doing nothing but processing calories all day. That middle piece there. That's the part I geek out on and the part that, I believe, unlocks the mysteries of weight loss. So I spend a lot of time there with my clients. All that being said, I just bought my first tape measure and am going to implement it in my consults. But I'll be taking JUST ONE measurement: waist circumference. The hormonal imbalances that are causing us to get fatter and sicker present themselves in an inexplicable and somewhat rapid (over the course of a couple of years) weight gain around the middle. I think this is a good marker that can help illustrate improvement in hormone balance. And - to close the loop on this blog post: if your hormones become balanced, you'll feel happier and more energetic AND your waist circumference will also go down. At that point, one you've lost some inches, its safe to assume you've lost some of the pounds you were hoping to lose too.