Greetings everyone. I saw a patient yesterday that I have seen for quite some time, and I noticed right away reviewing her chart before going in the room that she had lost 19 pounds since her last visit 4 months ago. When I went in to see her I asked how she was, and she said she felt great. Turns out she had gone to see a nutritionist and was following her advice. Also, she was trying to walk more, but not too succesful with that endeavour. I asked her what the nutritionist had recommended, and this was her answer. “Well, essentially I can only eat meat and vegetables. I can’t eat much fruit and no dairy or grains. Basically doc, it’s meat and veggies. And man, do I miss cheese!” As we reviewed a bit more, you guessed it, she was basically eating a paleo diet without calling it one. But, here is the kicker. Once she reaches her goals, the nutritionist says she can slowly introduce things back into her diet and just watch her weight. She could see in my face that she had finally said something I did not agree with!
So, how was she doing? As expected she had lost weight (actually 19 pounds in two months since starting this), she had tons of energy, she had lost a total of 9 inches body wise, and “doc I sleep like a log!” I can’t tell you how many people who go Paleo that swear that they have never slept so good in their entire lives. It’s so predictable it’s not surprising anymore at all.
Labs you ask? Well, fasting sugar from last visit was 105, this time 87. Cholesterol? Well she takes a statin for cholesterol because her numbers were as such off the meds 283/146/46/208 (Total Chol/Trig/HDL/LDL). On the meds they had dropped to 197/150/43/124. In the last two months she had decided to DROP her statin dose to every other day, and her numbers today were 166/73/46/105. So, her numbers were much better on both the Paleo diet AND her statin every other day. Then she revealed her secret…she had stopped the statin completely 5 days ago and was hoping to stay off. I asked her if 1) she was planning on continuing her lifestyle change and 2) if she was willing to re-start the statin if off of it her numbers went back up to worrisome levels. She said yes to both, and we hatched a plan to keep her off her meds for three months and see how she looks then. We will recheck her cholesterol and hope we can keep her off the statin, and hope that she continues to lose more weight. To be continued!
Now quickly, back to the nutritionist and her plan to “phase” things back into the diet after “goals are complete.” Let me explain something to everyone, if your health related goals are “short-term” goals, you will create nothing but “short-term” health. Why, why on earth would you do something that helps you lose weight, feel great, and sleep like a log for a while, then go back to your old ways?
Let’s say you made a ton of bad decisions, and get yourself in tons of debt. You decide enough is enough, and you visit a financial planner who comes up with a comprehensive plan to get you out of debt. Kill the credit cards, stop the travel, no more eating out etc. Then he tells you “Once you get out of this hole, we will slowly re-introduce all your bad habits and hope for the best.” No one in their right mind would say that’s a good plan! But, since we LOVE cheese, we think re-introducing it after reaching our goals seems reasonable, if not “fair” in some way. I mean after all, how can we survive without cheese??! In reality, this is the theory behind every “diet” in the books, and that my friends is why diets don’t work!
Most of us care for and manage our money much more than we do our health. Where are your priorities? We put junk in our mouths when we would never think of putting 50 Octane gas into our precious vehicle. We get the cheapest meat we can find and buy the most expensive cell phone and plan we very well can’t afford. We afford the expensive car lease but not the gym membership that we so desperately need. (The Nav and leather seats were only $40 more a month!) Why? I would love to hear a good answer 😦
Your health is a long-term investment, don’t make it about short-term gains. Your short-term gains lead to my long-term gains…my bank account that is.
Eat Clean, Be Smart, Think LONG-TERM
February 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm
Hello. I have experienced an increase in my total cholesterol since eating paleo (2 yrs now). I laughed to myself when the chubby nurse called me to tell me my lab results and to eat less fat.
I did read about this happening on paleo and that LDL cholesterol has dense and fluffy particles. I was wanting to know your thoughts on this and how one can go about testing their LDL specifically.
If your patients total cholesterol goes up, will you be checking her LDL particles?
February 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm
Thanks for reading Cy! I myself have seen my cholesterol go up some since going Paleo, but raw numbers can be deceiving. I have seen a mixed bag as some patient’s cholesterol will go up, some will go down. If you ask your doctor to do what is called a VAP Cholesterol profile it will give you the information on the sizes of your LDL particles. That information can help further project your risk that high cholesterol may impose on your long term health. As always, consult with your doctor 🙂
February 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm
Thank you very much! I will ask my doc about this at my next visit!