By Michael Anchors, MD, PhD
When people walk into my office wanting to lose weight, almost everything they know about fat is wrong. Their first article of faith is that fat is bad for you, either as a food or on your body. WRONG. The second article is that to lose weight you must either eat less or exercise more. WRONG. If you gained weight back, it was because you ate more or stopped exercising. OFTEN WRONG. The whole matter is so much more complex. Read The Secret Life of Fat by Sylvia Tara or The Obesity Code by Jason Fung. Read something. Your doctor hasn’t read anything, because they are not paid to study, don’t expect to, and don’t know how to. The drug companies rule.
My principal role is to teach. To read and study, and teach. I am not trying to make people skinny. You shouldn’t be skinny–it isn’t good for you. Studies such as Flegal et al 2005. The lowest mortality rate was in the “overweight” people BMI 25-30; NOT in normal people BMI 18-25 and for sure not in underweight people BMI < 18. Indeed their mortality rate was the highest.
Fat is an important organ of the body, elaborating many hormones that control other parts of the body. You need some fat. As you age, you will acquire some fat in some places and there is bupkis you can do about it. So get used to it and stop trying to look 20 years old when you are 50 years old. There is so much more fun and interesting to do in life than dieting.
Now granted you shouldn’t be very obese either. But very obese people seldom come to my office. I wish more would; I would relish the challenge. I will give them phen-pro and teach them the Ten Orders (men need only the first Eight). I will get them off drugs that make them fat. If all that doesn’t work, I will check their HOMA-IR, a blood test to see whether they are insulin-resistant. If so, I will start metformin and initiate a program of fasting four days a week from supper until lunch to restore their insulin-sensitivity.