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How to Actually Enjoy your Weight Loss: Coaching Meets Medicine - with Dr. Siobhan Key

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When you think about the HOW behind losing weight, what strategies do you think of?

Calorie deficits. 
Special diet meal plans. 
Working out or going on a run daily.

The medical option could be bariatric surgery. We are also hearing more about anti-obesity medications recently as another option.

The one tool that the media doesn’t talk about enough, is mindset coaching.

Mindset coaching helps you overcome all the self-limiting beliefs of losing weight. It helps you unlearn the toxic diet culture messaging. The “all or nothing thinking”. The “falling off the wagon” kind of thinking.

It is crucial to overcome this because that's what dictates our behaviors, actions, and how we show up for ourselves. If we want to make long-term behavior change, we have to address the cognitions or the thoughts that got us to where we were in the first place.

In my latest episode on the High on Life podcast, I am joined by a special guest - Dr. Siobhan Key. She is a family medicine and obesity medicine physician in British Columbia. She also coaches physicians who feel out of control around food and want to reach food peace while also reaching their health goals.

Today, I'm excited to share with you the key takeaways that can revolutionize the way you approach your health journey:


Beyond Medication and Surgery

One of the primary insights we discussed is the prevailing trend in obesity medicine, particularly in Canada, where the focus has shifted heavily towards medications and surgical interventions. While these can be valuable tools, we emphasized the neglect of addressing behaviors and creating a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Medications are not a one-size-fits-all solution; instead, we highlighted the importance of incorporating psychological interventions and coaching to empower individuals to make lasting changes in their behaviors.


The Power of Coaching in Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

A significant portion of our conversation revolved around the impact of coaching, particularly mindset coaching, in overcoming self-limiting beliefs ingrained by toxic diet culture messaging. Coaching helps individuals tackle issues like all-or-nothing thinking, self-criticism related to body image, and the emotional aspects of weight struggles. By addressing these cognitive barriers with kindness and compassion, coaching becomes a crucial tool in fostering long-term behavior change.


Medications as a Tool

While acknowledging the value of anti-obesity medications, we stressed that they are not silver bullets. The medication alone does not replace the need for a comprehensive approach that includes behavioral changes. Our discussion emphasized the importance of a holistic perspective that considers both medical interventions and coaching to achieve optimal and sustainable weight management.


Empowering Messages for Long-Term Success

We challenged the disempowering messages often associated with weight loss, emphasizing that individual experiences can vary significantly. Rather than succumbing to population-based data that may suggest limited long-term success with behavioral interventions, we encouraged listeners to focus on their personal journey. By choosing empowering messages that align with their goals and values, individuals can reshape their mindset and increase their chances of success.


The Pitfalls of Diet Culture and Shifting the Focus

Diet culture often dictates that weight loss should be a difficult, sacrificial journey. We debunked this myth, highlighting the need to shift the focus from the scale to the overall well-being. Our conversation delved into the importance of feeling good through implementing healthy behaviors, emphasizing that the journey is about more than just the numbers on the scale.


Bridging the Gap Between Knowledge and Implementation

Many weight loss programs focus on imparting knowledge about calories, macros, and food lists but fall short when it comes to implementation. Coaching bridges this gap by teaching individuals not just what to do but also how to implement changes consistently, even in challenging situations. It empowers individuals to understand their behaviors, process emotions, and regulate their thoughts effectively.


Redefining Success and Embracing Setbacks

A crucial aspect of our discussion centered on redefining success and normalizing setbacks. Success isn't about a perfect journey but about learning from setbacks and consistently moving forward. By anticipating and embracing setbacks as learning opportunities, individuals can build resilience and enhance their ability to navigate the complexities of long-term weight management.


The Intersection of Medicine, Coaching, and Personalized Care

In the realm of obesity medicine, we emphasized that medications treat the disease, but they alone cannot create one's best health or life. The combination of medical interventions and coaching forms a powerful synergy, providing personalized care that addresses both the physiological and psychological aspects of weight management. This approach goes beyond the limitations of traditional diet-focused methodologies.


Listen to my conversation with Dr. Siobhan Key on the High on Life Podcast through Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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