FFF 134: Obesity & The NHS, A Frontline GP’s Perspective – with Dr Mike II

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Scott and GP Dr Mike II discuss weight management on the frontline. We chat about his own weight transformation and how that influences some of the advice he gives. He’s going to share some tips and tricks he shares with his patients. You’ll also learn about some of the common struggles patients face, some of the information he’s allowed to hand out, the restrictions, as well as his thoughts on weight loss surgery and more!

Mike’s Weight Loss Journey

When Mike was younger, he wasn’t that good nor interested in sports. Once he got qualified as a doctor, he ran around hospitals, all good. However, when he became a GP, he simply was just gaining pounds gradually and got to a point where he realized that if he didn’t do anything, it was going to end badly. This prompted him to make a change! So he gave himself five years.

Half of the problem is that people separate the activity needed to lose weight and the impetus for doing that activity.

Weight and Morality

Mike usually assesses his patients on where they are at in the cycle of change. There is so much morality associated with being overweight or being inactive that it’s difficult to approach the subject without looking like you’re judging people. And this is the biggest challenge! We have associated morality with people’s sizes which is silly because it’s about a lot more than that.

Nutritank, an organization composed of medical students, is working with medical schools to try and improve the curriculum in terms of getting nutrition into the agenda.

A lot of doctors argue that it isn’t a GP’s responsibility to be advising people on nutrition. It’s a nutritionist or a dietitian’s responsibility. But people trust and come to their GP. They’re in the prime position to be giving those people advice. However, they shouldn’t be giving patients the wrong advice.

Health At Every Size

On some level, health at every size takes away the focus on trying to reduce your size. Instead, focus on trying to increase your health. If you improve your nutrition and do more physical activity then not only will you become healthier, but you also lose weight.

Having weight loss as an outcome can be damaging to people because people don’t always lose weight at the speed they want to.

Worse, even healthy people who don’t really need to lose weight think otherwise because they read magazines and follow people on social media thinking think that “people with ab veins” is what’s normal.

As a result, you get two extremes of the same coin. People are trying to get people healthier by telling them different things when people want the same outcome and processes.

Individualize the Message

We need to individualize the message. You can’t just be somebody who constantly advocates health to every size without caveating with the idea that it’s okay to want to lose weight. However, it’s okay to want to lose weight because you think it looks better.

We don’t want people wearing makeup and we don’t mind people buying nice clothes…but we think it’s negative to want to lose weight because they look better and feel more confident. Take the process of the appearance aspect off it and put the focus on positive processes and healthy activities.

Mental Health is Key

Nobody should ever feel ashamed of themselves in terms of what they look like or their body size. Unfortunately, positive health changes are associated with shame and negativity, therefore, it’s therefore important to separate them both.

Thoughts on the “Anti-Doctors”

Sometimes, GPs aren’t very educated on nutrition so they historically haven’t given the best advice. Instead, avoid arguing with people on the internet.

Some of the greatest miscommunication and bad interactions with patients come from your own frustrations that you don’t feel you can help that person with that particular problem. Hence, remember that you’re speaking to a human being just like you who have got the same fears, worries, and concerns you have. So make it about their agendas, not yours.

Highlights
  • Where he got his name from
  • What started his decision to lose weight
  • Why morality is being associated with being overweight
  • GP’s insights into “health at every size”
  • The importance of individualizing the message
  • Separating positive health changes and shame & negativity
Quotes & Take-Aways

I was getting to the age where I could no longer rely on just being young and healthy anymore because I was going to start actually giving myself big problems.

Half of the problem is that people separate the activity needed to lose weight and the impetus for doing that activity.

There is so much morality associated with being overweight or being inactive.

A lot of doctors argue that it isn’t a GP’s responsibility to be advising people on nutrition. It’s a nutritionist or a dietitian’s responsibility.

The problem is we don’t always get a huge amount of feedback so it’s difficult to know how it works exactly and whether it’s actually working.

We don’t want people wearing makeup and we don’t mind people buying nice clothes…but we think it’s negative to want to lose weight.

Nobody should ever feel ashamed of themselves in terms of what they look like or their body size.

Connect with Mike:
Instagram
@drmikethe2nd

Thanks for listening and the support – if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you can leave the podcast a rating and review on iTunes, and if you haven’t subscribed yet, this is the best time to do that too. This will help the show to get up in the rankings.

Scott Baptie

Scott is the owner and founder of Food For Fitness. He is a fat loss coach, speaker and fitness writer with a masters (MSc) degree in Applied Sports Nutrition.