Weight loss

Dear Former Patients,

Please allow me to take this opportunity to issue my sincerest apologies.   Prior to 2011, I was giving out some really crappy nutritional advice.  You came to my office, claimed you were following all of my instructions – yet, you were a few pounds heavier than last visit and your diabetes was still out of control.  I remember thinking you were not being honest with me about your food intake.  And, I remember you looking desperate, wondering what else you needed to be doing, asking yourself how you could possibly try harder.   And, I vividly recall sending you on your way with instructions to increase your whole grains, switch from white bread to wheat bread, and to stop putting sugar on your cereal.  Essentially, I encouraged your high-carbohydrate diet.

I humbly ask your forgiveness.

Prior to 2011

As a medical resident and then a young attending physician, I was regretfully under the influence of some very, very bad nutrition education.  I had been taught that diabetics needed 40-60% of their intake to come from ‘good’ carbohydrates – whole grains, natural starches, fortified breads and cereals.  I was taught that fat was the enemy – one that was sending our nation into a spiral of irreversible cardiovascular disease.  So, I recommended fat-free products to you.  I advised you to purchase skim milk, margarine, and to stay away from eggs.

I humbly ask your forgiveness.

After 2011

However, a single conversation changed my life.  I was discussing my sudden weight gain to a trainer at a gym I had joined.  I was in the best physical shape of my life – trail running in the mornings and doing Crossfit a few times per week.  Within 2-3 months, I put on 15 lbs.  I knew this was not “muscle” – no one gains muscle that quickly.  I was asking her what she thought (and I was on the verge of crying!).

Her first question was “how many carbs are you eating?”  And my first thought was “why the hell does that matter?”  She recommended I try to keep track of my carbohydrate intake and see if I could keep it under 100 grams per day.  (My head was still thinking she was full of it…..limiting carbs was NOT what I’d been taught in medical school.”

My discovery

I left the gym that very day and went home to consult my favorite mentor:  Google.  I spent hours that day reading about lower carbohydrate diets and the history of how fat came to be such a villain in our society.

That was the day my jaw hit the floor – and it’s pretty much stayed there.  I was shocked at what I learned – that our excess carbohydrate intake furthers many disease processes, including diabetes(If you have a problem processing sugar – carbs are sugar – why in the world would it make sense that you eat mostly carbs??) I learned that there really isn’t a “minimum” amount of carbohydrates that one needs – that we’d survive just fine without them.  And, I learned that removing fat from our diets starting in the 1960s (and peaking in the 1980s-90s) was the single biggest dietary mistake our society has made.

My world was forever changed.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a DOCTOR

So, why was this information all new to me?  I’m going over countless studies, not believing what I’m reading.  Flawed research, industry influence!  How was I not privy to this information as a young medical student and physician – sworn to do no harm?

That’s it – I was OBSESSED.  The world has to know about this!  (My friends reading this are all saying…oh yeah, she let us all know about it….over…and over….and over…)  🙂

My new career was born

Since that one conversation, I have been on a mission to fix the mistakes I made so long ago.  I can still see some of those patients very clearly and this helps me stay focused on my goal of re-educating people about what real food truly is – and more importantly – what it is NOT.  Obesity and type 2 diabetes have only gotten worse – particularly in the last twenty years.  The low-fat, high-carb dietary recommendations have done us no favors, friends.  In fact, they have made us an incredibly sick nation.

After becoming a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, I opened Exceptional Health & Weight Loss Solutions, PLC in September 2015 – a clinic entirely dedicated to fighting the untruths we’ve been taught about food.   I focus on responsible weight loss without gimmicks. I basically teach people how to eat.

All of this came about due to one simple conversation after I’d gained 15 lbs.  Going back to that story – I did start watching my carb intake.  I realized for every handful of pretzels I gave my kids, I’d take handful too. (Because, ya know…pretzels are fat free.)  I’d take a bite of every PB&J and every serving of Mac ‘n Cheese.  I stopped all of this and the pounds came off within a couple of months – fairly effortlessly.  (BTW, I no longer purchase pretzels or Mac ‘n Cheese for my children.)

So again….

I am so sorry for the terrible advice I gave so many years ago. (And I’m also sorry my family felt like they had to hide the butter, bacon, and eggs when I went home to visit!)

I was uneducated on this topic.  You came back to me heavier and sicker and I assumed you weren’t following my directions.  When, in fact, you were probably doing exactly as I had instructed.

~Dr. Linda Hodges

You can find this story, plus other valuable information, in my new ebook!  A book about weight loss that focuses on PREPARING for your next diet….MINDSET is ESSENTIAL for SUCCESS!

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