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.
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.”
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.)
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!