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I am by no means overweight. My BMI (however useless I find this measurement to be) is within a healthy range. I am not afraid to put on a swimsuit. However, I am currently undergoing a Rapid Weight Loss Program. The reason I’m doing this is to better serve you in reaching your weight loss goals. I know that a lot of women and men do feel uncomfortable in their own bodies and sometimes, despite exercising and dieting, have a hard time making any lasting difference in their bodies.

I have recently started offering a Medically-Supervised Rapid Weight Loss Program where my patients are losing between 0.5 to 1.0 pounds per day. This is achieved by a very low calorie diet in conjunction with daily injections of a hormone that promotes fat breakdown instead of muscle breakdown for energy. The end result is quick weight loss without feeling tired and hungry and without messing with your metabolism so that the weight stays off after the program is finished.

A typical course of treatment lasts for three to six weeks where patients are expected to lose between 15 and 40 pounds. I, for obvious reasons, will not be doing a full course of treatment but I will stick with it until I lose 15 lbs. My ultimate goal is to go through the hurdles for you and to let you know what to expect – not because I read it somewhere, but because I went through it too. Here’s the top 5 things I have learned so far during my week-and-a-half on the Rapid Weight Loss Program.

The first three days are hard. Really hard. I was told I wouldn’t feel hungry but man, was I hungry! I was also crashing from coffee and sugar withdrawal. Although I am allowed coffee on the program, cream isn’t allowed so I decided to forego the coffee and drink herbal tea instead. Every day for the first three days, I wanted to quit. But as soon as I stepped on the scale in the morning and saw the change from just the day before, I told myself I can do one more day. Then I noticed something. About three days in, I wasn’t hungry anymore. The cravings (for the most part) went away and I became excited about how much I had achieved in such a short time.
I’ve learned a lot about myself. People assume that because I am a Naturopathic Doctor, I have an impeccable diet. They assume that I eat like a rabbit, that I only eat organic, and that I never have sugar or alcohol. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Naturopathic Doctors are just regular people who have pursued a career in person-based healthcare. Sure, we have a lot of knowledge on nutrition and we strive to eat healthy on the whole. But, I drink coffee every day. The only food that I buy organic is the Dirty Dozen. I indulge in dessert every now and then. I drink wine a couple times a week. I also love carbohydrates – pasta, pizza, bread (I think I was Italian in another life). The Rapid Weight Loss Program has allowed me to learn a lot about myself. I’ve realized how much of an emotional eater I am and how much I love to eat when I’m bored. I also realize that I turn to comfort foods in these instances. I’ve discovered how much I use wine to destress. I’ve realized that I still have a long way to go to improve my diet to prevent future health problems from arising. Both diabetes and heart disease run in my family. I can do better for myself.
I’ve become more creative about creating healthy meals. When you are put on essentially a fat-free and grain-free diet, it is hard to meal-plan. A lot of the foods I would make on a regular basis are all of a sudden not okay. It makes it even harder when I live with someone who is not dieting and I need to accommodate both of us. However, as I go along, I realize that it is doable. For instance, one day I made a fat-free bolognese sauce and served it over spiralized zucchini noodles. It was delicious! Tonight I will be making a a stir-fry over cauliflower rice. I also get to experiment with vegetables that I wouldn’t normally buy. There is a multitude of options in the produce section of my grocery store. Sometimes I buy something just to see what it tastes like. It keeps things interesting.
My food choices in the past were bringing me down. I never realized how chronically tired I was until I suddenly wasn’t. About a week into the program I all of a sudden realized that my afternoon sluggishness wasn’t there anymore! I tell my patients all the time that mid-afternoon fatigue is most likely due to an imbalanced lunch. When I started eating a highly nutritious lunch, my energy sky-rocketed! It’s not just my energy that has improved, either. My mood is elevated, I can think clearer and I am sleeping better. In fact, I have started waking up about 15 minutes before my alarm even goes off, and feel ready to start my day! Our food has such a huge role in how we feel overall. We really are what we eat.
I can do this. I always assumed that I lacked willpower to stick to a diet as I love delicious food. I under-estimated myself. I am stronger than I gave myself credit for. I’ve realized that taking this one day at a time is all that is required. I tell myself to just get through today. By the time the next morning hits and I see the change on the scale (yes, changes do happen that quickly!) I get so excited and tell myself again, “just get through today”. I can do this. You can do this, too.
Dr. Nicole Hartman

About Dr. Nicole Hartman

Dr. Nicole Hartman is a naturopathic physician, a world traveler, a hiker, and a blogger. She focuses her practice in digestion, women's health and weight loss and takes an integrative, evidence-based approach to healthcare.