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LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/25/14 1:03 P

A doctor has a responsibility to know where s/he lacks knowledge/education and to either gain that knowledge or refer you to someone who does know what they are talking about. The fact that your doctor obviously has no knowledge in this area, but is willing to make recommendations like a 500 calorie diet (which is definitely unhealthy and not even safe) tells me a LOT about him and what it tells me is that he's not a good doctor.

No good doctor would make recommendations like that (500 calorie diet) because s/he would either be conscientious enough to put forth some effort to learn about nutrition or acknowledge that this was an area where s/he lacked knowledge and refer you to someone who knew what they were talking about and who could offer you the proper recommendations. Failing to do so is unethical, at the least.

I guess I just have to disagree with excusing this because he probably didn't receive much nutritional training in school. If he didn't receive much training, he should know better than to make recommendations and he should know (or care enough) to send you to someone else who did receive the proper education (e.g. a registered dietitian). I mean...what excuse is there for giving out unsound and potentially unsafe advice? None, IMO.

"Let me refer you to__________" is the proper thing for a doctor to do when they lack knowledge/training/skills in a particular area where you need help. Or, at the very least, "Let me look into the most recent recommendations regarding nutrition and weight loss before I advise you. Can we make another appointment in a week so we can discuss this in further detail (or, can I call you in a few days to let you know what I find and to make some specific recommendations)?

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 7/25/2014 (13:09)
BYEPOUNDS Posts: 7,204
7/25/14 12:50 P

lots of good advice here


7/25/14 12:47 P

Thank you everyone.. Today I went out and bought a food scale.. I found the food menu on here.. I totally like that idea of everything is counted for me. :D

We are on a doctor shortage so trying to find a new doctor is really hard. and alot of them are hard to understand.
I went to a new doctor and the first thing he said was I need to loose weight. :( yes I know.. lol and sent me for blood work.
so Now my plan is to try the spark diet menu and hope I can get things going on with that.
baby steps is right. I looked into the Jenny diet and its the same foods all the time. :( I have a family of 5 so I cant be buying that stuff and the other diets can cost like 5000 or more.
I would rather buy real food for that much.

KASTRA Posts: 369
7/25/14 12:09 P

Most physicians get minimal or no training on dietary requirements. I'd wager your MD was one of those (like most MDs) that did not opt to go the extra mile to learn on his own what a medically-recommended, nutritious diet is.

There is no way your body will get the nutrients required to sustain itself on so few calories.

That is, unless your doctor said to go on the 500-calorie diet along with nutritional supplements, and scheduled weekly (or ideally more frequent) checks to monitor your blood work and vitals to ensure no damage was done. I have heard of rare cases where doctors have closely monitored patients and put them on a highly-restrictive diet. That was only in very extreme cases, though. Since Jenny Craig was one of the options, I imagine that's not the case.

If your doctor has done you well for all other medically-related needs, writing them off purely based upon nutritional information might be a bit drastic. But, it does let you know that he's uninformed where nutrition is concerned so those questions need to go to someone else (i.e., dietician referral).

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/25/14 12:02 P

Your doctor obviously slept through what little training his medical school offered. Actually...where DID he get his medical degree? Look it up on your state's medical board website. You might be very surprised at what you find. Not all medical schools are equal. Also, not all doctors are equally competent. Do you know what they call the person who graduates at the bottom of his/her medical school class? The guy who barely squeaks by without getting dismissed? "Doctor."

Get a new doctor. If your doctor is that incompetent and uneducated about his nutritional recommendations, in what other areas is his education woefully lacking? There are bound to be plenty of other things that he's doing that are just not right. Consider reporting this guy to his state medical board for incompetence. They might slap him on the wrist and sentence him to some continuing education (if the rest of his patients are lucky).

Of course you felt horrible on a 500 calorie per day starvation diet! Please tell me your "doctor" didn't try to tell you to get some of those HCG drops to go along with the 500 calories.

Oh well. Fortunately, you have found a place with the tools and information to help you lose the weight. Just enter your stats/info into Spark People and follow the recommendations for calories, fat, carbs, protein, etc. Slowly work at what you are eating until you fall into the recommended ranges. I recommend a food scale (about $25 at Target, Walmart, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.) instead of eyeballing portions or using measuring cups. Track everything you eat. It'll seem hard at first, but don't give up. After you get all your foods, recipes, favorites, etc. entered, it will become much easier. Pretty soon, it'll only take a few minutes per day. Read the articles put out by Spark People--lots of good info there.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 7/25/2014 (12:04)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
7/25/14 11:39 A

Time for a new Doctor.

How about finding the correct range needed by your body to lose weight, and staying in it by cutting out junk food, sodas, processed foods, etc - and replacing them with whole foods, fruits and veggies?

That is what you will find here.

Plus a whole community to support you and cheer you on.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,540
7/25/14 11:31 A

I don't believe that anyone can do well on a 500 calorie diet. I agree with Anarie, you didn't fail. You had a normal reaction to a very bad diet.

MLAN613 Posts: 19,062
7/25/14 11:19 A

I fired a doctor for basically taking the same approach with me several years ago. I mentioned I was concerned about my weight. His response? Eat whole grains and exercise an hour a day. While these a good ideas for healthy living, it didn't resolve my problem or put me in contact with something or someone to help me get started.

You don't need Jenny Craig (expensive, pre packaged and processed foods) and, as you discovered, you need more than 500 calories a day. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a dietician but your insurance may not cover it. I had another bad doctor (who also didn't listen to me or take me seriously) refer me to such a place and it would have cost me $500 to $1500 out of pocket! That would have been 25% to 75% of my take home pay working two jobs. Unacceptable, in my book.

The thing is, you've already found a place to get started towards healthy living. Spark is free. Many of the members are great and supportive. Why don't you try it for a few weeks and see what happens?

GRAMCRACKER46 Posts: 1,787
7/25/14 11:04 A

Yes I'd say your doctor is uninformed about weight loss issues.

At one time I saw a place where you could print out or email Spark People info to a health care provider, can't find it right now though. I told my doctor about SP and he was very interested and took notes and would be checking it out. I hope he uses it in the future to help his other patients.

Just follow the guidelines here at SP and you will do great.

JHOWELL214 Posts: 39
7/25/14 8:27 A

I had a doctor tell me the same thing, about going on the 500 calorie diet. I looked at what that would be, and knew right away I couldn't do it. Look at Spark People's meal plan in the Nutrition area. It will give you some great ideas for a healthy meal plan.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (254,056)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,163
7/25/14 4:05 A

WOW - I can't believe it .... it sounds like your Dr got his medical degree from a cereal box :-(

At the VERY LEAST - a referral to a Registered Dietitian would have been in order from him, rather than giving very dangerous advice in what I suspect is a rather flippant and non-professional way.

I would do TWO things .... find another Dr and ask for a referral to a Registered Dietitian.

Apart from the above, Just start this journey with baby steps, changing only one or two things to start with, and only when your mind/body is used to those changes, add something else to the mix. It might be as simple as reducing soda/juice and increasing water, or reducing cake/sweets/KFC and replacing them with a piece of fruit. It might also be adding a bit more activity to you day. When you are used to these, then build on it.

Make good use of the nutrition tracker, and weigh all of your food for increased accuracy. If you have a lot of calories to drop, then I suggest that you do it in small increments so you are less likely to suffer from nausea and/or light-headedness. When you go to your Dietitian's appointment, take some printouts from the Nutrition Tracker with you. That will help him/her to give you the best advice as it pertains to you, your health and your likes/dislikes.

Good luck,

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
7/25/14 3:16 A

I would find another doctor.

DRYADSARAH SparkPoints: (194)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 88
7/25/14 2:41 A

I would report him even if you don't have any other issues with him. No medical personnel should think that an adult can thrive on 500 calories per day.

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
7/25/14 1:38 A

No, it's not in your head. Your doctor is a moron, at least when it comes to diet. He clearly has no idea what he's talking about if he mentions Jenny Craig and 500 calories as being similar in any way; while I don't think Jenny Craig is a particularly good program, it would give you about 3 times as many calories as your doc suggested.

Five hundred calories is a starvation diet. Do not ever listen to that doctor about weight loss again; just tell him that you need him to refer you to a Registered Dietitian. (Or you could try Jenny Craig, but the Registered Dietitian will be less expensive in the long run, and maybe even in the short run depending on your insurance plan.)

While you're waiting to see the dietitian, put your information into the SparkPeople program and start following the guidelines here. You can get menu suggestions if you want them, or you can just start logging all your food and planning your own meals to fit the nutritional targets the program gives you. At first, just focus on hitting the calorie targets (you'll get a range of calories, with a minimum of 1200-1550 per day) and cutting out stuff that you know is junk food. Gradually, you can start trying to hit targets for things like protein, fiber, calcium, and so on.

By the way, you didn't "fail" at anything. You had a perfectly normal, unpleasant physical reaction. You're SUPPOSED to feel tired and dizzy and freaked out when you don't eat enough to keep you alive. If humans didn't have that automatic reaction, we wouldn't have survived as a species. Your body did exactly what a healthy human body is meant to do. The only fail is your idiot doctor. If you like him for other things, just ignore his diet advice. Lots of doctors have no training at all in nutrition; it's one day in most medical schools. If, on the other hand, you don't like him and you think he might be giving you bad care in general, then report him to the state medical board for this. It really was stupid and dangerous and irresponsible of him to suggest that low a calorie count; the only way anyone should ever do something like that is if they are in a hospital under constant medical supervision, including a heart monitor.

7/25/14 12:47 A

So I told my doctor I needed help to lose weight he told me to either go to Jenny Craig or do a 500 calorie diet.. so I tried the diet and I failed.. I did it for 2 whole days. I was super tired and really dizzy even the walls were spinning. and started almost having a panic attack.. is this in my head? I never went with out food before.. lol

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