Weight Loss and Diabetes

Weight Loss and Diabetes: The Functional Medicine Approach

For anyone diagnosed with diabetes, the traditional treatment model has been fairly one-size-fits-all – medication to manage blood sugar levels. But this pharmaceutical band-aid fails to address the underlying causes and lifestyle factors driving the condition.

At Longevity Healthcare, we take a different approach inspired by functional medicine principles. Rather than just slapping a proverbial piece of duct tape on the symptoms, we aim to identify and treat the root issues fueling diabetes through personalized, holistic interventions.

And at the core of our functional model for diabetes care is a focus on sustainable weight loss and diet transformation tailored to each individual’s needs, goals, and biological realities.

As Dr. Shirisha Avadhanula explains in a recent Cleveland Clinic podcast, “Losing weight is critical when it comes to diabetes. We have an eagle eye view when we treat our patients. We have a really individualized approach but for every patient we have this broad algorithm, if you will, when we start treating diabetes. The very first thing we ask people to do is we ask them to exercise and we ask them to diet so that they can lose weight.”

Why such an emphasis on shedding excess pounds and inches? The connections between obesity and diabetes are stark, according to the latest research.

“We identified being overweight and being obese as one of the major risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Avadhanula notes. “We know through studies that patients that have a significant amount of weight loss, whether it’s through metabolic surgery or whether it’s through calorie restriction, there can be a remission of type 2 diabetes.”

A study shared by the Institute for Functional Medicine illustrates a key principle of the functional medicine approach – using nutrition and lifestyle upgrades as a frontline intervention to prevent disease progression and downstream complications. Diabetes is about so much more than just blood sugar levels.

Through our holistic lens, we explore the intricate web of interconnected imbalances that may be implicated, including:

  • Hormonal dysregulation
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Microbiome disruption
  • Fatty acid deficiencies
  • Mitochondrial impairment
  • Nutrient depleted foods
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unmanaged stress

By mapping out each client’s unique landscape of contributing factors, we’re able to co-create a targeted therapeutic pathway using diet, movement, nutraceuticals, stress management, and other natural modalities.

For some, this means implementing a low-carb, Mediterranean-style eating pattern to reign in blood sugars and reduce inflammation. For others with food sensitivities like dairy or gluten, an elimination diet may be warranted to heal the gut.

The overarching goal? Facilitate sustainable weight loss and metabolic improvements by developing health-promoting habits unique to each individual’s needs and preferences.

By leveraging the lifestyle factors within our control through practical behavior change counseling, we empower clients to take the wheel of their diabetes journey and reality.

Rethinking Weight Loss Beyond Just Physical Change

But our functional medicine approach takes the importance of weight loss for diabetes management a step further. We understand that true, lasting weight release happens through an integrated shift in mindset, habits, and self-perception.

All too often in the conventional model, the weight loss piece focuses solely on calorie cutting through deprivation-based diets and grueling exercise plans devoid of joy. While this approach may force some short-term physical change on the scale, it fails to foster the sustainable mindset required for lasting results.

At Longevity Healthcare, we work to break this cycle of rigid diet rules that breed feelings of failure, guilt, and frustration. Our holistic approach prioritizes practices that cultivate:

  • Mindful eating behaviors
  • Positive body image
  • Self-compassion
  • Stress resilience
  • A weight-neutral focus
  • Intuitive exercise enjoyment
  • Positive mental heatlh

We gently encourage clients to reframe their motivations beyond just pursuing an arbitrary number on the scale or physical ideal. Instead, we collaboratively explore their deeper “why” for embarking on a weight loss journey rooted in whole-person wellness.

A Sustainable Weight Loss Shift

We’d be doing our clients a disservice if we prescribed rigid, one-size diets that set them up for suffering, deprivation, and inevitable weight regain. Been there, done that – and it simply doesn’t work long-term.

Instead, our weight loss guidance for clients with diabetes is rooted in self-attunement, gradual habit formation, and integration of practical real-world strategies. This allows for crowding out of unhealthy choices rather than complete elimination which can breed bingeing and burnout.

Based on lab testing, health history, and an embodied understanding of each client’s abilities and preferences, our care team is able to co-create a framework for sustainable dietary and lifestyle change.

The key is providing customized support and resources to ultimately foster a positive, nurturing relationship with food and one’s body. Only from this empowered mindset can lasting habits take root.

But the physical loss of inches and pounds is truly just the beginning. The true victory lies in the liberation of self-limiting beliefs, the reduction of diabetes distress, and the reclamation of a strong mind-body connection.

Far beyond just “treating” a disease, this is facilitating an awakening to your highest human potential – one rooted in vibrant aliveness and self-attunement.

An Invitation to Incredible Possibility

At Longevity Healthcare, we understand that a diagnosis of diabetes can feel overwhelming, daunting, and hopeless at first. You may feel resigned to a lifelong regimen of medications and strict deprivation.

But we’re here to validate that incredible possibility exists beyond the conventional narrative. A world where your biology comes back into harmonious balance. Where your relationship with food and movement becomes one of joy and self-care rather than harsh restriction.

If you feel called to experience healing and weight release through a functional, whole-person lens, our doors are open.

Book a consultation here.

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