Dear Lexiamma: What should I eat?

Dr. Chetana (Intern)

Lexiamma’s *holistic* health advice:

1. Lexiamma Lexiamma keto, protein, low carb; which of these bandwagons do I jump on to lose 5 kgs in a week?

– Woah won’t while it’s commendable that you at least named quite a few trending diets in your question, we would recommend waiting before jumping onto anything. Like any goals, weight loss is also a process that requires gradual and dedicated efforts toward it. Moreover, the aim of adjusting ones diet should not just be weight loss but also keeping in mind ones overall health. So we recommend slowing down, thinking about all aspects of your health, reviewing your diet and exercise schedule and then working toward your weight loss goal before jumping on any bandwagon. Also probably a good idea to visit a nutritionist to understand the best possible options out there!

2. Lexiamma Lexiamma; no sugar to avoid diabetes, no salt to avoid hypertension; innumerable recommendations for PCOS ; is it really safe to eat anytime at all these days while keeping those cravings in check?

– Well, that question just made us recall our craving and gave us a guilt trip about all our cheat days. To answer your question, everything is okay in moderation and everything is safe if taken in moderation. While it is absolutely important to follow your doctor’s advice on what to avoid and what not to eat, it is also okay to ask them if you can still continue having some of your favorite  or at least how you can tailor them to fit their recommendations. After all, even diabetics can have the occasional ice cream. And days would be sad if we didn’t at least stray from the line at least once to satisfy those craving and go for that endorphin rush! A lot of practicing and budding doctors do it too. *wink wink*

3. Lexiamma Lexiamma, how to avoid emotional eating or these random bouts of binge eating?

Hmmm that took us back to our last binge eating spree. But it’s okay we are back now. It’s all good. To answer your question, health is neither a one dimensional concept, nor an isolated one.  It’s okay to lose control or let go once in a while and give in to the power of our emotion every once in a while. After all, if at the end of the day, we aren’t happy, we aren’t really healthy are we? This question reminds us that health is not just eating right and being disease free, being happy of the mental health aspect is important and our diet is influenced often by this aspect!  Maybe sormtimes, persistent bouts of binge eating may be a warning that there’s a deeper problem and in that case it’s always okay to reach out for help!

Lexiammas *golden advice* to approaching diets for doctors:

  1. Lexiamma Lexiamma, how to approach the subject of diet with a patient without seeming insensitive?

A good and difficult question; doc. To start off, we feel that it’s not approaching the subject itself but the way we choose to approach it that tends to give it this negative connotation. This is why linking dietary recommendations to overall health and speaking about it in a more holistic context and not merely emphasizing on the physical aspects like weight loss can go a long way in making patients more receptive to the doctor’s advice. Also, suggesting small changes in their existing diet like reducing the amount of salt in the food or sugar intake in coffee/ tea as initial recommendations can also help broach the subject easily rather than starting with radical changes can also be helpful in breaching the subject in a manner wherein patients are more receptive. A rapport and an understanding of how to best approach the topic is key!

  • Lexiamma Lexiamma; as a doctor and moreover especially as a budding doctor, we often skip meals and indulge in eating sprees that we advise against. So how do we as doctors make recommendations for holistic health when we don’t practice what we preach?

My friend, to err is human. That being said, we feel that because of their incredibly stressful lifestyles and themselves going through days of binge eating to days of eating nothing at all, doctors are uniquely qualified to emphasize the importance of eating right and how it influences their overall health because they are living examples of what a lack in this area can do to their overall well-being not just physically by also mentally.

And the saying that doctors make the worst patients is true to a large extent. After all, doctors also need someone to lean on and someone to advise fork time to time. Just because one makes mistakes is no reason for one to stop trying!

  • Lexiamma Lexiamma; can doctors cure themselves of stress eating?

Answering this question is only giving us more stress than we can handle. But perhaps the simplest answer is that we can’t. After all, we have bad days too and we need a break from time to time. There’s a sort of universality to the above statement and at the end of the day, doctors are human too. We would like to reiterate that holistic approach to health is also a realistic one and it’s understanding that no two days are the same. This applies to all aspects of the health and all we can do as humans really is believe in ourselves and find the strength to try again.

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