Education, research, and support are key elements to founding of Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners
The first step is always the hardest.
It doesn’t matter what it pertains to but we tend to be hesitant to take a first step because of the fear of failure.
In relation to food, it can be daunting for anyone — even someone who is eager to make dietary lifestyle changes — to know where to start.
One reason the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners was formed was to educate, research, and provide accreditation and a forum of support for doctors, dietitians, and health coaches. It also will help the patients on their path, the majority of which are seeing wild success on variations of a low-carb lifestyle.
President of SMHP Doug Reynolds, along with Dr. Adele Hite, a registered dietician with a background in nutrition, dietetics and public health and a writer at dietdoctor.com and Dr. Tro Kalayjian, who operates his own metabolic weight loss clinic and is on the SMHP board, don’t insist on a hard and fast rule of low-carb or no-carb lifestyles for everyone but rather eliminating processed fake foods.
“It doesn’t have to be keto or ketogenic or even low-carb to improve your health by removing some of these excess calories that nobody needs in the first place,” Hite said.
Kalayjian asks himself frequently when working with patients, ‘If this doesn’t work, why not?’
“Not everyone needs to go low-carb,” he said. “If a sensible diet didn’t work are we missing something. Is there a food addiction present?”
Taking other diets (vegetarian, carnivore) into consideration, as well as seeking a whole-health approach is what SMHP employs.
Kalayjian, who lost 150 pounds himself, said the biggest issue doctors face is not having an education, and continuing education, in nutrition.
“We need to educate a network, and that’s what this organization is about,” he said of SMHP, “it’s educating and networking.”
Up until SMHP came to life late in 2020, there were groups like Reynolds’ LowCarb USA and Diet Doctor that allowed health practitioners and advocates to come together for conferences, etc. Both Reynolds (LowCarbUSA) and Kalayjian (LowCarbMD) host podcasts which features guests like Hite.
“That’s why this (SMHP) is so important,” Kalayjian said. Kalayjian said he wished he would have been trained better when he was a 350-pound doctor and should have known better.
“We’re going to be training a generation of people and not only that we’re going to be grouping our efforts together,” he said.
Reynolds said the one question doctors are not seeking answers too is, if the current standard of care is not working, why not?
“They’ve been doing this all their lives and all their patients continue to get sicker, and they get sick, and yet they haven’t questioned it,” he said.
Kalayjian said 80 percent of the people coming to his medical weight loss clinic with pre-diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes, are eating high-carbohydrate meals and see short-term and long-term improvements in their overall health.
Hite recommends an article written by her cohort at Diet Doctor, Jennifer Calihan, Eating Better: The 6 Steps Down the Carb Mountain. The article guides anyone down the path of either starting a lower-carbohydrate lifestyle plan to even eating a little healthier. Those steps include saying goodbye to sugary drinks, dessert for breakfast, packaged snacks, super-sized sweet treats, low-fat and fat-free products, and large servings of starches.
“It’s about taking the foods out that don’t need to be there in the first place,” Hite said. “Who needs soda? Or cappuccinos with 600 grams of sugar in them or things like that. Nobody needs that.”
“It’s a game changer,” Hite said of SMHP, “because we’ve never had this in the low-carb space. And I’ve been in this for a long time and there’s never been anything like this. There’s been some attempts but nothing had succeeded. I think this will succeed.”
To find a metabolic health practitioner near you through SMHP, go to metabolichealth.org and use the providers database search function.