Should PTs Use a New Model for Weight Loss?

Sep 16, 2021

By Dr. Sean M. Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

For decades the predominant model that dictated weight gain, loss, or maintenance was the energy balance model (EBM). The EBM is rooted in one of the basic laws of thermodynamics. It goes without saying that food contains energy and it is typically measured in a unit known as calories (kilocalories in the dietary world). As a person consumes food it provides energy to do work such as exercise, activities of daily living (ADL), physical therapy, basic living functions, or even sport. Energy can come from recently consumed food or stored energy (e.g. fat, glycogen, or protein) from previously eaten food. 

Clinicians often explain weight loss to patients as “calories-in versus calories-out” or CICO, which directly relates to the EBM. In brief, CICO helps rehab professionals to explain to clients the balance between the energy coming into their body versus the energy they expend: too much food...

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Best Weight Loss Tips for Physical Therapists

Dec 21, 2020

The holidays are here and our clients are busy hanging decorations and eating lots of holiday food. Most of this holiday food is loaded with extra calories from added sugars, fat, and processed junk. After climbing their ladders, lifting the boxes, and the stress of traveling and seeing family, they come crawling into our clinics or gyms with extra weight and a sore back.

What can we do as Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPTs)? Aside from our traditional physical therapy treatments like manual therapy and exercise, we should be using patient education for weight loss. Here are some of our top tips for PTs and weight loss.

Journal Your Foods

Holidays bring big emotions and lots of junk food. Many of this junk food is eaten without our clients' being aware they are eating hundreds, if not thousands, of extra calories. These calories add up quickly promoting weight gain, reducing glycemic control, and stimulating inflammation.

To improve your PT outcomes and shed some pounds, data...

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