Should PTs Use a New Model for Weight Loss?

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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Top 3 Tips for Weight Loss During Physical Therapy

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

The Holidays Are Coming!

We have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Passover/Kwanza, and New Years coming. Data show that most Americans will on average gain about 0.4% of body fat during this time, most coming just after Christmas. While 0.4% does not seem like much fat, consider some quick math: a 175 lb man would essentially gain 3/4ths of a pound during the holidays. This small weight gain seems insignificant unless you add this weight gain with other gaining periods in the year, and compound the weight gain every holiday season. In other words, consider if this 175 lb 20 year old gained 0.4% every year for the next 20 years. This would equate to an extra 7 lbs of fat just gained in a few months over 20 years!

How does any of this matter for physical therapy practice? Time and time again my team and I are asked, how can we as physical therapists (PTs) educate our clients to lose weight?...

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