Doc Q: Rethinking your weight loss goals

weight loss
It might be time to rethink your weight loss goals, writes Dr Rhys Young

WORDS Dr Rhys Young

Already this year, I’ve seen a wave of folks eager to shed some kilos through weight loss. It’s that post-New Year’s buzz – you know, the one that makes you think that this is the year you’ll finally start flossing daily.

But just like every other year, February is where most New Year’s resolutions go to die. Instead of getting caught up in the fleeting resolution craze, let’s talk about practical, long-term approaches to losing weight and feeling great if that’s something you want to do.

Ditch the scale

Tired of the scale giving you that judgmental glare, like a homophobic aunt at a Christmas lunch? Ditching the scale doesn’t mean giving up on your goals.

Goals could be to save some money by avoiding takeout, or feeling less breathless when climbing stairs or getting down and dirty.

There’s actually evidence that lifestyle changes are effective in reducing erectile dysfunction, and who doesn’t love a nice stiffy! The queer community has even more pressure when it comes to weight and body shape. Did you know that we are also more likely to experience eating disorders and body dysmorphia?

Sometimes what might feel like a healthy New Year’s resolution, might not actually be so healthy. A good place to start is to spend some time focusing on your health and how you feel, rather than just numbers.

NEAT tricks

Rather than signing a 12-month contract to a gym that you’ll never see the inside of (OK, I may have done this once or twice), I want you to focus on NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).

This isn’t about the heat between your thighs while watching Saltburn; it’s about incorporating more activity into our daily routine. Things like getting off the bus a stop early or walking your recently groomed poodle-cross around the block rather than just watching him at the dog park. And yes, you can count sex towards your step count. You’re welcome.

Rainbow plates

I remember as a junior doctor seeing someone in the emergency department after a cucumber had gotten stuck in an orifice it should not have been in. So if there’s one piece of advice I could give everyone, it would be to eat your veggies (and use sex toys designed for purpose).

We know that most Aussies aren’t getting the recommended amount of vegetables. Aiming for five serves of vegetables is easy if you make sure your lunch and dinner are at least 50% veggies. Also, the more colours the better – it’s like having a Pride flag on your plate. Who knew vegetables could be so inclusive?

Foodie Allies

I also want to acknowledge that understanding how to fuel your body can be confusing. You’ve got to juggle supermarket labels, fast food advertising, a new shocking Netflix food documentary every other week, and societal pressures for what healthy bodies are meant to look like.

To make life easier, hook up with a dietitian. For dietary advice, of course – although I hear they’re all pretty good in the sack. A dietitian can help create some realistic & healthy goals and then give advice to put you on the right track.

As 2024 pushes on, let’s remember: our health journey is more than just numbers. It’s about finding joy in being active, loving what we eat, and embracing our unique journey to health. And never forget: that cucumber deserves to be on your plate, not in your butt.

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Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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