Feature Article: November 2020 – Practical Lifestyle Plan

Practical Lifestyle Plan

Jeff Morris

Michele L. Neil-Sherwood, D.O. and Mark Sherwood, N.D. are the Founding Physician and Naturopathic Physician, respectively, of the Functional Medical Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “We like to consider ourselves interchangeable,” said Dr. Sherwood. “Our patients get us all—a team approach.”

It makes sense, then, that the pair have developed a common protocol that includes nutrition, supplementation, stress management, sleep, and hormone optimization; essentially, a team approach to age management. The protocol is foundationally sound and one from which everyone can benefit immediately.

This practical lifestyle plan is the subject of their lecture, now available as part of the Clinical Applications for Age Management Medicine Digital On Demand conference. Their session, “One for the Ages: a practical lifestyle plan/protocol for everyone,” exemplifies their belief that by understanding the common ground of what the majority of people can and can’t do combined with systems biology and functional medicine principles, one is able to deliver a general protocol that nearly everyone can employ immediately.

“Basically, the plan is going to lay out a step-by-step approach the includes nutritional information, exercise information, all the lifestyle aspects including a peptide protocol, to guarantee the reduction and hopefully the elimination of this idea of obesity. We’re seeing that grow exponentially over the course of our lifetime; it’s  the fastest growing noncommunicable disease process in the world,” said Dr. Sherwood. “We have not addressed it accordingly. We need to do a better job.”

“Michelle and I believe in food is medicine,” said Dr. Sherwood. “Food first; lifestyle first. And there’s four aspects of lifestyle that are the foundations of everything: movement; food, or nutritional intake; sleep; and truly, the concept of managing stress. We also put a good peptide protocol rotation schedule that we have developed over the course of time.” He said using peptides with the nutritional and exercise approach gives good synergistic action of fat-excess adiposity reduction, and increased lean muscle mass. “We know over the course of time, those are two key factors to the promotion of longevity.”

Dr. Sherwood said most people look at a successful plan as being weight loss. “We feel the scales need to be thrown in the garbage,” he said. “It’s that worthless of a measurement, because we’ve equated health with the scale going down, and equated unhealthiness with the scale going up, which couldn’t be further from the truth.”

According to Dr. Sherwood, in body composition analysis, the ideal body composition for women is probably between 18 and 26 percent body fat range, and the younger ones should be on the lower end of that spectrum, and the older should be on the upper end, but certainly not the 40s or 50s. For men, somewhere between 10 and 18 percent. “That requires practitioner intervention,” he said, “because you need to measure that.”

“The bottom line is, when you’re talking about education of a patient, in regard to teaching them nutritional adjustments within our protocol, and measuring the right things, that is the professional’s job, and this is what the physician can and should be doing. It’s almost like a quasi-lifestyle coaching mechanism within the physician platform. That kind of relationship builds trust and it’s also going to get results.”

As Dr. Sherwood says, weight loss plans don’t work; diets don’t work. “Clearly, America is the hub of diets, but we’re also the hub of the fattest nation in the world. Our fatness has caused excess toxicity, excess inflammation, and we haven’t learned how to even structure our system so our immune system works halfway normally. So we’ve created a society of over-fat, undernourished, immuno-depressed people. And we need to change that. So we’re talking about a permanent lifestyle adjustment.”

Drs. Neil-Sherwood and Sherwood say their plan is different because it is sustainable and measurable. “We need to be able to do this the rest of our lives,” said Dr. Sherwood. “If we look at it as a diet, we’ve already failed; America has done horrifically with diets. With the measurables, we’ve got to measure the body composition, and with the peptide inclusion to help us augment a great strategy, of course that involves physician involvement and prescription power.”

“We underserve ourselves as physicians if we don’t take on the concept of permanence in the adjustments we make,” Dr. Sherwood said, “because we need to create an environment of people that are excess fat gain resistant.”

“The protocol will, without question, in every single person, provide benefit in all these areas, and we’ve tracked it—it works,” said Dr. Sherwood. “We have tracked this with nearly 600 people the last few years. Generally, the women lose 1.5 percent body fat per month, and the men lose about 2.5 percent body fat per month. And they stay there. They truly have become excess body fat resistant. We’ve seen 100 percent success with those patients.”

Find out how to access the lecture by Dr. Michele Neil-Sherwood and Dr. Mark Sherwood and the other digital-on-demand conference sessions by visiting www.agemed.org.