Here’s How Plan U Will Help You Achieve Optimal Nutritional Health
Community Spotlight Jun 21, 2021
Dr. Sapna Makhija knows that trying to keep healthy can be a challenge. Understanding that there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” type of program, she created PlanU where she provides customized personal coaching and mentoring sessions to help you achieve your nutritional health goals.
My Business: PlanU
Founder: Dr. Sapna Makhija
Email: [email protected]
Launched In: 2021
Target Market: Men and women.
What We Offer: Customized coaching and mentoring sessions are available to help you achieve your health and wellness goals
Founder Dr. Sapna Makhija shares her story.
It’s to no one’s surprise that COVID-19 has drastically impacted our health over the past year, even if we did not contract COVID during this time. A researcher in California stated that the average weight gain during the shelter in place orders was 1.8 pounds per month. The CDC reported that about 78% of patients who were hospitalized in the US, needed a ventilator, or died of COVID-19 have been either overweight or obese. With gyms being closed and more screen time for both kids and adults, activity has decreased and stress eating has increased, further impacting our health.
In 2017, Public Health of Canada reported that 64% of Canadians over the age of 18 were either overweight or obese. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers. The annual direct healthcare cost of obesity is between $5-7 billion CAD.
The pathophysiology of obesity and being overweight is complex and involves genetics, the nervous system, a multitude of hormones and potentially the very unique individual microbiome. I trained first as a Gastroenterologist and realized early that despite learning about the gastrointestinal tract in detail, my knowledge of nutrition was limited. I then further trained by doing a Clinical Nutrition fellowship at the University of Toronto. After a number of years in clinical practice, I decided to further my education and become specialized in the field of Obesity medicine.
In my learnings, it was taught that those with an unhealthy weight have a damaged neurohormonal system of the brain that leads some people to have a higher weight set point. When anyone attempts to lose weight by just reducing their daily caloric intake, the hunger hormone (Ghrelin) increases and the satiety hormone (Leptin) decreases. In the short term, we can train ourselves to ignore these signals and continue to lose more weight. In the long term, however, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore the signals and many may regain the weight. Some individuals end up at an even higher weight than when they started and it can be more difficult to lose weight the second time. Research has shown that people are more likely to maintain their weight loss if there is accountability to someone.
It is also no surprise that there is no “best diet” nor is there a one size fits all plan to become healthier. Hence, I created PlanU, an individualized and tailored coaching program to help you achieve optimal nutritional health.
How It Works
A program that’s tailored for YOU! PlanU begins with the initial consultation. It’s an opportunity for me to understand your overall health and your previous struggles with weight loss. We’ll discuss what’s working and what doesn’t, your family history, and other contributing life factors (stress, work, family) that hinder your progress. At the conclusion of the consultation, we’ll both discuss whether PlanU is something that may work for you. This program is to coach dietary and lifestyle changes only. Many people who are not at their ideal weight actually may require a medically supervised program that also offers medications to help treat obesity. If that’s the case, you will be informed of that after the consultation.
Choose From 12 or 24 Week Sessions
After the initial consultation, if I feel that you will be a good candidate for this program, you have the option to choose from either 12 or 24 one-on-one coaching sessions where we discuss progress, accomplishments and struggles, and find ways to overcome your challenges, giving you the tools for a healthier lifestyle. You can schedule your sessions as often as you need. Depending on your schedule, it can be once a week, twice a week or even every other week.
The agenda of each session is dependent on your nutritional level, understanding of changes, and what you need help with the most. For example, if you are going to dinner that week, we can discuss the menu at the restaurant and how you can select a healthier option suited for your lifestyle. We’ll also tackle common concerns like emotionally eating or difficulty staying motivated and get to the bottom of what may be the barriers in achieving your goals. Each session is essentially a troubleshooting discussion as we pivot to help you achieve your goals. If one of your challenges is reading labels and understanding nutritional content, we’ll go through that. If you need help with grocery shopping and cooking suggestions, we can combine a few of the sessions together to do an extended in person session (for Toronto clients only and following Covid safety protocols).
Data studies suggest that one can best achieve weight management when there’s someone to be accountable to. Hence the 24 session pack. Once you’re in maintenance, you may want to reduce the sessions to once a month rather than once a week.
About Dr. Sapna Makhija
Dr. Sapna Makhija started her undergraduate education at the University of British Columbia, followed by a medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Her post-graduate education includes completing an Internal Medicine residency and further specialization in Gastroenterology at the University of Calgary.
Her leadership and academic pursuits involved serving as chief resident, as well as partaking in a number of research projects.
Dr. Makhija also completed a fellowship in Clinical Nutrition and Obesity at the University of Toronto, and published in the area of nutritional assessment. Recently, Dr. Makhija became a Diplomat of The American Board of Obesity Medicine, to further expand her growing practice. She is also certified to become a precision nutrition coach in 2020.
Dr. Makhija has worked throughout the Greater Toronto Area, as well as locum tenans in British Columbia and Ontario. She currently works as a Gastroenterologist and is the Co-founder of GI Health Centre in Burlington, Ontario.
You can follow Dr. Sapna on Twitter & Instagram at @makhijamd and www.letsplanu.ca.
Main Image Photo Credit: www.letsplanu.ca (Makhija), www.unsplash.com
Dr. Sapna Makhija
Dr. Sapna Makhija (@makhijamd) has worked throughout the Greater Toronto Area, as well as locum tenens in British Columbia and Ontario. She currently works as a Gastroenterologist and is the Co-founder of GI Health Centre in Burlington, Ontario.
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