Real Health and Weight Loss 

Overweight Doctors

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Episode 1:
Show Notes 


In Episode 1 of Real Health and Weight Loss, Dr Mary Barson and Dr Lucy Burns open up about their personal journeys with weight loss and health. They offer candid insights into their struggles with traditional dieting methods and their subsequent discovery of the transformative power of a low-carb, real-food approach. Through their experiences, they highlight the limitations of calorie-centric approaches and emphasise the critical role of hormonal balance and psychological factors in achieving sustainable weight loss and overall well-being.

Challenges with Conventional Diets: Dr Mary delves into her lifelong struggles with weight, shedding light on the limitations of traditional dieting approaches fixated on calorie counting. Reflecting on her upbringing during the low-fat diet era, Dr Lucy shares her journey of yo-yo dieting and the fleeting success it brought, leaving her frustrated. Together, they emphasise the recurring cycle of strict dieting followed by periods of overindulgence, which often culminate in feelings of disappointment and failure with conventional weight loss methods.

Discovering the Power of Real Food: Dr Mary and Dr Lucy delve into their transition to a low-carb, real-food diet, underscoring its profound impact on their overall health and well-being. Dr Mary recounts her journey of discovering relief from conditions like PCOS and insulin resistance through dietary changes, emphasising the significance of nourishing the body with nutrient-dense foods. Meanwhile, Dr Lucy reflects on her initial scepticism towards low-carb diets and how her perception shifted upon experiencing significant weight loss and liberation from constant hunger.

Addressing Hormonal and Psychological Factors: The doctors delve into the nuanced interplay of hormonal and psychological factors in weight management, challenging the prevalent calorie-focused approach to dieting. They emphasise the imperative of comprehending the hormonal responses elicited by various foods, notably insulin, and its pivotal role in modulating metabolism and fat storage. Dr Lucy shares her personal journey of emancipating herself from the relentless cycle of hunger and willpower-driven weight loss, underscoring the necessity to confront underlying psychological patterns and mindset issues for sustainable progress.

In wrapping up the episode, Dr Mary and Dr Lucy extend their gratitude to the listeners for tuning in and sharing their stories. They emphasise the importance of addressing both the physiological and psychological aspects of weight loss for long-term success. With a commitment to delivering valuable insights and practical advice in each episode, they invite listeners to join them on their journey towards better health and weight management. The episode sets the stage for an empowering series that seeks to revolutionise the approach to weight loss, offering hope and guidance for lasting transformation.

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Episode 1: 


Dr Mary Barson  (0:11)  Hello, my lovely listeners. I'm Dr Mary Barson.

Dr Lucy Burns (0:15)  And I'm Dr Lucy Burns. 

Dr Mary Barson  (0:21) Welcome to this episode of real health and weight loss.

Dr Lucy Burns (0:23)  This is our first episode, I thought we'd just introduce ourselves to our listeners so that they know who we are and what we're all about. And, you know, maybe a few fun facts. So, Mary, I thought I'd introduce you if that's okay. And then you can introduce me. So, my lovely listeners, you'll hear me I use some very funny phrases. I'm always calling people lovelies. So that's just who I am. Mary, my gorgeous friend is a biochemist, a medical doctor, and a medical Hypnotherapist. She specializes in compassion-focused therapy, and she's a stress management guru. On top of all of this, she has lived experience with ongoing, I guess, issues around insulin resistance and some healthy things and has polycystic ovarian syndrome. I'm sure a lot of you have heard of it. Mary being the guru that she is was able to reverse this improve her fertility, and is now the mother of the most beautiful seven-year-old girl.

Dr Mary Barson  (1:30)  Thank you for that lovely introduction. Lucy. She is a pretty cute seven-year-old it must be said. Well, I would love to introduce my colleague here Dr Lucy Burns. Dr Lucy is also a medical doctor. She's a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, a medical hypnotherapist and a behavioural change specialist. Her genius zone is absolutely in mindset management. And she is the analogy queen, she can make even the most complex concepts simple and understandable with her legendary analogies. 

Dr Lucy Burns (2:14)  Oh thanks, Miss that's super kind. So my lovelies, what we have, I guess put together over the last couple of years is this program that we have brought together all the aspects that we both have each of our skill sets and brought them in to be a complete health and weight loss program that we are using with our patients in our clinics, we are using with our beautiful women that we help online. And we just want to share some of those strategies with you. Mary, would you like to tell our listeners, maybe some of your history just in relation to your health and weight loss journey.

Dr Mary Barson  (3:00)  I would say that I probably struggled with by weight my entire life until recent years. So as a child, I would have been intermittently overweight. And I can remember feeling greatly self-conscious about that at times, throughout my teens and 20s. I could lose weight pretty easily by sort of going on a crash diet, but it would always come back. And I kind of always hovered around the sort of the high end of a normal BMI, sometimes higher, sometimes a bit lower. And then when I hit medical school and got quite stressed and overwhelmed by all the pressures, my right weight really, really piled on then. And it was about that time that I discovered that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome. And I was a health-conscious human, I definitely wanted to be well. And so I saw doctors and dieticians at that time.  I followed the advice that I was given to eat my whole grains and to eat regularly making sure I never missed a snack. And it certainly didn't work that old, outdated, traditional advice with based on the 1970s food pyramid. And I didn't get any better. Which was very frustrating for me. But I got on with my life and focused on other things. And it wasn't until I stumbled across a low-carb paleo challenge that I actually got well for the first time. And it was just an accident. I was working in community palliative medicine and my friends and colleagues. Some of the nurses were doing a challenge with a local gym and asked me to come along and so I did. I didn't know anything about low carb. I didn't know anything about the Paleo diet, but I just jumped in because my friends were doing it and I felt horrible for Two weeks, I now just know that that was the transition period. But then after two weeks, I felt amazing eating low-carb, real food, in this instance, a sort of paleo version of low-carb, real food. And the weight just fell off me and my Polycystic Ovarian symptoms completely disappeared, just with food. So this was a real light bulb moment in my life. And I took a deep dive into the science behind this because I was a scientist before I was a doctor. And I needed to know, and it was amazing, I uncovered what I think many people in the science community have known for a while about the true metabolic causes of weight gain, obesity and chronic illness, and the true treatments, which is to get control of your hormones, using real food. And I haven't looked back since.

Dr Lucy Burns (6:03) Such a wonderful story, Mary, and I think maybe you've touched on some things that we will be talking about as this podcast progresses, in particular, all the advice that we've been given. And in fact, embarrassingly, I gave out in my, you know, years before I realized that the advice I was giving, you know, was not right, so much so that I, you know, now often talk about, imagine if everything you'd been told about weight loss was wrong. And in fact, that's what I felt happened to me and to you and to probably every other woman out there, or man who's been trying to lose weight, the traditional, and I'm using air quotes, which nobody can see. But the traditional dieting way.

Dr Mary Barson  (6:48)  Absolutely right. It's not about the calories, it's all about the hormones. And I know that we will go into this later. It's not maths, it's chemistry. It is not maths, it's chemistry. So Lucy, I know that the listeners would like to know a bit about your story as well.

Dr Lucy Burns (7:10)  Sure. I was a child of the 70s and 80s, when the low-fat movement started, and we lived a very low-fat lifestyle at home. And also probably a diet, culture lifestyle at home, my mum was either on a diet or not on a diet, I was either on a diet or not on a diet, I became an expert diet, I was actually really good at dieting. So that was really how I managed my weight in younger years was I'd just go on a super strict diet, and then I'd be off the diet and back on a bender, then eventually I'd get back on a diet and it'd be off the diet, it was just this yo young of honour data on a bender. Until one day when I was in my 40s Suddenly, the diet wasn't working. And of course, I was obsessed with the scales, I was always standing on them, you know, sometimes six times a day, just to make sure, you know, might have a way and hop on the scales, because it was my life was all about the numbers on the scales. And so, you know, I think I initially stumbled on low carb as another. And again, more air quotes diet. That was my thought, Oh, well, this might work. And it did. It was wonderful. And largely because throughout my history of yo-yo dieting, I had also become insulin-resistant. So I got to my heaviest, what I thought was a modifying weight heavier than when I was pregnant with my children. And believe me, I put on 30 kilos with each child. So to be heavier than that without a baby on board. I just thought, well, this is rubbish. Anyway, low carb. You know, it certainly worked. I initially was really it was all about weight loss. That was all I was interested in until I rediscovered all these other benefits, which I now know we call non-scale victories. And the biggest non-scale victory for me has been the idea of food freedom and understanding my mind, which I can now do once I was no longer driven by hunger. So previously, I was always hungry. And the only way I could lose weight was to white-knuckle, my way through the hunger using willpower. And I had a lot of it. But that didn't actually address any of the underlying thought patterns that I had. So when I went low carb and was able to just for once in my life lose weight without being hungry. It was like a miracle. I was then able to also work on mindset. And that my lovely friends is what we want for you. I guess talk a lot about marrying the physiology, which is the hormonal component. And the psychology. And really those two go hand in hand or hand in glove, whatever term you like to use, both need to be managed for long-term weight loss. If you want to lose weight for, you know, a couple of months, then don't bother addressing the psychology. But most people don't want to do that today. Most people want permanent weight loss.

Dr Mary Barson  (10:22)  Wonderful. I think it would be good if we could tell people what they can expect from this real health and weight loss series. What are we going to be doing? 

Dr Lucy Burns (10:35) Basically every week, Mary and I are going to be delivering an episode that goes for about 20 minutes, we know that you're busy people, we know that you know, you haven't got time necessarily to sit down and watch a one-hour masterclass every week, but every week, you can tune in to us. And we will go through all of those steps that address the physiology. And the one thing I want to remind people is that the treatment of overweight or obesity is different to the prevention. And this is the problem. We have so many people going, just do this. And you'll be like me, and I've never been overweight in my life. But Mary and I both have been we know what it's like. And I can tell you now the treatment is different to the prevention. So each week we're going to bring you I guess, a snippet or snapshot of a part of our program, we're going to be delivering you what we call actionable steps, something that you can focus on each week so that this podcast brings you value that you can break it down and just work on one thing at a time. Our future episodes are going to be all about you. Because my lovely listeners we want really to reverse what's going on in our world. Our world is full of chronic diseases. It is full of people who are unable to live their best lives and at the end of the day, that's what we all want, isn't it?

So my lovely listeners that ends this episode of real health and weight loss. I'm Dr Lucy Burns,

Dr Mary Barson  (12:19)  and I'm Dr Mary Barson where from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit

Dr Lucy Burns (12:29)  And until next time, thanks for listening!

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