How Can My Doctor Help Me Lose Weight?

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Your doctor plays an important role in your weight loss success. Why? Because your doctor can provide critical information that may help you lose weight. So take the time to set up a time to work with your doctor for weight loss and diet help

How Do I Talk to My Doctor About Weight Loss?

The first step in your weight loss process will be to make an appointment with your physician. Let the receptionist know that you may need some extra time.

Then arrive at your appointment on time and be prepared for an honest talk about your health.

You may feel slightly uncomfortable talking to your doctor about your weight, but try not to worry. Remember that your doctor is there to help you. If your weight is affecting your physical health, it's time to leave embarrassment behind and talk honestly with him or her.

Plan to fully address any medical conditions that influence your diet and any issues that can limit your ability to exercise.  You may also want to discuss medical factors that may have caused weight gain.

Then, get your questions ready. You may wish to write down questions before you go and to bring a pen and notebook to take notes as you talk. Important questions may include:

  • Do I need to lose weight?
  • What should my weight goal be?
  • Are any of my health conditions related to my weight?
  • Am I at risk of developing other conditions because of my weight?

In addition to these questions, you should also Ibring the details of any diet or exercise program you plan to start. Your doctor can review the plan for safety and effectiveness.

Answer Questions for Your Doctor About Weight Loss

Don't be surprised if you're not the only one asks questions during your visit. Your doctor may have some questions for you, too. For example, he or she may ask how many meals and snacks you eat each day, how often you eat away from home, and what types of restaurants you visit.

You shouldn't be offended or worried if this happens. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that family doctors ask their patients these questions in order to assess their nutritional history.

So what should you do if you don't know all the answers? Don't worry. You may not be able to come up with a complete weight loss plan during this initial visit. For example, you may keep a food diary to bring back to your doctor for discussion. Your doctor may recommend that you see a registered dietitian and provide a referral. 

Get Motivated for Weight Loss

Be sure to talk to your doctor about your current health status. Ask if any of your conditions can be improved with weight loss.

One of the great fringe benefits of losing weight is that some patients may be able to discontinue medications if they lose as little as 10% of their total body weight. Knowing this information can be strong motivation for weight loss.

Your doctor may ask you to schedule follow-up appointments so she can continue to check your weight and health status. She may also wish for you to have regular lab work if you are currently being treated for any health conditions. Continue to attend your appointments, ask questions and maintain a relationship with your doctor to lose weight and keep the pounds off.

Edited by Malia Frey, About.com Weight Loss Expert

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