Talk With Your Health Care Professional
You may want to talk with your doctor or other health care professional about controlling your weight before you decide on a weight-loss program. Doctors do not always address issues such as healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management during general office visits. It is important for you to start the discussion in order to get the information you need. Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about your weight with your doctor, remember that he or she is there to help you improve your health. Here are some tips:
>Tell your health care professional that you would like to talk about your weight. Share your concerns about any medical conditions you have or medicines you are taking.
>Write down your questions in advance.
>Bring pen and paper to take notes.
>Bring a friend or family member along for support if this will make you feel more comfortable
>Make sure you understand what your health care provider is saying. Do not be afraid to ask questions if there is something you do not understand.
>Ask for other sources of information like brochures or websites.
>If you want more support, ask for a referral to a registered dietitian, a support group, or a commercial weight-loss program.
>Call your health care professional after your visit if you have more questions or need help.
Find out as much as you can about your health needs before joining a weight-loss program. Here are some questions you might want to ask your health care professional:
About Your Weight
>Do I need to lose weight? Or should I just avoid gaining more?
>Is my weight affecting my health?
>Could my extra weight be caused by a health problem such as hypothyroidism or by a medicine I am taking?
(Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, a condition that can slow your metabolism—how your body creates and uses energy.)
About Weight Loss
>What should my weight-loss goal be?
>How will losing weight help me?
About Nutrition and Physical Activity
>How should I change my eating habits?
>What kinds of physical activity can I do?
>How much physical activity do I need?
>Should I take weight-loss drugs?
>What about weight-loss surgery?
>What are the risks of weight-loss drugs or surgery?
>Could a weight-loss program help me?