Your healthcare provider can be a valuable asset in your weight management journey, and you should lean on them! Providers have the knowledge and resources to help you manage your health and explore your weight-loss options. If you don’t know where to start with talking to a healthcare provider about your weight, consider the tips and tools below.
1) Find a Healthcare Provider
If you don’t currently have a healthcare provider, you can search for one using the Obesity Action Coalition’s Provider Locator. This tool lets you find providers in your area across all the different specialties who are equipped to help you with weight management and have experience assisting patients with their unique weight goals.
Examples of different providers listed:
- Nurse practitioners, physicians and physician assistants
- Registered dietitians and nutritionists
- Psychologists and psychiatrists
- Bariatric surgeons
2) Write Down Talking Points
Get out a notepad and pen to write down important talking points for when you meet with your healthcare provider. Some examples of what to jot down:
- How your weight is impacting your physical and/or mental health
- Personal goals you have for your weight and health
- Health conditions you have and medications you are taking
- Your personal weight history and patterns
- Things you struggle with: hunger, getting active, etc.
3) Log a Day in Your Routine
Depending on the provider you visit, he or she may be able to help you better by getting to know more about your lifestyle. It may be helpful to keep a log or diary with a week’s worth of information to give them a glimpse of your normal routine.
Examples of what to track:
- When you eat and what you eat
- Portion sizes
- Workouts or physical activity
- Water intake
- Emotional/stress triggers
- Hours of sleep and sleep patterns
Make an Appointment
Once you’ve taken time to identify a provider to talk with about your weight, it’s time to set up an appointment! Call the provider or provider’s office to inquire about insurance/payment options and appointment times. Once you set up your appointment, start gathering the information above. Feel free to compile a checklist of other talking points you feel are important to discuss.
It’s important that you feel comfortable with your healthcare provider and supported in your health goals. If you have a bad experience or you don’t feel comfortable in your provider’s care, you should feel empowered to find someone different. You can go back to the Obesity Action Coalition’s Provider Locator or conduct your own search if you’d like. What’s most important is that you be your own advocate and seek the care you want/need!