Managing your weight can be a stressful and confusing process. When you initially lose the weight, you feel great and like you have accomplished something, but the battle is not over — now it is time to keep the weight off. You may feel like you have a handle on your weight, but you may also worry that your best efforts just are not going to cut it.
You are not alone. Many individuals struggle with their weight, and for these individuals, going to see a doctor about their weight and health may be of great assistance to them.
Dr. Amy Articolo, a board certified OB/GYN and Obesity Medicine Specialist, says a doctor will be able to assist you in your weight management goals because doctors are able to look beyond the thinking of simply “eating less and exercising more,” and instead can help you create an individualized plan that works for you, your goals and your body.
“Seeing a doctor regarding your weight can be very beneficial,” she says. By seeing a doctor about your weight, they can:
- Order blood tests that look for biochemical reasons that you may be struggling with your weight.
- Perform and interpret an electrocardiogram (EKG), a test that can be done in the doctor’s office, and can help them look to see if your weight is affecting your heart health.
- Do body composition measurements, such as a waist and neck circumference, to see if your weight may be affecting your ability to breathe and sleep properly.
Doctors may also have a machine in their office that looks beyond your Body-Mass-Index (BMI), where they can assess the percent of your body that is made up of adipose (fat) tissue, and other tissues such as muscle tissue. While performing all of these tests, doctors understand that there is more to weight-loss than seeing the numbers on the scale start to go down, and they work to create a plan that works for you, Dr. Articolo says.
“Science has proven over and over that losing 5-10 percent of baseline weight can significantly improve some health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and arthritis,” she says. “Who doesn’t want to move better, feel better and sleep more soundly?”
Are you considering talking to a doctor about your weight? If so, Dr. Articolo leaves this message for you to think about:
“As you think about what weight-loss might mean for you, please consider this: there is MORE to weight-loss than ‘eating less, moving more.’ There are very complex processes in the body that affect your hunger, energy and ability to lose or maintain weight. They are hormones that come from many parts of the body, and they directly influence how our brains work in regards to hunger, food intake and overall weight balance.”
Ready to take the first step towards better weight and health? Sign-up to take the Your Weight Matters Challenge today, and receive a free “Your Weight, Your Health,” toolkit to help you prepare for the conversation with your doctor about weight.