Weight-loss: What Questions Should You be Asking Your Health Provider?

Are you openly communicating with your healthcare provider about weight? Try asking some of these questions.

The start of 2019 has come and gone, and February is already well on its way — filled to the brim with heart-warming messages of self-love and self-care. Are you still working feverishly toward your New Year resolutions? And is weight-loss one of them?

Your Healthcare Provider Can Help

Both weight gain and weight-loss have significant impacts on the body. From hormone changes to appetite regulation, heart health, blood sugar levels and much more, countless aspects of your health and quality of life are influenced by the number on the scale.

Why not have the conversation about weight with your Primary Care Physician or other trusted professional? Healthcare providers can be a wealth of knowledge and work with you to offer education, tools, resources, support and individualized treatment plans catered to your goals.

If you haven’t done so already, schedule an appointment to address your weight and health! But if you’re wondering what to talk about or what questions to raise during this time, see below.

Make the Most of Your Appointment: Questions to Ask

Q: How Much Should I Weigh?

While there’s probably not a “perfect number” you or your health provider should have in mind (improved health is what you’re aiming for), the number on the scale is an indicator of your health status. Based off your height and Body Mass Index (BMI), your provider may help you develop a goal “weight range” to work toward and guide you.

Q: How Might My Weight be Impacting My Health?

If your weight is at all concerning, your health provider may run a series of diagnostic tests and perform a comprehensive exam to assess your health status — or vice versa. If a specific function of your body is affected, your provider may refer you to a medical specialist.

Q: What Can I Do to Achieve a Healthier Weight?

Your provider should be able to suggest treatment options tailored to your health and goals, or recommend you to specialists if your situation is beyond their jurisdiction. Some of the most common, broader-level treatment options include behavior management (diet + exercise), medicine (pharmacotherapy) and bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.

Q: What Diet and Exercise Limitations Exist for Me, if Any?

Some medical conditions affect specific diet or exercise plans, especially if you have limited mobility or a serious health concern like diabetes or heart disease. Your provider should help you examine any barriers and come up with solutions to work through them.

Q: At What Rate Should I be Losing Weight?

Most experts recommend a healthy weight-loss rate of approximately 0.5 – 2 lbs per week, but your target rate of weight-loss should be discussed with a trusted health professional to respect and adhere to your unique circumstances — especially if your treatment plan is more robust.

Looking for a Health Provider to Talk to about Weight?

Finding quality care and help for excess weight or obesity can be hard. Looking for a quality healthcare provider near you? Visit the Obesity Care Provider Locator powered by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) — Founder of the Your Weight Matters Campaign.

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