If you’re struggling with your weight, you’re not alone.
More than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. And both of these conditions increase your risk of developing dozens of medical conditions and diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Losing weight can be challenging, so going it alone isn’t always the best option. Whether you’re considering weight loss surgery, weight loss medication or lifestyle changes, your health care provider can answer your questions and customize your plan according to your unique needs.
Ready to talk to your provider about your weight? If so, it’s crucial to be prepared. We’ve gathered some of the important points for you to consider.
Talking to your health care provider about your weight
Understanding where you are and where you should be is a key step toward coming up with a plan. Your provider can work with you as a partner to help you.
Here are a few questions to kick things off the conversation:
- What’s a healthy weight goal to shoot for? Everyone and every body is different. What’s right for someone else may not be right for you. Your provider can consider all your unique factors to help come up with a realistic goal.
- What’s a realistic timeframe to reach my goal weight? Most experts will suggest that you shoot for one to two pounds a week at most. But again, everyone is different, so see what your provider says.
- How can my weight loss improve my health? Your provider is in the best position to give you all the specifics about what losing even 5 to 10 percent of your bodyweight can do. For some people, it may decrease health risks. For others, it could help you get off certain medications.
- Do I have a condition that’s causing my weight gain? There are health problems and medications that can affect your weight. One of these may be making it harder for you to lose weight or causing you to gain weight.
Medical weight loss, or nonsurgical weight loss procedures, are designed to help you lose weight and improve your health without any surgical intervention. Talking with your provider about healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off can open the door to learning more about your nonsurgical options.
A few questions to consider include:
- How should I change my eating habits? There are lots of fad diets out there, but they might not be the best options for you. Your provider can help you understand if you’re healthy enough to diet and the foods that will be ideal for your health.
- What kinds of physical activity should I be doing? If you have certain conditions or health challenges, you might need to avoid certain activities. Your provider will be able to make some suggestions to get you started with regular activity and exercise, which is linked to weight loss and better health.
- Is prescription weight loss medication an option? Most providers want you to try other weight loss methods before prescribing weight loss medication. But if you’ve already tried other tactics and are still struggling, it might be an option. Talk to them about the different medications available and the potential side effects.
Weight loss surgery isn’t an easy fix, but if you’ve tried other weight loss methods and you’re still struggling, it might be a good option. Every provider has their own unique criteria you’ll need to meet. And if you have weight-related health conditions, that may factor into your provider’s advice, too.
Your provider can help you come up with interview questions for a bariatric surgeon if you decide to go with weight loss surgery.
Some questions to consider asking include:
- Is weight loss surgery worth it? This answer isn’t the same for everyone. The bariatric surgeon will help you go over the risks and benefits to make the best choice for your unique situation.
- What is the safest form of weight loss surgery? Again, your unique health profile will determine the answer to this. Every type of weight loss surgery has its own pros and cons that you’ll need to consider.
- How to get weight loss surgery approved by insurance? You should also look over your insurance policy and talk to your insurer to make sure you’ve got coverage.