A Healthy Choice: What to Look For When Choosing a Weight Loss Doctor
For many, losing weight isn’t just a matter of aesthetics.
The link between obesity and heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues means that it is a serious health concern too.
Most people face an uphill battle when trying to lose weight by themselves. They do much better with the help of a weight loss specialist.
When deciding on a weight loss doctor, it’s important that you choose carefully. Click here to learn what to look for when choosing a weight loss doctor!
What Is a Weight Loss Doctor?
Another term for weight loss doctors is bariatricians or obesity medicine specialists. They’re licensed physicians with special training in medical weight loss.
In the past, there was a common belief that obesity was an illness that people should be able to sort out on their own. While people acknowledged the need for specialists to work with gastrointestinal issues and heart disease, obesity was often misunderstood as an illness. In this way, it was overlooked.
Obesity causes or worsens a range of other medical conditions. What this means is that, for almost every medical specialty, obesity further complicates the problem.
Because of this knowledge, the specialty of bariatrics has evolved into a discipline now referred to as obesity medicine. These days, obesity medicine practitioners are trained to address the specific needs of an overweight or obese patient.
All doctors have some training in weight loss and nutrition. But obesity medicine specialists have very specialized training and offer a range of care that a GP can’t offer. A weight loss physician will provide personalized, specific programs to help patients get rid of excess weight and keep it off.
Keep in mind that bariatricians are separate from bariatric surgeons. Bariatricians offer medically supervised weight loss programs, while bariatric surgeons perform weight loss surgery.
The Best Doctor for Weight Loss
Now you understand what a weight loss doctor is, it’s time to look into finding the best one for you.
It’s an important decision. It’s critical that you trust your weight loss doctor and that you’re on the same page. The process of medical weight loss can be emotionally and physically challenging.
You’ll need your doctor to act as a partner in your journey to weight loss. If you trust your doctor and you believe they have your best interests in mind, your journey will be much smoother. Effective weight loss requires serious commitment. Because of this, you’ll need all the support and motivation you can possibly get.
A good weight loss doctor will plan your treatment in manageable stages. First, you’ll have an analysis of your current level of health.
Next, your thyroid function and other factors that are responsible for weight problems will be assessed. After these are done, a specific program to fit your needs and circumstances crafted by the doctor.
Importantly, the weight loss physician must work in tandem with you to craft a maintenance program. This will help support the permanent lifestyle changes necessary to keep your weigh stable.
Questions to Ask
As we’ve said, it’s critical to have open communication with your weight loss physician. We’ve compiled three main questions to help you begin discussions with your doctor.
1. What should my goal weight be?
Of course, everyone is different and every body is different. Taller people weigh more, that’s just a fact.
In addition, your body shape, muscle mass, and where you store fat will determine a healthy goal weight. There’s no one magic number. You’ll need to negotiate a realistic weight with your doctor.
Some doctors simply use use body mass index as a guide. BMI uses your height and weight to gauge whether you’re underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. The problem is that this doesn’t take into account specific factors, like body shape, mentioned above.
The best solution is to work together with your doctor to select a number that’s both sustainable and achievable in the first place.
2. How long will this take?
The time you take to reach your goal weight will depend on a variety of factors. It really depends on your starting weight and on how overweight you are.
Many specialists advise you not to lose over 1-2 pounds a week. This is because weight loss that’s very rapid is normally just water and muscle and not much fat.
For the first few weeks, it may be fine and healthy to lose 3-5 pounds a week. This is especially true if you’re obese. After the first few weeks, the weight loss will slow down.
3. How will losing weight impact my health?
We all know that losing weight is good for us. But knowing the full range of benefits is important and very helpful.
This is where your doctor steps in. It’s a good idea to press your physician for a few specifics. It’s incredibly motivating to know the full range of benefits offered by weight loss.
Ensure that you talk openly to your doctor about your current health status. Ask if any of your conditions can be improved with weight loss.
It’s great to know that one of the great fringe benefits of losing weight you’ll probably be able to discontinue medication if you lose as little as 10 percent of your total body weight. This is the best motivation for weight loss!
The Next Steps
After reading this article, you should feel more prepared and empowered to find a weight loss doctor. Armed with the right information and supported by the right doctor, anything is possible.
The exciting news is that a dramatic weight loss gives you back your life. Everyone deserves to live life at their best. A healthy weight allows you to be active, play with your children, and to feel as though you can take on any challenge that life presents.
So, what are the next steps?
For more information about medical weight loss options, please contact us. We’re here to help guide you through your weight loss journey.