You know that your weight is an important factor when it comes to your overall health. Being overweight is known to be a risk factor in a number of health conditions, including serious ones like heart disease and diabetes. Plus, you just feel better when you're at a healthy weight. But losing weight, or even simply maintaining when you're already at a healthy weight, can be more difficult than it sounds. If it were easy, everyone would already be at their ideal weight. But you don't have to pursue a healthy weight all by yourself. Your family doctor can be your biggest ally when it comes to weight management. Take a look at some ways that your doctor can help.
Your Doctor Can Help You Identify Your Ideal Weight
Your bathroom scale may be able to tell you how much you weigh, but without any context, the number on the scale doesn't mean much. Every person's body is different, and an ideal weight for one person could be overweight or underweight for somebody else.
Your doctor can help you pinpoint what your personal ideal weight should be. They can evaluate your BMI (Body Mass Index) which takes both your height and weight into account. A healthy weight for a person who is 6' tall is going to be higher than a healthy weight for someone who is 5'2". Your doctor will also take other factors into account, like your age and overall health, to help you settle on a weight that's realistic, achievable, and sustainable for you.
Your Doctor Can Help You Find The Right Diet
If you're looking for a diet plan, there are no end of options out there. You can find meal plans for paleo diets, raw food diets, ketogenic diets, and many more. But how do you know which one will work best for you?
The truth is that you can probably achieve some results with almost any trendy diet plan because they often strictly limit your calorie intake. But just because you see some weight loss doesn't mean that the diet is a healthy way for you to eat or that you'll be able to maintain any initial weight loss. Often, following strict diets results in yo-yo weight loss – you lose weight, then gain it back because the diet isn't something that you can sustain in the long-term.
Your doctor can help you plan a sensible nutritional plan that you can actually stick to in the long run. A good diet for you should include foods that you actually like, that are easily accessible, and that you can afford to buy and prepare on a regular basis. A healthy diet should also take your current medical needs into account. If you have a condition that requires you to keep protein to a minimum or avoid dairy, for example, your doctor can help you find a meal plan that meets those needs.
Your Doctor Can Advise You About Medications and Supplements
If you take regular medications, you definitely need to consult with your doctor about your weight management plans. Some medications can pack on the pounds or can make it difficult for you to lose weight. If you're not aware of these side effects, it can be frustrating to diet and exercise and still not see results. Ask your doctor if any of your medications may be causing weight gain or preventing you from losing weight. If so, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative medication or advise you the best way to lose weight without going off needed medications.
You should also consult your doctor before taking any weight loss supplements. While supplements can be helpful in some cases, they aren't always recommended. Some supplements can negatively interact with medications that you already take. Others may simply be ineffective and a waste of money. Your doctor can help you decide if supplements are a good choice for you.
Your doctor wants you to be healthy and knows that your weight is closely connected to your health. Don't hesitate to ask a doctor at a family practice to work with you to manage your weight effectively.