Weight Loss Questions to Ask Your Doctor

doctor weighing man on scale

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If you are ready to see a doctor about losing weight, it's best to go to your appointment prepared. This involves preparing some very critical questions about weight loss in general, as well as weight loss as it pertains to you.

For instance, you may want to talk to your doctor about weight loss medications, the risks of different weight loss programs, and the benefits of losing weight. Your physician can provide answers that take your personal health history into account. 

Before Making an Appointment

Before you make an appointment, you might wonder what kind of doctor to see about losing weight. There are probably dozens of weight loss doctors in your area and many of them may be connected to a diet program or service.

Eventually, these doctors may be able to help. However, you should see your primary care doctor first. Even though your doctor may not be an expert on weight loss, they are an expert on your medical history. Your doctor can address general questions about weight loss and provide personalized answers based on your health history and medical conditions.

If your doctor is not able to answer specific questions about popular diet programs, exercise routines, or weight loss medications, they can refer you to the best expert in your area.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

When you first see your doctor for weight loss, begin the conversation by explaining that you want to lose weight. Your physician may take it from there and offer suggestions for diet programs or exercise plans to follow. But if not, ask these questions to get the information you need.

Should I Lose Weight?

You may not even need to lose weight. Your physician can help decide. One way they do this is to calculate your BMI. Some physicians may be able to measure your body composition as well. This can help determine if weight loss is right for you.

Does My Weight Affect My Health?

There are some conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, that may improve if you lose weight. Ask your doctor if a diet or exercise program can improve your medical condition.

How Will My Health Improve if I Lose Weight?

Knowing the answer to this question may provide motivation for you when you hit a weight loss plateau or lack the energy to continue with your program. An improvement in your medical condition may mean that you can take less medication or see your doctor less often.

How Much Weight Should I Lose?

The answer to this question can depend on how much weight you want to lose, but it’s possible that your physician will have a recommendation as well. With input from your doctor, you may be able to set a more reasonable goal.

How Much Weight Do I Need to Lose to See a Benefit?

In some cases, just a small amount of weight loss can have a significant impact on your health. Knowing how much weight you need to lose to benefit your health or medical condition gives you a good weight loss goal to aim for, especially when first starting out.

Am I Healthy Enough to Diet?

If you have been undergoing health changes or challenges, your physician may ask you to wait until your condition has stabilized to start a diet or exercise program. This allows time for these other issues to be addressed first.

Do I Have a Medical Condition That Affects the Diet Plan I Choose?

There are some specific diet plans that are recommended for people who have certain health conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension. Find out if there is a plan that is recommended for you.

Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid?

Some medications can become less effective if you eat certain foods. Grapefruit, for example, is not recommended for people who are on cholesterol-lowering medications. Write down any foods you should avoid and post the list in a place where you see it every day.

Can I Take a Weight Loss Medication? 

If you are significantly overweight and have tried other weight loss methods without success, you may want to talk to your doctor about weight loss medication. Before you do, be prepared to explain the different diet programs you've tried.

Many diet medications have side effects. Your doctor will probably want you to try safer, more common methods of weight loss before you go on medication.

Am I Healthy Enough for Vigorous Physical Activity?

Make sure you are healthy enough for both strength and cardiovascular workouts. If your doctor provides limitations, you may want to write them down so that you remember them after you leave the office.

How Should I Monitor My Exercise Intensity?

Most exercise programs require that you work at different levels of intensity. But not all methods of monitoring exercise intensity work for all exercisers. Heart rate monitors, for example, won’t work for people who are on medications that keep their heart rate low. Ask your doctor to be sure.

Keep in Touch With Your Weight Loss Doctor

An initial conversation with your doctor should provide all of the information you need to begin your weight loss program. As you continue on your program, be sure to contact your physician if you notice unusual symptoms or changes to your health that cause alarm.

If you have problems losing weight, don’t hesitate to revisit your doctor to see if there might be a medical or physical reason for your struggle. If you’ve tried to lose weight for six months or more and your weight has caused health problems, you may want to discuss the possibility of weight loss surgery.

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