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Partner with your doctor

Partner with your doctor for an obesity management programme

Have you already tried to manage your weight, but can't make any major progress? Are you just starting out and are unsure of what to do? Find out how you can partner with your doctor to manage weight and the 5 steps to get started with your own obesity management programme.

5 min. read
A professional in a grey jacket taking some notes and talking to a patient; office

Obesity management programme


Step #1: Find a doctor

Finding a doctor who's trained and specialises in helping people living with obesity is a very important first step when trying to manage weight and starting an obesity management programme (also called an obesity care plan or a weight management programme). 

Your doctor can be your partner when you're working to manage weight. More and more doctors understand the latest science behind obesity and have the knowledge to treat it effectively. Doctors also have a growing toolbox of treatment options to create an obesity management programme that matches your needs. 
 

Obesity management programme

Step #2: Look at the possible causes

Together with your doctor, you can identify why you may be gaining weight or developing obesity. You can also pinpoint the challenges that are preventing you from losing or maintaining your weight. But to do that, your doctor will need to know a bit more about you.

Your doctor will ask about your weight over time and what you've done to try to manage your weight. It's important to talk about any health conditions that you have or have had in the past. Remember to note any medications you are taking at the moment. Your doctor may also ask about how you've been eating, sleeping, and feeling and if there are any changes to your normal patterns. Having this understanding is extremely helpful for your doctor to develop an obesity management programme that's effective for you.

When talking to your doctor, it may be helpful to:

  • Take notes. It can be hard to remember everything you talked about or what you have to do, so write it down or enter in an app or tool.
  • Bring along a friend or family member. Having someone there to keep track and support you can make the experience less stressful. 
  • Ask questions. If you're unsure about anything, don't hesitate to ask for more information.
  • Share ideas. You may have ideas or concerns about your obesity management programme, so let your doctor know.
     

Obesity management programme

Step #3: Explore your options

Based on your individual needs, the next step is to talk about the strategies and treatment options that make up your obesity management programme. As we mentioned earlier, doctors have a toolbox of treatment options that's constantly being updated. There are scientifically-proven treatment options they may suggest, such as:

Your personalised obesity management programme will include different treatments or a combination of treatments, all depending on your particular situation.
 

Obesity management programme


Step #4: Set your goals

You and your doctor should discuss your goals for losing or maintaining weight. You can also decide how you'll measure the success of your obesity management programme. It's best when your goals are realistic and you can keep them up. It's also a good idea to have goals that you can keep track of. 

When it comes to setting goals, the good news is that even a modest weight loss of 5% or more can be good for your health.

Losing a certain amount of weight can be a goal, but it doesn't have to be your only focus. Good goals can also motivate you to make changes to your lifestyle. Improving your health can be one type of goal. You can also set goals around how you'd like to feel or what you'd like to do. These can be:

  • Simply feeling better and having more energy
  • Playing sports with your kids
  • Being able to easily get up from the floor
  • Decreasing the number of medications you are taking or eliminating them altogether
  • Walking up the stairs without losing your breath
  • And many more...

When setting your goals, remember that you're the expert when it comes to your life. You know best what makes you feel good and what motivates you. We're all different, so be open with your doctor about the goals in your obesity management programme.
 

Obesity management programme

Step #5: Prepare for challenges

Like any journey, losing weight has its ups and downs. And for a journey to be successful, you need to keep going even when it gets tough. And this is where your doctor can be very helpful - they can prepare and support you with the challenges you'll face in your obesity management programme.

One of the common and frustrating stages of losing weight is the weight plateau. This is when your weight starts to stabilise after you've already lost weight for some time. This weight plateau can feel discouraging, but it’s perfectly normal and part of most – if not all – successful efforts to manage weight.

Your doctor is the key to overcoming such difficult moments. For example, when you experience a weight plateau, they may intensify your treatment or simply maintain the weight loss you have achieved. Depending on the weight management goals you've set together, your doctor may also suggest other treatment options for your obesity management programme.
 

You're not alone

Losing and maintaining weight is a lifelong process. By partnering with a doctor, you won't have to do it alone. Taking these 5 steps with your doctor can help set you up for success with your obesity management programme.
 

References
  • Rekha BK & Aronne LJ. Medical Evaluation of Patients with Obesity. In: Thomas A Wadden & George A Bray (eds.). Handbook of Obesity Treatment. New York: Guilford Press 2018; 243-252.
  • Tronieri JS & Wadden TA. Medical Evaluation of Patients with Obesity. In: Thomas A Wadden & George A Bray (eds.). Handbook of Obesity Treatment. New York: Guilford Press 2018; 243-252.
  • Hall KD & Kahan S. Maintenance of lost weight and long-term management of obesity. Medical Clinics of North America 2018; 102(1):183-197.

Find your local weight management provider

Talk to your weight management provider about treatment options that could prevent the weight you lose from coming back.

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