With summer right around the corner, everyone is thinking about how they can get in shape and become the best version of themselves. The problem is that we don’t always know what it takes to shed those extra pounds and reclaim our natural figure.
Ask Your Doctor These 5 Questions
While most weight loss advice has traditionally been centered around a DIY approach where you cut calories and exercise regularly, don’t underestimate the importance of including your doctor.
Getting specialized medical advice will help you take a more strategic angle. And when you do meet with your doctor, be sure to ask the following questions:
- How will my health improve if I lose weight?
Losing weight isn’t just about fitting into that skimpy bathing suit or having a set of washboard abs. While it’s totally fine to want an attractive figure, weight loss is more about your total body health than anything else.
According to a recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, losing just five percent of your body weight can have a very positive impact on your overall health. It usually lowers blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity, and decreases visceral and liver fat – two of the more dangerous types of body fat.
“Our results show that you get a large ‘bang for your buck’ with a five percent weight loss. But an additional 10 to 15 percent weight loss continues to cause even more improvements in measures like blood lipids and blood pressure,” says Samuel Klein, MD, co-author of the study.
- What’s my ideal weight?
It’s a good idea to ask your doctor what your ideal weight is. Every person is different and factors like your height and age will come into play.
Most doctors will use a simple body mass index as a guide for what your target weight should be. Sometimes this BMI figure isn’t totally realistic, though. It’s important that you work with your doctor to set a goal that’s achievable. This will ensure that you stay motivated and on track. You can always adjust the number at a later date.
- How long should it take me to reach my ideal weight?
Another important question to ask your doctor is how long it’ll be before you start seeing results. This will help you set a realistic timeframe in your mind and gauge how you’re doing in the coming weeks and months.
Slow and steady usually wins the weight loss race. Most doctors will suggest losing between one and two pounds per week. Anything less and it’ll take you a long time to acheive your goal. Anything more and you’re probably just losing water and muscle – not fat. (Though, as your doctor will probably explain, it’s common to lose more like three to five pounds per week over the first few weeks. Things will even out as time goes on.)
- Is weight loss medication or surgery an option?
If you’re severely obese, then you may feel inclined to ask your doctor about alternatives to dieting and exercise. Two of the first things that probably come to mind are weight loss medication and surgery.
Your doctor will probably be hesitant to put you on a weight loss drug or medication. Most of these drugs are relatively unproven and come with lots of potentially negative side effects. But if you can prove that you’ve seriously tried diet and fitness programs to no avail, your doctor may consider some alternative options.
As for surgery, your doctor will only look at this as a last resort option. You can ask him about whether or not you’re a weight loss candidate, but he’ll most likely direct you to a specialist for further guidance.
- Is my heart healthy enough for exercise?
The final thing you need to ask is whether you’re healthy enough for vigorous exercise. Unless you have heart disease, widespread arthritis, asthma, or some other serious disease that could be complicated from physical activity, you’re probably fine.
Choose Orion College
Does the idea of helping others with their healthcare needs excite you? If so, a career in an allied health file may be right for you. And, thankfully, getting your degree isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you may think.
At Orion College, we’re proud to be an institutionally accredited program that offers fast and flexible degree options for those looking to pursue careers in healthcare. Depending on the program you choose and your availability, you may be able to complete a program in 10 months or less. Contact us today to speak with an admissions representative.