I have a big favor to ask of you! Don’t take my word for anything related to weight loss, nutrition and physical activity. Ask your doctor for advice! I’m not asking you to stop reading my blog, for heaven’s sake, just talk things over with your doc!
I want you to be aware I am a lay person. I hold no medical or scientific degrees. I have more than 25 years of personal experience with weight loss and maintenance. I work for one of the most respected and trusted commercial weight loss companies in the world, that doesn’t make me a health care professional and certainly not the absolute authority on all things weight-related.
My personal and professional experience makes me an expert, but an expert isn’t the same as a medical professional. An expert is a person, like me, with a lot of experience. An expert is a person, like me, who has learned how to lose weight and keep it off. Yes, I guess that makes me an expert loser and as such, I like to share my expert opinion with other people who are struggling to get their weight down and keep it there for whatever reason.
I know that Body Mass Index (BMI) is a hotly contested means of determining a healthy or even happy weight. I often use it as a guideline because it’s a good place to start. It’s not the only way to determine a healthy and/or happy weight for an individual.
BMI has plenty of shortcomings, but yeah, it’s a good place to start. My expert opinion is to start by determining your BMI and using that as one bit of information to help you decide if you need to lose weight and if so, how much. Your doctor has other ways to measure your overall health in relation to your weight, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels and more. See your doctor to get the complete picture.
My purpose for writing my blog is to offer help, not to usurp the job of medical professionals and health care providers. I have been to some doctors whose advice seems to be coming more from a place of selling me stuff than reliable, nutrition and weight management science.
One practice in particular actively tried to discourage me from following the Weight Watchers food plan. She didn’t convince me because she kept making statements about the food plan that were wildly inaccurate. When it became clear that she was unaware of how the food plan worked and she kept pushing outrageously expensive supplements, I started to question whether I was seeing the right doctor.
My suspicion grew deeper when she said these supplements, plus a couple more supplements to the supplements, would fix just about any problem a woman over 40 may have with weight, including belly bulge, mood swings, fuzzy thinking, hot flashes, overactive bladder, flatulence, explosive diarrhea, and the like.
It’s necessary to note that I didn’t complain of any of those ailments, but that didn’t stop her from flashing overpriced bottles of gigantic pills in my face! The only thing they were likely to “take away” was my money! I’m talking about a lot of money.
I share that because it’s important that you trust your doctor. Medicine is both science and theory. If you cannot be comfortable that your doctor cares more about treating you than selling stuff to you, you might want to find another doctor.
If you only need to lose a few pounds, say just 5-10, talking over your weight loss goals with your doctor probably isn’t necessary. If you need to lose 20 or more, I strongly encourage engaging your doctor in your plans. If you have medical complications as a result of your weight or you have a significant amount of weight to lose consider seeing a bariatric physician, a specialist for overweight patients.
With the overwhelming amount of bad and costly advice that surrounds us on TV, in magazines, and especially on the Internet, do yourself a favor, read my blog (please!) and then discuss your weight and weight loss plans with your doctor!