Take a More Active Role in Your Weight Management Care

As a weight management expert, I’ve been encouraging my patients to take a more active role in their care for years.

If this is something you’re interested in doing, engaging in shared decision making with your health care professional can be helpful.

Shared decision-making is a process whereby health care professionals and patients come to an agreement about the course of care and treatment options related to one’s health condition.

Here are 3 ways you can start taking a more active role in your weight management care:

1-Partner Up

With all the exciting new treatments available to help those who struggle with weight, you may be wondering who you should turn to for help?

Though your primary care professional (PCP) may not be an expert in weight management, they are likely to be an expert in knowing about you and your medical history.

This is always a good place to start.

Consider making a weight-focused appointment so you can share your concerns and ask your questions.

Here’s where the provider can use shared decision making to assess your personal goals and challenges, resources and time availability.

2-Decide on a Treatment Plan

Effective weight management begins with lifestyle modification (healthy eating patterns, increased physical activity and psycho-behavioral modification) for everyone as this is foundational for optimal health.

But what if improving your health habits has not been enough to achieve healthy weight loss?

Here are some questions you may want to ask your PCP:

  • Do you have other resources to share such as helpful apps, online programs, books, and other professional counseling tips and referrals pertaining to diet, exercise, surgery, mood, stress or sleep management?
  • Am I a candidate for one of the new medications?
  • If so, how may they help me, how long would I need to take them and what are the potential side effects?
  • Are these medications available and covered by my insurance?

Using shared decision making, you and your PCP can develop a plan that meets your needs.

3-Stay Accountable

Long term weight management success depends on having good follow-up.

Putting a follow up plan into place is important.

With time, new issues can emerge that may require referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist, an exercise specialist, a health psychologist, an obesity medicine physician specialist or even a bariatric surgeon.

Staying connected and accountable to a health care professional can keep you moving in the right direction.

Shared decision-making works best when you and your provider develop a treatment plan that’s targeted to your needs.

If you want to get started today on a self-help healthy lifestyle weight management program that can help you no matter where you are in your weight management journey, check out my latest book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You.


Robert Kushner, MD

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