Choosing a weight-loss program may
be a difficult task. You may not know what to look
for in a weight-loss program or what questions to
ask. This fact sheet can help you talk to your
health care professional about weight loss and get
the best information before choosing a program.
If your health care
provider tells you that you should lose weight and
you want to find a weight-loss program to help you,
look for one that is based on regular physical
activity and an eating plan that is balanced,
healthy, and easy to follow.
You may want to talk with your doctor or other
health care professional about controlling your
weight before you decide on a weight-loss program.
Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about your
weight with your doctor, remember that he or she is
there to help you improve your health. Here are
Tell your provider that you would like to
talk about your weight. Share your concerns about
any medical conditions you have or medicines you
Write down your questions in advance.
Bring pen and paper to take notes.
Bring a friend or family member along for
support if this will make you feel more
Make sure you understand what your health
care provider is saying. Ask questions if there
is something you do not understand.
Ask for other sources of information like
brochures or websites.
If you want more support, ask for a referral
to a registered dietitian, a support group, or a
commercial weight-loss program.
Call your provider after your visit if you
have more questions or need help.
iFind out as much as you can about your health needs
before joining a weight-loss program. Here are some
questions you might want to ask your health care
About Your Weight
Do I need to lose weight? Or should I just
avoid gaining more?
Is my weight affecting my health?
Could my excess weight be caused by a medical
condition such as hypothyroidism or by a medicine
I am taking? (Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid
gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, a
condition that can slow your metabolism—how
your body creates and uses energy.)
If your health care provider tells you that you
should lose weight and you want to find a
weight-loss program to help you, look for one that
is based on regular physical activity and an eating
plan that is balanced, healthy, and easy to follow.
Weight-loss programs should encourage healthy
behaviors that help you lose weight and that you
can stick with every day. Safe and effective
weight-loss programs should include:
Healthy eating plans that reduce calories but
do not forbid specific foods or food groups.
Tips to increase moderate-intensity physical
Tips on healthy behavior changes that also
keep your cultural needs in mind.
Slow and steady weight loss. Depending on
your starting weight, experts recommend losing
weight at a rate of 1/2 to 2 lbs per week. Weight
loss may be faster at the start of a
Medical care if you are planning to lose
weight by following a special formula diet, such
as a very low-calorie diet.
A plan to keep the weight off after you have