Talk with your doctor or other health-care provider about controlling your weight before you decide on a weight-loss program. Health-care providers don't always address issues such as healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management during general office visits. It's important for you to start the discussion in order to get the information you need. Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about your weight with your health-care provider, remember that he or she is there to help you improve your health. Here are some tips:
- Tell your health-care provider that you would like to talk about your weight. Share your concerns about any medical conditions you have or medicines you are taking.
- 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 comfortable.
- Make sure you understand what your health-care provider is saying. Do not be afraid to ask questions if there is something you do not understand.
- Ask for other sources of information, like brochures or Web sites.
- If you want more support, ask for a referral to a registered dietitian, support group, or commercial weight-loss program you can try.
- Call your health-care provider after your visit if you have more questions or need help.
Responsible, Safe Weight Loss
If your health-care provider says you should lose weight, and you want to find a weight-loss program, 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 you can stick with every day.
NIH Research to Results
When it comes to reaching and keeping your healthy weight, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) both offer information and programs based on NIH research to help Americans achieve their healthiest weight.
- NIDDK's Weight-control Information Network (WIN) program provides the public, health professionals, the media, and Congress with up-to-date, science-based information on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues.
- To help African American women reach and keep healthy weight, WIN has a section called "Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better," a national campaign designed to encourage Black women 18 and over to maintain a healthy weight by becoming more physically active and eating healthier foods.
- NHLBI's We Can!, or "Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition," is a national program designed for families and communities to help children maintain healthy weight. It focuses on improved food choices, increased physical activity, and reduced television, computer, and videogame screen time.
- The NIH also recommends the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). More than the traditional low-salt or low-sodium diet to reduce blood pressure., DASH is based on an eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy.