Is Doctor-Supervised Weight Loss Right for Me?

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on January 28 2016

Many people can lose weight on their own without having to be guided by their physician, but there are many benefits to working with a doctor. People who are significantly overweight – or what may be termed "morbidly obese" – may want to have their physician supervise their weight loss to make sure what they are doing is both safe and effective.

Individuals who have health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes or upper respiratory disorders may need to err on the side of caution and work with their doctor to prevent a health crisis from occurring.

Thorough Physical Examination

Being significantly overweight can cause a variety of health concerns. If you are planning on losing weight, getting a complete physical examination by your doctor will help you in several ways. The benefits include:

  • Will bring to light any unknown health issues you may have

  • Will identify any limits that need to be observed

  • Will help you set reasonable goals and create a time line

  • Will give you a general idea of your overall health and well being

A physical examination will provide your doctor with an abundance of information, including what your nutritional needs are and how much your body can handle in the way of exercise as you begin your journey.

Nutritional Counseling

Your doctor will be able to help you create a diet plan that will allow you to eat many of the foods you enjoy without causing you to crave food or feel as if you are missing meals. A person's metabolism will determine how many calories are needed each day, how often a person should eat and what types of foods will allow them to reach their weight loss goals. In some cases, your doctor may recommend supplements to help you meet your nutritional requirements as you begin to cut back on your calorie intake. This ensures you receives the nutrients you need without over-eating.

Safe and Effective Exercise Programs

One of the most important elements of any weight loss program is exercise. Before you begin any exercise regimen, it is important to talk to your doctor to find out how much physical activity is safe for your weight. In the beginning, your doctor may request that you start out slow by walking, swimming or stretching. If you have no significant health issues other than your weight, your doctor may allow you to begin more rigorous exercise. As you progress, your physical limitations will eventually change allowing you to do more and be more physically active. Having your doctor supervise your weight loss program will make sure your level of activity coincides with your physical ability.

Sufficient Rest

While diet and exercise are essential to a successful weight loss program, sleep is also extremely important. Your physician will be able to tell you how much sleep you need in order to sufficiently recover from your day to day activities. Allowing the body sufficient time to rest between workouts gives it the time it needs to heal and rejuvenate. Resting also clears the mind and helps to reset the metabolism. By working with your doctor, you will be able to bring the three important factors in any weight loss program into balance.

Support and Encouragement

One of the greatest benefits of working with your doctor to achieve your weight loss goal is support. Not only will they closely monitor your progress, they will be able to show you the advances you are making and help you to reach your goals much faster. As you begin to move forward and reach each milestone, you will also notice that many of your bad habits are slipping away and are being replaced with healthier, longer lasting lifestyle changes. These new lifestyle patterns will stay with you far into the future, helping you to maintain a healthier weight and preventing various forms of chronic illness.

Doctor supervised weight loss can work for everyone! Many people can achieve their goals without a doctor, but if you have existing illness or are unsure of how to lose weight in a healthy manner, then working with your doctor may be the best choice. Don't take chances with your health. If you have questions, make an appointment and talk about your concerns with me!


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