How to Talk to Your Doctor About Your Diet
Six tips for a fruitful conversation
4. Don't be intimidated by numbers, or get caught up in
labels. Pounds, BMI, and waist circumference, and words like
"overweight" and "obesity," will come up in any discussion
5. Talk about diet and exercise. Long-term success
usually requires a combination of lifestyle changes. Think about what you can
do to increase your activity level, and share your ideas during your office
visit. If you have a pedometer, keep a record of your steps in a typical day as
a reference point to improve upon. Have your doctor write out a
"prescription" for exercise. This plan will be added to your medical
chart and monitored during follow-up visits.
6. Bring in a food diary. This might cover two or three
days, and should include everything you consumed during those days -- which
foods and drinks, and how much of each. Keeping a diary may give you some
immediate ideas on where to "cut the fat," and the information will be
useful for your doctor as well. A written diary is more specific and accurate
than any discussion of eating habits will be. Have your physician write down
dietary suggestions or give you a handout on what you should be eating. He or
she may also refer you to a nutritionist or dietitian.
No time to prepare for your talk with your doctor? Then at least be mentally
ready for some honest talk.
Remember that managing your weight will help to improve your overall health.
Give yourself time to accomplish your goals, and enlist the support of others
-- be they family, friends, or a support group such as the Weight Loss Clinic's
message board community.
Losing excess pounds in a healthful way can help you lower blood pressure,
improve cholesterol levels, and better manage your blood sugar if you have
diabetes. It can relieve the pressure of excess weight on your joints if you
have arthritis. And the effect is usually cyclical: the better you feel, the
more motivated you become to live healthier.