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A Weight Loss Success Secret You Might Not Know

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know it’s not easy. The stats for losing weight and keeping it off aren’t very good. It’s not impossible. But if you have more than a few pounds to lose, you need all the help you can get.

A recent study found that people who received help from their primary care physicians lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. There seems to be something special about the doctor/patient relationship. In a recent study, half the participants had health coaches and half had doctors. The group that received support from their doctors had higher weight loss. So how about getting your health care provider involved?

Your doctor has the knowledge to separate diet fads and fantasies from good information and can help you find a weight loss and fitness plan that suits you.

That’s a good start.

The challenge for most people is making a new way of eating fit within their lifestyle. Weight management is not about a temporary diet. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

It’s about changing some basic habits and beliefs. And that’s not easy.

  • Deep change isn’t usually something you do all on your own. It takes a lot of checking, coaching and support. An ongoing relationship with your health care team can help provide that for you.

What We Know about Behavior Change

Deciding you need to change is a big step in changing. But it’s not enough. There’s a right time when you’re ready to take the plunge. Part of that timing is when you believe you can change. Sometimes you need help in getting to that belief.

You need education about how to make the change.

And of course you need to take ownership of your goals and actions.

But you also need motivation and social support from outside. Someone to help:

  • Set action steps and solve problems.
  • Hold you accountable and cheer you on.
  • Measure and celebrate progress.
  • Navigate through the rough patches.

Primary care physicians are trained in psychological and social needs of patients, not just physical ones. So a consistent, supportive relationship can make a big difference in your success in changing behavior and getting healthier.

How Can Your Health Care Professional Help?

The successful weight-losers in the study scored their doctors high on helpfulness. They:

  • Explain things clearly.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Show respect.

You should be able to say your doctor meets all these measures.

Finding Support

In addition to your doctor, other people and groups can also support successful weight loss. Nutritionists, coaches, weight loss and exercise groups are great supports in making lifestyle changes.

If you’re on the path to a healthier life, choose the team that works best for you, and make sure your doctor’s part of your team.

Meet the Author

Hardeep S. Ahuja, MD is a Family Medicine physician at Aurora Advanced Healthcare in Menomonee Falls, WI.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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