10 Questions to Ask before Starting a Diet

How to Lose Weight : How to Start Losing Weight —powered by eHow.com

Most individuals deciding to start any sort of weight-loss plan usually forego a doctor’s visit and decide that their will-power and limited knowledge alone can get the job done. In many cases, this is true. Some people only need to make some minor changes and introduce some activity into their lives to lose weight and get in great shape. Others, however, like the morbidly obese and individuals with a history of health issues, should always visit a doctor before attempting any lifestyle change.

The fact of the matter is that everyone should consult a physician or at least do their homework before starting a diet and exercise routine. Although you may assume you are relatively healthy, save those extra 20 pounds, you may end up doing damage to your bones and joints, losing more energy, gaining more weight, and even suffering from a heart attack or stroke if you are not making informed, safe choices.

Why Individuals are at Risk with a Weight-Loss Regimen

This article is certainly not designed to scare anyone. We are only trying to keep people informed, because being informed means you will make the right decisions for your overall health. Some people end up suffering dire consequences from their weight-loss plans, and here are just a few reasons why:

  • Too out of shape. Some individuals are really out of shape and obese when they start their regimen and their hearts, joints, muscles, etc, cannot take the sudden switch.
  • Starvation as weight-loss. Others attempt to starve themselves or simply make the wrong choices over what to cut out. They end up malnourished and lose energy or fall into poor health.
  • Pushing too hard. Others go from 0 to full throttle immediately, when their bodies are not ready for the change, and they end up shocking their system and sustaining injury.
  • Dangerous procedures. Just like some with wrinkles opt for a facelift instead of wrinkle creams, some overweight people opt for dangerous surgical procedures instead of making the lifestyle changes. There is always risk when you go under the knife.
  • Fad dieting. Some fail to understand certain “fad” diets, like the low-carb diet, and they will switch to foods with a high-fat content and continuously eat unhealthy. The human heart can only take so much

With so many risks involved, it is just a smart move to visit a doctor and ask some questions before starting any weight-loss plan. Even if you only need to lose a few pounds, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.

10 Questions you should be asking Your Doctor

Before you set up an appointment, take time to compile some questions to ask. There are probably dozens you could ask of your physician, but these ten are a great place to start. Make sure you have them ready and do not be nervous in your consultation. You should even take notes of the doctor’s answers so that you implement the advice correctly.

1: Should I Lose Weight?

For some individuals, the answer here isn’t obvious. For pregnant women, people with health problems, etc, losing weight is not always the answer. The doctor will most likely suggest that everyone break away from junk food and start eating healthier and staying active, but losing weight is not the immediate option for everyone.

2: How Much Weight should I Lose?

If the answer to the first question is yes, then follow up by asking for a ballpark number. Most doctors these days do not rely on that archaic scale. There are just too many other factors to consider, like your muscle mass, body fat percentage and more. But the doctor will give you a realistic, healthy goal. You might not like the answer, thinking you should lose more or could possibly do with losing less, but you should heed this advice.

3: Is my Health Contributing to my Weight?

Some people have health issues that result in weight gain – or at least result in the inactivity that can contribute to weight gain. By asking if your health is affecting your overall weight, you may find that there are some treatments and/or medications that can assist you in losing the weight.

4: Am I at Risk?

Some individuals need their situation to touch home in a serious way before they begin to change. You should ask your doctor if you are at risk. Sure, you probably already know that eating poorly and being overweight can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, among other complications, but your doctor will let you know just how “risky” your weight is for your particular health.

5: Are Treatments Contributing to my Weight?

In this modern age, millions of individuals are on some type of medication for something. Whether it’s an anti-smoking medication, an antidepressant or any other type of medicine we’re talking about, be sure to ask your doctor if medications are contributing to your weight gain and also if medications will interfere with weight-loss.

6: Should I Take Medication?

Depending on your health and other conditions, such as the severity of your weight, you may need an assist in losing weight. With so many over-the-counter options to choose from, deciding to simply pick one up on a whim could be detrimental to your health. By asking your doctor, you will receive a definitive yes or no answer and you will also receive your doctor’s recommendation for the medication you should be taking.

7: Should I Have Surgery?

This is probably the toughest question you’re going to ask of your doctor, primarily because the answer you receive might be quite scary. Having your doctor say, “Yes, you should have surgery” can hit you like a ton of bricks. But you cannot leave it hanging out there. You need to know definitively if you should undergo weight-loss surgery, such as stomach stapling or a gastric bypass. More than likely, your doctor is going to be against having surgery.

For some individuals, they actually want to have surgery for the proverbial quick fix or because they do not have the will to put in the work. Asking your doctor about the choice will let you know of all the real risks involved, from the surgery itself to the lifelong changes you will need to make.

8: How Many Calories Should I Eat?

Most of us realize that ingesting fewer calories than we burn will lead to weight loss. But not everyone knows their personal number. It is a little different for everyone. If you’re used to ingesting 3000 calories per day and cut back to 1200, this is not only an unsustainable formula but also unhealthy for you. Your doctor is going to take a tally of your diet as it is and then recommend a healthy and safe daily calorie intake.

9: What Should I Eat?

Fruits and vegetables, less red meat and less fat – we all have a fairly good idea of what “healthy” eating is. But your doctor is going to know better than anyone just what type of nutrition you personally need. Especially if you have other health issues, your dietary needs are going to be rather specific. Your doctor will let you know what you should be eating and what you should be avoiding.

10: Should I be Exercising?

Unless you have some disability, the answer here is going to be an emphatic yes. However, not all exercise is the same. Walking on a treadmill and running around the block, while they’re both an exercise, are on completely different levels in terms of physical demand and energy exertion. Your doctor will be able to tell you just how much physical activity is healthy for you and he or she will recommend some exercises.

Knowledge is power when it comes to weight-loss and your overall health, and a doctor is simply going to be more knowledgeable about the subject than you are. Asking questions should be a must if you are going to start any weight-loss regimen, and these ten questions cover a lot of what you need to know to lose weight and change your life in a healthy way.


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