When should I see a doctor if I'm trying to lose weight?

If you’re trying to lose weight you should see a doctor if you:
  • are greater than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight
  • have a BMI of greater than 40 without any associated illnesses attributed to your being overweight
  • have a BMI of greater than 35 with a comorbid condition (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol/triglycerides, or sleep apnea)
Jennifer A. King, MD
Family Medicine
I recommend you see your primary care physician before starting a weight loss plan. Although most diets can help patients lose weight not every diet is safe or effective for everyone. We are all individuals so finding a weight loss program that complements your lifestyle and that is personalized for you would be the best plan for you to ensure your success. Best of luck!
It is always a good idea to see your doctor before you embark on a weight loss journey. He or she can provide you with safe goals as well as help you determine the safe level of physical activity given your health.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and obesity contributes greatly to the development of heart disease. This means that if you are overweight, weight loss is a worthwhile goal.
Dietary and activity changes of any kind should be undertaken after getting clearance from your health-care professional. You should consider the tips below if you are going to embark on a program of changes in what you eat and how you exercise:
  • See your doctor to review any issues related to medications, lab results or existing health conditions before changing your diet, using supplements of any kind or starting an exercise program.
  • Consider seeking out therapy with a licensed mental health professional if through the weight-loss process you find that longer-term psychological issues may be significantly impacting how you eat and live.
  • If you are feeling out of control with food, either controlling what you eat too much, losing significant amounts of weight or engaging in behaviors to get rid of food (purging, using laxatives, excessive exercise), see a health-care professional as soon as possible.
You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.