The following health professionals may help you on your weight loss journey. You are all different, so some may prefer to use a combo of these or none of them, but it would good to at least see your family physician or GP.
- GP/family physician – these are primary care doctors who can provide you with information, motivation, regular support, medications and referrals for allied health or surgeons. Some GPs are much more interested in lifestyles than others. So perhaps find one who is knowledgeable about this area
- Dietitians – dietitians are university trained, minimum of 4 years, to provide education and coaching on healthy food choices. They generally follow guidelines which can be good, but also sometimes a little inflexible. So again, find one you connect with if you decide to use one
- Exercise physiologists, and physical therapists – these are university trained professionals who have studied human movement for at least 4 years, they can tailor specific movement programs to your needs, based on your interests, your limits and your strengths. I often recommend seeing one of these because if you have not moved well or are confident moving your body, then you need these professionals
- Psychologists – Psychologists are professionals trained to counsel you and work with your thoughts, emotions, behaviours and see if there any of these are affecting your progress and happiness. They are not psychiatrists, who are doctors specialising in mental health, and hence they do not prescribe medication. They provide things like mindfulness, cognitive behaviour training and other techniques.
- Bariatric surgeon – in the appropriate setting a specialist surgeon in weight loss surgery may be needed which I will discuss later.
- Other people who can help you are obviously your friends and family. Many studies have shown that if you do a weight loss program with a friend or family member, hold each other to account and problem solve together, you are more likely to succeed. Even if they don’t join you, it can be helpful to let them know so they either help you or at least don’t get in your way. Sadly, tall poppy syndrome exists so sometimes when we change for the better we make those around us feel insecure and they might try to consciously or unconsciously sabotage us. So make it clear as to your plans and intentions. I will discuss this more in a later video.
- There are other health therapists who you might want to involve depending on your personal preferences, perhaps elders, religious or spiritual guides. As long as it is safe, whatever works for you – works for you.