Your health team
While your local GP is a great place to start, he or she is not the only person qualified to help you reach your weight loss goals. Your doctor may put together a weight management plan for you that might also involve one or more of these other health professionals: practice nurse, dietitian, exercise physiologist, psychologist, counsellor or behavioural therapist and more.
Together your healthcare professional team can help:
- Identify factors or behaviours contributing to the development of obesity and being overweight. Some of these can include emotional eating, misconceptions about food, physical disability, and medical conditions
- Give you the knowledge and the support you need to succeed
- Set goals and track progress and success
- Manage health problems arising from being overweight or obese
- Advise if a different approach is needed if goals are not being reached
Many doctor’s surgeries have practice nurses that work hand in hand with the doctor to help keep you on track. In some surgeries, after the initial consultation, the practice nurse may be the one that conducts your regular weigh-ins, gives you information about healthy lifestyle options and much more.
A dietitian can help you to understand the relationship between food and health and make food choices to help to get you to a healthy weight. They can also work with you to design a healthy eating plan that you can stick to.
An exercise physiologist can help to determine a safe level of exercise for you and help draw up an exercise plan that’s right for you. They may do a test that involves walking on a treadmill. They will monitor your breathing, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels as the treadmill gradually gets faster.
A psychologist, behavioural therapist or counsellor can help you understand things about the way you think and behave that may be affecting your weight. They can also help with managing stress, maintaining motivation and mindful eating.