When I respond to e-mails asking me for diet and exercise advice, I always note that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I have a friend in med school who is working her ass off for that official doctoral degree. (She’s doing it figuratively, not literally like me.) I’m not going to pretend I crammed the name of every bone into my brain like she has. I tell people to consult a doctor or
nutritionist dietitian in addition to whatever advice I give, stating that I am just a girl who happened to lose a lot of weight.
But I wonder, does anyone really ask their doctor for weight-loss advice?
Many overweight people avoid going to the doctor because they don’t want to talk about their weight problems. They don’t want to see the number on the scale when they’re weighed. They don’t want to deal with it. But if you are ready to do something about a serious weight problem, do you turn to your primary health provider or do you turn to Jenny Craig? Do you read diet reviews on the Internet? It seems more common for people to ask a friend for advice or join a gym and hire a trainer. Why is that?
It’s certainly important to consult your doctor if you have a medical problem that might make it dangerous to exercise, like a bum knee or asthma. But outside of that, I wonder how effective a general practitioner would be in dispensing weight loss advice. They are “general” practitioners after all. They know a little about everything, but I probably read more about the latest weight-loss breakthroughs than my doctor does. (Unless it’s bad news, since we all know I ignore that stuff.) I’ve heard stories of doctors who tell patients to join Weight Watchers, essentially outsourcing the problem.
So, did you consult a doctor before deciding to lose weight? Why or why not?