How to Talk to Your Doctor About Weight Issues

Let’s be honest, talking about weight issues and eating problems is seriously awkward. But having a conversation with your physician about being overweight, underweight or missing out on good nutrition can put you on the path to good health.

When to Bring It Up: If you’re concerned about your weight or your eating habits, tell your physician. For example, if there has been a severe or sudden change in weight, which can be a sign of a health condition, such as a thyroid problem, that’s worth a doctor’s visit.

It also helps to know your numbers—namely, your weight and your BMI, so you can differentiate between what’s healthy and what’s not. Once you know your numbers, you need to know what's in the normal range (BMI 19-25), what's too much (BMI 25-29 overweight; BMI > 30 obese) and what's not enough (BMI < 18), according to Beth Ricanati, M.D., YouBeauty Wellness Advisor. “If you fall in the too much or not enough category, that's something to talk to your physician about,” she says.

Keep in mind that your primary care physician isn’t the only person who can help you with a weight or eating problem. Consider also talking with a nutritionist, who can help you form a healthy eating plan you can live with, and a therapist, who can get to the root of your struggles with weight and food

Talking Points: Since this can be a tough topic to bring up on your own, keep it simple by saying, "I'm concerned about my weight. Here's why..." Adds Dr. Ricanati, “any symptoms you’re having that might be related to your weight are worth mentioning: joint aches and pains (especially if overweight), sugar issues (diabetes and obesity run hand-in-hand), thinning hair (common when too thin), irregular periods (common when both overweight and underweight).

Quiz: Find Your BMI and Waist-to-Hip Ratio

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