How can seeking the help of a weight loss doctor help your overall health?
Often people think they need to lose huge amounts of weight for their health- that is not the case! In fact there are weight-related (and lifestyle related) conditions that can improve even with a 6-8% weight (body fat) loss. Which ones? Check out which ones and how the numbers can improve.
Now, I recognize there can be health at many sizes- knowing your numbers beyond the scale is essential to get a better assessment of your health status and risk!
We can’t assume health by appearances alone.
You all are familiar with BMI- body mass index. It is a good screening tool that you typically have a discussion about at the doctor’s office. Different BMI measurements place you in different categories: underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity.
BMI unfortunately does not tell the whole story. Why? Because weight alone does not determine your risk for metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. For example, individuals who store more body fat in the abdominal area are at increased risk even at a “normal” BMI. You can also see individuals at a higher BMI that have less risk based on their evaluation.
So what numbers should you know? As a weight loss doctor, I assess my patients for risk by looking at other markers.
These additional useful markers of health risk and metabolic disease are:
👉🏽 Body composition: A measurement of muscle mass and body fat percentage. I use a bio-impedance scale in the office to measure this. A DEXA scan is the gold standard for such an assessment.
👉🏽 Waist circumference: It is a measure of visceral fat and varies by ethnicity. Of note, there is a lower cut off for certain ethnicities like South Asians, Asians of Chinese and Japanese origin as well as ethnic South and Central Americans. These people will be at a higher risk at a lower waist size.
👉🏽 Blood pressure: Knowing measurements in the office and at home are useful to have a full picture of blood pressure status. Increased blood pressure increases risk for strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease.
👉🏽 Blood sugar status: Fasting blood sugar & Hemoglobin A1c measurements and in some instances insulin level and/or glucose tolerance test 2 hr post-glucose load can give a better picture of how your body is handling the food you eat and your risk for type 2 diabetes.
👉🏽Cholesterol levels: Knowing measurements of HDL, LDL, Triglycerides and even particles sizes of these lipoproteins can help shed light on risk factors as well as help guide dietary changes that could help improve them.
👉🏽 Markers of inflammation: Tests like highly sensitive C reactive protein can help identify people at higher risk.
A discussion about these risk factors and how they relate to your current lifestyle can ABSOLUTELY make a difference.
As a weight loss doctor and lifestyle medicine doctor, I review dietary patterns, movement, sleep, stress levels as well as what roadblocks and obstacles a person faces when trying to make changes.
In addition to lifestyle factors, medications can be a useful tool to help people achieve adequate weight and fat loss to help improve their health.
Not only can you see an effect on these markers & feel better- but in turn help decrease your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, certain cancers like endometrial, liver, colon and post-menopausal breast cancer, obstructive sleep apnea just to name a few health conditions.
Do you have a clear picture of your numbers and risk factors? Needing help to get better guidance and maybe even lose some pounds? In my practice, I have 3 programs that can help!
For those looking for an in-depth annual exam type visit, the 360 Wellness Check is a perfect fit. Learn more HERE.
The Healthy Lifestyles Program is a virtual consultation during which we identify areas for improvement and discuss ways to optimize nutrition and other lifestyle factors. Learn more HERE.
Last, my membership-based medical weight loss program Your Journey, Your Way is a one of a kind, personalized and comprehensive program that helps you not only lose weight, improve your health but also empower you with the tools for sustainable weight loss. Learn more HERE and schedule an informational consult with me to learn more!