Getting professional advice before starting any diet is crucial to successful weight loss. There are many reasons why a person may become overweight that have nothing to do with a "lack of willpower" or overeating, which need to be investigated before you diet.
Firstly, they may gain weight due to hormonal reasons, for example, a slow thyroid. The thyroid secretes several hormones; two key ones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). They both help regulate the rate of metabolism in your body. Your metabolism affects how rapidly you burn the calories you eat. Some people have a higher metabolism than others due to being more muscular. Lean muscle mass helps you burn fuel more efficiently.
Your doctor can test your thyroid levels, and prescribe synthetic thyroid hormone medication if it is found to be slow and therefore the cause of you being overweight.
Or, it's possible that your thyroid is operating at normal levels, but not getting all the nutrients it needs to function properly, such as iodine, found mainly in fish and seafood.
Consulting with your doctor before undertaking any diet can also help you with your weight loss goals and overall plan. For instance, if you are found to be pre-diabetic, or diabetic, even losing 20 pounds can help reverse the insulin resistance this is a sign of.
If you are suffering from high cholesterol, with high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol as part of your overall numbers, this also shows that something has gotten out of balance with your diet.
LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is the "Lousy" form, which can cause a blockage in your arteries (known as atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis); blood clots; heart attack and stroke. HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is the "Helpful" form of cholesterol, larger cholesterol molecules which act like a street sweeper to keep your arteries free of LDL cholesterol. You need to have high HDL, and low LDL to main health cholesterol levels.
To boost your HDL, you can eat healthy fats such as olive oil, walnuts and avocadoes. The process of changing your eating habits will help lower the LDL at the same time.
It is also important to note that the bad cholesterol is found in animal foods, not vegetable sources. In addition, your cholesterol level is not just affected by the food you eat; your body produces cholesterol by itself too. Your doctor will be able to tell how much of your cholesterol issue is heredity, and how much is dietary. S/he will be able to give you a number of free leaflets and advice about these issues and help you plan a diet that's right for your particular health concerns.
Another major health concern for the overweight person is high blood pressure, a leading contributor to stroke. The DASH diet and DASH Sodium diets have been proven to help reduce blood pressure. Your doctor can help monitor your progress in reducing your weight and blood pressure to help take you off your blood pressure pills and other medications safely. Heart and blood pressure medications can often cause you to gain weight, leading to a downward spiral of taking one medicine to try to help, but running the risk of side effects.
If you want to start a new exercise routine, also check with your doctor to learn more about any guidelines you should follow if you have any underlying medical condition.
If you have high blood pressure, for instance, or a heart condition, diabetes, or arthritis, you will need to exercise caution. In addition, exercise with arthritis, or exercise when not warmed up properly or in good condition can lead to more health risks. Your doctor will be able to help you start a new diet and weight loss program gradually and build up to a more moderate level of activity and fitness.
Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a nutritionist. In the course of several meetings with the nutritionist, you would be able to plan meals and learn how to make better choices about what you eat. Most insurance policies will cover at least a couple of visits to the nutritionist if you want to start on a safe and effective weight loss plan that is tailored to your own tastes and needs, for instance, if you are a vegetarian.
Any child wanting to lose weight will definitely need to see a doctor in order to be sure that they are not compromising on nutrition, and therefore their growth, as a result of trying to diet.
Losing weight is hard enough at the best of times. Anyone seeking to lose more than ten pounds should definitely consult with their doctor to make sure that there are no underlying health issues which might sabotage their new regimen, nor any major medical conditions they should be aware of for safety's sake before starting any diet and exercise plan.