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Starting a Weight Loss Plan: Care Instructions


If you're thinking about losing weight, it can be hard to know where to start. Your doctor can help you set up a weight loss plan that best meets your needs. You may want to take a class on nutrition or exercise, or you could join a weight loss support group. If you have questions about how to make changes to your eating or exercise habits, ask your doctor about seeing a registered dietitian or an exercise specialist.

It can be a big challenge to lose weight. But you don't have to make huge changes at once. Make small changes, and stick with them. When those changes become habit, add a few more changes.

If you don't think you're ready to make changes right now, try to pick a date in the future. Make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss whether the time is right for you to start a plan.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Set realistic goals. Many people expect to lose much more weight than is likely. A weight loss of 5% to 10% of your body weight may be enough to improve your health.
  • Get family and friends involved to provide support. Talk to them about why you are trying to lose weight, and ask them to help. They can help by participating in exercise and having meals with you, even if they may be eating something different.
  • Find what works best for you. If you do not have time or do not like to cook, a program that offers meal replacement bars or shakes may be better for you. Or if you like to prepare meals, finding a plan that includes daily menus and recipes may be best.
  • Ask your doctor about other health professionals who can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
    • A dietitian can help you make healthy changes in your diet.
    • An exercise specialist or personal trainer can help you develop a safe and effective exercise program.
    • A counsellor or psychiatrist can help you cope with issues such as depression, anxiety, or family problems that can make it hard to focus on weight loss.
  • Consider joining a support group for people who are trying to lose weight. Your doctor can suggest groups in your area.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.