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(How) can a GP support weight loss?(5 Posts)
I really need to think about loosing weight now. Short history: was an overweight teenager but lost it all in my 20s and was superfit and trim in my twenties. Then came a relationship, a desk job, 2 kids and the weight started piling on.
I am now at a stage when I am starting to get uncomfortable (and, even worse, growing out of size 16 clothes) and due to my age (39), it will only get worse, unless I do something.
Unfortunately, I have little time for exercise these days. School run in the morning, work, dinner and bedtime, and then usually back to the desk for more work (I am a lecturer and it is just impossible to get the job done in a 9-5... plus, due to the school run, I rarely get a 9-5!).
My diet could certainly be better, too, but certain aspects of it will be hard to change as it is impossible to cook different meals for me and both my husband and my older child are fussy eaters. Where I could make changes are breakfast, lunch and snacks.
I really need a kick-start to this!
If I go to my GP, in what way can they support me? Access to a dietitian, etc.? Referral to exercise (not easy anyway when there are hardly any group sessions at local gym after 8pm)? Blood test for diabetes etc. - or should I have this done at the pharmacy?
I am not looking for radical solutions (nu surgery, definitely!), just not gaining and loosing a bit would be good. My end goal is not even to be at a perfect BMI - I would just like to comfortably fit a size 16 again (or maybe, at a stretch, a size 14) and feel a bit better about myself, be more toned etc. I know I'll never look again like I did in my 20s... oh my god, what a dream that was! I even ran a marathon... this January I struggled through a couch to 5k class!
Any advice welcome!
In our area the GP refers you to a dietitian. We have a specific service that teaches about healthy eating and has a diet plan to follow. It splits meal and snack portions up and if you follow it you can track if you’ve had enough of a food group or not. You also go for weigh ins and groups.
Being completely honest at a size 16 you aren't huge and with some diet changes you could lose a stone quite easily. You could go to your GP but in my experience (as a size 20) they aren't overly helpful or knowledgeable. Also I personally feel that I did this myself and I shouldn't waste NHS resources trying to sort it but that is just me.
As the saying goes - you can't out run a bad diet. It's 80% of weight loss and exercise will give you the other 20% from what I have read. Although obviously exercise has other benefits.
I have similar issues with food as you. Fussy teen etc. I do end up eating a different meal a lot of the time. But I don't have your time constraints as I don't work and DH is here a lot and happy to cook.
If I were you I would sit down and work out a plan. You will need to devote some time but with planning and meal prep it can be done. Pick three healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners and make sure you have th ingredients and prep them in advance. A friend is a personal trainer and she says she tends to eat quite repetitive meals but she is quite happy with that. It's easy and she doesn't have to think too much about it.
Breakfast is easy I find. Greek yogurt and blueberries with some nuts and seeds is one of my favourites. Overnight oats is easy and can be prepped very quickly the night before.
Lunches I find easy too. Huge salad with protein. Or home made soup - I add a tin of beans or lentils for extra protein before I blend it. My PT friend has a lot of wraps with lots of salad and protein.
Dinners can be easy too. Batch cook and have frozen portions of something for you that you can defrost and have with a side of vegetables- courgetti or cauliflower rice for example to go with a portion of bolognaise or chilli or curry. I love salmon with courgetti and pest with some cherry tomatoes and peas added to the courgetti. Takes literally no time to cook. I also have a few healthyish ready meals in th freezer - M&S or Waitrose - for emergencies.
There are lots of ideas on Pinterest for food prep. Spending an hour or so on a Sunday prepping for the week will help a lot.
Reduce your carbs. Up your protein. Have healthy fats. Have healthy snacks planned so you don't get tempted by crap. Move more generally as much as you can.
It can be done.
As GPs we don't have specific training in weight management. We can refer you to a dietician but if your BMI isn't high enough they won't accept you as they want those with the very high BMIs. Losing weight can only come from within. I'm an overweight GP and I fully understand weight loss problems and I've just joined slimming world which is very good. The idea behind healthy eating, portion size reduced by filling up on vegetables and your syns being the things you have to watch and count works. My only caveat to that is SW often say calories don't count! They do but they design the diet to make you think they don't.
Another resource us the NHS choices website. It does some good diet plans. Good luck. It's hard
Thanks for your contributions, and sorry for the lack of reply so far!
I've decided to take action this week
- added up how many calories I eat a day and was suitably shocked - I am now cutting down on the easy things, such as only two glasses of orange juice a day (rather than easily a liter etc.)
- got in touch with a Dietician (only 20 quid for a basic consultation - I can pay that and don't need to wait for a referral)
- started running again - I realised I have got these golden 45 minutes between DH getting up at 5.15 and him going to work. Ok, it's short runs, but if I do this only two or three times a week it should add up. Did it twice now and loved it - made me remember how much I used to love running, in particular in the morning.
So some changes have been made! Hoping to keep it up during the winter. I am turning 40 in February and have hard that I can have a 40+ checkup at the GPs then... hoping to be in slightly better shape then! Main goal though is to fit comfortably in a size 16 again, rather than as a squeeze (and moving towards an 18). I can be quite happy with that!
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