According to the most recent reports, nearly 40% of American adults are clinically obese and more than two-thirds are fall into the overweight or obese categories. Given these numbers and the strong link between weight, lifestyle and preventable health problems, it’s no surprise that weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Unfortunately, people’s desire for overnight weight loss solutions has made this one of the world’s most misinformation-saturated industries. Everyone from online fitness influencers to supplement companies to MLM schemes offer free weight loss advice, but you shouldn’t trust everything you read or hear.
Instead, it’s best to consult with credentialed wellness experts who are educated and trained to help you reach your weight loss goals in the healthiest, most efficient way possible.
Here are five wellness experts to help you start, continue or re-commit to your weight loss journey:
1. Medical Doctor
If you’ve decided to embark on a weight loss journey and aren’t exactly sure what to do first, making an appointment with your primary care physician is a great place to start.
Your doctor can assess your current weight status – often using body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference and/or waist hip ration (WHR) – and discuss current risk. As a general rule, people with an above-average BMI or WHR are at a higher risk for chronic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and some cancers.
He or she can also screen you for conditions that contribute to weight problems, such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
If you fall in the overweight or obese BMI range and have struggled to lose weight on your own, your doctor may also speak with you about medical weight loss options. Two common interventions are prescription weight loss drugs, such as phentermine (Adipex-P) or Qsymia, and