General Practitioner, Dietician Or Nutritionist: Which Is The Best Doctor For Losing Weight?

If you need to lose weight because of a health problem, don't hesitate to seek help in this difficult process. Start with a consultation with your general practitioner before turning to other weight loss specialists. We will explain below which doctor is the best for weight loss.

Your general practitioner to do a check-up

If you think you need to lose weight for a medical reason such as joint pain in your knees or shortness of breath related to being overweight, start by seeing your GP.

The general practitioner is your first point of contact in the weight loss process. This is because this doctor who knows you well can assess whether you really need to lose weight based on your history, waist size and body mass index or BMI.

Specialists in case of complications

If your body mass index indicates that you are obese and you otherwise have weight-related complications, your general practitioner is also the one who will refer you to the most appropriate medical specialist for your condition.

Depending on the problems you suffer from, the best doctor for losing weight is :
- an endocrinologist in case of hormonal imbalance and/or diabetes
- a hepato-gastroenterologist in case of gastroesophageal reflux or soda disease (NASH)
- a cardiologist in case of cardiovascular complications.

To note: your general practitioner or specialist may also refer you to a physical therapist or a specialized sports coach to set up an adapted physical activity (APA). Sports coaches trained in APA are present in the sport-health centers, in the regional initiatives set up by the Regional Health Agency (ARS) and in the obesity management networks.

A dietician to review your diet

Even in the absence of a medical complication that warrants consulting a medical specialist, it may be worthwhile to consult a dietician to correct your eating habits.

A dietitian is a paramedical practitioner whose procedures are covered in the hospital or as part of a healthcare network. If you consult a dietician in town, these consultations will only be partially reimbursed by your mutual insurance company or your complementary health insurance but not by the Health Insurance.

To relearn how to eat a balanced diet and benefit from dietary management, you can also consult a nutritionist doctor. Nutritionist doctors practice in a nutrition department in the hospital or in town (when they are also endocrinologists).

Professionals in these two specialties are among the best experts to help you lose weight. They can be of great help if you are unable to lose weight despite your efforts or if your diet has become anarchic and you no longer know what to do and what to eat.

Dietary management is also useful to avoid certain deleterious effects of repeated dieting, such as the infamous yo-yo effect or eating disorders.

A shrink for an eating disorder

If your overweight is related to chronic stress or anarchic eating behavior, with binge eating and compulsions, psychological support may be necessary.

To find a health professional specializing in cognitive and behavioral therapies or CBT, ask your general practitioner for advice or call the Anorexia Bulimia Info Écoute service at 0810 037 037 (price of a local call).

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Marco Verch on Flickr
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In French: Généraliste, diététicien ou nutritionniste : quel est le meilleur médecin pour maigrir ?
En español: Médico de cabecera, dietista o nutricionista: ¿cuál es el mejor médico para adelgazar?
In italiano: Medico di base, dietologo o nutrizionista: qual è il medico migliore per perdere peso?
Auf Deutsch: Allgemeinmediziner, Diätassistent oder Ernährungsberater: Wer ist der beste Arzt zum Abnehmen?
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