Facing a Physician Who Encourages Weight Loss

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Weight loss is not only something pushed by the media and through various advertising outlets. While many diet fads are circulating on an ongoing basis, weight loss is also promoted by various health professionals, including physicians, medical staff, nutritionists/dietitians, etc for health purposes.

Under the current “obesity epidemic” that our nation has experienced, many health professionals are under the impression that weight loss is in the best interest of their patients/clients. For someone who may have an eating disorder or be susceptible to developing an eating disorder, weight loss recommendations can be triggering.

Understanding the Basis for Weight Loss

Recommendations for weight loss may be commonly heard in a physician’s office, for a yearly exam or routine visit. While physicians and other healthcare professionals are likely well-intended with all their recommendations, seeking to help and not harm their patient, those who may not be educated about eating disorders may unintentionally make comments that can be difficult to cope with or encounter.

Some healthcare professionals, like physicians, may go as far as to say that a specific amount of weight needs to be lost over a certain amount of time, adding that weight loss is imperative to improving a health condition.

While there may be some validity to weight loss need claims in certain situations and disease states, like with heart disease or diabetes, it is important to know that weight is only one factor. Weight alone is not a reflection of a person’s overall health, and it is crucial to not put too much emphasis on a number. When weight becomes the primary focus, the stress and anxiety that this might cause an individual can be incredibly overwhelming and triggering.

Working With Your Physician For Your HealthWoman smelling flowers

Remember that your health professionals are working to help you, and if you find yourself struggling with any of their recommendations, it is important to pay attention to these feelings. Feeling like you have to lose weight in order to be healthy can not only be triggering but is an impractical way to live as well.

Consider working with a clinician or healthcare professional who follows the Health at Every Size philosophy or who specializes in eating disorders. These clinicians can help you simultaneously address any health concerns you may be facing while also keep your eating disorder recovery a priority.

Community Discussion – Share Your Thoughts Here!

Have you encountered a healthcare professional who recommended weight loss? How did this impact you?


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 4, 2017
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com