The process for weight management
Giving weight management advice need not take long. The following four-step process can be used to give advice and address weight with your patients. Remember, this is all about improving lifestyles by engaging with the values and beliefs of your patient. This can be achieved through mana-enhancing relationships.
1 Engage and raise awareness
- Ask your patient about their current lifestyle.
- Take their weight and calculate their BMI in order to get the facts and prompt discussion.
Note: If the patient is in a high-risk category, determine if there are other risk factors during step 2.
2 Identify need and context for action
- Ask your patient about their daily life, nutrition, exercise habits, health concerns and experiences.
- Discover your patient’s motivation for losing weight.
- If required, investigate your patient’s clinical risks (e.g. blood pressure, smoking, lipids, glucose levels, mental health, etc.)
- If there are additional clinical risks, follow the existing clinical guidelines.
3 Determine options for action
- Use the FAB approach to discuss possible lifestyle changes with your patient.
- Work with your patient to set achievable goals. Aim for a small weekly weight loss.
- Remember to take into account each patient’s lived reality, and to consider individual, whānau, and community settings.
Note: If your patient has a high BMI and previous attempts at weight management have failed, you may want to consider drugs or surgery. These options should only be used in addition to lifestyle changes, not as a substitute.
4 Maintain contact and support
- Keep in contact with your patient to monitor their progress, and arrange for their weight to be measured once a week.
- Discuss other sources of support for your patient (e.g. whānau, community groups, etc).
- If your patient gains 5-20 kilograms, reassess their weight management programme with them.