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Doctors That Specialize in Weight Loss

By Lee Woodard ; Updated July 18, 2017

Losing weight, as most people know, is not an easy endeavor. If you've tried unsuccessfully to lose weight, have complicating factors such as chronic diseases or you are interested in losing a great deal of weight in a healthy manner, you may want to seek the services of a doctor who specializes in weight loss. The options for finding such a doctor become greater all the time as more physicians choose to specialize in this medical field.

General Practitioner

General practitioners, family physicians and internal medicine doctors are versed in general nutrition and weight loss. Many of these types of doctors provide weight loss advice and assistance through their general practice, whereas others may have practices that deal with weight loss exclusively. The benefit of treatment for weight loss through these type of doctors is that they are likely to be holistic in their approach to your weight loss and overall health.

Bariatric Physician

Often confused by the general public with bariatric surgeons, licensed physicians -- either an M.D. or D.O. -- who receives specialized training in the nonsurgical treatment of overweight and obesity are called bariatricians. Medical treatment for weight loss with a bariatrician is centered around four main methods: diet and behavior modification, exercise and medication when appropriate.

These weight loss specialists as well as other members of the health care community emphasize a weight loss of five to 10 percent can make a positive difference in reducing your health risks.

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Bariatric Surgeon

Bariatric surgeons are licensed physicians whose surgical specialty is the surgical treatment of morbid obesity through one of the various methods available. Bariatric surgery is not a first option in weight loss, but may be indicated if you've been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise. In general, men who are 100 or more pounds overweight and women who are 80 or more pounds overweight may be candidates for this surgical intervention. If you are slightly less overweight but have medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease due to your weight, you may also be an appropriate candidate.

Non-Medical Options

Other trained professionals are available to assist you with weight loss. Dietitians and nutritionists can provide one-on-one consultations, providing information and advice. You may be advised to keep a food journal, learn new ways to prepare food, be given sample menus and much more. A psychologist or counselor can be an appropriate choice if your relationship with food has an emotional base. Your physician may recommend one or both of these options as part of your overall weight loss program.

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