Weight Management-How To Have The Conversation

Having the conversation around weight management can be challenging to navigate. It will always come from a place of care and concern but trying to convey this a in a way that doesn’t offend or upset the patient can be difficult. Sports and Spinal resident Exercise Physiologists, Lauren Sexton has provided some helpful tips on how best a clinician can bring up the conversation of weight management.

Acknowledge Reason For Appointment

  • Address main health concern first.
  • Approach conversation with respect.
  • Use active listening for the first 2 minutes and allow patient to discuss their health.
  • 5A approach- Ask, Assess, Advice, Agree, Assist.
The 5 A’s for approaching weight management.

Questions To Ask

  • How is your weight affecting your life?
  • How have you tried to lose weight?
  • What do you think are the reasons for your weight gain?
  • History taking; evaluate diet, exercise, and sleeping patterns.
  • Insight of previous diets, medication, and exercise.
  • Don’t prescribe the same thing if it wasn’t effective.
  • Explore patients understanding of their health and provide education.

How To Address Time Constraints

  • Establish a relationship with patient and ensure they feel heard and listened to.
  • If patients feel judged or your bias, they are unlikely to return.
  • Give a handout/complete homework such as a food/sleep/exercise diary.
  • Follow up in 1-2 weeks time.

How To Ensure Patient Engagement

  • Acknowledge weight gain is a chronic and relapsing condition.
  • Talk about realistic goals and link to previous weight loss:
  • How much did you lose?
  • How long did it take you to lose?
  • What were the roadblocks that resulted in regaining weight?
  • Acknowledge road blocks in initial stage.
  • Develop strategies to address road blocks.

Written By, Lauren Sexton

Our Dietitians and Exercise Physiologist’s are trained in motivational interviewing techniques to assist patients into the action phase of weight loss. Obesity is a chronic and relapsing condition and requires a wide network of practitioners to assist in preventing chronic disease and treating co-morbidities.

Lauren is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Woolloongabba location.