EAT WELL TO BE WELL: Two Ways to Weigh Less this Summer

Eat well to be well

In a blink of an eye, summer will be here. It’s time to bring out sleeveless tops and shorts. Many of us look forward to this time of year but for others, it may be a difficult transitional time if they are weighing more than they would like. It shouldn’t be news to anyone that obesity is a problem not only in this country but around the world. In the United States alone, around 67% of all adults are either overweight or obese and all that extra weight places a heavy burden of increased risk for major health problems like heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, hypertension and other chronic diseases.

Weight loss for many people is an elusive matter. Weight loss diets are a dime a dozen, some of
them good, some not. What works for one person may not work for someone else as obesity is a
complex metabolic disease. For most people, weight gain is usually the result of eating more
calories than we need and not getting in enough exercise, basically an imbalance of energy intake
and energy expenditure. This results in excess weight gain or fat that accumulates in our adipose
(fat) tissue and around organs of the body. Another factor is one’s metabolism or the rate at
which we burn calories.

“Metabolism is a big player in the weight loss game. Having a slow metabolism can inhibit
your ability to lose weight but it’s important to understand how this process actually works in the
body,” explained Dr. Samadi, Chairman of Urology, and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill
Hospital in New York City. “Your metabolism is as unique as your fingerprint. The BMR (basal
metabolic rate) – amount of calories the body burns at rest – determines how fast or slow your
metabolism is. Men typically have a higher BMR than women because they possess more lean
muscle and muscle burns fat. Age is also a big factor. Low thyroid is another factor that can
slow your metabolism. It’s essential to have your thyroid hormones checked by your doctor. As
we get older, our hormone levels change, which causes our metabolism to slow. The earlier you
instill healthy eating in your life, the faster you’ll be able to lose weight before this happens, and
as summer approaches, what better time to start?”

Two tips to get started
There are two things a person can do to jump start weight loss and it doesn’t require counting
calories, keeping a food journal, eliminating whole food groups, buying pre-packaged food or
just plain feeling deprived and miserable. They are:
1. Always eat breakfast
2. Weigh yourself everyday

Always eat breakfast
Despite what some studies may say breakfast is a really important meal. We sleep through the
night and when we wake up, we need to “break the fast.”
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a database of successful dieters started in 1994,
has demonstrated that eating breakfast is one of the key behaviors associated with long-term
weight loss maintenance.

In fact, 78% of people registered with NWCR report eating breakfast every day. This is not the
sugary cereal or glazed donut breakfast some people consume. It needs to be a protein-packed
breakfast (around 20-30 grams) as protein is known for its satiety staying power. Protein curbs
our appetite preventing food cravings later on in the day. Research on eating a high-protein
breakfast show that protein helps reduce ghrelin, an appetite stimulating hormone yet increases
the gut hormone peptide YY, making a person feel satiated. Other studies have shown people
who consume 20-30 grams of lean protein sources at breakfast felt more satisfied and had
maintained more muscle mass than those who consumed less protein.
Excellent lean protein foods to choose for breakfast are eggs, skim or low-fat milk, Greek yogurt,
peanut butter, beans, cottage cheese, walnuts and lean beef. An example of a very simple high
protein breakfast: Two slices whole-wheat bread with 4 tablespoons of peanut butter topped with
banana slices along with one cup of skim milk: 24 grams of protein.
“Eating less and exercising more is not the magic formula to lose weight. What you choose to
eat matters more than any other factor’” noted Dr. Samadi. “A significant study in 2012 from
the Association for the Study of Obesity found that when exercise was the main weight loss
method, people didn’t lose weight. Small changes to your diet can be much more effective than
running on the treadmill for an hour. A protein-rich breakfast is a great place to start. My
personal favorite – the perfect Mediterranean breakfast – Multigrain toast, topped with avocado,
egg and tomato.”

Weigh yourself everyday
New research now suggests that daily weighing may be more effective at weight loss and weight
maintenance than previously thought as there were always concerns that daily weighing could
lead to an unhealthy obsession over weight.

Stepping on the scale each day gives a person immediate feedback about their eating and activity
behaviors over the past 24 hours. This can result in individuals taking more self-regulation and
personal accountability making necessary changes in their daily eating and physical activity. If
the weight scale reading has gone up a few pounds from one day to the next, think back over
what was eaten the previous day along with activity. This enables a person to catch any changes
in weight quickly and to make adjustments in food intake or exercise accordingly. Weighing
oneself infrequently makes it more difficult to determine what caused weight gain. Keep a
record each day of your weight and it can be an effective tool to be on top of any gains in weight
that may occur.

Weighing one time a day is sufficient. Weighing multiple times throughout the day will show
too much fluctuation occurring, causing frustration, perhaps even defeat with an unhealthy focus
on the number that appears.
Step on the scale first thing in the morning after urinating and preferably without clothes on to
get the most accurate reading. Keep the scale on a hard surface (no carpeting) using the same
scale each day. The NWCR also shows that 75% of successful weight loss maintainers weigh
themselves at least once a week if not more often.

In conclusion
Losing weight is a journey with many steps involved to be successful at it. Eating a high protein
breakfast and weighing oneself daily are not the only paths to successful weight loss but they can
begin to pave the way to a slimmed down summer.

Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City, an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, Ks where she teaches Basic Nutrition, and is a blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi and, an online market place connecting nutrition experts with customers worldwide. View her website at and she can be contacted at
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News channel’s Medical A-Team and Sunday Housecall and is the chief medical correspondent for AM 970 in New York City, where he is heard Sundays at 10 a.m.


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