American adults are in crisis: Despite a flood of targeted, good advice on healthy weight management, an endless supply of calorie- and nutrition-control food services (recommended by those who’ve tried them — think Marie Osmond and Oprah Winfrey), and an almost daily dose of info on the health risks of being overweight, it’s estimated that over 39 percent of Americans 18 and older are obese.
That’s not just 5 or 10 pounds overweight; it’s being 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 186 pounds or more. That’s an increase from 33.7 percent just 10 years ago, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published recently in JAMA.
Makes you wonder what’s triggering this, despite all the effort people put into weight management. Approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet each year and spend around $33 billion annually on weight-loss products.
We want to offer you four “surprises” that will boost your efforts to maintain a healthy weight so you don’t become one of the ever-increasing number of Americans who are obese.
>> Surprise No. 1: Eat a protein-rich breakfast every day. In two studies, teens who were overweight and regularly skipped breakfast saw that making the switch reduced hunger, helped them shed pounds and gave them a measurable boost in “hormonal and neural signals that control food-intake regulation.”
What to have? You might have lean animal protein, such as skinless chicken or salmon and spinach wrapped in an egg white omelet and one slice of 100 percent whole-grain toast topped with vegan butter.
>> Surprise No. 2: Take a probiotic daily. Exposure to antibiotics, eating gut-altering processed foods with emulsifiers, added sugars and lousy sat and trans fats kills off bacteria in your gut that regulate weight, insulin and blood glucose. That makes you much more likely to gain weight.
We like Culturelle and Digestive Advantage, loaded with lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and a proprietary blend of Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30, 6086, respectively, and both make it through the stomach acid to your intestines.
>> Surprise No. 3: Drink plenty of water. You can control your hunger by drinking a full glass of water first thing in the morning and then before every meal. Plus, you boost your metabolic processes by helping food and liquid move through your system. Water can replace calorie-laden sugary beverages.
However, avoid water in plastic bottles. Filtered tap water from your home in a nonplastic bottle is your best bet; a recent study found that 93 percent of 11 popular brands of bottled water contained micro-bits of plastic in the water!
The risks to you, say the researchers, may be that “some particles might lodge in the intestinal wall … Particles around 110 microns in size (0.11 millimeters) can be taken into the body’s hepatic portal vein, which carries blood from the intestines, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen to the liver.”
>> Surprise No. 4: Make your main food choices products that come from the ground (fruits and veggies), but if you must choose packaged foods, choose only those with fewer than five ingredients (not including spices or herbs).
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to email@example.com.