Alan's Diet Plan - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Alan's Diet Plan

Obesity is an epidemic and is being called the "most urgent health issue facing our country." Doctors tell us that overweight people are more prone to health problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several types of cancer. You may have noticed that I have slimmed down. I began a doctor-supervised program three months ago and the best part is that it was remarkably easy. Look around and then take a good look in the mirror. I did and I didn't like what I saw. The scale at Dr. Daisy Merey's office in West Palm Beach doesn't lie. It reads almost 219 but they subtract for clothing.

Nurse: "Couple pounds. So what do you have on? So 217."

217 pounds. Using a Body Mass Index chart we see, that at 5-feet-9 and 217 pounds, I am not just overweight but clinically obese. Time to start Dr. Merey's program. It begins with a detailed questionaire.

Nurse: "Nausea or constipation?"

"No."

Nurse: "Anxiety?"

"Yeah, sometimes."

Nurse: "Doctor ever told you you have a goiter?"

"No."

Nurse: "Slow heartbeat?"

"Not."

Nurse: "Dry skin?"

"No."

Nurse: "Between breakfast and lunch, will you snack?"

"No."

It is very thorough including blood pressure check, blood tests, urinalysis, and a physical exam. Dr. Merey then reviews the answers to my questionaire.

Dr. Daisy Merey: "People tell me all the time they're hungry, but I say where are you hungry? Are you hungry in your head or in your stomach?"

My responses to the questionaire shows that I am hungry in my head. I have cravings. So she will give me a small appetite suppressant and some supplements to control the cravings. And she explains the commitment.

Dr. Daisy Merey: "At the beginning, you come to see me on a weekly basis until you lose 1/2 of your weight. Then, you come to see me every other week until you lose the other half."

I will also get a Vitamin B-12 shot every week and get counseling from Lisa, a registered dietician. I am also encouraged to drink these high-protein shakes and even a yummy high-protein bar. And I'm encouraged to exercise. So what do I eat? No carbs and very little fat and lots of veggies. Here I'm creating an omelet using mostly egg whites. The cheese is low-fat with 3% fat per serving or less. I even add fat-free sour cream and sometimes add onions and garlic. And I use tomatoes as a side dish instead of bread. Other times I order a chef salad minus the ham and cheese--just lots of turkey and veggies with a low-fat dressing. This diet is all about healthful choices but I am never hungry.

Fast forward four weeks.

Nurse: "Okay, that's 197. So you've lost a total of 20 pounds."

A cause for celebration.

Dr. Daisy Merey: "20 pounds! Whenever every patient loses 20 pounds they get a hug."

It's been a little more than a month since I started this weight-loss program and it's working. Take a look. I took a notch off my belt and look how much weight 20 pounds is, but it's not just diet alone that's helping me slim down. My friend William, a personal trainer, helps me tone up with simple exercises. We also burn off calories by walking or biking, which helps my cardio-vascular health as well.

Fast forward another 8 weeks.

After nearly three months on the program my blood pressure has dropped from 140 over 90 to 120 over 75. And my weight is now 177: a loss of 40 pounds. Jjust how much is 40 pounds? This is a 40-pound bag of dog food. This is the excess baggage I've been carrying around. So, in three months I've dropped from 217 to 177. I also lost more than 8 inches in my chest and almost 8 inches in my waist. My cholesterol dropped from 250 to 206. My good cholesterol is up. My bad cholesterol is down. Doctor Merey predicts the weight loss and diet regimen has added ten years to my life. Here's a big plus: I no longer snore and suffer from sleep apnea. My wife calls that a miracle.

Dr. Merey is now working with Dr. Jacobs, who is continuing her program. For more information about the program and how to reach Doctors Merey and Jacobs:

Doctor Daisy Merey has written a book: "Don't Be a Slave to What You Crave" which explains her program.

Doctor Daisy Merey
Doctor J.P. Jacobs
200 Butler St
West Palm Beach
561-659-6756

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