Eat more food earlier in the day

Yesterday, I spoke to a friend, who said she was having trouble losing weight.  She said she wasn’t exercising, but that the “had the food thing down.”  Closer questioning revealed a number of problems, though:

  • Breakfast was a smoothie with apple juice, a banana, flax seed, and Vitamineral Green.  When I asked her if she had protein, she said it was in the Vitamineral Green.  But there’s not enough protein in there (1 Tablespoon (one serving) has protein = 4.37 grams; I have 2 scoops of protein powder in my morning oatmeal = 48 grams – almost 10 times as much!  Protein is key to being satisfied.  People who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to be obese!  Protein can come from egg whites, protein powder, Greek nonfat yogurt (not with the added fruit = sugar)
  • Lunch was salad bar.  As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of how most people use salad bars.  She said she ate spinach leaves and beets.  When I asked again about protein, she replied “sometimes I add a can of sardines or tuna.”  I replied, “I eat 2-3 cans of sardines for lunch every day; you (woman) should be eating 1-2 cans every day for lunch.”
  • Snacks were almonds.  But because she’s so famished from not eating enough earlier in the day, she eats much more than a handful.  Good fats are in almonds, but unlimited quantities have lots of calories.
  • Dinner is where everything fell apart.  Getting home late from work, and famished from not having eaten enough during the day, she “goes off.”  My suggestion:  cook 2 dinners.  Eat one that night.  The the next day, take the other precooked dinner to work, and eat dinner on the job at 6pm, rather than waiting to get home at 9pm.  Studies have shown that animals and people who eat at abnormal times are more likely to be obese.
  • BOTTOM LINE:  she was relying on “willpower” all day, but “willpower” rarely lasts!  She needs to eat more earlier in the day, feel satisfied so that she eats less at night.

My eating schedule:

  • 7am Breakfast
  • 930am Piece of fruit
  • 1130am lunch
  • 3pm piece of fruit
  • 6pm dinner
  • 9pm (sometime) piece of fruit

I do NOT go hungry.  I eat foods that satisfy.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.


  1. I really need some help.

  2. I got my start at Structure House in Durham NC.

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