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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Doctor’s Orders

Winter 2015

Doctor’s Orders

By: Karen Tong
Date: February 2, 2015

Physician’s secret to losing weight is all in the numbers


Jeffery Trost, M.D., on an elliptical
Dr. Jeff Trost continues to walk the walk in his weight-loss achievement.

Cardiologist Jeff Trost, M.D., was generally in good health and didn’t have any major medical problems. Besides being overweight—a challenge he faced since childhood—he felt fine.

After turning 40, Dr. Trost went to see his internist for a physical. “I was shocked to see the number on the scale,” he remembers. “As a doctor, I’m constantly reminded of the bad things obesity causes, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.” He decided to make some positive changes in his life to lose weight. He increased his exercise routine, but didn’t change many eating habits.

Two years later, Dr. Trost returned to his internist to see what progress he had made. “I had tried my best, but I weighed the same! I was frustrated,” he admits. His internist suggested that Dr. Trost count calories to help him lose weight. “I was worried that it would take the fun out of eating,” says Dr. Trost. He agreed to try calorie counting for 30 days to see if it worked.

“I wanted to do it for my two kids because my dad quit smoking for me as a kid,” he says. He found an app that showed him how many calories he should eat each day to lose weight safely. The program allowed him to keep a food diary so he could see how much protein, carbohydrates, sodium and fat he was consuming each day. He used the app on his smart phone, tablet and computer to log his food intake. “It was eye opening to see the calories and realize the portion sizes I was eating,” recalls Dr. Trost.

He challenged himself to eat fewer calories than he needed. In his first month of calorie counting, he lost 13 pounds. Within 10 months, he had lost 50 pounds. “It required more discipline, but I also allowed myself to eat things I enjoyed,” he notes. His exercise level remained constant—he spends an hour each day after work biking or on the elliptical machine.

Now that he’s at a healthier weight and proud of his results, Dr. Trost continues to count calories. He weighs himself once a month. “I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss within about five pounds,” he says. He doesn’t snore anymore and has better sleep quality. The pain he once felt in his knee and foot is gone.

He is glad he took the first step in seeing his own doctor and being open to trying calorie counting. Says Dr. Trost, “My patients notice I lost weight. I try to motivate them and share my story.”

Keys to Success

Dr. Trost offers some tips that helped him succeed:

  1. Say no to food after dinner.
  2. Try to minimize your weak moments and avoid temptations.
  3. Hold yourself accountable.
  4. Make this lifestyle change a lifelong commitment.
  5. Skip your excuses. Make time and find the resources you need to count your calories.
What can you do if traditional weight-loss methods like calorie counting haven’t worked for you? If you are 100 pounds or more overweight, visit hopkinsmedicine.org/jhbmc/bariatrics for more information about weight-loss surgery.