Hidden Calories: Lettera Family Finds Out How Much They Actually Eat and Get Dr. Mehmet Oz's Nutrition Makeover


Dr. Oz Weighs In

Sue said she didn't have time to plan good meals, and Paul cited his inability to exercise and his dislike of vegetables.

Oz started with Sue, telling her that a woman of her age needed just 1,800 calories per day to maintain her weight, and less if she wanted to lose pounds. On the day "GMA" visited with the family, Sue consumed 2,190 calories.

He told Paul that his total caloric intake for that day was 3,780, noting that a man of Paul's age would need just 2,200 if he were not exercising.

He told Joey that boys in his age group needed about 1,800 calories if they were being active, and between 1,800 and 2,200 if they were moderately active. Joey's total that day was 2,153. Oz told him he would be ok with eating that way if he played sports and remained active.

Oz told Johanna that her total was actually low -- only 1,082 calories for that day. He told her that for her age, she needed between 1,600 and 2,000 calories if she remained active.

Doctor's Orders

For Breakfast

Switch toaster waffles and syrup for 100 percent whole wheat bread and 1 teaspoon natural peanut butter. This will provide fiber and protein -- instead of the sugar of waffles – and will help them feel fuller for longer.

Oz said Paul should not skip breakfast. To lose weight, a person has to eat, or run the risk of getting so hungry that he or she will eat whatever is around – no matter how unhealthy it may be, he added.

For Lunch

Oz advised Sue and Paul to eliminate fried foods. Most restaurants are happy to switch fries for salad at no charge, he said. He also advised them to drink 1 or 2 glasses of water before they eat, and also said they should try to eat slowly so they wouldn't eat as much.

Another easy way to cut back would be on the choice of beverage. Oz said they should stick to plain or sparkling water, skim milk, coffee or even iced tea – not the sweetened, flavored kind. Diet soda could be had as a treat – but no more than once a day, he added.


Even though Johanna and Paul don't like vegetables, they can compromise: He suggested pizza with vegetables. At 320 calories for two slices, it's a healthier version of what the family would normally eat.

Get the guilt-free stuffed whole wheat pizza recipe here.

Because time is an issue for the family, Oz suggested that they consider veggie burgers. Microwave the patty, put it on a whole wheat muffin with lettuce, tomato and marinara sauce instead of ketchup. It's a healthier alternative to a hamburger, and comes in at under 300 calories, he said.

Other Tips

Oz told the family that planning was vital. He urged them to involve their children in planning their daily snacks for one week – his suggestions included almonds, an ounce of dark chocolate or an apple. Giving the children a part to play in healthy meal planning would teach them valuable skills, he added.

He also said that if they had to eat out, they should avoid side dishes, desserts and soda. Those are the calories that can sneak up on a person, he added.

Prevent Unhealthy Snacking

The family can prevent unhealthy snacking by getting rid of all the unhealthy foods that are currently in their kitchen, Oz said.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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