Live
Oprah's Lifeclass is streaming live now!
Watch
Live
Today at
Oprah Live Stream
Remind Me
Loading...
Dr. Oz's 8 New Year's Resolutions to Make Right Now
Easy ways to lose weight, block germs, and lower your breast cancer risk in 2011
1 of 9
Dr Oz
When it come to health, most of us have a few nagging "shoulds" that we never quite get around to tackling (I really should exercise more, snack less, meditate...at all). But what if the shoulds were shrunk to a manageable size? For the New Year, I've zeroed in on eight small but smart changes that yield big results.

Comment

    0 Comments

    Advertisement

    8 New Year's Resolutions to Make—Right Now—From Dr. Oz
    Easy ways to lose weight, block germs, and lower breast cancer risk in 2011.
    Dr. Mehmet Oz
    Photo: Levi Brown
    When it come to health, most of us have a few nagging "shoulds" that we never quite get around to tackling (I really should exercise more, snack less, meditate...at all). But what if the shoulds were shrunk to a manageable size? For the New Year, I've zeroed in on eight small but smart changes that yield big results.

    1. Drop a pound a month this year.

    Studies on overweight people of varying sizes have shown that ten pounds is the magic weight loss threshold for achieving astounding health benefits: Passing that mark reduces your risk of heart attack, diabetes, and arthritis by 50 percent, lowers your blood pressure, and may decrease your chances of developing breast cancer. The first ten pounds can save your life; the last two are icing on the cake.

    2. Leave shoes at the door.

    We track all sorts of pollutants into our homes, including lawn pesticides (which have been linked to certain cancers and neurological and reproductive disorders), coal tar from asphalt surfaces (which contains carcinogens), lead, and even E. coli. Taking off your shoes when you get in is an easy way to keep those toxins out.

    3. Sweat to the commercials.

    Research from the University of Massachusetts has found that eating in front of the TV can add an extra 288 calories to your daily intake. During the commercials, swap out the snacks for a minute of "stand-up-sit-downs"—repeatedly standing then sitting as many times as possible—which will give you a boost of feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.

    4. Get in the mood.

    Studies have shown that having sex once or twice a week increases immune function, reduces stress, improves mood, lowers blood pressure, and burns calories.

    5. Cook with black rice.

    Compared with blueberries, which are a better-known superfood, this high-octane grain has more heart-healthy, cancer-fighting antioxidants and fiber, plus it contains less sugar. Black rice needs a little extra time to cook, but it has significantly more flavor than white rice.

    6. Alternate your heel height.

    High heels put up to 26 percent more pressure on your knees and up to 76 percent more pressure on the balls of your feet, and wearing them every day can stiffen your Achilles tendons and permanently damage the muscles in your legs and joints in your feet. Lessen those effects by alternating heels of varying heights.

    7. Add fish oil to your pillbox.

    Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which may help reduce your breast cancer risk, slow the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques, and lower your risk of heart attack. Look for fish oil supplements that contain at least 600 milligrams of DHA.

    8. Read food labels.

    In addition to skimming the calorie counts, check the ingredients for these red flags: partially hydrogenated oils (a source of trans fats); the words enriched, bleached, or refined, which mean the flour used was stripped of its nutrients, and anything ending in -ose, which indicates sugar. When possible, put products that list these ingredients high on the label back on the shelf.

    More From Dr. Oz Mehmet Oz, MD, hosts The Dr. Oz Show (weekdays; check listings). He can also be seen on Ask Oprah's All-Stars, new this month on OWN.

    Comment

      0 Comments

      Advertisement

      Five Ways to Win at Losing

      Five ways to lose weight
      The pure mathematics of weight loss is simple—eat less, move more—but if knowing that were all it took, everyone would be in great shape. Los Angeles-based personal trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels of NBC's weight loss reality show, The Biggest Loser, share what they know about diet and fitness success.

      1. Experiment to find your own diet. Some foods are obvious no-nos: trans fats, processed food, white sugar and excessive alcohol. Beyond that, though, everyone's body is different. "Some people thrive on a strictly high-protein diet, while others do great with fruits, grains and beans," says Jillian. "Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to find the right combination of foods. And, as a trainer, I've learned that you also have to take human frailty into account. If you can't bear the idea of giving up bread, choose whole grain and try to eat it with some protein." The protein, she explains, will slow the breakdown of the bread so its carbs won't cause your blood sugar to spike and then—as so often happens—crash, making you hungry again for something starchy.

      2. Don't ever starve yourself. Dieting means cutting calories, but less isn't always more. "One of the biggest misconceptions I've seen—including among the women I'm training on the show—is that the less you eat, the more weight you'll lose," says Jillian. "Maybe at first. But your body will think you're dying from lack of food, and your metabolism will adjust by slowing to a crawl." Most women should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day.

      3. Tough it out. Accept that the early days of a fitness program may not be fun. "You've just got to push through," says Jillian. "Your body is an amazing machine. After two weeks, the walk that used to have you sucking wind won't even tire you. It took only that long for the women on The Biggest Loser to discover they could do exercises they initially found impossible. By the end of the first month, you'll see some pretty significant changes. That's when I get calls from my clients: 'Oh my God, I felt my hip bone!'"

      4. Just forget about your thighs. Try viewing exercise as helping you increase what you're able to do, rather than fixing a "flawed" body part. "Whenever I start working with women, I hear complaints like 'My thighs are too big' or 'What can I do about my butt?'" says Bob. "Once you get someone moving, however, that can change to, 'Wow, I never knew how weak I was.' Being aware of a flaw can be good for getting you started, but it's more productive to think about being fit and healthy than about how you look." When you become aware of how physically strong you can be, adds Jillian, "it translates into all other areas of your life."

      5. Keep your perspective. Don't count on getting the spectacular body of a movie star—unless, that is, you were blessed with a naturally great figure. And certainly don't blame yourself for not measuring up (or down, as the case may be). "Celebrities have private chefs; trainers like me working with them 24 hours a day, 6 days a week; and plastic surgeons to fix whatever problems are left," says Jillian. And then there's good lighting, airbrushing and all sorts of photographic wizardry. "Hollywood," she adds, "is a very small piece of the world. It is not reality."

      Comment

        0 Comments

        Advertisement

        Dr. Oz's 5 Secrets of "Waist Loss"
        Mehmet Oz, MD, host of The Dr. Oz Show, has five rules to help you fight your body's cravings and stay slim for life.
        Dr. Mehmet Oz
        Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
        The unfortunate truth is that most diets do not succeed, and it's easy to blame that fact on a lack of willpower. But restricting food intake runs counter to the body's natural urges. Our ancestors needed extra calories to survive times of extreme stress (say, a famine), and today, when our stress hormones spike—whether due to job frustration or a fight with our spouse—it's as if we're stranded on the tundra of the last ice age.

        The good news is that you can outwit your evolutionary biology by implementing these five rules of successful "waist loss" that I developed with Michael Roizen, MD, for our book YOU: On a Diet.

        Rule #1: Spoil Your Dinner

        Remember the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, with its demands to "Feed me"? The hormone ghrelin is your body's version of Audrey II, only it gets your attention with stomach growls instead of musical numbers. Once you've started eating, it takes about 30 minutes for ghrelin levels to fall and that "full" feeling to kick in. But if you eat a 100-calorie snack (like a handful of nuts) about a half hour before mealtime, your ghrelin levels will already be subsiding by the time you pick up your fork.

        Rule #2: Nix Soft Drinks with Meals

        Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain that you can stop eating once your body has stored enough energy from food. Yet fructose (a sugar found in soft drinks) interrupts the feedback loop, preventing your brain from getting the message. Quench your thirst with water instead.

        Rule #3: Fill Up on Fiber

        The ileum is a part of the small bowel that can squeeze, or "brake," to slow the transit of food through the intestines. When that happens, you get a slow but steady supply of fuel, which keeps you feeling satiated. A high-fiber breakfast triggers this mechanism, because the bowel needs more time to absorb nutrients from fiber. The result: No more 11 a.m. stops at the vending machine.

        Rule #4: Eat with Awareness

        That means eating at the table, not sprawled across the couch. It also means no zoning out in front of American Idol, checking your BlackBerry, or surfing the Web during meals. Not only will mindful eating increase the satisfaction you get from food but the extra time will allow your ghrelin levels to drop even further as you eat.

        Rule #5: Build More Muscle

        You may have heard that muscle burns more calories than fat, but did you know that it burns a dozen times more? Aim to walk 10,000 steps a day, and begin a muscle-strengthening program, which will help steel your skeleton as well. Trainer Joel Harper has an excellent 20-minute exercise routine.

        More Advice From Dr. Oz
        As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.

        Comment

          0 Comments

          Advertisement

          Drinking and Breast Cancer
          Dr. Mehmet Oz
          Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
          Q: Is one drink a day okay if I have a family history of breast cancer?
          — Marcia Jackson, Philadelphia

          A: How's your heart health? While alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer, it can also lower the risk of heart disease. Each year far more American women die of heart disease than die of breast cancer; thus, for the average person, the benefits of alcohol outweigh the risks. But if you've inherited a harmful BRCA gene mutation, your risk of breast cancer is dramatically higher than that of the average woman. For a known carrier, drinking any alcohol is probably a bad idea. For others, the odds still favor having the occasional glass of wine.

          Ask Dr. Oz a question or get another answer

          As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.

          Comment

            0 Comments

            Advertisement

            Are Colon Cleanses Necessary?
            Dr. Mehmet Oz
            Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
            Q: Should I be doing colon cleanses?
            — Angela Rhodes, Santa Ana, California

            A: Some colon cleanses involve taking laxatives at home; in other cases, a therapist performs an irrigation using a device inserted into the rectum. In either case, cleanses are not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous. Your colon is designed to clear out waste every 24 to 48 hours or so, and eating lots of fiber (whole grains, fresh produce) helps speed things along. In addition, doing regular colon cleanses can lead to dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance, resulting in dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, and cramps.

            Ask Dr. Oz a question , plus learn 4 myths about antidepressants

            As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.

            Comment

              0 Comments

              Advertisement