Oprah: Dr. Oz told us it was important to know our numbers. Everything from waist size to blood sugar. Christine is joining us on Skype, and your question for Dr. Oz is?

Christine: Hi, Dr. Oz. My question is: I've heard you talk about waist size as opposed to weight. So I want to know do you determine my ideal waist size, and how do I achieve that, losing that weight around the belly area and how do I maintain it?

Dr. Oz: All right. So the first is to measure your waist size you've got to get a measuring tape. You can't use a belt. You have to actually take a tape and put it on your belly button and then put it over your hips and you can suck in a little bit. You can be like Scarlett O'Hara. I want to know what your actual belly fat looks like, and that number has to be less than one-half your height. So how tall are you?

Christine: I am 5'10". So 70 inches?

Dr. Oz: Seventy inches, divided by two.

Christine: Thirty-five.

Dr. Oz: Good. So is your waist size less than 35 inches?

Christine: No.

Dr. Oz: No. So why do you think it's not less than 35 inches?

Christine: Because I eat too much. I'm a comfort eater. And I guess I'm just—I don't take care of myself the way I should, and I need a little assistance.

Dr. Oz: Are you gaining weight? Are you losing weight? Are you treading water?

Christine: I am gaining weight. I'm gaining weight. I am. I've quit smoking in the last month, so has definitely been a factor and, you know, I got married and I moved, so there's been a lot of stress in my—right now I open the fridge to comfort it.

Dr. Oz: Well, two bits of advice. Marriage, interestingly, in fact any time a male and a female move in together, the guy gets healthier. The woman gets sicker.

Christine: Tell me about it.

Dr. Oz: Because—

Oprah: Tell me about it. Really. The guy gets healthier, and the woman gets sicker and sicker.

Dr. Oz: Because the guy will draft on your healthy habits and probably warp some of yours. But you know, I think a lot much it, especially when you enter into married life and you start giving up other things, is you're giving, giving, giving, giving, giving, and then when it takes time to give back to yourself, the only thing you do is give it is food.

Christine: I give it chocolate.

Dr. Oz: You give it chocolate. Right. I think you're wise enough to figure out that's not the best solution.

Christine: I know. I know.

Dr. Oz: Well, Act on it.

Christine: I will. I am. That's why I'm here.

Dr. Oz: This is your year.

Oprah: This is your year. This is your year. Thanks, Christine.

Christine: That's it.

Oprah: Thanks, Christine.

Christine: Thank you.

Oprah: Okay. Okay?

Dr. Oz: One last thing for Christine. Part of the story, really, is that when you feel stress, it's the equivalent historically of us being in the time of famine, because that's what stress was, right? It wasn't a deadline to get somewhere.

Oprah: Oh, yeah. 

Christine: You're still talking to me.

Dr. Oz: I'm still talking to you. And so if you feel stress, then your body's natural response is to try to store calories. So when I see two people that have a lot of belly fat, to me it means they're not coping with stress well because they're releasing chemicals, they're actually called cannabinoids, like from the pot plant—

Oprah: Uh-huh.

Dr. Oz: —give you the munchies, so you eat more things and you eat everything and a lot more of it because your body is saying, "Hey, eat whatever you can because who knows where your next meal is coming from."

Oprah: What do you know about the pot plant?

Dr. Oz: I just heard about it. Co-workers.

Oprah: Yeah. Yeah. Didn't inhale. (Laughter.) Val from Benson, Minnesota, is on the phone with a question for Dr. Oz.

Val: Hello, Dr. Oz, and Oprah.

Dr. Oz: Hi, Val.

Oprah: Hi, Val.

Val: Thank you for taking my question today. My question is: I'm a 46-year-old woman in menopause already, and the two issues I have is what can I do for diet and nutrition to try to keep off that extra pounds that seem to keep sneaking on? I do work out four to five days a week. I'm not really overweight, but I keep getting thicker in the middle and that kind of thing. And the second question is, I am plagued with hot flashes. They keep me awake at night. Do you have any advice?


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