Oprah Winfrey is possibly the most famous celebrity dieter and also the worlds most popular daytime talk show host. She has been criticised in the past for some of the self-help fads that she has promoted on her shows, however she has also set about empowering the people of America to make lifestyle changes for the good. She has led by example, and won her battle with her own weight problems that have been caused by a thyroid disorder. She is proof that no matter how hard your upbringing is, you can succeed, you can build a sense of self worth, and achieve your goals.
Oprah has championed many weight loss diets and other health treatments over the years. Her latest approach is more old school, that is, sensible eating, and exercise – but while also being objective. Being honest to yourself is the key to success, and this method ensures that you are honest! This new diet method was developed specifically to help people who underestimate the number of calories in the food they eat, and over estimate the amount of exercise that they do. Just getting these figures slightly wrong is the difference between losing weight and gaining!
Oprah’s Three Strategies to Successful Weight Loss
- Strategy 1: Turn Every Meal (and Snack) into a Photo Shoot
- Strategy 2: Beat the “Weekend Effect”
- Strategy 3: Track Every Step, Measure Every Calorie
1 – Photograph Everything You Eat
Let’s be clear about this. By everything, we mean EVERYTHING. If you plan to put it in your mouth, then take a photo first. And that includes all drinks except water. The reason for this is simple. In a study carried out by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, they found that when people that considered themselves to be healthy eaters were asked to photograph their meals first, many realised by themselves that the portions were too big, and that they were depriving themselves of fruits and vegetables. Many of the volunteers in the study actually started eating healthier so that they did not have to photograph what they would have otherwise eaten!
The photographs should be combined with a food diary too. It is also worth mentioning that a food diary alone does not help some people, as they accidentally forget to fill in some of the snacks!
2 – Beat the “Weekend Effect”
In a year long study carried out at the Washington University School of Medicine, it was found that many people gain weight at the weekends. In a group of dieters, it was common for people to lose weight from Monday to Thursday, and then as soon as the weekend started, they would gain the weight back. Many people chose to give themselves a break at the weekend, convincing themselves that “it’s only 2 days, it won’t hurt”. But the binge eating starts on the Friday night, and continues through to Sunday night. Exercise is reduced and caloris shoot up. The result is that all the hard work done at the start of the week is lost by Sunday. In one study group, people who were only exercising had actually gained weight at the end of the year.
3 – Track Every Step, Measure Every Calorie
In a nutshell, this means counting calories burnt, to compare with calories eaten. But rather than relying on guess work, based on calorie tables, then added resting calorie expenditure based on weight and work activities, it is now possible to track your calorie expenditure objectively. There are now several calorie counters on the market, which are worn on the arm and calculate various statistics such as calories burnt, sweat levels, heart rate, and activity levels (steps) and calculate calories burnt based on the information you provide it plus heart rate levels.
You can learn more about what Oprah is doing, and teaching others, to lose weight and get fit on her online magazine, www.oprah.com.