We had such a blast chatting with Dr. Oz last year (dude seriously knows his stuff!) that when we got the chance this year to learn more about his new and free “11 Weeks to Move It and Lose It” in a conference call with other publications, we jumped at the chance! Read a few highlights from the call, along with details on the new program and how you can watch The Dr. Oz Show with us live on Twitter!
An Interview with Dr. Oz
- What’s the biggest mistake that people often make that sabotages their New Year’s resolution to lose weight?Also, how much weight can people expect to lose in your new program?
- Dr. Oz: Well the biggest mistake that people make is they try to lose too much weight too fast, and then it becomes an unsustainable life change. Here’s the reality of it. If you try to lose 400 calories a day, in other words eat 400 calories less than your body wants you to take in, your body will quickly sense that you’re in a starvation mode and will shut down your metabolism. That process takes 36 hours. And so you’ll lose weight the first day. The second day’s uncomfortable, and you’ll still lose some weight. And by the time you get to the end of the week, you’re starving yourself and the weight loss has now slowed down dramatically. And of course no one can stay on a program, it’s analogous to holding your breath underwater indefinitely. It just can’t be done because it violates the biology of blubber. There are a dozen redundant systems that force us to eat. You’re not going to overwhelm them. So in order to lose weight and keep it off, every single long-term trial has found the same goal…once you’re on a program that you find comfortable, you try to take 100 calories off what you normally would have eaten every day—that’s it. And by taking 100 calories off every day over the course of a month, you lose a pound—not a lot—but you won’t even realize you’re on a program. So you will slowly, seamlessly go back towards your playing weight.
- On our 11-week program, we’re hoping that we can get people to lose two to three pounds a week for the early couple weeks of the program. And then once they start dropping again depends on what weight you start at. If you’re 300 pounds, you’ll lose 3 pounds every week the entire time—you’ll lose 30 pounds in 11 weeks. But if you’re, you know, 10 pounds, 20 pounds overweight you’ll just sort of slow down after you get past the initial loss back towards your playing weight and stabilize where you need to be. And what I like about that is that it’s sustainable. So we think that you could lose a high proportion of the excess weight that you have on board in that 11-week period. And because we mix it up a little bit and each week is a different thing we focus on—some of them are focusing on things you can do to cheat a little bit, some of them focus on how to get past the plateau, some are focused on physical fitness tricks to build some muscle mass, which is a big issue for women. They each will take you in different directions so hopefully mix it up a little bit.
- Of all the issues that you could have focused on, why did you pick weight-loss?
- Dr. Oz: There is some times of the year that it makes sense to focus on specific problems. In June, I’ll almost always do something around skin because people tend to expose a lot of it, and they care about it. So it’s not just sunblock but I’ll also talk about skin cancers and, you know, things that are on your mind. Most Americans gain most of the weight they’re going to gain over the holidays. We will on average gain between two and five pounds. And we generally do not lose the weight we gain, which is why over time if you’re gaining what seems like a small amount, but say every year you gain two pounds then, you know, and you never lose it—off you go. But most people realize they’ve gained a little bit of weight, and they want to get it off. So if you’re going to help them do it, you know, I want to meet America where it is and celebrate you where you are. So the holidays have passed. You’re having a great time. Over that period you know you’ve got a couple pounds to lose. Let me at least give you something that can help you head it in the right direction.
- What do you think is the most important thing to remember when it comes to succeeding in lasting weight-loss?
- Dr. Oz: Well the most important, and just to put it in a phrase, is that successful weight-loss is not a wind-sprint. It’s a marathon. You’re going to have times when you fail. And we’re all flawed as I mentioned earlier. I think everyone on the call would agree with that. So when we make our mistakes, it’s not a question of if we’ll make them but when we make them—how do we get back on a plan again? The ability to smartly recognize that because you’re going to make mistakes. Simple plans that allow you to get back on them quickly are the ones you want to adhere to. That becomes your goal. So I don’t try to design plans that require perfection. It’s one of the criticisms that was offered against a very strict high-carb or high-fat diet. If you make even a small departure from those protocols, you’re basically off the diet for the day. You want to be on a program where you can make a mistake at 10 in the morning and you’re back on the program by 10:15 a.m. And that is the key to a long-term diet that’s successful.
You’ve talked about the program focusing on diet and on working out, but what about the emotional and mental aspect that affects weight gain and weight-loss?
- Dr. Oz: So each Monday for 11 weeks we’re going to tackle different challenges that people have when they try to lose weight. And some of those Mondays are going to be around the emotional side of eating. When we wrote You on a Diet the first time around, the first edition, the book was as you know, very popular; it was number one on the New York Times Bestseller List, but we messed up by not putting enough about the emotional side of weight-loss in it. We spent a lot of time with the biology of why we gain weight and what you could do in terms of what you eat to lose it. But we didn’t get into the reality that for many people, they eat because they feel an emptiness, a loneliness inside of them. They want to fill that, you know, with the wrong stuff, i.e., food so that they’re looking for love in all the wrong places.
- And, you know, almost everyone—I can’t remember anyone not saying this—said it was all about self-esteem. It was about realizing we were worth it, that I didn’t want anybody putting in their mouth what I was putting in my mouth. And so that’s sort of a litmus test for me. You know, I don’t tell people they’re foolish for gaining weight. They know they don’t, you know, that they don’t want to gain weight, and they’re still unable to do it so they feel powerless. I just say listen, say “I care for you. I love you. People around you care for you. I just want you to treat yourself the way you would treat others.” And ironically, it’s the inverse of what we usually preach, right? But it actually hits home. And I say to them, “Think to yourself. If you saw someone putting in their mouth what you’re putting in your mouth, what you tell them if you loved them?” Because that’s the exact message that you should be telling yourself.
- What are three things you can do right now on a mental level to prepare for weight-loss?
- Dr. Oz: The number one thing I would do is meditate. And I know for a lot of folks that sounds like one of those hokey things. But there is pretty good data on the power of meditation on weight-loss. And on Thursday, January 6, Deepak Chopra’s going to come on and, you know, the show’s a pretty fast-paced show. I don’t usually spend a lot of time sitting around, but we had a long discussion with Deepak, and we’re going to spend the second segment of the show meditating. We’re going to take everyone in America through a meditation exercise that Deepak, you know, really does for folks in public just because he’s so good at it, and he’s been doing it for so many years. He’s going to slowly get people into a meditative state, and just to teach them the basics of what it would feel like. And what I tell folks is go to the bathroom. Why the bathroom? Because people won’t bother you there. Just spent five minutes focused on your breath. And, you know, use guided imagery. There are many different meditative approaches. But what meditation does is makes you more aware. And a lot of the obesity we have in America is because we’re unaware of what we’re putting in our mouth. And we sensed that emptiness I discussed earlier. And the meditation allows you to get beneath the rough surface of the ocean of life into a deeper more serene place where you’re calmer. And I think there’s a huge value to Americans experiencing that. I meditate and I’m passionate about it for that reason. But I’ve seen it work for kids, adults, patients of mine, people I work with.
- Tip number two, call someone you care about and partner up with them on the weight-loss front. If you’re in good shape, get into great shape. If you’re in bad shape, start doing simple stuff. If you want to just start losing, purge each other’s refrigerators. Hold each other accountable because you care for each other. I think it’s a very valuable tool.
- And tip number three, much of dealing with any addictive behavior is assertiveness-training. There are some things that we are all tempted by. And sometimes, you know, then people want you to be happy, they want you to eat in front of them, and you’ve got to say “No. I understand it makes you happy, but it doesn’t make me happy.” Similar to if you were stopping cigarette smoking, and you knew that whenever you had alcohol you wanted to have a cigarette, the first thing you do is—not stop smoking—it’s to stop drinking because you know if you’re drinking, you won’t get past that to stop the cigarettes. So that level of assertiveness-training where you tell your friends that you love them, but you don’t want to do what they’re doing because then you know that you have a weakness for it. That’s important for people to learn.
- Such great tips from Dr. Oz! Ready to learn more about Dr. Oz’s weight-loss program? Watch his show live with us tomorrow January 3, for this awesome Twitter party hosted by Registered Dieititian Rebecca Scritchfield of Nurture Principles. Get more details here on how you can join the The Dr. Oz Show watching fun! —Jenn
And this was hammered home for me on my 100th show which we did with Richard Simmons. And Richard came on. He’s lost more than 100 pounds. We had 100 people on the show that had lost 100 pounds each at least. And I asked every one of them what was the key? I mean, you know, how to do it. “You’ve done it. What was the secret?”