Follow these tips to make smart eating choices.
Forget the fad diets. Stop counting carbs. Dr. Mehmet Oz has teamed up with Dr. Michael Roizen to develop a diet plan that they say really works.
Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen want to help dieters lose weight and inches off their waistlines, once and for all. The goal is to shrink the waist down to the ideal size—32 and a half inches for women and 35 inches for men—and make eating so easy, you'll never realize you're dieting!
In the book YOU: On a Diet, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen offer simple ways to jump start your metabolism.
The first step to getting on the path to better eating is to take stock of your pantry. Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen say there are five ingredients that should be banned from your diet forever.
The first ingredient to avoid is hydrogenated oil, which often masquerades as partially hydrogenated oil. Dr. Roizen says we should also eliminate sugar and high-fructose corn syrup from our foods. "We eat 63 pounds of [high fructose corn syrup] a year, which puts 33 pounds on the typical American," he says.
Enriched flour is the fourth ingredient to avoid. "[Enriched] means they took all the good stuff out and put a little back," Dr. Roizen says.
The fifth offenders are white foods—including bleached flour The only white items you should have in your fridge are egg whites, cauliflower and fish, Dr. Roizen says.
After you've read the ingredients on the label, check out how much saturated fat and sugar is in your food. Dr. Roizen says you want to buy foods that contain less than four grams of saturated fat and less than four grams of sugar per serving.
Keep in mind—polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for you and help fight depression.
Can't seem to find any food that fits the bill? Dr. Oz says you should head over to the produce aisle and stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Packaged goods usually contain harmful, artificial ingredients because they're designed to stay on the shelf for years, he says.
The supermarket shelves are filled with foods that seem healthy, but don't be fooled. Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen say that 50 percent of the sugar we eat comes from "fat-free" foods like salad dressings and soft drinks.
In fact, young women get about half their daily calories from salad dressing! Dr. Oz suggests substituting olive oil and vinegar for a healthier alternative.
If you tend to crave sweet or salty snacks in the afternoon, think twice before feeding quarters into the nearest vending machine. When Dr. Oz wants to crush a craving, he relies on emergency snacks, which he carries everywhere.
Apples, carrots and nuts are great snacks to consider. A glass of vegetable juice also takes the edge off, he says. One snack you may not have thought of are breath strips! "I like [breath strips] because, a lot of times, we have a craving center in our brain that says put something in me," he says. "It doesn't tell you what."
Dr. Oz says a glass of water, a good night's sleep or sex might also satisfy your craving center.
Another way to fight fat is to spice it up! Adding red pepper flakes or cinnamon to your food can reduce your appetite.
Starting with a smaller plate also helps you eat 33 percent less, Dr. Oz says.
Breakfast is another key component to Dr. Oz's diet plan. "People who eat breakfast every day are thinner," he says. "Jumpstart your metabolism with breakfast—don't miss it!"
Dr. Roizen says people should try to automate their breakfast and lunch. "Why we get so fat is we have so many choices…we want one of everything," he says.
For breakfast, Dr. Roizen says you should have the same thing or the same small variety of things every day. Steel-cut oatmeal, whole grain cereals and egg-white omelets are great options. Then, do the same thing at lunch. Find a lunch that's satisfying and stick with it. Then, come dinner time, you can enjoy a variety of options!
When bowls of cereal and oatmeal lose their appeal, whip up one of Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen's favorite breakfast treats!
The Quick Magical Breakfast Blaster
2 servings, 136 calories per serving
- 1 scoop (1/3 cup) Soy protein (like Nature's Plus Spiru-Tein)
- 1/2 Tbsp. flaxseed oil
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 large ripe banana (or other fruits of your choice)
- 1/2 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate or honey
- 1 tsp. Psyillium seed husks
Peel banana; break into chunks. Put all ingredients in a blender. Add 12 ounces of water and ice, as well as powdered vitamins. Cover, blend until fairly smooth.
You don't need balls, mats and elastic bands to get a great workout. Dr. Oz says there are only four exercises that you'll ever need to know—and none require fancy machinery!
First, Dr. Oz suggests that people walk for at least 30 minutes each and every day. "Walking is the foundation for all other exercises because it increases your stamina and prepares your body for strength training," he says. You should strive to walk 10,000 steps a day.
The second step is to build muscle by lifting weights for 30 minutes a week. You can lift a dumbbell, a gallon of milk or your toddler…just start lifting! According to Dr. Oz, the average 30-year-old woman should be able to do 45 bent-leg push-ups (and five fewer every following decade of her life), and the average 30-year-old man should be able to do 35 regular pushups (and five fewer every following decade of his life).
Everyone should strive to work up a sweat for about an hour a week, he says. "The number one predictor of how long you're going to live is how well you can exercise your heart," he says.
To avoid injury, stretch before any sort of workout. Dr. Oz likes to do yoga, but he says you can get the same benefits from stretches you learned in high school gym class.
There's one secret fat-burner that you can do anywhere—fidgeting! Most of the 1 million calories you consume every year are burned without you ever thinking about it.
Only 15 to 30 percent of calories are burned through intentional physical activity, so minor additions like being fidgety helps keep off the pounds.