Make Long-Term Changes, but Don’t Berate Yourself When You Fall Short
After helping the men of the “Good Morning America” fitness challenge work on the Top 5 things that will
age them, Dr. Mehmet Oz returned to “GMA” today with a little help for the ladies.
Call it tough love, but the “You: Being Beautiful” author did not pull any punches when he told the women
why it was so important for them to stay in shape.
“Women are particularly challenging because women generally will not take care of themselves and not for
the reason men give,” he said. “Men don’t take care of themselves because they’ve got other things going on.
Women don’t take care of themselves because of self- esteem issues.”
“That sounds harsh, but it’s actually true. We’ve looked at it in multiple studies. And you don’t think of it in
that way, but you’re always willing to put others first, because that’s what mothers think they need to do.”
But Oz said this habit could be harmful, not just for women, but for their children.
“They’re going to treat themselves the way you treat yourself,” he said. “If they don’t see you taking care of
yourself, when they become your age, they will do the exact same thing to themselves.”
To help women kick bad habits and get back in shape, Oz offered five simple tips.
Tip 1: Ease Up on the Stress to Control Eating
“When you have stress, you’ll eat more and things you wouldn’t normally eat,” Oz said. “That’s because we
are hard-wired to equate stress to famine.”
Oz suggested eating a small snack, like a handful of nuts, a half an hour before eating a meal so you’re not
starved when mealtime arrives.
Tip 2: Don’t Just Count Calories, Count Exercise
According to Oz, good eating habits mean nothing if women don’t have the muscle to back it up.
“If you don’t have muscle mass you can’t churn through calories. Remember, muscle, when it’s being used,
will burn 50 times more calories than fat will. So if you don’t have muscle mass, you’re never going to be able
to keep the weight off, especially as you go through menopause,” Oz said.
Women should optimally move 10,000 steps per day, or 20 minutes of exercise, just to keep the weight off.
During menopause, Oz said a woman’s ovaries stop making estrogen as well as testosterone.
“No testosterone, no muscle. No muscle, you get a little pooch, and all of the sudden all the fat begins to
accumulate. As you get older, that happens more and more frequently,” he said.
Tip 3: Sleep Is the Key to Building Muscle
“Of all the things in my own personal life that I do that I treasure the most it’s to sleep because it is the best
way for us to generate growth hormone, and without that we can’t build the muscle mass,” Oz said.
Along with sleep, Oz said most women have problems building muscle mass because they “don’t work at it.”
“I’m not talking about being a big muscle-bound weightlifter. I’m talking about developing programs that allow
you to build that lean muscle, that churns through the calories and gives you a look that you want to have,” he
If you don’t have access to a gym, Oz said lifting your own body weight can be a good workout.
Also, women should “rev your engines” often.
“The body is designed to, to be sped up a little bit. What I’m talking about, literally, is you have to at some
point every week run as fast as you can run, jump as high as you can jump,” Oz explained.
“You have to push
the system and to get your heart rate up, to push the muscle mass, to stretch your limbs out. Do the things you
did as a child, and continue to do them into the adulthood and you’ll keep the hormones where they need to
Tip 4: Forgive Yourself for Mistakes and Learn to Feel Better
“Listen, when you’re driving along on the road and you missed your turn, the GPS doesn’t berate you. Right?
It says at the next available moment, make an authoriOz U-turn. What’s the big deal? The whole purpose of
this is not to be healthier, it’s to feel better,” Oz said.
Forgiving mistakes and fixing habits can keep Americans healthier, like our European counterparts.
“We cost twice as much to take care of as the average European per person,” Oz said. “And we’re twice as
sick as the average European. That’s why we cost as much. So if we address these where it matters, not to
prevent disease, but to live better today.”
Tip 5: Make Long-Term Changes You Can Sustain
“None of this is a wind sprint,” Oz said. He said there’s no real benefit for people to eat what they hate to eat
for the short term.
“Don’t deprive yourself. And you will automatically go back to your playing weight,” he said. “You will only
stay there if you build the muscle mass, but at least it’s a head start.”
“And that’s really what this is all about. Pura vida, pure life.”
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