Share this article

print logo

The 10-percent solution

Perhaps no one personifies the battle against pounds more than Oprah Winfrey, whose weight watch sells tabloids.

Winfrey adopted a liquid diet and dropped 67 pounds -- to 145 -- during her first weight loss in 1988, but four years later she rose to a record high 237 pounds. That's when she found personal trainer Bob Greene and returned to a healthy regimen -- exercising, eating well, even running a marathon. While the country watched, Winfrey's weight would boomerang again and again.

"You have to adjust your program to one you know you will maintain for the rest of your life," said Greene. "The most successful people make progressive steps. If it's just 20 minutes a day, give me the 20 minutes a day. Later you can ratchet it up if you want. You can't ratchet it down."

In 2002, Winfrey became serious about weight resistance training. She lost 33 pounds eating smaller portions and watching white carbs. She doesn't eat after 7:30 p.m.

"Everyone rides up three, four, five, eight pounds in the winter," said Greene, "but Oprah's ride was more in the 20s -- twice in the last 12 years. This is someone who struggled with it her whole life. In both cases, she quickly came back down. That's successful."

Winfrey avoids white food like bread, rice, flour, sugar, pasta and potatoes. She says no to alcohol, yes to fruits and routinely exercises. She works at keeping her weight down.

According to Greene, 8 to 10 percent of dieters who have lost their weight keep it off for five years or more. They not only lose weight, he said, they lose emotional baggage, too.

"There's a reason in your life why you have an extra 30, 40, 50 pounds and knowing what that is is going to free you," said Greene. It's not that you like french fries. It's either a crummy relationship, you don't like what you're doing for a living, you have financial problems. These are all the things that make food a thousand times more your friend than it needs to be."

-- Jane Kwiatkowski

There are no comments - be the first to comment