Oprah’s “Best Life” Weight Loss Plan


Mark my words people; you are about to see a huge shift in the “weight loss” industry. Yesterday’s Oprah Winfrey show is going to completely change how people (mostly women) approach weight loss.

Soon, every diet book and weight loss program is going to include some form of psycho/spiritual approach to determine the hidden motivations behind your extra flab.

All because of this.


Wow, you really have to hand it to Oprah. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of millions of people and talk about the 40+ pounds that you have packed on in the past year. And now, we’re all going to be watching to see if her quest for balance is going to help her drop that weight and whip that soon to be 55 year old body of hers into shape.

So, What’s the Plan?

Unlike past attempts at weight loss, Oprah isn’t simply diving into another Bob Greene approved diet and weight loss program. Before she even begins to change her lifestyle, Oprah had to take a long, hard look at the emotions behind her weight gain.

And in her own words:

“It’s not about the food. It’s about using food—abusing food,” she says. “Too much work. Not enough play. Not enough time to come down. Not enough time to really relax.”

Over time, she discovered what she was really hungry for. “I am hungry for balance,” she says. “I’m hungry to do something other than work.”

And as the new year gets off to a fresh start, Oprah is making the commitment to have more joy and balance in 2009. “This is the year of hopefulness,” she says.

Oprah’s says her new goal isn’t to be thin.

“My goal is to be the weight that my body can hold and be healthy and strong and fit and be itself.”

Healthy and strong and fit…sounds good.

So, once again I ask, what’s the plan?

  • Oprah is scheduling time in her schedule for “me” time. Insteading of booking back to back meetings, photo shoots, television show tapings, Oprah and her assistant are making sure to include scheduled workouts, meals and other self-care activities.
  • Oprah is also scheduling her nutrition for the week. In fact, in the video, we see Oprah’s detailed weekly food schedule taped to one of the cupboards in her office kitchen.
  • Her nutrition plan involves 5 daily meals based around chicken, fish and vegetables.
  • Her exercise plan has been altered by reducing the amount of cardio-vascular training and replacing it with an increased amount of strength training.

And of course, Oprah wants YOU to jump on board:


But before you rush out and buy overy Bob Greene “Best Life” approved health & fitness product on the market, Oprah and Bob want you to answer 5 little questions:

  1. Why are you overweight?
  2. What are you really hungry for?
  3. Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
  4. What in your life is not working?
  5. Why do you want to lose weight?

And Oprah doesn’t want to see any obvious, surface answers like…”I am overweight because I like to eat donuts while watching re-runs of the Oprah Winfrey show.”

Dig a little deeper people…we expect some tears and some truly deep personal insights.

Click here for your official “Bob Greene’s 5 Questions” Workbook

In Conclusion

  • I think that Oprah’s massive social influence is going to cause a huge change in the weight loss industry.
  • I think that for effective weight loss, most of us do need to look beyond diets and exercise and look at how our emotions and thoughts affect our eating and exercise habits.
  • However, I also think that Oprah and Bob’s approach may prove to be too simplistic to be effective. To be fair, they are marketing this program to millions and millions of people. This makes it a little tough to personalize.
  • I also think that Oprah gave the impression that since she has done the emotional work to discover her need for balance, she is on the path to effective weight loss and improved health. I think that she may be in for a few rude surprises along the way.
  • And I think that her buddy Bob knows that. Where Oprah seemed supremely confident about her chances of success, Bob seemed a bit more circumspect about the whole affair. This earned him huuuuge points in my estimation – for what that’s worth.

In tomorrow’s post, I am going to lay out the approach that I use with my training clients to help them achieve their “Best Life” tm..


  1. People put the formula out there; eat less, exercise more. Even I’ve done this. But losing weight, or better put, maintaining a weight loss truly involves so much more.

    I think the key idea here is looking inside before you attempt to change the outside.

    I’m looking forward to reading about your training approach………………..:)

  2. saw your comment at back in skinny jeans. do you/we/whatevs 🙂 think that the thyroid problem as a bunch of (as my grandma says) HOOEY?
    otherwise I can not figure out how dr’s missed it (as you also pointed out).

  3. Agreed, emotions matter. But also, I think it becomes habit — it becomes easy for your brain to keep repeating the behavior, to the point where it’s your new norm. You then have to break the habit — even though you feel the need to indulge the habit, and it feels wrong not to give in. I think the mind plays a huge role — you have to unlearn the undesirable behavior by disregarding it, seeing it as value-less and not acting on it. Just my two cents, anyway 🙂

    Also, I read something about the brain saying to phrase things in positive-positive — because if you say “don’t eat that,” or “don’t smoke,” all you’ll envision is the problem behavior — the forbidden food or the cigarette. Something to do with our mind processing things visually. So you instead focus on the positive behavior — thinking not about what you don’t want to do, instead on what you DO want to do.

  4. Weight loss can be seem illogical until someone is smart enough to think outside of the square. I trained 25 hrs per week on top of a full time job just to control the weight. After a nasty car accident & no $ I could not walk for 3 yrs & lived on 10 gms of fat per day. I put on 10 kgs. Now I am 30 kgs above my recommended weight. I live on virtually non-fat, low cal diet & wonder if neck injuries can cause probs with thyroid? Past tests say I’m Ok but now fast heart (used to be 60bpm), Hypertension (used to have low blood pressure), etc. Weird, frustrating & illogical. My mind wants to train hard like I used to train but told watch out because of injuries.

  5. Hi Jane,

    Lots of things can cause problems with your thyroid.

    A few years back, my wife had her thyroid “speed up” just a little bit. Just slightly above what the doctors say is normal.

    So, of course, according to them, it couldn’t be responsible for all of these other symptoms – racing pulse, anxiousness, loss of appetite. As far as they were concerned, nothing was wrong.

    Never mind that a 5’9″ woman had dropped down to 100 lbs and never felt hungry.

    Our doctor was willing to keep running the TSH test to check on the thyroid. So, on her own, my wife changed her diet/lifestyle to support her thyroid function. Within a year, her appetite came back, her weight went back to normal, etc…

    If you feel like something is wrong, don’t stop searching for an answer. Start with a tsh test. And remember that your version of normal may not be the same as the medical average.

    And if your body is not performing well on your current diet, you should probably change that as well. If low fat / low cal keeps the extra weight on, try something else. Your body needs quality fats to function properly. See here

    Look at these articles – paleo diet & mediterranean diet

    You may also want to look at some alternative forms of medicine – accupuncture & chiropractic helped me after my car accident.

    But, seeing as I know next to nothing about your injuries, take my advice with a large grain of salt. In fact, take your doctor’s advice with a grain of salt as well. You have one advantage over all of the health experts…you live in your own body. You know how it feels, moves, breathes. You can remember what it was like pre-accident. If you think that your body can be better, you are probably right.

    Time to educate yourself. There is lots of info out there. Without turning into a hypochondriac, your symptoms can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside. If you are motivated, you can learn more about your condition than the docs ever will. They simply don’t have the time or the motivation.

    So, get to researching your health. If you have any diet/exercise questions, shoot them my way. Either way, I would love to hear how your health detective work is going

    Best of luck

  6. First of all – very interesting blog…Wow, I haven’t seen this episode of Oprah (because we in Croatia see it with a slight delay :-)), but since I remember her and her show, she has been always trying to lose weight, right? I won’t get into marketing and material side of this, new “project” – weight loss is world’s trend (and one of the world’s biggest problems) . Being unhappy in life indeed makes it hard to get rid off these nasty extra pounds, but I think that “our world of plenty” is giving us all conditions to lose weight efficiently and for good.

  7. Hi everyone,

    I just read a meta-analysis study that estimates the incidence of hyper/hypothyroid cases

    According to the rersearch, the incidence of hypothyroidism is 350/100 000/year in women and 80/100 000/year in men

    The incidence of hyperthyroidism is 80/100 000/year in women and 8/100 000/year in men.

    The study can be found here

  8. Oprah, like most others, can readily lose weight. She’s done in in the public eye repetitively. The problem is weight regain.

    The journal “Diabetes Care” recently published a list of 13 science-based methods for prevention of weight regain. “Control emotional eating” is one of the 13. [The article is not just for overweight type 2 diabetics.]

    The other 12 methods don’t require psychotherapy or navel-gazing, and may be adequate for most people.

    Here’s the list, at no charge, and you can read it in its entirety during one of the commercials on Oprah’s show:


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