What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

Does It Work?

Like any good physician, Oz has obviously read through the nutritional guidelines of the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. The main concepts of his diet plan are spot-on with many of their recommendations. You will likely lose weight and be on the road to better health if you follow his plan.

Oz includes the fundamental elements of a sound diet: enjoyable eating and healthy food choices. His “Rule of 5s” is sure to knock most processed foods out of your cabinets, and with it much of the added salt, fat, and empty calories.

Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

Diets that are low in salt and fat are good for your heart health and blood pressure, and so is any needed weight loss. Your cholesterol levels will likely fall with this type of mindful eating, as well.

Weight loss and exercise are also proven to help prevent and treat diabetes. If you have diabetes, any drastic change in your diet or in your activity level means that you may need to adjust your diabetes treatment plan to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Talk with your doctor or dietitian for guidance.

The diet allows for low-fat dairy, low-fat animal protein, and fish. It also packs in plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber will help keep your cholesterol level down, and it’s good for your digestive system.

Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Diet includes about 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most days. This is also what the American Heart Association recommends. But the plan does fall a little short with strength training. Both the American Heart Association and the CDC say you should fit this in at least twice a week.

Oz recommends that everyone see their doctor before starting his diet-exercise plan.

The Final Word

The most painful part of Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Diet may well be the purging of your cabinets.

Stocking your kitchen with the diet’s shopping list is sure to be pricey at first, but after that, it shouldn’t be more than you would normally spend on your groceries. Any expensive items may be balanced out by your savings from having cut out fatty cuts of meats and prepared foods.

Be prepared to do your own cooking, as it will be much easier to follow the diet if you do. Eating out may present a challenge, since you have little control over the ingredients.

Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Diet has helpful tips on how to stick with the diet and how to maintain your weight loss afterward. The healthy eating tips that you learn will serve you well for a lifetime.

Dr. Oz’s Top 5 Weight-Loss Tips

If you’re a fan of the Dr. Oz Show like I am, you’ll know that Dr. Oz has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to getting healthy and losing weight. From covering the HCG diet to concocting delicious smoothies to showcasing the latest workout trends, The Dr. Oz Show almost always teaches you something new. One of the best parts of the show though is Dr. Oz’s weight-loss advice. We recently scoured a list of his top weight-loss tips to find the 10 tips that you can incorporate into your routine starting now!

RELATED: Ditch the diet this year! These non-diet eating plans will help you lose weight for good.

1. Never eat out of the box or carton. Sure, buying in bulk saves money, but it doesn’t do anything for your waistline when your portions get out of whack with the enormous packaging. Instead of eating straight out of the box, pre-portion your snacks into small individual baggies. They’re perfect portion control for on the go!

2. Get frisky. Skip dessert and instead have a roll in the hay with your honey. Healthy sex may also help control the amount of food you eat – and it’s great exercise, Dr. Oz says.

3. Spice it up. Be sure to stock some red pepper flakes to your pantry. When eaten early in the day, Dr. Oz says that red pepper can reduce the amount of food you consumer later.

4. Become a weekend warrior. Many of us hit the gym and eat right during the week but cut loose on the weekends by indulging in fried foods and trading in workouts for sleep. Be healthy seven days a week by planning your weekend ahead of time. Think about what healthy foods you’ll eat and plan your workouts, Dr. Oz says. Also schedule some relaxation time!

5. Have a puree party. Who said healthy foods have to be boring? Puree peaches, pears and berries and spread them on wheat pita for a healthy and delish treat that’s perfect for spring and summer!

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Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.

  • By Jennipher Walters

Dr. Oz Admits ‘Miracle’ Diet Products He Advocates Are Pseudoscience

A senate panel interviewed Dr. Mehmet Oz on Tuesday regarding his claims of various ‘miracle’ weight loss cures, despite little scientific evidence for many of his claims. He has created a thriving industry of fraudulent supplements containing minimal amounts of the “active ingredient,” and including a “as seen on The Dr. Oz Show” line in their advertising. As supplements are not regulated by the FDA, there is no way to regulate that a supplement is what it claims to be or if it even works. Dr. Oz has always defended himself by claiming that he does not endorse particular supplement brands. While he appears to think he’s preserving his integrity, it leaves his viewers confused about where to purchase those products, making them easy targets for scammers. Given his large audience and the amounts of supplements he praises, this happens quite frequently.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, as 34.9% of American adults have gone beyond overweight and are considered obese. Collectively, being overweight or obese costs Americans $450 billion per year due to things like increased medical expenses and disability from work. It is no surprise that many become desperate to shed some pounds. The only problem is that losing weight the old fashioned way, in terms of healthy eating and exercise, takes longterm dedication and sustainable results come slowly. That’s no good, considering when we Americans want something, we want it right now. Preying on the desperation of so many, the weight loss industry (including pills, shakes, and clubs) is a $60.9 billion per year industry, despite having an extremely low success rate. The Federal Trade Commission, which seeks to protect consumers from false claims, has been cracking down on weight loss products that don’t deliver.

On his show, Dr. Oz frequently advocates “the latest, greatest” fad that he claims will blast the fat away within days without having to put in much effort. On his show’s website, a search for “exercise” yields 1910 results, while “weight loss supplements” yields 9510 results. He has exalted many ‘miracle’ supplements over the years, including saffron extract, raspberry ketones, forskolin, and African mango seed. For most of those products, there is little to no scientific evidence to back up Dr. Oz’s claims. However, it was his unabashed endorsement of green coffee bean extract (GCBE) which landed him in the hot seat in front of a senate panel on Tuesday.

After mentioning on his show that GCBE was an effective weight loss supplement in the spring of 2012, countless manufacturers cashed in on the excitement, flooding the market with the pills, charging an average of $50 for a one month supply. To date, the largest placebo-controlled study indicating a benefit of GCBE used only 117 men taking one of three different doses for one month, hardly enough to assert, as Dr. Oz put it, that it was “the magic weight loss cure for every body type”. This study hadn’t even been published when it was first mentioned on his show, which Senator Claire McCaskill, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance, called him out on.

“I can’t figure this out, Dr. Oz,” Senator McCaskill said. “I get that you do a lot of good on your show. I understand that you give a lot of information that’s great information… you’re very talented and you’re obviously very bright. You’ve been trained in science-based medicine… I don’t get why you need to say this stuff when you know it’s not true. When you have this amazing megaphone, why would you cheapen your show?… With power comes a great deal of responsibility.”

She went on to stress that his credentials (he is a cardiothoracic surgeon and professor in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University) give his viewers every reason to trust that the products he discusses on the show are of good quality and actually work, though his viewers generally just get ripped off.

“My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience, and when they don’t think they have hope, when they don’t think they can make it happen, I want to look, and I do look everywhere, including in alternative healing traditions, for any evidence that might be supportive to them,” Oz said in his own defense. However, there’s a very fine line between exhausting every option and preying on someone’s trust and insecurities to build false hope in bullshit products.

Later during the interview, Dr. Oz conceded some of the supplements he promotes “don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact” and that he has “used flowery language… which was meant to be helpful, but wound up being incendiary and provided fodder for unscrupulous advertisers.”

“I need to be a part of this ,” Dr. Oz stated. “I want to play a role.” Hopefully, he means that and will put an end to sensationalized fads in favor of quality, science-based health advice.

If you’re looking to meet some health, exercise or weight loss goals in 2020, try giving Dr. Mehmet Oz’s System 20 plan a go!

According to Oz, the System 20 plan is “not just another New Year’s diet.” The multifaceted plan includes altering your morning routine, setting some goals, changing up your diet and meals and working on de-stressing and connecting with people.

“It’s a system that tackles your entire body and all facets of your health — from the way you eat, how well you sleep, to how you manage stress and connect with others,” explained Oz.

The first step in the plan is setting realistic, concrete goals. Instead of going with vague statements like losing weight by beach season or looking better for a springtime event, use specific, quantifiable statistics. Oz provided some numbers that people can aspire to in the graphic below.

Oz provided a graphic that summarizes the System 20 plan. Dr. Oz

He also advised setting realistic exercise goals, like working until one is able to plank for a minute straight.

While goals start the plans, the system’s main focus is intermittent fasting. Oz recommends eating only during an eight-hour time period and then not eating for the remaining 16 hours in the day.

Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

“The switch can actually improve our energy, help control our blood sugar, help our body fight stress and even help reduce inflammation,” he said. “Most of the hours you are supposed to be fasting, you are actually asleep.”

Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, according to some research. It’s an important part of the System 20 plan. Getty Images

During the eight hours, you should be eating two meals, according to the System 20 plan. Oz recommends centering them around a simple formula: “Beans, greens and protein.” Limiting carbs and sticking to palm-sized protein portions are two other major tips for the diet.

Some of the snacks that Oz recommends include healthy twists on comfort foods, like kale chips or cocoa nibs, or keeping it simple by eating diet staples like broccoli, nuts or green olives. With most of these snacks, portion control is key, but they’ll help you stay full between meals.

One of the snacks Dr. Oz recommends are kale chips, which are a delicious, healthy replacement for regular potato chips. Plantable

When it comes to dessert or drinks, you don’t need to miss out: Just continue making healthy substitutions. Oz recommends trying some frozen berries for dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth, and if you’re enjoying a night out with friends, put down a calorie-filled drink and replace it with 1 ounce of clear alcohol mixed with lime and seltzer.

If the diet seems impossible, it’s not as binding as it might seem: Oz made sure to include a cheat day where you can eat whatever you’d like.

The System 20 plan includes setting realistic, measurable goals for exercise and health. TODAY

The System 20 plan might focus a lot on goal-setting and healthy eating, but there are still two more facets: routine and sleep.

Oz recommends using the plan to establish a routine, and says everyone should consider starting their day with just a two-minute meditation, a practice he himself uses.

“It’s easy, free and simple enough to do in your bedroom with just a few minutes, so no excuses!” he said.

The final piece of the plan happens at bedtime. Oz recommends not drinking any caffeine past 3 p.m. so you’re able to fall asleep, and stowing any electronics away one hour before bed so the blue light doesn’t interfere with the release of melatonin.

“Our circadian rhythm is extremely important to our well-being,” he said. “Problems with it have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes and depression. If we wake up at the same time every day, we can help our body reinforce this circadian rhythm and hopefully reduce our risk of those chronic diseases.”

How to transform your bedroom into a serene space

Sept. 6, 201904:12

Staying social and connected is also an important part of this system, or any other plan that you might be trying. Oz emphasized finding “a buddy” to work with.

“We are in an epidemic of loneliness in this country, and we want to help you do something about it,” he said. “Our government actually says that loneliness is just as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

To combat feelings of loneliness, Oz said that anyone trying the System 20 plan should try to replace one text conversation with a phone call.

“Every day, we want you to try and replace one phone call with a text message and really connect better with your friends and loved ones,” he said.


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How I lost 8 pounds in two weeks using the Dr. Oz 2-week rapid weight loss diet. It’s all about real food and no junk. I loved it!

Dr. Oz 2-week rapid weight loss diet

My baby’s first birthday was on the calendar, and the closer that it came, the more antsy I got try to lose some weight. I know that there are plenty of people who will tell me to be patient with the baby weight, to just eat healthy and it’ll come off, to keep nursing, all kinds of things along those lines. In the past those tips have worked for me, but a few things have changed for me, and they have stopped working. It was time for me to do something. A big something.

Here are a few reasons that I decided a full-on diet was what I needed this time:

  • I had my 5th baby over a year ago. The weight came off much easier with my first, second, and even third pregnancy, but five is a lot.
  • I’m over 30. Again, weight seemed to come off a little more easily before I turned 30, almost 2 years ago.
  • I haven’t made time to really workout. Sure, I lead an active lifestyle (5 kids 9 and under will do that to you). We hike and swim and garden, but I don’t go to the gym and really sweat it out. I do much better during the school year, but this summer, I have worked out zero times.
  • I already eat pretty healthy. I think my body is used to good food and it’s great at maintaining weight. I feel like some people can cut out soda pop and fast food and lose weight, but I already don’t eat those things, so it’s harder to just cut a little here and there and see results.

I did a lot of research when I decided I need a jumpstart to lose weight, and I decided that the Dr. Oz 2-Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet was what I wanted to do. The ideas behind it were really things that resonated with my food philosophy and opinions on what I consider to be healthy eating.

I don’t watch the Dr. Oz show, but I happened upon this diet online. I read about it, I watched the show that was filmed about it, and I thought about it for a week and a half before I decided that I wanted to try it. I felt like it aligned with what I feel like healthy eating is. I don’t know much about Dr. Oz; I felt a little leery about putting too much stock in his doctor title because he’s a TV show host too, but the more I’ve read, the more I think he has some pretty sound ideas that he’s telling people. He really pushes whole foods and cutting out things like artificial sweeteners, wheat, and sugars, and that’s something I can get behind. I don’t know if everything he says should be taken to heart (because I literally don’t know what he is or isn’t telling people. Again, I don’t really watch the show), but all-in-all I think he has some sound ideas and principles behind his diets, programs, and shows. I do think the show tries to “sell” diets, results, and things that people want in order to get viewers to tune in, but that’s the advertising side of things and I can see that for what it’s worth. It’s still a business.

The Dr. Oz 2-Week diet is quite restrictive. He tells you what you can eat, and that fills about a sheet of paper, which means that there are loads and loads of things you can’t eat. The idea is that you have a homemade shake in the morning, eat 6 ounces of chicken, turkey, or fish, one cup plain greek yogurt, ½ cup brown rice, and then all of the low-glycemic vegetables that you want. The first time I looked at it, all I could think about were all the things that you couldn’t eat. A little bit of meat and a million veggies sounded awful. When you look at the list of vegetables though, the list includes lentils, kidney and garbanzo beans, and squash. If you can eat lentils and beans, that is really a game changer (the fact that you can’t eat legumes, beans, and lentils on the Whole30 diet is the main reason I have never tried it!). When I got to looking, I could make all kinds of things with lentils and chickpeas. Instead of feeling like I needed to only eat vegetables, I shifted my thinking more to vegan eating. I’m not going to be a vegan my whole life, but I sure can do it for 2 weeks (and it wasn’t even a vegan diet – you still eat that cup of yogurt plus the 6 ounces of lean meat…).

There’s surprisingly little information about the diet on the website. I kept thinking I would find more, but there just isn’t much there.

Here’s what you can eat:

What You Can Eat:

If you want to read more, here’s the information that you can read:

  • Overview of the Dr. Oz 2-Week Rapid Weight loss Diet
  • Diet instructions (so short!)
  • The diet summed up on 2 pages
  • FAQ’s about the Diet

Maybe there’s more information if you are a member of the Dr. Oz website, but I couldn’t tell. As far as I know, you can click around a little on those pages and it tells you what you can and can’t eat without much more direction than that.

That’s why I’m here. I really liked this diet and I had success doing it, but I really want to offer you some additional insight so that if you would like to do the diet, you have a better place to start.

Here’s my two cents on what you can eat:

Wake up: Start day with cup hot water and 1/2 lemon – I hated this and only did it once, more on that later in the post.
Breakfast smoothie: Use this recipe – Loved this! This was my first time really using protein powder (I bought this brown rice protein powder on Amazon) and I loved it. I know protein powder very popular, but I always felt like it wasn’t much of a “whole food.” But I have done a lot of reading now, and protein powder is something that I’m going to be using daily from here on out. It’s amazing how full it keeps you. And side bonus, it’s an appetite suppressant! I’m sold on it, and will be adding it to my smoothies from here on out.
Green tea: Preferably organic – I also didn’t do this, more on that later.
Protein: One 6-oz serving of meat (chicken, turkey or fish) per day – This might not sound like a lot to you, but I felt like it was plenty of meat! I did better if I divided it up into two smaller servings because the whole 6 ounces was a little too much for me to want to eat at one meal. I liked the push to have fish more. I don’t buy it a lot, but I did have it once each week and I just loved it. It was worth the expense because it felt like a delicious treat. There’s a lifestyle or diet called the Mediterranean diet. I’m no expert on it, but from what I have read, this diet is similar to it. It might be helpful for you to know that when you are doing it and looking for your own recipes to make.
Carbs: 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice a day (otherwise no carbs/starches) – I didn’t do this. I didn’t feel like I needed this, because I wasn’t craving carbs. I ate enough of the chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans that I was getting plenty of carbs, and didn’t feel like I need to add them just because I could.
Fats: Good fats in moderation (e.g. olive oil and avocado) – Long live olive oil and avocado. These were so satisfying and delicious.
Dairy: 1 cup of 2% plain Greek yogurt per day (otherwise no dairy) – I couldn’t find 2% at our little store, so for the first few days I used nonfat. But I was feeling super hungry, so I started mixing the whole milk plain with the nonfat and was much happier. This was actually harder to incorporate than I thought. If I were making falafel and tzatziki sauce or was having chili, then I could eat it in those things. If I didn’t have a recipe on my meal plan where I could add the Greek yogurt easily, then I would add it to my smoothie in the morning (delicious!). It was too hard to just eat plain and I didn’t like it as a vegetable dip that other people might do (too sour). I’m pretty sure that the yogurt is there for the probiotics as well as some calcium, so I didn’t feel like it really mattered when in the day I was eating it.
Vegetables: Unlimited low-glycemic vegetables (see list) and Detox Broth (recipe here) – Yay for not having to count calories! I loved having unlimited access to veggies. Sure you get sick of salad, but you can have all the roasted, steamed, grilled, and raw veggies that you want! I liked this flexibility a lot. It was also interesting to see what was considered low-glycemic and what wasn’t. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn were all off the list, but you could eat all the peppers and tomatoes you wanted.
Snacks: Hummus, pickles, a couple handfuls of nuts – Again, these felt very “Mediterranean diet” to me. I loved loved loved being able to have hummus for a snack. It’s so delicious. Pickles make tuna a million times better, and I like that it says “a couple of handfuls of nuts.” Sometimes when I’m trying to be healthy, I end up eating a million almonds because I can’t think of anything else. They still have a lot of calories and fat (though it’s good, things still need to be in moderation). I tried to eat no more than two servings (2 ounces total) a day of nuts. A few days I ate a little more than that, but I didn’t have my hand in the jar all day, which I feel like I do sometimes.

I had normal sugar cravings for two days in a row. The third day, I was craving peanut butter so so so bad. It was all that I could think about for literally two days. I did a little reading about why people crave peanut or nut butters. This article on food cravings was very insightful and useful. Your body is so smart! It normally means that you need more fat, protein, or magnesium. I felt like I had the protein and magnesium under control (I take a good magnesium supplement, plus lots of the lentils and flax seed in the smoothie have it), but I wasn’t so sure about the fat. Instead of giving into my craving, I upped the amount of nuts I was eating by an ounce and I added a whole avocado to my day (I put half of one in my smoothie in the morning for a few days). I also switched out that nonfat yogurt at this point. That really did the trick. I stopped craving just about everything, I stayed full between meals, and I only had a snack in the middle of the afternoon a few times (which is unusual for me).

There’s all kinds of amazing vegan recipes that are delicious! I made falafel (pan fried) with tzatziki sauce (thanks to that yogurt you eat every day!), chili, lentil burgers, grilled chicken and veggies, one sheet pan salmon with veggies, my favorite red lentil and butternut squash curry, taco salad (with lentils and beans seasoned for my “meat”), lentil soup, chef salad, and tons of other delicious things that I just modified to fit within the parameters of the diet.

In two weeks, I lost 8 pounds. I even had a few really hard days and didn’t eat as well as I could have. I think I would have lost closer to 10 pounds if I would have done as well the second week as I did the first. I know that some of that weight is water weight (when I don’t eat grains, I’m much less bloated, so some of it is water weight for sure), so if I were to eat whatever I wanted now that it’s over, I would gain back at least half that weight in just a few days. That being said, this was a great jumpstart to losing my baby weight. It was the springboard that I needed to continue to diet to lose more weight.

Here are the things that I didn’t do well on the Dr. Oz 2-week diet:

  • There’s a recipe for a vegetable broth that you are supposed to make. I made it the first day of the diet but I didn’t really use it. I guess I don’t understand what it’s for. I think if you are feeling hungry you can warm it up and sip on it? I’m not sure. I ended up cooking my lentils in the broth and making soup, but I didn’t really see why I needed it on hand.
  • You can drink green tea on the diet (because coffee isn’t allowed). I don’t drink caffeine for health and religious reasons, and I wasn’t going to start just for this. I’ve heard that green tea can boost metabolism as well as curb hunger. I didn’t use it, so I’m not sure how it might or might not help. The average weight loss on the show was 9 pounds (and a few people lost up to 20!), and maybe the green tea helped with that.
  • You are supposed to drink a cup of warm water with a half of lemon in it every morning to help your metabolism. I did it the first day and it was gross and it made my stomach hurt terribly. I didn’t do it after the first day.
  • I, like many people, have some (or a lot) of issues with emotional eating. This was really hard to deal with but good at the same time. I ate 6 cookies one day and another night I just couldn’t make myself a different meal and I ate eggs and toast with my kids. So I didn’t do things perfectly and that gave me a lot of guilt. But on the opposite side of things, I also saw the times where I could have turned to food and I didn’t.

So, I didn’t even do a lot of the things that you were supposed to and I still feel like it was really successful. Part of me wonders what my weight loss would have looked like if I would have done everything just perfect, but alsa.

Things that I feel like went really well on the diet:

  • I liked that I could eat as many vegetables as I wanted. If I was really hungry, I’d eat them. If I was just bored, then I would skip because I didn’t really want them that badly.
  • I got over sugar cravings super quickly. I wanted a sweet afternoon snack or a banana the first two afternoons, but after that I didn’t feel super sugar crazy.
  • I loved how full I felt. After I figured out that I needed more fat, I was really satisfied with what I was eating and the amounts.

Things that really helped me succeed:

Meal planning, meal planning, meal planning! I can’t say that enough. On the days that I knew what I was eating, I just did it. When you take the thinking out of the diet, more than half of the work is done. It was easy for me to just stick to what I had planned. The few days that I didn’t look at my plan or chose not to go with it were my worst days. I didn’t get my yogurt in or I didn’t know what to make or plan ahead. So when it was time to eat, I kind of winged it and then felt less satisfied and more hungry.

My meal plan also helped me to work out what I was going to do in social situations, which are always tricky when dieting. In my two weeks, I hosted the baby’s birthday party at my house, my sister and her husband spent two nights here, and a friend from college and her family spent the night on their way to a family reunion. I knew that people were coming and I planned accordingly.

I planned things that I could eat and everyone else could too.

For the baby’s birthday party, I planned on hamburgers and hot dogs for everyone and I made myself lentil burgers. So I didn’t eat the potato salad, baked beans, or cake, but I did have a burger on a lettuce bun with gauc and felt totally satisfied. It was great.

I made soup one night with my sister and I made spaghetti and meatballs for my college friend and her family. Everyone else had the pasta, bread, ice cream, and watermelon. I didn’t eat the meatballs, but put the sauce over zucchini and had a side of green beans. I didn’t make a whole separate meal, but instead just adjusted what I made them and what I ate so that it all kind of met in the middle.

Plan, plan, plan! That is 100% the key to success.

My meal plan:

Here’s kind of a plain list of what I planned on eating during the two weeks:

Breakfast: The smoothie that the diet tells you to eat (easy!), here’s that recipe.
Snacks: All the veggies, a few handfuls of nuts, pickles, hummus.

Day 1

Lunch: Falafel + Tzatziki. I liked this recipe from Pinch of Yum and this recipe from Minimalist Baker. I replaced any breadcrumbs or flour with coconut flour. Tzatziki was the cup of plain yogurt, 1 diced cucumber, juice of half a lemon, and salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and cumin to taste, easy!
Dinner: Crock Pot Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry (recipe in my freezer to slow cooker ebook, get it here) over Roasted Cauliflower (You could have some rice here if you wanted). Family ate the curry with rice and the roasted cauliflower on the side.

Day 2

Lunch: Salad – Romaine, tomatoes, grilled or baked chicken (make this in bulk via this recipe), kidney beans, bell peppers, onion, with this Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing (minus the cheese called for in the recipe).
Dinner: Cauliflower crust pizza (I used this recipe and topped it with all kinds of veggies and chicken, it was ok, but with cheese would be much better). Family had normal pizza.

Day 3

Day 4

Lunch: Tuna + avocado + pickles on lettuce wraps.
Dinner: Lentil burgers on lettuce buns with avocado. Family had normal burgers.

Day 5

Lunch: Salad (same as above).
Dinner: Chili. I served it with cornbread for the family.

Day 6

Lunch: Leftover Lentil Burgers.
Dinner: Leftover Chili. This was Sunday for me, so I just packed this to my MIL’s house for our normal Sunday dinner. It was easier to bring my own thing than to have her worry about what she was making; it wasn’t a big deal.

Day 7

Lunch: Curry from day 1 over roasted cauliflower (I portioned out the leftover curry and stuck it in the fridge, it was a great easy meal).
Dinner: Fish + Roasted Veggies (family had this plus watermelon and crusty bread).

Day 8

Lunch: Falafel + Tzatziki.
Dinner: Ground turkey taco salad (family had normal tacos with the ground turkey).

Day 9

Lunch: Tuna + avocado + pickles on lettuce wraps.
Dinner: Pasta sauce over zucchini + green beans (family had meatballs in their sauce and normal pasta).

Day 10

Lunch: Falafel + Tzatziki.
Dinner: Lentil Soup (family had this plus bread).

Day 11

Lunch: Curry from day 1 over roasted cauliflower (I portioned out the leftover curry and stuck it in the fridge, it was a great easy meal).
Dinner: Leftover Lentil Soup

Day 12

Lunch: Salad like above.
Dinner: One pan roasted chicken sausage and veggies (family ate this over rice).

Day 13

Lunch: Curry from day 1 over roasted cauliflower (I portioned out the leftover curry and stuck it in the fridge, it was a great easy meal).
Dinner: Salmon with grilled veggies.

Day 14

Lunch: Cooked chicken and mushrooms with pesto.
Dinner: Chef Salad (Family ate this with all the veggies plus cheese, ham, and boiled eggs + ranch).

It’s not gourmet or perfect, but it tasted pretty good. I felt like I had enough variety, and it was all pretty easy. Plus when I’m eating well, my family is eating well too. I like that. This might be something that you look at and make your own adjustments to, but it should be a great place for you to start. I really liked making the curry from my Freezer to Slow Cooker book on day one and then keeping it in the freezer. It made great easy meals and it was nice to have it on hand.

Other recipes that I looked at but didn’t make included: lentil meatballs, mushroom fajitas, chili lime lentil tacos, and a few other fun vegan recipes.

Eating out:

I did end up eating out twice in the two weeks, which I didn’t plan on. The first was at Cafe Rio because we took a quick trip to town (2 hours away) to buy a car (which we didn’t end up getting, boo). I got a small salad with black beans, lettuce, grilled chicken, salsa, and gauc. The second time was a family date to see our local community present the play Annie. We took the three oldest kids and wanted to make it a special date. I decided last minute to do this so I hadn’t put it into my plan. We went to Wendy’s (there are very few eating out options in the next little town over, but I knew that Wendy’s had good salads). So I got a small Mediterranean salad and it was fine. I didn’t put on the dressing because it had corn syrup and stuff in it, but it had greens, chicken, some kind of roasted tomatoes, and some chickpeas and white beans. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t a totally gross “side salad” with iceberg lettuce like most places have.

So eating out was hard and unsatisfying to me. We eat out so seldom that I really like it to be a treat when I do. Trying to diet and eat out wasn’t that fun for me. Some people like the convenience, but I would rather eat at home.

What I fed my family while I was dieting:

I included what my family ate every night for dinner along with what I ate in the meal plan. I did a lot of normal stuff like PB&J’s, quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.

I started this diet the week that my husband went to Scout Camp and I didn’t even tell him I was on it until a few days after he got home. He honestly didn’t even notice. I didn’t make it a big deal, I just did it. I never used the word “diet” in front of my kids, I never said “I can’t eat that,” and I made a point to not make a big deal out of it. I don’t want my kids to think of me as a dieter. I just want to be a healthy well-balanced mom who models that for her kids. There were only probably 3 times in the whole 14 days they asked why I was eating this or not eating that and I simple said that it was what sounded good to me. I made no labels of “healthy” either. When they asked if I wanted a bite of something I would just say, “no thanks,” and we’d move on. It really wasn’t a big deal because I didn’t make it a big deal. I think that’s important when it comes to dieting in a house full of other people.

Where I’m going from here:

Boy oh boy. This is my first day off the diet and I’m trying to count macros (carbs, fat, and protein). I use . I LOVED all of the meatless meals in this diet (I’ve always been a fan of meatless meals so this was great), so I’m trying to figure out how to get enough protein while not going over on my carbs and not just eating a ton of meat (so not my jam). I’m going to try this for a month and see where it gets me. It feels a little more flexible, but I’m just not sure I know how to do it well (but I’m always up for a challenge when it comes to healthy food!). I want to keep losing weight though. I’m still about 15 pounds away from my goal and now it actually feels like I can reach that (having to lose over 20 pounds felt very unattainable). This was just the jumpstart that I needed.

I wrote this because I wanted to help you! Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ve love to answer them. This might not be for everyone and I’m no doctor, but it worked well for me and I feel like it was something worth telling the intranets about 🙂 Enjoy!

Update: It’s now been 2 weeks off of the diet and counting macros is a lot harder than I thought it would be, though I’m seeing success. I’m down a total of 10 pounds now though I haven’t been very diligent on macros. I also haven’t gained my weight back either which is good. I’ll keep you updated.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz’s weight-loss breakthrough starts with a carefully designed meal plan that maximizes fat burning with the right foods. The key is to fill up on “inefficient calories,” he says. “This means that your body doesn’t burn them up quickly, as it does with highly processed foods and simple carbs.” What’s on the menu? Protein, healthy fats, and fiber — balanced to keep you satisfied and slimming down. But there’s more to this breakthrough.

It’s also designed for ease and automation, and that boils down to two words: meal prep! You’ll spend a few hours in the kitchen each Sunday preparing most of the components you’ll need for seven days’ worth of meals. (Don’t worry about soggy Saturdays — the recipes in our plan had to pass this test: If a dish didn’t taste as good on day seven as it did on day one, you won’t find it here.)

When it’s time for a meal, you simply open your fridge and grab a ready-to-eat container or reach for your premade ingredients to whip together healthy, DIY “fast food.” You won’t have to wonder, Do I have time to cook? Just reheat, eat, and say hi to a slimmer you in the mirror every morning.

By the end of 21 days, your body will feel rebalanced, because this diet is based on clean foods and mainly plant-based protein (including beans, power grains like quinoa, and nuts and seeds). Twice a week, you’ll have animal protein, but the rest of the time, “you can think of this as a vacation from meat,” says Dr. Oz. When you switch from a diet packed with processed, high-fat animal sources of protein to a plant-focused diet, you slash calories naturally. And you improve your health while you’re watching the scale tick down. “Research shows that crowding out the meat on your plate with plant protein can lower your risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease,” adds Dr. Oz. What could be more important than that?

Here’s How It Works

1. Stock up groceries.


2. Start prepping: Set aside a few hours to cook on Sunday, or whatever day you have a chunk of time.


3. Get cozy in your kitchen: You’ll chop, cook, and tuck your meals or components into containers. Stash them in the fridge, and you’re set with ready-to-go, perfectly portioned breakfasts, lunches, and dinners all week.


How Much Weight Will You Lose?

It depends on your starting point. If you have a lot to take off, you may see 10 pounds fall away in the first 21 days. Some women who tried the plan shed 10 pounds in the first week alone. Heavier people typically drop more weight in the beginning of a diet simply because they experience a larger calorie deficit. (For example, if you were eating 3,500 calories and dip down to 1,300, that’s a much bigger change than a 2,000-calorie eater would go through.) Already close to a healthy size? Even if it takes an extra week or two to reach your goal, you can get there.

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

Most of our daily tasks don’t require much thought. Things like showering, eating, and using the bathroom are second nature by now, but what if we told you there was a more efficient way to do everyday activities you’ve forgotten about? Correct Me If I’m Wrong… is DoctorOz.com’s new series about improving even the most mundane tasks you tackle on a daily basis so you can live happier and healthier.

If you’ve ever done a squat, you know how awkward they can be. You stand there, with your knees bent, your butt out, trying to ignore the tension in your legs as you repeat the up and down motion. If you’re like me and find squats kind of painful, there might be a reason for that. I just recently found out that I’ve been doing squats wrong my whole life, and needless to say, my mind is blown.

But apparently I’m not the only one feeling pain. According to a 2014 study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 8.6 million cases of exercise-related injuries occurred in the country. If any of those 8.6 million people are like me, they probably got injured because they didn’t know how to properly do common exercise moves like squats, crunches, push-ups, and planks. And more than that, they probably didn’t even know they were doing it wrong — who has time to scour the Internet for how-to videos, especially when squeezing workout time into a busy day is hard enough?

There are times when I wish I had a personal trainer at my side, coaching me through these basic moves. The moves may seem simple but, if not performed with the perfect positioning, can lead to injury.

Not everyone can afford a personal trainer, but luckily Cassey Ho, owner of Blogilates — rated the best female fitness channel on YouTube — and Certified Personal Trainer Katie Dunlop, group fitness instructor and owner of Love Sweat Fitness, have the ultimate guide for fixing these common workout blunders.

RELATED: Subscribe to the Dr. Oz newsletter for wellness tips, recipes, and exclusive sneak peeks from The Dr. Oz Show.


Dunlop says that squats are the most common exercise move done wrong (which made me feel a little bit better about myself). Though squats are a go-to option to strengthen your leg muscles, improper form — such as incorrect foot positioning, buckling your knees buckling, not going deep enough, and rounding your spine — can lead to both knee injury and chronic pain. “Inflammation in the knees and hips causes pain that can lead to one needing anti-inflammatories and extensive rest time physical therapy and rehabilitation,” Dunlap notes.

So, what’s the common mistake when squatting? Ho says that it’s all in the hips. “People often complain about knee pain . because they aren’t pushing back through their hips as they lower into the squat position,” she explains. “ hips should be the hinge as the butt shifts back and down. When the knees go in front of the toes, that puts pressure into the knee — which can lead to pain.”

To prevent this pain, practice correct form. The best way for beginner’s to do that, according to Dunlop, is to use a chair: “With chest lifted, seated tall, hinge forward slightly to allow yourself to lift your booty off the chair an inch. Hold here, slowly lower, and repeat.”

How to Correctly Do a Squat

Dunlop shares her step-by-step guide to squatting like a pro:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart (or slightly wider), with toes slightly pointed out.
  2. Engage your core and glutes as you lower your booty back and down like you’re trying to sit on the edge of a chair.
  3. Keep your weight in your heels and imagine pushing the ground apart with your feet. Press your knees slightly open to engage your abductors (outside of your thighs).
  4. Sit to your lowest point (ideally, your booty in line with your knees).
  5. Keep your spine straight and chest lifted.
  6. Press through your heels and actively engage your glutes, then return to a standing position.

For a fun twist, Ho suggests adding dumbbells to maximize the move to build up strength. If you’re looking to increase intensity try jump squats (or any of Ho’s easy-to-follow squat variations).


Ho says she witnesses a lot of improper crunches during her workout classes. “People tend to pull on their head and neck instead of using their abdominal muscles,” she says. This improper tugging can cause back pain while exercising. Getting the crunch right is easy, she says — all you have to remember is to engage your abdominals and lift your ribs toward your hips.

For another hack to crunch better, Ho says to keep your fingertips by your temples instead of the nape of your neck. This can help to prevent pulling on your head, which can lead to neck and back strain.

How to Correctly Do a Crunch

Here are Ho’s instructions on how to prevent pain with correct crunch form:

  1. Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent.
  2. Lift your head and neck off the floor and lift your ribs toward your hips (this will bring your shoulder blades off the floor).
  3. Exhale as you squeeze your abs to lift your torso higher, then lower back to the start position.


For those who identify as workout beginners, push-ups can certainly be a challenge, according to Ho. “Focusing on proper alignment is key because people are often looking up or tucking their chin into their chest which can lead to neck pain,” Ho adds. “Improper alignment can also result in low back pain, as oftentimes people have an excessive arch in their back and drop through their hips to lower the body instead of using upper body strength to lower.”

If you feel like your upper body strength is not up-to-par to push all the way down with the correct form, Dunlop encourages to begin these on your knees with your feet lifted off the ground to build up your strength. “Remember, even if you can only do one at first, the more you practice, the stronger you’ll get,” she adds.

How to Correctly Do a Push-Up

To prevent injury and improve your strength, here are Dunlop’s instructions for how to do push-ups with proper alignment:

  1. Start in a high plank position. If you need to, you can drop to your knees.
  2. Place your hands on the ground, directly under your shoulders.
  3. Press your heels back and engage your core, glutes, and hamstrings, and flatten your back so your entire body is neutral and straight. Keep your back flat and look straight ahead to maintain a neutral neck.
  4. Start lowering your arms and allow your chest to almost touch the floor without letting your booty dip down or stick up.
  5. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, keeping your elbows tucked close to your body.
  6. Keep your core engaged, exhale as you push back to starting position.


It’s easy to think that positioning your body in a straight line is a no-brainer, but there is a good chance you’re not doing this exercise move perfectly. Improper plank for can actually lead to shoulder pain and lower back pain, according to Ho.

Ho says that the pain develops due to a couple reasons. The first is because people shift their hips upward (which moves your shoulders back) leading to pain in the shoulders. The second is not keeping core muscles tight which can cause your hips to sag and lead to unwanted pain in the lower back.

Dunlop adds that alignment is the most frequent cause of incorrect planking. Red flags of bad form include “hips dipping down, your booty sticking up, and gazing upwards or too far in front of you,” she says.

How to Correctly Do a Plank

To avoid unnecessary strain, here’s Dunlop’s go-to guide for planking like a pro:

  1. Position your arms parallel and stacked directly under your shoulders. Keep your hands spread flat, or come together on your elbows and form a tight fist.
  2. Ground your toes into the floor, press your heels back, and squeeze your glutes to engage and stabilize your entire body and keep it flat.
  3. Keep your gaze straight down at the mat to protect your neck and keep you in a neutral alignment.
  4. Hold for as long as you can, continuously checking in to ensure you are keeping your core super engaged and continue to breathe.

Prepping your muscles with at least a five-minute stretch before trying these exercise moves is also recommended by both fitness experts. Dunlop has a quick and easy warm-up routine to make sure your body is ready to get moving. As for cooling down post-workout, Ho says to make sure your after-workout stretch focuses on the muscles you just worked, holding each area in a stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

While knowing the how-to’s of these exercise moves is important, what’s even more important is to listen to your body. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not,” says Dunlop. “Make sure you check in with yourself constantly and make adjustments as needed.”


11 Ways to Become an Exerciser

What We Lose During a Workout (And How to Replenish It!)

5 Fat-Burning Exercises That Won’t Kill Your Knees

Dr. Oz’s Audience Q & A

America’s favorite doctor dishes out winter health tips for avoiding colds this season and shares his (/show/segments/view/dr-oz-7-minute-workout/) so you always have time to exercise during the busy holiday season! **How can kids avoid perpetual runny noses this winter?** Dr. Oz suggests checking with your own doctor about giving your kids vitamin D supplements in the winter, when there is less sunshine. “It’s the main way we enhance our immune system.” He also suggests boiling or changing toothbrushes when your kids get sick.
**The holiday season brings busier schedules and less time to work out; is it more important to focus on diet or exercise when you are short on time?** The first step to good health, according to Dr. Oz, is to always get 7 hours of sleep. “I set my alarm not for when I get up – but for when I *go* to sleep,” he suggests. “It reminds me!” Next, focus on healthy foods and try to fit a short workout into your day. (/show/segments/view/dr-oz-7-minute-workout/) **Why is my skin so dry in the winter?** “I think women use too much soap, you shower for too long and you use water that’s too hot,” Dr. Oz says. “When you stay in the water for a long time, whether you’re bathing or showering and it’s got chlorine in it especially, it will dry your skin out and hot fluids will do it even more.” Try lukewarm showers and eat foods with Omega3 fats. “Fish oils are particularly good because they’re flexible fats – they get into your skin, they keep your skin flexible and they moisturize them!”

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