Home / Culture and Society / Health and Fitness / The Healthy Skeptic: Oprah Winfrey Has Gained Her Weight Back – A Cautionary Tale Of Celebrity Dieters And Their Diets

The Healthy Skeptic: Oprah Winfrey Has Gained Her Weight Back – A Cautionary Tale Of Celebrity Dieters And Their Diets

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I don’t think people should be made fun of for having a weight or eating problem. However, since Oprah has set herself up as an authority on the subject of weight loss, and has pushed her stable of “experts” on us, she needs to be called out.

The ever yo-yo dieting Oprah is on an upswing these days, as her weight is reported to be upwards of 195 pounds, which means she’s gained about 60 pounds over the past year or so. For anybody — especially a middle-aged person — this kind of rapid weight gain can be very dangerous and is certainly unhealthy.

I want to make it clear that while I do blame Oprah for her predicament, I am not looking to belittle her. But we’ll get to Oprah in a minute. First I want to focus attention on some of the people who supposedly have helped Oprah lose weight over the years, and as a result are now making a very good living selling stuff to the masses.

Let’s look at one of Oprah’s diet gurus Bob Greene. Greene has written a series of successful — but vapid — diet and exercise books that use the catch phrase, “Get With The Program.” Bob is out there telling people how to eat — and has continued to appear on Winfrey’s show over the years — and all the while his prime client is blowing up. How can Oprah or Greene be trusted?

Plain and simple, the validity of a celebrity fitness/nutrition program can’t be based on the stories of anecdotal success that come from the masses, but MUST be judged strictly with regards to the celebrity’s success with the program. This may sound harsh, but that doesn’t make it any less true. An endorsement from a celebrity like Oprah can make a person’s career and can make them rich. But the product or service has to be bona fide, and the client-celebrity has to live up to their endorsement. Revlon uses Halle Berry’s face in their advertisements – and not mine – for a very good reason.

But if Bob Greene’s program doesn’t work for Oprah – which it clearly doesn’t and hasn’t – then how can it work for you or I? How can Oprah push this guy and how can this guy go on her show selling his wares when Oprah has gained 60 pounds in a year?

Greene bases his program on the idea that emotional eating is the root of all nutritional evil, and has clients sign a “Contract With Myself” that is classic waste of time. If you read any of his books — I have so you don’t have to — you would have wasted your time and effort completing writing assignments that were somehow supposed to help you lose weight. Maybe Oprah got writers’ cramp.

And Oprah doesn’t have only one nutritional guru; she also has Jorge Cruise, another guy who owes his fame and fortune to being in the Winfrey stable of “experts.” Cruise’s horrible “8-Minutes in the Morning” workout program and an affiliation with Winfrey got his career started. But boy did he parlay that affiliation into something big, he parlayed it up the ying-yang, baby. Now he advertises that he’s America’s leading weight loss expert, claims to have “coached” 3 million people via his web site, is AOL’s in-house weight loss coach and alleges that he reaches 51 million readers throughout the country via his syndicated columns.

With all of Cruise’s knowledge and clout, forget about Oprah’s weight troubles, how is it that we have an obesity epidemic in this country? With Cruise’s latest bit of gimmickry, “The 3-Hour Diet,” how is it that millions of us little people can benefit from this stuff, but billionaire Oprah is missing out? By the way, Cruise claims that by eating the appropriate meal every three hours he guarantees that a person will start losing belly fat immediately, and will lose 2 pounds per week. And of course there are products and meals to purchase along the way.

The moral of the story is that, when it comes to diet and exercise, you should avoid celebrities and their experts. Especially Oprah. Oprah is a very successful woman. No doubt she is brilliant and savvy. But she is a serial yo-yo dieter and a recidivist diet-hopper. She moves from one nutritional gimmick to another, and when the “plan du jour” fails – which they always do – she experiences one of these dangerous and unhealthy diet breakdowns. As a result of her fluctuating weight Oprah has messed up her metabolism, and she may face some pretty serious long-term physical side effects as well.

Oprah obviously doesn’t have any discipline when it comes to her nutritional and exercise habits. She may have great taste in clothes and books – well with at least one notable book exception – but she has terrible taste in all things fitness and nutrition. And looking back at her life-long weight and body image ordeal she displays many of the classic signs of a person who has an eating disorder.

Celebrity diet and fitness plans are not to be believed and should be avoided. The story of Oprah and her ever-changing weight and her stable of gurus offer the best example of the problems with cult of personality nutritional programs. The gurus that she has helped to create have done nothing to help her, and their plans have no long-term benefits. If these plans haven’t helped Oprah straighten herself out once-and-for-all, they won’t help you.

Hopefully Oprah can find a happy medium and get some real help before she winds up with severe physical problems.

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About Sal Marinello

  • Great article, Sal. So let me ask you a question — is there anything that works better than the ‘eat less, move more’ program? I’ve always assumed that if you expend more calories than you take in over time, you’ll lose weight, and that should work regardless of what type of calories you consume. The one thing that’s pretty obvious is that if there was one plan that really, truly worked, there’d only be one plan.

  • Hey Sal, nice to see we have a fitness guru. Can you point me to a graphical training guide online or deadtree for those training with free weights only? I use a barbell and 2 dumbbells (with many disks). It’s all got and have space for. TIA for any help you can provide me/us

  • sal m

    “eat less and move more” about sums it up…the problem is that in the rush to make money too many people have needlessly confused the issue of nutrition. oprah’s gurus are as guilty of this as anyone.

    i always have said that if someone is drowning, you grab them by the neck and yank them out of the water. you don’t ask them why they can’t swim or why they are in the water.

    these diet gurus have come up with all of these theories and plans that have nothing to do with getting to the heart of the issue, which is “eat less and move more.”

    there’s very little money to be made by telling people to “eat less and move more,” but as we all now know there’s a ton of money to be made by demonizing certain types of calories and by coming up with all kinds of crazy nutritional schemes.

    a big part of the problem is a lack of personal responsibility. too many people have gotten too lazy and they are unwilling to make the necessary – and not too difficult – changes in their lives.

  • Lem

    Truth to power, the empress bore no clothe.

  • sal m

    i don’t know of any online training guides off hand, but check out the link to pavel tsatsouline’s very good book “power to the people.” once you get past the hardcore pretense you’ll find a effective and efficient way to train. pavel is also a proponent of russian kettlebell training, which i highly recommend as well.

  • i always have said that if someone is drowning, you grab them by the neck and yank them out of the water. you don’t ask them why they can’t swim or why they are in the water.

    The Buddha teaches this very same lesson but with a man struck with an arrow. Just pull the arow.

    I looked at the book at Amazon, pretty nifty.

  • sal m

    i never knew that about buddha…that’s pretty cool…

    all of these diet gurus are guilty of ignoring my words AND the words of the great buddha!

  • Nancy

    All diets are gimmicks, that’s a given. Especially if they’ve got someone’s name on them. Then you can be sure the only person benefitting from that diet is the ‘designer’, be it the late Dr. Atkins, Oprah, or whomever.

    Unfortunately, even ‘eat less move more’ doesn’t work, after a point. Something goes wrong with the ol’ mechanism, & you end up gaining weight breathing air. I’ve seen it. This is why so many people lose weight, only to gain it back and then some, every single time. And there’s always the ‘and then some’, which is the real killer. Something about dropping weight prompts the body to adjust so that future weight gain is harder to lose, and is magnified to add at least +/- 5%. It’s obviously a pleistocene survival tactic, but unfortunately it’s still with us.

  • sal m

    nancy wrote:
    “Unfortunately, even ‘eat less move more’ doesn’t work, after a point. Something goes wrong with the ol’ mechanism, & you end up gaining weight breathing air. I’ve seen it. This is why so many people lose weight, only to gain it back and then some, every single time.”

    this is known as the yo-yo dieters syndrome…on which i’ll write more about in the near future.

    however, people who eat too little and lose too much weight too quickly lose a lot of muscle along with some fat. muscle is the mechanism through which the body burns calories and by losing muscle, people minimize their ability to burn calories.

    what happens when a person crashes and puts back on the weight that they have lost – quickly – they put on more fat and not muscle. repeated bouts of this situation mess up a person’s metabolism and results in nancy’s above scenario. less survival tactic and more “user error.”

    people who eat less to lose weight, way too frequently eat a lot less than they should. in the short term deprivation is hard enough, and in the long term is impossible. but these short term errors build up over time and result in long term consequences.

  • Nancy

    Sal, then how does this latest thing with keeping rats on literal starvation-calorie diets work? Are they just measuring how long they live, kept on starvation levels, or do they ever let them eat “normally” & see how fast they gain/regain the weight? I’ll bet they’d all blow up like balloons!

  • sal m

    i’m not familiar with this…but what i will say is that when it comes to these kinds of studies, i don’t feel that they are applicable to the human condition. this extreme situation doesn’t have much bearing on how people live everyday. especially since rats don’t have free will…

    there may be some survival mechanism that kicks in at extreme levels of depravation/starvation, but this doesn’t have anything to do with people who are trying to lose weight.

    i agree with a researcher, who in response to these rat/nutrition studies, basically said these studies are like trying to understand suicide by giving a guinea pig a gun.

  • Maybe the weight yo-yo is why people like Oprah. Particularly if most people are overweight.

  • Great piece, Sal. Embarassing enough when a regular person gains a lot of weight. How much more humiliating to do so in front of the whole darn country.

  • sal m


    the lesson for “us” is that you need to be very careful to whom you listen.

    the lesson for oprah should be that she needs to get some real help, and stop being so concerned with her weight and start being concerned with being healthy.

  • BAP

    Sal, did you note the directive on your site “personal attacks not allowed”?
    Typical Harvard attitude to discredit the person..’Oprah’s a good example’ ..’vulnerable’..”Oprah lacks discipline” Yes, you did belittle Oprah, critical of her shared attempts to deal with this weight problem. And there you are trying to sell your book… Title sounds like the most telling con job. I didn’t need this article to review all the pitfalls and failures. You just convinced me again it is a hopeless battle.

  • sal m

    Perhaps you need to re-read the item. I criticize oprah for pushing her team on the rest of america when they can’t even help her, with all of her resources. i criticize her team for selling gimmick laden nonsense to a public who will follow oprah without hesitation.

    there is a difference between a criticism and a personal attack. unfortunately, too many people do not understand this distinction.

    and from where did you ever get the idea that I’m trying to sell my book?? that’s the funniest thing that i’ve ever read in a post. i don’t have a book.

  • susan

    You wrote that “Oprah obviously doesn’t have any discipline when it comes to her nutritional and exercise habits.”

    I’d say it’s obvious she has a LOT of discipline, but as you point out, she probably also has an eating disorder. I don’t know her, but as someone who has the same yo-yo history, I can tell you that discipline has nothing to do with it. As Bob Greene (apparently) believe, it IS emotional in nature. A person with a compulsive eating disorder or binge eating disorder can be “disciplined” for weeks or months, but if she (or he) hasn’t dealt with the reasons she eats when she isn’t hungry, the weight will always come back. It is only when you face what’s really “eating you” that you will lose weight and be able to keep it off.

  • sal m

    i don’t think repeated bouts of weight loss and weight gain are indications of discipline.

    if emotional eating is a compulsion, a guy like bob greene is not capable of handling this problem. the problem is with trainers who try to treat a client like oprah as if they were the typical person who needs/wants help with losing 10 or 15 pounds. these kinds of trainers don’t know the limits of their capabilities. people with eating disorders need to go to medical professionals and/or mental health professionals and not personal trainers with half-baked pop psych theories.

  • Sal,

    Great article. Many years ago, a doctor put my sister on a diet by which she was to lose no more than one or two pounds a month – and gradually shrink her stomach – thus shrinking her appetite. She never gained the weight back.

    It taught me one basic lesson. If you don’t shrink your appetite, no matter how many kilos you drop, you’ll always have a weight problem.

  • I don’t think Oprah got down to 135 in her latest go-round…that sound like her weight right after her Optifast experience. I think she did get down to 150 or 160-ish.

    Also, I think Oprah hasn’t set her self up as an “expert” on weight loss. She’s set her self up as someone who has had lifelong struggles with weight. Sometime she prevails, and sometimes she doesn’t. And she would be the *first* to tell you she has an eating disorder.

    Frankly, what I think the Oprah tale suggests is that *everyone* is missing the actual point. If Oprah, with her millions and her access to weight and fitness gurus, is still struggling, then maybe it’s more than a question of “the right plan” or of eating less and moving more.

  • My co-worker is on the low carb plan. I love it when she blames a little piece of bread her weight problems after eating a very large cinnamon stick or better yet, two helpings of ice cream (because it’s free) or the three slices of bacon every morning.

    I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help but laugh (and continue to eat bread).

  • sal m

    i think that’s a great approach…i have people who express wonderment that i can actually eat a piece of cake or a cookie and not immediately gain weight from it…and i don’t jump on a piece of exercise equipment to “burn off” whatever “bad” food that i ate…and i laugh…

  • TY

    I think its horrible that she is being judged for her weight gain that her “eating guru’s are not doing there job”….its not there fault, its Oprah’s. Maybe she’s depressed or something like that. Shame on you for thinking people can’t go through things in their life.

  • parrish

    It’s about addiction. You can “plan” and muster all of the discipline and experts and diets and exercise plans and gastric bypass surgeries that money can buy, but you have to deal with the addiction. You can pull the arrow out, but unless you find out why someone is shooting at you, (or what causes you to keep stepping into the line of fire?) you’ll just keep pulling out arrows.

    A 12-step program has been the only thing that has helped me.

    I’m kind of expecting to see Oprah go the gastric bypass route, although I hope that she doesn’t.

    Anyone notice that Carney Wilson put a lot of her weight back on? Yes, she had a baby, but she has not dealt with her addiction, either.

  • sal m

    i agree that oprah and many others suffer from an addiction problem. how it gets to that point i will leave to the psychologists and the rest.

    however, this problem is compounded when the person and those around him/her don’t recognize this problem for what it is. and then this is made even worse by the “personal trainer” or other kind of guru who is over their head and doesn’t realize it.

    too many people in the fitness profession overstep their bounds when it comes to handling their clients.

  • Dee

    Personally, I think that Bob Greene has a sound nutritional program. He also incorprates exercise and the motto “everything in moderation.” The thing with Oprah is that for years she never really got into doing weights and the kind of consistent execises that will burn fat and develop muscle as well. Bob always emphasized the fact that you must burn more calories than you take in. On this new diet she was on, she couldn’t eat the “white stuff.” Well when you deprive yourself of the things that you enjoy it usually backfires on you. I have been on Weight Watchers and loss and gained. When I gained, it was because I wasn’t following the plan, and simply put, I was eating more calories than my exercising was burning. Oprah needs to find a happy medium. Being middle aged really has little to do with it. Plenty of middle aged and elderly people lose weight, build muscle, and keep it off… she was middle aged when she started the diet and loss the weight. The problem with Oprah is that she needs to balance her diet with exerise, stop low carbing and eat normal food… “everything in moderation.”

  • sal m

    the problem is that the everything in moderation doesn’t work when people have a problem that goes beyond the issues that are normal. any fitness professional worth his salt should recognize that there are times where a client’s problems go way beyond their abilities and responsibility.

  • Rae

    On the radio this morning, I heard that Oprah has landed the biggest book advance$$ ever for yet another book with Bob Greene, to be published in January 2007 (just in time to capitalize on the New Years’ resolution crowd). So my guess is she’ll be working hard to lose the weight (again) before the end of the year. Better for book sales if she has (yet another) success story.

  • dee

    Sal: the problem is that the everything in moderation doesn’t work when people have a problem that goes beyond the issues that are normal. any fitness professional worth his salt should recognize that there are times where a client’s problems go way beyond their abilities and responsibility.

    Dee: I agree with that too… however, you never know whether he has bought it up or addressed it… there is also something called “denial”. And although Ophrah advocates being true to yourself, she isn’t “practicing what she preaches” so to speak… I was merely speaking up for Bob Greene and that fact that his regiment can work if it is followed and there are no underlying health problems. Still Oprah has a responsibility as well to address “her issues”…Hopefully she will be able to do that oneday…. dee

  • sal m

    greene’s only claim to fame and his only real “credential” is that he works for oprah. therefore, his plan needs to work for oprah. it clearly doesn’t.

    and his “plan” is nothing different from hundreds of other “plans” with the notable exception that his plan has oprah’s endorsement.

  • dee

    Well, Sal, we will never agree… I feel that Bob’s plan can work. It has sound ideas and the diet is healthy and not extreme. The bottom line is, that If people don’t work a plan it won’t work for them! Ophrah knows what her problem is, and she knows how to address that problem. But as all humans do, they sometimes fail and so you “try again”… it may take her more time to get it right, and maybe she never will. But what the so-called fitness/diet gurus do give Oprah is hope… Something new is always refreshing… Bob even got her to lift weights, something she hates to do; and she did this consistently, for awhile,. You have to give her credit for that.. So the foundation has been laid… Now all Oprah has to do is combine the best of all her fitness endeavors and figure out ultimately what will work for her… I have read his book and thought it “ok”… and some people need to put things in writing in order to devise and outline their goals. Just like Weight Watchers, keeping a food diary has kept me honest about what I eat. If I didn’t write it down, I would be eating alot more than I should. Journaling and written commitments are just another way of being “accountable” and “committed” to your particular plan/goal. Maybe you don’t need to do that,but some people do; and if it works for them, and it has, so be it.

  • Peggy Byrd

    Hi Sal:
    I like your approach. I have watched Oprah gain, lose, and gain weight over the years. I am struggling with weight loss at the age of 52. I was always very, very thin, yet I exercised. Now, I exercise three hours a day, eat a low carb diet, and sometimes drink protein drinks. Have not lost a pound. Something is up with the advice we are being given. As for Bob Greene, I have heard that he and Oprah are putting out yet another book some time in January 2007. It is supposed to be the best non-fiction seller of all time. How can it be when it is obvious that she gained so much weight this year, but has only admitted to gaining 10 pounds.
    Thank you.

  • Shaheen

    I thought your article was interesting. I agree that we should be weary of celebrity diets. The one good thing about having a vast variety of them, is to be able to choose which is best for you and what works for you. I personally like Dr. Phil’s plan. High Fiber, low fat. And he has his food guide of High Response High Yield foods that are good for you and filling. I read Bob Greene’s book and thought it wasnt filled with much information. Most of it was filled with stories and pictures of exercises. And the exercising takes about 2 hours a day.
    As for Oprah, I think someone needs to be there with her when she actually does lose the weight. Bc that is when she gains it all back. I have yoyoed also for awhile. The moment I would get down to a certain size, I would start gaining weight. Now I’ve finally realized that I get really bad anxiety and panic attacks when I drop the weight. I’m hoping to deal with this and this’ll be the last time I have to yo yo.

  • Maximus

    I think Dr Sears Zone is pretty sensible: do you have an opinion on this Sal?

  • sal m

    the existence of the zone diet, and the fact that dr sears has sold over 5 million books, illustrates just how little people know about how to feed themselves…it’s actually quite depressing.

    anyone who grew up before the days of mass nutritional confusion – and abject laziness – ate a balanced diet and scratches their head in amazement that this is the kind of info that people would pay for.

    both of my grandmas would have appropriate, italian sayings to sum up how silly it is that people buy this kind of advice.

    and now there are zone products that you can waste your money on to boot. very depressing indeed. but dr sears has made millions….more power to him.

  • prince kufe

    my name is prince kufe. i come from ghana i’m 14 years of age. pls oprah i realy need your help i like playing football, my father is poor and can help me with this imlike waching your programme pls can u bring me to your place adn let me archeve my aim of becoming a footballer.
    no one can help me only u can do this for me.pls GOD will richly bless u my money is not working my father is a security and he do not have money pls i no u can help me thank you may GOD bless u bye…

  • Maurie Bayfield

    Ihave been a yo yo dieter all my life and have come to the conclusion that whatever reason you put on weight the body then insists on maintaining the status quo.Whatever you do to trick your body into weight loss cannot be kept up indefinitely. The body then takes over demanding massive carbohydrate intake to get back to the status quo as soon as possible.

  • zoe

    One thing that people should know is that no everythng is working for everyone,i’m a size 6 i don’t watch what i eat i eat alomst everything that looks & smell good and i don’t gain weight.

    So please people you need to put this in your minds what works for me it might not help you, you are beginning to sound as if you have a personal verdetta agaist Oprah pitty she can’t answer for her self.

    But i must tell u one thing Oprah is not going down instead she going up becouse of people like u who like to critisize other peolpe maybe you people are jelous of her.i know some what people can’t stand to see a BLACK PERSON so succeful with money.GET OVER IT.

  • judybird

    Imagine having all the money in the world and all famous restaurants hoping against hope that you’ll drop in tonite, it must be such a challenge for people like Oprah, who dearly loves to eat, to have the strength to get thru several days without slipping..

    I noticed Oprah gaining some weight back, but it’s certainly not because Bob Greene’s program doesn’t work, it’s simply because she didn’t work off ENOUGH calories for what she ate; I’m sure she enjoyed the heck out of it, probably not worth it to her now, I love her and hope the best for her.

  • Marcia Grchan

    A body that is out of balance will either be too heavy or too thin. To loose weight you must balance your body by balancing you food and balancing you life. Eating less will just starve off fat, but will not balance your body. Excess exercising will burn up fat, but will leave a person exhausted. To be healthy, you must think healthy and in balance

  • Njiah

    You are all idiots before you go running your fat mouths about Oprah please know what the **** you’re blabing about. She has a thyroid problem that is contributing to her weight gain. You all suck. Overall this article sucks because the author is UNINFORMED.

  • I happened to come across this site while looking for information on people who gain weight after weight loss. My philosophy is “it’s not what you eat, its how much you eat…and move your body”. And you are correct, it doesn’t sell.
    But I am also interested in getting people to STOP dieting, figure out why they are overeating, and move forward. I guess I’m throwing my hat in the ring with the non-diet approach to weight control-we’ll see how it goes.
    I did appreciate your comments-and the fact that you aren’t trying to sell anything.

  • Alison

    You’re wrong about Oprah gaining 60 pounds. According to your information, Oprah would have weighed 135 before she gained 60 pounds. She has clearly stated on her website that her weight was 165 pounds. This was way before she gained her recent weight. So she’s gained 30 pounds. She has a thyroid problem. Show some compassion! Don’t you have anything else to write about?

  • Katy

    If Oprah had a thyroid problem, the doctors could give her Thyroxine which would make her lose the weight she has put on, if that is really the problem.

    I don’t think her thyroid is the problem. I remember one nutritionist saying “after every diet there comes a binge… whether that’s a two day diet and bingeing cycle or a 3 year cycle”.

    I have lost and regained so much weight, I am 31 years old and a single girl, I am 230 pounds, I feel like absolute crap. I wish I knew what to do.

  • LorraineB

    Kudos to “Beth” who actually GETS IT. Eating less and moving more works, but when you fall off the wagon, it comes back and then some. The majority of people cannot sustain it forever. It’s up and down. Beth is SO correct when she said that Oprah does not set herself up as a diet or fitness expert, but quite honestly has exposed herself as a person who struggles with her weight. Oprah had a very bad year. I sense intense sadness and disappointment in her. Her sadness caused her to take comfort in eating. Her mental outlook removed her drive to get out and exercise. It’s called depression. I am not home to watch Oprah because I work, however, I was home early today and did watch her. First I was surprised at how much heavier she looked, but then I noticed that much of her ‘spark’ seemed missing to me. I am turning 60 in a few days. I know what going through menopause is like. I know how grueling it is to work hard every day. Oprah is younger than I am, but I can still recognize the hidden issues that are going on with her. You sometimes get in a place where you don’t give a rat’s behind about dieting and exercise and use food to get over it. Things will turn around for Oprah, I guarantee it, and I guarantee that she will once again get into a regime. She just needs to get into a happier place right now. She’s human and she’s sad right now. Lay off, she’ll get there. And as far as Bob Greene and others she has launched into success, so what? They’ve done nothing wrong and neither has Oprah. Remember that there are celebrities on TV right now (Greta Van Sustern to name one) who were launched by OJ Simpson murdering his wife.

  • sal m

    the biggest problem with oprah is that she refuses to accept the reality that she is what she is, and has an incorrect notion of what diet and exercise can do for a person.

    you cannot control your eating habits by external means, nor should you look at diet and exercise as a way to reshape, sculpt, mold your body.

    as a result she sends the wrong message those folks in the same boat that she’s in.

  • bj

    Has anyone considered that her problem is simply that she loves to eat? How do you resolve a problem like that? She will have to struggle with that for the rest of her life.

  • pat

    I think it may be a love issue?

  • Monica

    This was a great article that I just happened to stumble upon. I’m not sure what is going on with Oprah but it seems that for the years she’s been on TV her weight goes up and down. I don’t pay attention to her “experts” on losing weight.

    In July it would be 5 years that I started to exercise and make better eating choices. I have lost 120 pounds and kept it off for 5 years. I refuse to follow a “diet” plan. I’ve learned that exercise and watching what you eat is the key. I hate to exercise but I do it not so much for fear of gaining weight but because it makes me feel 100 times better. I’m no longer depressed or suffer from anxiety attacks and through exercise my chronic insomnia is under control. Not to mention that it’s the best stress release after a long day at work.

    I think that many folks are looking for the easy way out by following these so called diet plans instead of understanding that you need to do the work.

  • Laura

    Sometimes keeping the weight off is half the battle. Give the lady a rest! It gets harder and harder as you get older I hear and her main focus may not be in on her weight now. However she did lose the weight and I am sure she could do it again if she wanted to. It’s all about what you want for yourself.

  • Roni

    doesn’t her weight gain have something to do with her thyroid condition which is a medical issue? I think you’re leaving out a big piece of information here.

  • willis goldman


  • brainpowre

    Seeing the dietary advice on Oprah’s homepage I am not surprised that she can’t lose weight let alone keep it off. What is advertised there is the lowest of low-fat diets and definitely unhealthy, full of vegetable oils (inflammatory, suppress the immune system) soy product (definitely toxic) and very little else. If Oprah keeps this up she will either blow up some more or become sick.

  • 902

    I went from being slightly overweight and constantly dieting, to maintaining a very slim weight for my height (around a BMI of 18.4) and eating what I want, when I want, thanks to training myself to eat intuitively.

    If I want ice cream or cookies for breakfast, at midday, that’s what I’ll have. Later I might feel like a steak and vegetables- the body knows what it needs. Toddlers eat intuitively- it’s just unfortunate that as adults we’re de-programmed by all of this ‘diet dogma’ and lose our innate ability to know what our bodies need.

    I roll my eyes when I hear people talk about how they think a single piece of cake will make them fat or they need to work off what they just ate, or ‘carbs are fattening’. Society has been brainwashed by this kind of thinking. No single food can make you fat- it’s if you eat anything in excess and past the point of fullness. Food is fuel for life- not the other way around.

  • daphne

    Though I was neither anorexic nor ever weighed more than 175 pounds, I yo-yo-ed (as Oprah Winfrey has) for my entire adult life and lost probably close to 1,000 lbs. I have kept off the 40-odd lbs of weight for nearly 2 years now. A miracle and a blessing and a tremendous source of joy and peace. The solution (FOR ME)? No one’s ‘diet’.. we all of us know what it takes- balanced, healthy nutrition; balanced, reasonable physical activity. No secrets there. For me, the answer was and is joining a 12-step program (based on Alcoholics Anonymous), OA. I had to admit my relationship with food was as out of control as an addict’s relationship/dependence on his/her ‘substance of choice.’ I cannot speak for anyone else.