Dr. Oz: New year is opportunity for transformationWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Just as a GPS does not berate your driving mistake but simply advises a U-turn at the next opportunity, Dr. Oz suggests those who overindulged in food or drink over the holidays or let their workout routines lapse simply resolve to do better going forward.
“That’s how I think people need to deal with Jan. 1,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Emmy Award-winning host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” during a conference call in December. “It’s not about beating yourself up for making foolish mistakes during the holidays. It’s a time of reinvention, revisiting the things you want to do in your life and then committing to them.”
Each January, millions of people set health goals for the new year and are motivated to make major changes, Oz said.
To help viewers achieve their goals, Oz recently launched a new health initiative, “Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation: Million Dollar You.”
The free, seven-part customizable program is designed to provide people with organizational tools to help them work through goals like losing weight, eating healthier, sleeping better or managing anxiety. More than half a million people have signed up so far, Oz said.
The seven steps, which can be completed in any order, are:
- Tell a friend
- Official weigh-in
- Official body-mass index
- Learn your family’s health history
- Get more sleep
- Assess your stress
- Start new fitness habits
Oz, a practicing surgeon, said he is interested in the psychology of change and what holds people back from doing what they want to do.
“As a physician, I spend a lot of my time giving you the facts, but the facts don’t change the way people act,” Oz said. “People never change based on what they know by themselves. They change based on how they feel. TV gets you to feel differently about a process. Now you have confidence you can make it happen. You partner that up with specific plans, which is what we tried to do. Then you’ll have a recipe for successful change, including weight loss.”
To participate in “Transformation Nation,” visit sharecare.doctoroz.com and create a free account. A free initial weigh-in is available through Feb. 26 from Weight Watchers, a partner in the initiative.
Participants 18 or older who complete all seven steps and also meet the specific health goals outlined on the website will be eligible to win $1 million and be featured on “The Dr. Oz Show” in May. The winner will be the contestant voted by the public to be most transformed and inspirational.
Oz said two mistakes people make when making New Year’s resolutions are not being specific enough and not holding themselves accountable. That’s why telling a friend about your goal is one of the required steps.
“Set a goal that is unambiguous. I’m going to lose 7 pounds by this month or by my birthday,” Oz said. “And tell people publicly you’re doing it. Better yet, if you partner with one or two of them so they can help you in your darker times, that will allow you to succeed at a much greater rate than people who don’t do those two things.”
Starting small is a great strategy, said Brenda Bal, a nurse educator with Mercy Health Partners’ Mercy Weight Management Center. Multiple, short bouts of exercise can be just as effective as one long session, Bal said.
“It can seem overwhelming to block out 30 minutes, but you can do three, 10-minute sessions throughout the day and it’s just as effective and can fit into your everyday routine,” Bal said.
Oz’s website includes workout videos as short as seven minutes.
Keeping an exercise or nutrition journal is also helpful, Bal said.
“Any behavior you track with records, you are going to improve upon,” Bal said. “It adds an extra layer of accountability and also serves as a road map so you can evaluate how you’ve been doing.”
At first, it’s better to focus on behavioral changes than physical improvements, Oz said.
“I think a lot of people get very caught up on numbers when they make their New Year’s resolutions,” Oz said. “I don’t think you should listen to your heartbeat as much as you should listen to your heart. Find the places where you need to grow emotionally. Find the places that will take you to a new height and so you’re proud of what you’re engaged in doing.”
Goals should be realistic, said Kerry Weipert, director of fitness and wellness for ProMedica’s Wildwood Athletic Club.
“If you’re not a morning person, don’t set your goal to get up at 5 a.m. and work out daily,” Weipert said. “Set yourself up for success.”
The key to changing behavior is to make healthy choices easier than unhealthy choices, Oz said.
“The human brain is not designed to continually think through new ways of figuring out how to live your life. That’s one of the reasons we slip into bad habits,” Oz said. “The biggest choices have to be done at the supermarket, not at home. Once the food gets home, you’re done. It’s going to get eaten.”
The Mercy Weight Management Center advises filling up on high-volume, low-caloric density foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat cottage cheese and protein shakes, Bal said.
“We want to avoid that sense of deprivation,” Bal said. “Willpower might work some of the time, but one of the key things is feeling full and satisfied. That way if a higher-calorie food option is available, you are going to avoid it or eat smaller portions.”
Those who are most successful at maintaining long-term weight loss eat breakfast, eat frequently to stay ahead of hunger, watch less than 10 hours of TV per week, and weigh themselves regularly, Bal said.
“To manage weight in our (American) culture is really a skill and we help people acquire those skills they can take with them and use for the rest of their lives,” Bal said. “Whether you have 10 pounds to over 200 pounds to lose, we can help.”
It’s good to remember transformative change doesn’t happen overnight, Weipert said.
“We recommend to think year-round and not just New Year’s, to set up goals and to gradually work into it,” Weipert said. “Nothing really gets accomplished in one day. We like to see people set up lifestyle changes, not just January or February resolutions.”
For more information about “Transformation Nation,” visit www.doctoroz.com.
To schedule a free information session with the Mercy Weight Management Center, call (419) 407-3990 or visit mercyweightloss.com.
For more information about ProMedica’s Wildwood Athletic Club, call (419) 578-7070 or visit promedica.org/wildwoodathleticclub.