Oprah Hits 200 Pounds. Again.

If that sounds like a tabloid headline, well, it is. Except it was culled from Oprah’s own Magazine “O”.  It’s been an inside joke around here for years. We even thought about writing an entire book on the subject a few years ago “Why Can’t Oprah Lose Those Last 30 Pounds?” Well, now it turns out that not only couldn’t she lose those last 30, she has gained yet another 40 and has recently hit 200 pounds again. And all this happened despite the fact that she’s had daily access to world-famous personal trainer Bob Greene (OK, she was the one who made him famous). And she has world-famous doctor Mehmet Oz (author of You: The Owner’s Manual and You on a Diet – OK, she made him famous, too). Oh, and let’s not forget that other Oprah creation –  world-famous self-help guru Dr. Phil, who penned his own weight-loss tome, but could still stand to lose five or fifty pounds himself. These guys ought to be ashamed of themselves individually and collectively. Talk about the Emperor having no clothes! Especially Greene. The one single client who made him a gazillionaire and set him up for life, and he’s never been able to get any appreciable results with her. How can he sit on her show and talk about a healthy diet, “emotional eating” and proper exercise – and claim to be her trainer – with a straight face, while she balloons up in front of America?

Here’s what Oprah says in Greene’s book The Best Life Diet:

“The Best Life Diet plan on the following pages mirrors the way I eat and live now. There is no secret to losing weight. It’s simple physics; what you put in vs. what you put out.” Oh, really? I wonder how many millions of women have taken her advice and followed her down that same twisted path. That has to weigh heavily on her mind these days. “What I know For Sure” (title of a regular column in “O”) is that she now has an obligation to re-educate her viewers in the proper way to move through life.

Look, Oprah’s a driven, successful type-A woman who’s “trying to do the right thing” when it comes to weight loss, just like most of America. In fact, she probably exemplifies what has happened to millions of others following Conventional Wisdom. But the truth is, she’s been victimized by these guys. I bet she hung on Greene’s every word for years. Dieted, sweated, counted calories, weighed out portions. But after a while, after all that sacrifice, deprivation, hard work and no results, the frustration had to be overwhelming. It’s no wonder she fell off the wagon. Just like millions of others who have gone the same route. Fer cryin’ out loud, doesn’t anyone get it? It’s not about cutting calories, low-fat dieting or running marathons. It’s about eating the way we were programmed by evolution to eat and moving the way we were programmed to move.

I’m not saying Oprah needs to be a svelte 120, but somewhere between 135 and 150 there’s probably an ideal weight for her that she can maintain with ease and stay healthy at for at least another 40 years. The track she’s on now is a very slippery slope. I mean, think about it: if anybody could have access to the top information, it’s Oprah. She could call America’s guru and ask him how she might overcome her food demons, she could have America’s top personal trainer fix all her meals and exercise with her and she could have America’s best doc test her CRP and read her the riot act regarding obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Oh wait. She already did that.  Didn’t work. So what about the millions of others who have followed in her footsteps?

I went to Greene’s site and looked at some sample meals. Typical low-fat, low-calorie stuff that we now know is doomed to failure. Fair amount of cereal and bread (Wheaties and Barilla pasta are site sponsors), low fat dairy, etc. I would bet it’s 50% of calories as carbs. Then there’s some “jogging” in the exercise prescription, but no high end speed bursts or intensive compound movements as far as I can see. Same goes for Oz’s Diet book. Whole grains are good, saturated fats are bad. It’s old technology, guys. And it never worked that well anyway. Note, I refuse to read Dr. Phil’s book – for the same reasons I refuse to buy exercise equipment from a fat pony-tailed guy screaming at me on home-shopping TV. Can’t respect anyone who doesn’t walk the talk.

Oprah claims to have an underactive thyroid that has manifested itself in a “fear of working out.” That doesn’t surprise me with all the grains and simple carbs she’s most assuredly been consuming in the name of “trying to do the right thing.” And as for exercise, if you hate it, you are doing it wrong. Find something that works. There are lots of choices.

Not to toot my own horn, (OK, OK, tooting my own horn now) but here’s my challenge to you, Oprah: give me 60 days with the Primal Blueprint and I’ll give you your life back. Period. Guaranteed.

Further Reading:

Oprah Winfrey Says She Weighs 200 lbs

The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan

What’s Wrong with the Zone Diet?

The Beginning of the End? – Statins for Children

TAGS:  body fat

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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110 thoughts on “Oprah Hits 200 Pounds. Again.”

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  1. Mark,

    Oprah should absolutely listen to you. I’ve only applied bits of the Primal Blueprint to my life and have seen drastic (in a good way) results. It’s fun, intuitive, feels right and the weight has melted off. The food is to die for, the exercises don’t feel like exercises, and the Primal Blueprint guide just makes sense. 60 days of learning how to live a healthy life, stripping away all the flawed CW she has been fed by people looking to make a buck would go a long way to turning her life around. She can have all the power, fame and money in the world, but what will it be worth if she doesn’t have her health? Give me health any day.

  2. Excellent. Unfortunately I think you’re preaching the the choir here, and I seriously doubt that the people who really need to see this will.

    I’d the publicity that would result if she took your challenge, but….

    Well, I can dream.

  3. Hey Mark,
    WOW,you really hit the nail on the head with this article! It is sort of strange that someone like her with all her fame and power can’t get good solid nutrition or exercise info???? But,the worse part is if Oprah isn’t getting good info what hope is there for the masses?? No wonder we have issues!! She needs and intervention..
    It would be so great if she “got” Primal,think of all the new recipes etc for all of us!

  4. Well said. I think part of the reason Oprah is so loved by her audience (me included!) is that despite her status, she still has the ordinary problems of the average woman. Unlike some other talk show hosts *cough cough,* she doesn’t put on a fat suit for a day to “experience” obesity. We get to watch her journey as she tries to get healthier. And if what she’s been trying isn’t working, it’s time for her to try something new. I’d love to see Oprah go Primal for a month.

  5. Ya mark your assesment is spot on, its truly unfortunate that people get into these sorts of useless eating habits with really the best of intentions but without good science to really back it up.

  6. I think this situation is is unfortunate for Oprah – I think her heart is in the right place and she WANTS to loose weight, and she WANTS to set an example for others, and she WANTS to help others in their own weight struggles. She’s just surrounded by people who blindly follow Conventional Wisdom. (This is where Mark gallantly enters on a white horse with sandbags, slosh tubes, and kettlebells strapped to the sides).

    If Oprah truly wants the things I listed above, then she should talk to Mark.

    1. I love the image you just painted of Mark on a horse right there. Except he’d have to be shirtless, of course, like the guy in the Old Spice Commercial…”Look at you, now look at me…” 🙂

  7. When paradise is discovered, paradise becomes lost. I hope Oprah never learns who Mark is, never meets Grok, and remains bloated and uncomforatbel for all her days. She is a false prohit.

    1. Why? You sound like a complete asshole – most PB’ers / Paleo dieters were as clueless and desperate as her at some point.

  8. I think you should assembly your own team of experts, throw down the gauntlet, and challenge Oprah to take you and your team on for 6 months. Honestly, after all her years of preaching and those frauds that she has turned into millionaires she should eat crow, give those guys the boot (or turn them into the cops), and do something that has PROVEN results!

  9. “When paradise is discovered, paradise becomes lost. I hope Oprah never learns who Mark is, never meets Grok, and remains bloated and uncomfortable for all her days. She is a false prophet.”
    I thought I was the only one that secretly wanted her to continue on with her low cal high carb ways. Amen, emergefit!

    1. Why would you want such an unhealty lifestyle for her? Shameful and sad remark by you both.

    2. Why would you hope for someone to fail? Why be hateful towards someone you don’t even know, who has the same struggles as most Americans? This seemed like a positive website…

  10. I actually feel sorry for her. She’s so high profile, and I think she honestly wants to do the right things. I’m amazed that someone as intelligent as she is hasn’t figured out that the reason we’re in this mess is *because* we follow the advice of diet dictocrats. Surely she has the internet? Surely she’s heard those of us who embrace a more traditional, primitive way of eating? Does she think we’re nutcases? How does she explain our successes?


  11. I love Oprah’s show. I would love it more if Mark was featured as much as Dr. Oz is. Mark – Your 10 Primal Blueprint lifestyle behaviors are perfect for prime time TV – easy to digest, easy to remember, easy to accomplish, easy to understand. I say you on Fox News awhile back and you were awesome. It’s a wonder why you aren’t doing more in the way of television. You have to finish that book! We’re all waiting in anticipation.

  12. Oprah is the classic definiton of a “Yo yo dieter”. She has lost weight then been fat and lost weight then ballooned again more times than I can count. The really scary thing about Oprah, is that so many will blindly follow her no matter what she says! The word “lemmings” comes to mind. As you deftly point out, its also scary how Oprah can make people experts or basically create their careers. I have a couple extended family members to adhere to this pack of lemmings. I was recently dragged into a conversation touting the benefits of vegetarianism because Oprah had something about it on her bit about “blue zones”.

    The SoG

  13. I hope some of her staff are cruising the Internet and find this. She would feel so much better with even as little as 3 weeks of PB.

    I’m not sure what she means when she says she has a “fear of working out.” She didn’t have this fear before?? I’m not understanding what hypothyrodism has to do with it. My husband has low thyroid and takes medication for it. It most certainly does not stop him from playing recreational ice hockey once a week OR playing hard with our son. The guy is otherwise healthy and not overweight. Maybe I need to hear the entire context of her comment, because otherwise it sounds like a CRAZY excuse.

    I would like Oprah to take the PB Challenge, like some of us did, and to be healthy for herself, not the public eye.

  14. This is so sad. I hope this blog makes it into Oprah’s hands and she takes you up on the offer. What does she have to lose? Well, we KNOW what she has to lose…and she isn’t getting it done with her team of peeps is she?

    Looking forward to seeing you on the Oprah show. I’ll tune in for sure!

  15. I have to say that, like Susan, I really respect Oprah. I am glad that she is sharing all aspects of her quest for fitness with us. It’s so much better than having a celeb drop 30 lbs overnight because of abusing prescription meds and then claim they are just naturally thin. There’s a lot to be learned from the journey.

    Anyhow, I’m all about trying everything and seeing what works for your body. I’ve tried the Primal Blueprint and it didn’t work for me (Sorry guys! But I still love this site for the high quality analysis of research and the exercise prescriptions). But it might be just the thing that Oprah’s body needs. I would love to see her go Primal for 60 days! Although then Mark would be so famous we might never see him around here again;)

  16. I think Oprah really needs to deal with what’s going on between hear ears before she worries about what’s going in her mouth. She really needs to try to love the body she’s got!

  17. Yes, charlotte. It’s nearly impossible to do the Primal Blueprint when you are a vegetarian/vegan or just don’t like meat. Unfortunately for non-meat eaters, eating meat is what nature prescribed Grok.

  18. Mara,

    I’m rather disturbed as well at the language Oprah used to describe her feelings about her weight. Feeling like a “fat cow” sitting next to Tina Turner and Cher? Almost cancelling the interview because of her insecurity? This isn’t the message it seems she tries to send to her audience every day. As women, we hear enough of that destructive comparative crap.

    Should she take charge and lose the weight (again)? Absolutely – but for the sake of her own health and well-being.

    I’m an Oprah fan as well. I don’t have much time to watch her show, but I do on occasion read her magazine. It’s too bad she can’t (or at least hasn’t) looked to more alternative sources of health info. (Am I the only one who thinks Bob Greene looks sickly?)

    I, too, hope she finds your site or somehow stumbles upon the idea of the Primal Blueprint! Now wouldn’t that be something? Mark on Oprah! That I would make time to watch!

  19. I am hardly an Oprah fan, but I do have a lot of respect for her and I admire the frankness about her weight issues. I second those who would love to see you on Oprah. And when she has lost the excess and is lean and healthy on your PB, you and her can ride into the studio together on the white stallion! Maybe SuperMike can photoshop that image, but I really would like to see it for real!

  20. I admire and respect Oprah for all that she has accomplished and the good she works to share, especially starting out in life where she did and overcoming all that she has.

    Having said that, when Bob Greene and Dr. Oz are presenting “true knoweledge,” standing aside a woman who is displaying a most obvious unhealthy symptom, her adiposity, I can’t help but notice the “Emperor’s New Clothes” sense of the whole affair. We are such a star struck culture.

    Thanks for the consistently great information and inspiratoin Mark !


  21. Dear Mark,
    You absolutely should contact Oprah with the challenge to help her lose the weight and keep it off. Only problem is she is richer than anyone but God, and always talks about how much she loves macaroni and cheese and bread. She has actually said that she would eat nothing but macaroni and cheese and be very happy. She believes that Bob Green has the answer. She hates to exercise so she fights him on that too. The funny thing is that she keeps having him on the show. She keeps making a big deal about commitment to the diet with contracts, etc. ( I’d be willing to bet she does it again January 1st or there abouts.) Only to gain it all back again in no time. I have noticed that Doctor Oz’s diet is nuts too. It’s like they all are about 20 years behind the times with diets. At least Doctor Oz has come out and said that you need to avoid corn syrup at any cost. But he just tells people to give up soda and junk food. It’s a step in the right direction, but as we know it’s a long way from the answer to losing and keeping it off. What can we expect? What does Doug say over and over, “There are none so blind, as those who will not see.” I told a Dietician that I wanted to go without breads, rice, pasta, etc. She said that I couldn’t do that, I’d die if I didn’t eat carbs. That was after I told her I was going to try Doug’s new way of eating about 3 years ago. LOL I have been on the new way of eating ever since. Guess she was wrong. Duh, do I think so? LOL
    Like Doug, we all have to keep telling about the new way of eating. You are the best example of who to follow advice from. You look like 20 and are fit as a person can possibly be. I’m 61 and struggle every day with exercise because of my heart but I’m working on it. You and Doug inspire me daily. You are so right about not taking advice from people who have not accomplished what they are talking about like Dr. Phil and the guy with the pony tail.
    I have two friends who I love dearly, one in Texas and one in Mississippi. Both think I’m nuts because I don’t eat the false carbs. I get plenty of carbs from fruits and vegetables. I occasionally eat beans too. Both have serious medical problems and won’t even consider what I say about healthy eating and supplements. In fact they think I’m crazy thinking mold has anything to do with health. Both take all kinds of meds and trust the Doctors. My own husband refuses to believe me that the Doctor is killing him with all the pills he is on. I had convinced him to take Probiotics and your vitamins for only one month and it cleared up his Asthma, and All over rashes he had all of his adult life. Then he stopped and refuses to believe that the Probiotics or the Vitamins had anything to do with clearing up both problems. He hasn’t used an inhaler since then (one year ago) but still thinks it’s just a strange co-insidence. Gee Whiz, what do I have to do to convince him?
    Barbara in Yuma, AZ

  22. Wow, some of these posts were disturbing.

    Dr. Phil believes weight has nothing to do with food. I’ve lost interest in Bob Greene since he sold out and is sponsoring brands. I don’t agree with Dr. Oz on some topics and he is too vague to help anyone anyway.

    Oprah does have hypothyroidism, probably hashimottos–I’d bet on that! HypoT. is a terrible condition and makes it very difficult for some people to lose weight despite diet and exercise(even the right diet). Besides weight gain, it’s obvious that she does not feel well.

    I’m not sure what she meant by the exercise comment. Trying to exercise with hypoT. can make things worse, especially if her cortisol is low. Adrenals and thyroid always work together.

    Hypothyroidism is not as simple as taking a pill. It is a very complicated terrible illness for many people. Most people are under-treated or not treated at all.

    I am a huge fan of Mark Sisson and Oprah would benefit greatly from following the diet. However, it is not that simple for most people that are suffering from hypothyroidism, hashis, or adrenal insufficiency.

    I moderate a hormone website and we are trying to get a hold of Oprah as well….good luck.

  23. Oprah may very well be hypothyroid – the question is why. Based on my last 10 months of eating largely PB, I have found that every system of my body functions better than it did before. Endocrine problems can be profound and difficult to stabilize, but it is hard to make make a better start towards improvement than eating primal. I never would have believed the changes myself without experiencing them and every day becomes easier and reinforces the changes. Exercise and activity are important, but as Mark says, diet or way of eating (since this is for life) is 80% of the picture and he is right in my estimation.

  24. Mark,

    I am a fan of your blog and I think you typically write very well researched and interesting articles, which is one of the reasons I had signed up for your Daily Apple. I am also sure that this will be an unpopular opinion, but I’m disappointed in the tone of this post.

    The condescension –

    [“It’s been an inside joke around here for years. We even thought about writing an entire book on the subject a few years ago “Why Can’t Oprah Lose Those Last 30 Pounds?”]

    and arrogance –
    [“Not to toot my own horn, (OK, OK, tooting my own horn now) but here’s my challenge to you, Oprah: give me 60 days with the Primal Blueprint and I’ll give you your life back. Period. Guaranteed.”]

    displayed here is appalling.

    I’m not sure why someone’s very public struggle with obesity is a joke. You have found a diet and lifestyle that works for you and many others, but it’s not for everyone. I also have to point out that declaring that you have all the answers

    [“Fer cryin’ out loud, doesn’t anyone get it?”]

    is exactly the approach that Dr. Phil and all these other “experts” use. I guess I just don’t get it after all.

    1. “You have found a diet and lifestyle that works for you and many others, but it’s not for everyone”

      Well, compared to the pseudo-scientific crap that’s out there, I’m pretty sure eating and living more in tune with what we know of our evolutionnary past, *is* for everyone.

  25. I absolutely agree about diet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fix everything.

    If we really wanted to help Oprah, we wouldn’t be so rude and hurtful…

  26. The joke is not on Oprah but the parties giving her the WRONG advice. Why can’t she lose those last 30 pounds – because the advice is wrong.
    I think your diet and lifestyle has to be maintainable for sure but eating moderate protein, good fats, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds is the optimum diet for all humans. Just the proportions may need to be tweaked.

  27. I agree that being rude or hurtful towards Oprah is not helpful. However, surely it is partially her responsibility to work out that the advice she is getting is not working and then to find some alternative parties who really can help her.

  28. What a wonderful world it would be if TV did not exist.

    Does any intelligent person really care what Oprah says or does?

    WIth her resources, she has no excuses other than laziness, not to be in the best shape possible.

    No idiot box-no Oprah.

    Throw your TV´s out- after all, no TV is primal. Actually, no internet is also primal…ooops:-)

  29. I saw her show on the “blue zones” a couple of weeks ago. They had a spread to demonstrate a region in Italy that had bread on it. She eyed,hunted,grabbed and consumed that bread with the fervor of a staving cheetah hunting a gazelle to feed her cubs.
    I looked at my wife and said that is exactly why O cant lose weight, she has all the “experts” telling her whole grains are good.

  30. Hi Mark, I absolutely agree with you! As long as Oprah listens to her so called “Experts” she will NEVER see or feel the results she should be experiencing. I hope someone will tell her about Mark Sisson. I have been working out since I was in grade school and following the Primal eating plan for a long time. It Works!!!! No doubt about it! It’s really a shame that the media continues to spew the same junk to everyone: whole grains, lowfat, etc…I pray someday that “they” will get it! Thanks for all you do, Terrilee

  31. Mark,
    I only wish Oprah would listen to you! She would feel and look better than she ever has! But, remember who sponsors her show….drug companies,etc… Hopefully, one day she will “get it”. I truly hope she takes you up on your offer. Very, very sincerely,Mary Johnson

  32. I would be shocked if Oprah is actually following the diet & exercise outline that her ‘gurus’ lay out. Oprah and most Americans are victims of excess.

  33. Great post Mark. You site was the first thing I though of when I saw that headline. Thank you for everything.

    loyal reader, Brett

  34. When you have that much money, who gives a crap about what you eat and look like? She could fill a swimming pool and be Scrooge McDuck for a workout.

    She doesn’t care! Its all to sell something! The fact we are giving attention to it is more press for her. Honestly, I could care less about how the richest woman in the US eats. Mark, you wasted your time on this one.

  35. Oprah struggles with her weight just like most Americans, I think she is doing the best she can. Money can not buy health. The wealthy are victims of bad medical care just like everyone else. Having bad nutrition/medical advice does not mean a person is lazy, how rude. In fact, I admire all that she has been able to accomplish while trying to feel well.

    I would love to help her with her diet and hormones.

  36. Dogs laying at their master’s feet waiting to be told what to do. Oprah usually the master, is just a pudgy dog with no sense of self. Agree with Pierre, kill your TV and forget Oprah exists.

  37. I am a fan of Oprah and really enjoy her shows. I’ve also read about her and she deserves to be where she’s at today, she’s had a very hard life in her earlier years, my heart went out to her when i read about her childhood. Also, i love the fact that she loves dogs, she walks them and that is good exercise. As far as her weight, i do hope that she DOES find Mark because when it comes to health, nutrition, exercise, i have NO doubt that Mark Sisson is THE person to help her. I’m totally confident/convinced that Mark’s Primal Blueprint is what she has missing and needs to find to succeed!!!
    In addition, i’d love to see Oprah take Damage Control Master Formula, Vital Omegas, and Responsibly Slim. With all this i agree with Mark that Oprah would get her life back in a way she never knew. I know what i’m talking about because with ALL Mark’s advice, i feel better than i ever have in my life because i’ve taken it, followed it, and I SUCCEDED!

    Mark has the BEST of knowledge to succeed when it comes to nutrition, exercise, supplements!!!!

  38. To George: Mark is trying to help Oprah. You can have all the money in the world and still be misinformed. Mark isn’t wasting his time with Oprah, I feel he truly wants to help her, as he always tries to help all of us!

  39. This story is not just about Oprah its about all the other people in the world going through the same thing of yo-yo dieting. As long as their willpower is very high they can put up with the endless exercise, low calories and tasteless food.

  40. I think you hit the “nail on the head” when you ended with “And as for exercise, if you hate it, you are doing it wrong. Find something that works. There are lots of choices.” It’s a very clear, simple statement that I think too many miss or don’t really think about fully. Exercise for exercise sake just isn’t sustainable for most – I know it’s not for me. Exercise has to be fun despite all the reasons I know I should “just do it.” I read a book that has really clarified it all for me and it just may be the fresh approach that Oprah needs. Based on the Myers-Briggs personality model it helped narrow down the choices by explaining why some exercise choices are better for your personality type than others. It’s a getting a lot of attention and I’d love to hear if you’ve read it and what you think. Fitness trainers love it too because it gives them insight into their client’s personality and approach thus able to better create a program they’ll appreciate. Not to mention they’ll feel like they’re understood on a personal level. She has a quick online quiz https://www.The8ColorsofFitness.com where you can discover your “Fitness Personality” – I’m a Saffron Harmony and it really resonated with me. I wish you continued success and hope to see you on Oprah!

  41. Oprah’s been given the wrong advice regarding what to eat for health and weightloss. Since we’re all reading Mark’s blog, I think most of us here can agree that the best advice she could be given would be to eat Primal. But here’s the catch: I know ….. A LOT … about nutrition. No, not an expert, but let’s just say that I agree and believe everything about eating primal, about slow exercising, about weight-lifting improving your muscles, etc. etc. Pretty much what those of us who love Mark’s Daily Apple believe to be true. Yet, I have such a hard time making the step toward actually eating/living/exercising this way. It has nothing with me thinking that it will be difficult (the recipes look great and I do eat healthy for the most part). But I OVEReat. And I overeat ‘cuz I love my 1 or 2 glasses of red wine at night (which makes me snack), and because I’m so lazy and I think, somehow, that there is fear involved in making a commitment and actually executing the commitment of “eating healthy” (in this case, eating primal). This is why I think I can understand Oprah gaining back her weight. Though if I was as rich as her, I would have my personal marine sergeant-type with me at all times forcing me to eat only healthy stuff (with, again, the very occasional pasta in creamy sauce meal), to yoga and pilates everyday, weights every other day, burst of intense aerobics, etc. But I understand the weakness that she has. I WANT to eat the way Mark prescribes. I believe in it. 100%. So it’s not always about information. Often it’s what I guess I’ll call, for lack of a better word, will power. Where is my will to be healthier. Hmm….might need a therapist couch for that one. Something I would never do. Sigh… see the dilemma?

  42. All the money in the world can’t buy peace of mind. I believe Oprah is tormented and haunted by her horrific childhood, that’s the reason she overeats.

  43. Great comment, Lina. It is something I will cover some point in further detail; the separation between knowing what to do and actually doing it. In fact, the Worker Bees and I have touched on this in the past. Check it out:

    Simple, but Not Easy

    Thanks to everyone for all the great comments.

  44. Great minds do think alike….as I was about to rant about this myself. lol

    Seriously though….how does Bob Greene still have a job as a trainer if his top client is a failure? We need to stop listening to any celebrity or their trainers.

  45. Mark, have you ever considered a “Primal Blueprint Cookbook?” That’d be great! (Maybe the insects could be optional though, lol!)

    OK, on a more serious note, I agree with Maggie that Oprah has some serious issues with food that all the dieting and exercise in the world won’t get rid of. She probably turns to food for comfort (macaroni and cheese and bread being 2 very popular comfort foods, esp. for women!) and needs to deal with the underlying issues. Then she needs to read your blog!!!!!

  46. Alyssa –

    It’s in the works! I’m working on finishing The Primal Blueprint. (Check back on Thursday for more info about the book, i.e. book cover, table of contents) The Primal Cookbook will be released soon after the PB. Thanks for compliment, Alyssa, and stay tuned for a proper Primal cookbook.


  47. Not only overeating, but could it be possible that “stress” is part of why Oprah gained weight?
    Stress “can” make you gain weight.
    But then again, some people overeat for many reasons, stress is one of them. Some overeat because they just love food too much.

  48. Mark, you’re exactly right – so you fall off the wagon – just get right back on. Of course, you have to make sure it’s the right wagon! Best of luck with your book and cookbook.

    – Charles Martin, DDS
    Founder, Dentistry For Diabetics

  49. She looks like she weighs more than 200 lbs. Please. Ever seen her stand sideways????

    i watched as she grew and grew in size over the past couple of years. Her “normal” is obese. Not overweight. Not normal weight.
    She is normally obese.

    The word “glutton” comes to mind.

    1. Another rude and unhelpful comment from an ignorant and mean person.
      Edit this negative stuff out, please!!

  50. Cindy, that’s kind of harsh, don’t you think? She obviously has some issues with food. It’s not just gluttony.
    I think we, as a culture, have some pretty negative stereotypes about large people. They’re not all lazy and addicted to junk food. A lot of people are obese because of the exact reasons Mark writes about; diets, bad advice, etc.

  51. Mark
    You seem to have forgotten Oprah’s difficulties giving up comfort foods, which is also known as emotional eating. A baby’s first experience of having it’s needs met are being fed. It stays in the old brain as a coping mechanism for self-nurturance. What Oprah needs is to learn demand feeding http://www.overcomingovereating.com in a feminist way which your program isn’t set up with.

  52. Cory Everson was overtrained, as she sdmits her self. And she used daily aerobics to stay lean.

  53. This is a late post, why does Oprah have thyroid/hashimoto’s syndrome? its a really good question. I wonder if she has been tested for heavy metals toxicity, ie mercury in particular, which is a neurotoxin and can totally derange the hormone cascade. Speaking from experience. I have 3 times the safe level of it right now and am working on getting it out, it has definitely affected my thyroid and I have adrenal fatigue that I am working hard on, its getting slightly better. but I have gone from being lean three years ago to where you cannot see my muscles anymore and I have never been a big carb eater. I took up PB in late Jan, and did not see one bit of difference, except that I am sure my insulin has stablized from no sugar. So if mercury is the underlying cause (from amalgams) or general environmental exposure, then no style of eating, traditional or otherwise is going to make any difference till she gets her endocrine and filter organs on top of the situation.

    1. Selenium supplements are good for neutralizing mercury’s oxidative potential (just don’t overdo it; 200mcg/day is apparently the “optimal” amount. But 400mcg/day is toxic)

      Ironically, despite the mercury scares fish have a lot of selenium in them, even when taking into account the bio-unavailable selenium used for neutralizing heavy metals in their bodies. (Some more obscure fish like swordfish, sharks have slightly more mercury than selenium in them; don’t eat those)

  54. Ive lost 93 pounds in 21 months (for the second time in my life 15 years apart) but am stuck at the same weight for the third time now. I need to lose 17-18 pounds and have been following south beach and rosedale diets faithfully. I also have been doing dvds by jillian michaels with lots of strengh, cardio, and abs, and especially compound movements. I wear a size 8 and look good, but am a slave to the scale. Doctors only seems to care about a number. I’m really burned out. Any advice?

    1. First advice is to find a new doctor. Sometimes a number on a scale is just that – a number. I know a lot of women who will kill to be a size eight again.

      Second piece of advice – stay and look around for a while. Read up on exercise (hint: mountains of cardio aren’t the answer) and diet (read why fats are GOOD), and maybe make some friends along the way.

      Welcome to the site.

      1. Hi…hate to say it…but most doctors aren’t taught anything about true weight loss or why people gain weight (it’s not always about how much we are eating)…it’s usually about “what” we are eating!

    2. Hi….I would highly recommend Doug Kaufmann’s book The Fungus Link to WeightLoss. Go to KnowTheCause.com and check it out….FANTASTIC….You will never search for a weight loss book again….EVER!!!
      Also, I can help with the exercise…Check out FitLikeTerri.com–you can join for FREE and I will be your Coach. Please check them both out…you will be very glad you did!

  55. Mark,

    Did Oprah ever take you up on your offer? Maybe you should contact her “people” to go on her show and tell the world to be Primal!

    Great ranty post 🙂

  56. Mark needs to get on the show and impact the large audience for the good of America.

  57. That’s snarky. Have some compassion. I know the primal blueprint is all that, really, and I wish for everybody to know about it (I’m doing my best linking to your blog from mine), but still. She’s a human being.

  58. I am a fan of Mark and MDA, but there are times when I feel like his path to healthy living is over simplified. “Just eat primal, Oprah, and you will be cured!” Eating is emotional for many people. Oprah has admitted it herself, many times, and I feel that way, too. I am loving my primal eating style, but I still miss certain foods, and face situations almost daily where I am tempted to eat something that is not “primal”. Thank god the world is not scrutinizing my eating habits, I don’t know how I could handle that!

    1. Yeah, going low-carb can in of itself induce sugar withdrawal, but there’s also that problem I had at first of using food as stress release/therapy.

      That’s why there’s the 80/20 rule, and it’s also why you should add healthy foods first then remove bad ones, not do it the other way around.

  59. Apparently she’s going to be back tomorrow with a Vegan. I heard from a friend who only told me ’cause she knew it would send me off. By the way, I emailed Oprah’s show to request her having Mark on. That would be awesome, but I don’t think she’d ever commit to it. It’s too risky for people who think they already know all about health and wellness.

  60. Hey Mark,

    Great piece. I do agree with Son of Grok above that Oprah is a prime example of what YO Yo dieting is all about. I do like to watch Oprah from time to time but I have a real issue with her promoting weight loss when she showed over and over that she cannot keep the weight off. I think that it is pretty deceptive to so many people across NA. What is her message? Is it OK to YO Yo diet, is it OK to not exercise?…I do not understand why she does not stay away from the topic all together.


  61. Finally! I’ve always felt Oprah was a horrible role model in regards to healthy eating/exercise/weight issues. All those women who watch her religiously and do everything she says, and she’s leading them down the same destructive path she’s on! I think she’s great living proof that money doesn’t make you skinny, a personal trainer can’t make your body fat % drop, and personal chefs or nutritionists on hand 24/7 doesn’t make a difference.

    After all the years and all the diets she’s tried, I’m surprised she hasn’t come across the Primal Blueprint yet, but I’ll be glad when that day comes.

  62. I was searching for tips for dealing with emotional eating on Mark’s blog and came across this post. I’ve felt extreme frustration at Oprah’s irresponsible coverage of the next, best, shiny new diet program that claims to be the ultimate cure – while at the same time being aware that my anger mainly comes from a place of hate towards myself for falling off the wagon over and over – and thus has nothing to do with Oprah as she is a reflection of myself and many other people who struggle with emotional eating. I started dabbling in Paleo about a year ago but haven’t had lasting success. I’m the first to admit it’s not about Paleo, it’s about my issues with emotional eating, depression, anxiety, negative habits, etc. I started a semi-Paleo eating plan for two weeks but it was too strict and I fell off soon after getting sick. Then several months later (after reading more about Paleo) – I succeeded at following it for a month. I felt awesome during that time – more energy, less aches and pains, moderated moods, empowered and so on but then a few bumps in the road led me off course (boy problems, work stress and a close friend moving) – fast forward 5 months and I’m still off course – gaining back 10 pounds (while wanting to lose 70 pounds). I’ve got a lot of respect for Mark and others who have made this Paleo lifestyle work and I appreciate his 80/20 rule and acknowledgement of emotional eating. I think being more understanding and compassionate towards others who don’t share the exact same path of success would open the Paleo movement to a bigger audience who like myself feel intimidated by the Paleo-ians who showcase no patience for others who have a different path and struggle to make Paleo work on a long term basis but who ultimately want to feel stronger, healthier and happier.