June 23rd, 2009
11:17 AM ET

Join Dr. Gupta's 'Four Months to Fitness' initiative!


Dr. Sanjay Gupta says his upcoming birthday motivated him to launch the fitness forum with viewers. He wants himself, and America, to get in the best shape of their lives.

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Today, I am starting something I have wanted to do for a very long time.

Using this blog and my @SanjayGuptaCNN twitter account, I am going to try to harness some of the best practices people employ every day to stay in the best shape of their lives.

Truth is, there are hundreds of sites like this, so I want to make this one different. First of all, I am hoping it becomes a living, breathing forum that users, like you, use to share your best health and fitness tips. I learn new things every day from CNN bloggers and Tweeters. You all are a great resource of information.

I am also going to call on my friends and others I find inspiring to help as well.

For example, @JoePerez helped create something called the Daily Plate, which partners with the non-profit cancer foundation LIVESTRONG, where I sit on the board of directors. After surveying lots of different ways of tracking diets, I think this is one of the best. I will introduce you to Joe and the Web site.

There are also sites out there that will start to help you heart rate train. After doing lots of research, I believe this is one of the most effective and efficient ways of training. Ironically, my friends who listened to this recommendation from me say they work out less intensely and still increase their fitness more than before.

Speaking of LIVESTRONG, I hope to get my pal @LanceArmstrong to weigh in. Admittedly, he is a professional athlete who will be pretty busy training for a big race in July. After that, though, I hope he will share with you some of the great tips he has given me over the years.

Also well-known trainer, and friend of mine, @JillianMichaels who can provide logical, useful suggestions that can be applied to lots of different situations. I also hope to get tips from @RichRoll. We have met only via twitter, but he is living proof that you can go from being a 38-year-old who hardly ever works out to someone who is in fantastic shape, an ultraman in fact, and is biologically younger than he was 10 years ago.

Most of all, this will be a four-month forum dedicated to getting people in terrific shape.

While smaller waists and less weight are things that will inevitably occur as you start incorporating these tips into your life, the real goal is a longer, more functional and exceptional life – free of disease and dysfunction.

I am a neurosurgeon and a reporter for CNN, who has three kids. I have a fairly active travel schedule. I tell you all that, because, like most people, I am busy. Yet, it can still be done.

So join me right here and on my Twitter page. Also, let's keep track of each other’s tips under the hashtag #1023 - which just so happens to be the date of a very big birthday for me.

Four months from now, I hope, we can all celebrate what we have done for our bodies and for our health.

soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. Deborah, Oregon

    I found the Daily Plate at the beginning of April. It's a terrific site, and so far it has helped me lose 16 lbs.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AnuR

    Looking forward. Need to loose 25 lbs

    June 23, 2009 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sumathi

    count me in! so what next?

    June 23, 2009 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Venalda Gupta

    Hi Sanjay. My husband's name is also Sanjay Gupta....everybody thinks I'm married to you. LOL Anyway, I also have a goal to get in the best shape of my life, but I don't think I can do it in 4 months, considering some of the health issues I am currently having, the primary one being adrenal fatigue. But wish me luck. I wish you luck; I'm sure you can do it.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. shelly

    i need to lose 40lbs. I'll be with you every step of the way. Lets do this!!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RK

    Best weight loss tip this side of exercise – Two oatmeals (200 calories) for breakfast, “lite” soup (120-140 calories per can) for lunch, and a 200 calorie snack at 2:00. Eat any dinner your family eats, in their quantities. Even enjoy desert a couple times per week when the family does. It all comes down to eating 1700-2000 calories a day (not less). I've dropped 40 very unhealthy pounds in a few months this way, and intend to drop 20 more to get 10 above "ideal".

    June 23, 2009 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Judy Watson

    To help control portion sizes we use plates at the health farm where I work divided 50% for vegetables/salad 25% for carbs and 25% protein it's much better than counting calories!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lisa

    I can't wait to see what is offered. I am ready for a life change.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Theresa Skwarek

    would love to loose a few pounds

    June 23, 2009 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jerri Garber

    Want to be healthy and lose weight.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bob Altman

    I'm 60 and in the best shape in my life. Run every other day using the Galloway interval technique. Bike 15-30 miles every other day (750 calories per hour). Yoga 2-3 times per week for flexibility and lower body strength. Take one or two days per week off completely. NO DO IT!!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Jeannie Thyroff

    Just what I needed–a little boost to get going!! It will be great to see where I am on October 23, 2009. Thanks.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Janessa Roberts

    This sounds good, but where is the the substance? Where is the plan, where are the tips for fitness? I clicked on this article as soon as I saw it, read it through, and now I feel like I'm looking for the second page.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. mary mandico

    Great count me in I may be coaching a biggest loser contest at my work. Since they don't think I need to lose weight but I am only 5'1" and I have to struggle to not gain . I now weigh 136lbs which is overweight for my frame. Sadly in my line of work: Nursing there are many overweight people. I want to be fit I also want to be in the best shape of my life in 4 mos. Let's do it Dr. G!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Kim G

    I'm all for living a healthy lifestyle. Just had one of those milestone birthdays myself. For me, it's about promoting health, quality and length of life more than physical appearance. . .but that's the kind of side effect I can appreciate! I'm interested to learn more.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Nicole Silver

    Pleased to join you in a shared goal! I'm working off pregnancy pounds, GRIN

    June 23, 2009 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jill

    I just started revamping my eating habits and hope to lose 20 pounds. I'm about ready to add fitness to the plan – so I'm in!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Jennifer Doss

    I am 38 years old and have 3 children. I am 5'2", weigh 200 pounds and have been on blood pressure medication for 3 years. I started working out daily 21 days ago. I have done some kind of physical activity each day for at least 30 minutes (bike riding, weight lifting ect). I feel so much better but I have not lost a pound in 3 weeks. Some days I am at the gym for 2 hours. I am buring around 400 calories a day on the bike and aproximately 300 a day with weight lifting. I need something to stay motivated. I would like to be in a size 9 in the next year or so and get my body fat to a healthy level. Three weeks ago when I started at the gym my body fat was a disgusting 44.1%! I am a nurse and I know better. Help me to stay motivated.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Randall Ulrich

    Sanjay - good for you.

    If you (or anyone) want a really good workout, and I mean really good, try the sport of fencing.

    Yep.....just like they do in the Olympics. (No, not like they do in the movies.)

    You wouldn't believe what a great aerobic exercise it is. Cardio, strengthening, it has something for everyone. You'll get into great shape with this particular sport.

    I'd also like to see you do a report on fencing as exercise, along with its health benefits.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jenni

    I have been taking a personal fitness training certification course and I need to get into better shape. I especially need to work on my upper body strength. Once you get in the habit of working out, it becomes addictive. After 20 minutes of hard excercise you start to burn fat. I do one hour on my favorite elliptical and burn fat for 40 minutes.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Dorothy

    I'm in! But not sure what a hashtag is.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Carl DeFranco

    Great idea. Hopefully, I'll get more motivation from this than I did from other times I tried to get back into shape. I ned to lose 25 lbs and get my resting heart rate back down to 50-55 like it used to be.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Rascalin

    Greetings Dr. I am a personal trainer formerly with 24 hr fitness! I follow you on twitter.com Contact me if you could use my services.
    Maybe a 12 week challenge to you and all your followers.. or something like that. Let me know. Rascalin

    June 23, 2009 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Cheryl

    Count me in!

    June 23, 2009 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Joanna

    Awesome! but what is the # of the birthday??? Will be following and maybe adding some tweets.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Susan Mackey

    I lost 56 pounds by using the Daily Plate on LiveStrong along with the Discovery Health Challenge website to track all my food, water & meds along with exercise; watch every episode of the Biggest Loser and other health and fitness shows; am in the best shape of my life and getting stronger daily. I'm 58 and finally learned how to live a healthy life.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Victor Rennix

    We are very interested in your four month program. How do we access the information and follow your process and recommendations?
    Victor Rennix

    June 23, 2009 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Jeff

    Not a big fan of Lancey Pants...

    June 23, 2009 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Denise Sharp

    count me in...

    June 23, 2009 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Krystal Poloka

    I have 3 months till my birthday and the start of school. I want to achieve a similar goal. I'm there with ya!

    June 23, 2009 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jennifer Powe

    I am 52 and need to lose 50 pounds. Looking forward to the much needed support.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Roseanna Almaee

    Great idea! I'm in!

    June 23, 2009 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Lauren in Wheeling, WV

    Nice thing to do actually. Would be nice to be healthier in 4 months, but I just lost ALL my benefits at my job, so now I'm afraid to exercise at all for fear of injury. Also I lost the $$ ability to buy the foods that are healthy.

    Any suggestions, Dr. Guptka? Why does it seem that good health is accessible only to those who can afford it

    CNN has my email, I don't know how to [ost on Twitter though I do have an account.

    Thanks and a happy birthday in advance.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Sara

    Five Easy Tips:

    Make sure that half of your plate (up to 2/3rds) is filled with fruits and non-starch veggies that you like. (American Cancer Society recommendation. Was tested years ago among Type 2 diabetics (only advice given), and not only did HbA1C go down, so did weight.)

    Walk at least 10,000 steps per day, preferably 15,000.

    Eat thee meals plus two snacks or six small meals per day.

    Purchase some Bodylastics body bands... or find another easy way to do weight training. The new Wii game, EA Sport Active, is great-especially the 30 day challenges–although you may need to use a band with more resistance.

    If you can't give up soda (diet or regular) or other non-nutritious beverages, make sure that you drink one large 16 oz. glass of water prior to every glass of soda or other high-sugar/artificial sweetener drinks.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Michele

    Dear Dr, Gupta: I look forward to this journey and hope that with support I can lose at least 50 pounds. I will have to give up a lot of bad habits, which at age 62, are starting to tell on my once fit and athletic body (by the way, losing 50 pounds will not even get me back to my trim weight, but it is a more reasonable goal that I can live with. I look forward to all comments and ideas.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Jennifer


    June 23, 2009 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Constantine Katraouzos

    I am a male, 67 years old (Everyone tells me I look 55). Look forward to your articles and suggestions.


    June 23, 2009 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Diane Romero

    My Bday is Nov 1. I'm in.
    Let's do it everyone.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Julian

    What a great idea. I'm sorry you'e not the Surgeon General. You could have done so much for that job.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Roger

    Hoping to lose 450 pounds.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. David Krotson

    I'm a fatass.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Christine

    How do I follow this 4 month program? Do I come back to this same website? Thank you.

    June 23, 2009 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Lia

    I'm a 48 year old woman who used to weigh 25 lbs heavier 6 years ago than I do now. I'm currently able to walk 16 flights of stairs twice a day during my work day and I run about 6 miles over weekends. I now weigh 113 lbs, have a high good cholesterol number and a low BMI. How did I personally get to the place I am today? I made small life style changes over a period of time. I started paying attention to what I ate and started a realistic fitness program. And, I don't pay a dime in gym fees. I use my environment as my gym. I don't care for or believe in restrictive diets. But I do believe in the fact that there are many excellent and delicious healthy food choices out there to take advantage of. My faves... turkey wraps and grilled veggie dishes. All my best to all of you and thank you Dr. Gupta for another great resource. I'm looking forward to reading all the comments.

    June 23, 2009 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Olga

    to Pramila

    For weight loss, you'll need to get about 5 cardio workouts each week at a medium-high intensity for at least 40 minutes. In addition to your cardio workouts, you'll need to lift weights (5lb) for all your muscle groups. And do not forget about low-card diet of course. So if you combine all of the above you will get the body you want. I've been practicing step aerobics as a cardio routine for 3 years now and eating low carb. Thank Fitness I got my dream body!!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Cathy

    I just tried The Daily Plate site - signed in and started logging food intake and all that - and I decided that Daily Plate surely is a cumbersome site. It doesn't work nearly as well as the Weight Watchers site, which is similar but much better. Of course, I realize that I'm paying for access to the WW site, and the Daily Plate site is free - but some of it is not.

    June 23, 2009 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. David May

    ok, I'm in for 10 lbs. What's heart rate train?

    June 23, 2009 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Carol Helman

    I am so excited to glean wisdom from those who truly know the human body and how it is designed to function healthily!

    June 23, 2009 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Bhanu R.

    great idea! everyhting needs a good start and consistency to work!

    June 23, 2009 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. BB in AZ

    I'm 42 years and I have a 22 month old child. I need to get in shape so I'm still around when he grows up. I also want to get in shape so I can keep up with him as he gets older. I want to lose 25 lbs.

    June 23, 2009 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. R Juray

    Can't wait to see your tips. I hope it will include motivation!!
    Guess there is no magic that less calories means less weight. It is just hard to keep on track!

    June 23, 2009 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.