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. Ed Devine

    Dr. Gupta,
    On the 10th of this month I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer adenocarcinoma. I have a 60% blockage. I know my diet has to change and I need to start working out again. It's hard to get motivated when your body is tierd and you have a very hard time eating and drinking anything. I don't know what stage the cancer has reached because I'm waiting for insurance approval for my PET & CT scans. I've just stated work ing with some dumbells I have at home and doing a little walking. I know nutrition is very important, but it's hard when you can barely swallow. For me at 58, the fight has just begun. I don't twitter but I hope you put your info on CNN so I can follow.


    June 23, 2009 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Nancy

    just what the Doctor ordered!

    June 23, 2009 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Diane O'Malley

    I walked 4 miles today,...watching my carbs and calories, but not denying myself of foods I enjoy. I gave up a glass of wine for a large, reusable bottle of water with fresh mint, lemon, and cucumbers. I will lose weight. I will get in better shape! So far, down 8 pounds.

    June 23, 2009 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Maria

    I'm in! Want to lose 50lbs in the next 12 months! I'm 46, and tired of being overweight...

    June 23, 2009 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Julie

    I, too, cannot wait to get started! No more excuses – I need to lose 50 pounds and get my carb intake under control. I'm ready for the first step, and the next, and the next.....

    June 23, 2009 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dennis in Indy

    After years of smoking and getting pudgier by the month I followed my wife down the streets as she trained for a mini-marathon. I had to interval train – I couldn't keep up the pace. But, I dropped pounds. Once I started running I hated to waste the effort, I ate healthier, I drank less. I just turned 63. My weight is barely over my high school grad weight and my resting heart rate is around 50. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    The only way to lose weight is to take in less calories than you burn. At first it is very hard. Then you start to see little signs of improvement. Pretty soon you're very proud of yourself and you will not let that go.

    No fads, no lies, no pills, no bull. Stay full eating many small meals of healthy things. Soon you won't miss the bad things. Drink lots of water. You can do it. Believe in yourself!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. AC

    I've been on my own quest for health and fitness for a bit over a year. Aprx 50lbs lost so far. It's slow, but so worth it. I prefer building muscle and then losing the fat. Upping your muscle mass ups your strength AND takes more calories to maintain than fat, so just having more muscle helps you lose fat.

    I started by lifting simple hand and ankle weights in front of the TV while watching The Biggest Loser. It's hard to be lazy when people twice your size are running miles.

    June 23, 2009 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. June A

    I just recently lost 50lbs and trying to get the last 20 off. I need all the encouragement I can get to stay motivated. Ths might just be it!

    June 23, 2009 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. sam

    Great idea Sanjay! Let us do it and review on 102309 to share the secrets.

    June 23, 2009 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Marcie

    I get Washington Post Lean and Fit by email each week. It has changed over the years but I have been getting it for more than 5 years. You might want to check it out.

    It has been too hot in Hotlanta to ride the bicycle, and I miss that. 100º is just too much.

    I walked inside today at Sam's Club and Lenox Mall. Each lap at Lenox is 1/4 mile.

    June 23, 2009 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mark G.

    Count me in!!! You should have been the Su.General.

    June 23, 2009 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Daniel

    One of the best things that you can do once you start working out is flexing in the mirror. At first you are not going to like what you see, but when you see that first buldge you are going to want to keep on going!

    June 23, 2009 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JM

    I'm in – I need to lose 50-60lbs.

    June 23, 2009 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. JulieDee

    I am in. I have much more to lose than I could do in 4 months. I just recently had an episode with high BP and on meds for the first time ever. My cholesterol and triglycerides are normal and I am not diabetic. I do have hypothyroidism and a couple different types of arthritis. The problem here most recently, is the 100 degree heat. The heat hampers walking and most outdoors activities. I just recently lost my job and have not found another one yet. I get discouraged, however I just lost 5 pounds last month.

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

    Help!! I need help... I have no will power and really need help.
    I want to lose apprx. 40 pounds. Where do I sign up???
    Need to get my life back, it's been a long time...

    June 23, 2009 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sabrina Williams

    Love to be a part of this! I was always thin till about 10 years ago and the weight crept on and I had another baby at an older age so now 43 almost 44 have been fighting to loose the weight back off and live healthier like when I was 33. Also have been having to take asthma meds and that is about the time the weight started coming on so then I went on the 6 wk body make over and lost quite a bit but still have some more to go and still no salt or sugar in most things I eat and drink 100 ounces of water everyday I am still holding off what I lost but I need to loose more so I believe this will be great cuz I always love watching you on CNN. Your a great down to earth doctor and easy to follow when you talk about different issues so count me in. I AM TAKIN MY LIFE BACK AND GETTIN HEALTHY!

    June 23, 2009 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jim

    I'm 57 years old and was 50 lbs overweight when I discovered The "Livestrong Daily Plate" 4 months ago. I have been using it to count my calories, even while vacationing for a month in Costa Rica, and I'm amazed how much its helped me. I have lost 20 pounds since I started. Okay so I fell off the wagon a few times but as long as I keep counting calories faithfully, its real easy to get back on. I also do an hour of aerobic exercise mixed in with weight lifting 2 or 3 times a week. So I'm all set to follow you guys for another 4 months and hopefully loose another 20 pounds as I work toward my weight goal.


    June 23, 2009 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. desidoc

    Great idea. We also started a weight management crusade in Dallas in south-east Asian community last year and were very successful.
    You should have a national syndicates talk show where everyone can listen and participate.

    June 23, 2009 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Nikki Leonard

    Sounds good!

    June 23, 2009 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. langnermom

    Just started back to the gym last week after having 2 babies & 2 surgeries in 3 yrs. Surgeries were for torn small intestine & ileostomy reversal. I'm 38 and need to lose some weight, but the motivation for me is to get my strength back & to get healthy again. The youngest baby will be 7 weeks old tomorrow so the timing of this is perfect...I'm ready to feel good again!!

    June 23, 2009 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Mike

    Dr. Gupta, it's all about keeping it off! Let's talk about combining the scientific advantages of brown fat and practical advantages of N.E.A.T. to enhance weight loss! http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/levine_lab/about.cfm

    June 23, 2009 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rosita Whittaker

    My best investments in fitnes are the gym membership that I attended classes for 5 years, my heart rate monitor and my indoor cycle. At the present time, I'm competing in 2 different calorie counting challenges, online. My heartrate monitor transfers the data to a web site that stores the data on a spreadsheet and I get to compete with other athletes from all over the world. So far this year, I've won 1 challenge, took 2nd in another and I'm between 1st and 2nd in the yearly challenge. Great competition for those of you that are limited to working out at home and alone!!

    June 23, 2009 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. kartik Venkataraman


    I need to reduce about 30lbs to get back in shape. For the last 3 months, intense work pressure has condemned me to a desk job literally 24/7. As a result, I have had no workouts, no exercises, and have put on a lot of unwanted weight. Hope I can do this in 4 months.

    June 24, 2009 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. tanya k

    I have been trying to loose 30 pounds since 6 months and go to the gym 5 days a week for minimum 45 minutes, but am now starting to see some results.

    June 24, 2009 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Srini

    Good move and I believe it will transform some lives and will help many improve fitness. Cheers.

    June 24, 2009 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Alex

    I need to lose about 100 lbs so I do hope this will help!

    June 24, 2009 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Reno_Ty

    About a year ago, I started doing CrossFit. It is hands-down the best overall fitness program out there. Unlike other types of training, it doesn't pigeonhole fitness. It will push you out of your comfort zone on a daily basis and you'll learn skills that you once thought impossible. It draws heavily on olympic weighlifting, gymnastics, powerlifting, rowing, running, kettlebell work, etc... There is a magic to it that makes it highly addictive. Definitely check it out: http://www.crossfit.com

    June 24, 2009 at 02:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Debbie I.

    Count me in!!! I know what to do... it's just actually DOING IT that's the problem. The heart and soul are willing... the body's still a couch potato! 😉

    June 24, 2009 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sushma

    Yes!!! Can't wait!

    June 24, 2009 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Paul Roth

    I am 63 yrs. I swim a mile every other day at the local rec-center in our small town in here north east Wisconsin.Easier then chewing up whats left of aging joints by pounding the pavement for several miles at a time. Treadmills are a bore.Try to watch the intake without going nuts over the whole thing. Seems to do the job.

    June 24, 2009 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Abu Manal

    Great opportunity,

    I am forty and hardly move a finger (as an exercise). I will use this opportunity to improve my shape and health.

    June 24, 2009 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Bmore Ravens

    I'm ready to get started. I have been working out a little but need to kick it up. I am doing a sprint triathlon on September 19 and I need to be in better shape for it. My goal is to lose 20-25 lbs.

    June 24, 2009 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Pat

    Am 55 years old with hypothyroidism, RA,and OA. I am 5'3" and weigh 196 pounds this morning. Desperately need motivation to stick with a program. My goal will be 40 pounds in 4 months, regular exercise daily. Need some tips on exercise that will accommodate the arthritis in my knees and feet. I have a treadmill but pain often shortens the workout. But my new mantra is no more excuses!!!

    June 24, 2009 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Amy

    I'm ready!

    June 24, 2009 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Pamela Smith

    I have been in good shape all of my life...until now. I sit at a computer all day, have a high stress job, just got married (good thing) so cook and eat more. I am 59 and still very active but have gained 20 lb in two years. My diet is very controlled and I don't eat junk food. Something has really changed. Also my husband was raised on a farm and refuses to go to a gym since he grew up baling hay and thinks that physical activity for its own sake is a waste. Maybe the discipline of a 4 mo program will help.

    June 24, 2009 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Mo

    Remember this one important point and use it to avoid discouragement...if it took ten years to put the weight on, it is reasonable to expect it will take some time to take it off. As long as I am seeing progress I am succeeding.

    June 24, 2009 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. m

    great idea! i'm in too!

    June 24, 2009 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Caroline

    Perfect! I need a jumpstart. I have 50 to lose, so four months will be a good start on that. Pat I'm right there with you. I have the tread mill, but my joints are worn. Good shoes should help and I just bought some. Time for me to get moving!

    June 24, 2009 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Shire

    Checking in for day 2 of the blog. Still no information. This is kinda disappointing. What am I missing? If we have to tweet for this, I'm out.

    June 24, 2009 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Linda

    Absolutely fantastic! I have lost a little over 50#s over the past year, and I'm losing motivation to exercise. Great timing!! Looking forward to the tips.

    June 24, 2009 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dana

    Great timing! I'm finally ready to get my life back on track. I am 54 years young, but carry around too many extra pounds. Ten years ago, I lost SIXTY pounds, I am proud to say, and got back into tennis – even went skiing at Vail. Slowly, over the last five years the weight has returned and I now realize I need to make a LIFESTYLE change, not just a quick fix diet. There's still plenty of time to get out there and do the things I used to enjoy. I'm looking forward to joining the ranks!

    June 24, 2009 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Moon

    Great idea...I’m desperately looking forward to it.

    I’m 30yrs old, mother of a 5yr old and planning for a second child………..BUT definitely after shedding off the extra 30 pounds!!!

    June 24, 2009 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. chand

    i'm in...so tired or being overweight. Want to lose at least 40 lbs.

    June 24, 2009 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Mary Ann

    Bought a treadmill about 2 months ago~great investment! No excuses to not walk when the weather is bad. And, summer is a great time for me to work on losing weight and getting healthy 'cause, being a teacher, I'm on summer break. Also signed up for Tai Chi class (2x/wk). Have lost 20 pounds since last Sept but would like to lose 20 more. My b'day is 4 mos and 2 days away (Oct 26)~ my 63rd.

    June 24, 2009 at 10:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Gary Hunt/ Neosho Mo.

    I am 2 months into making a total lifestyle change to become healthy.I love this support. I am with all of you. Lets Go!!!

    June 24, 2009 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Karen

    I'm in. Moved to Mississippi 2 years ago and gained 10 lbs. I can't seem to lose. HELP!

    June 24, 2009 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jess

    count me in as well...looking to lose my baby weight.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Pauline Calabrese

    I have been looking for motivation since Januray. I need to lose 20 pounds. I know that I will feel so much better. The hardest part with dieting is when you get hungry. ha ha ha

    June 24, 2009 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Marie

    I have Multiple Sclerosis and fell last year, fracturing my right shoulder. My right arm is almost useless and I am in constant pain. With my limited mobility, I despair of ever, ever regaining a healthy body. I believe my weight is going to shorten my life. I am so disheartened.

    June 24, 2009 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Idena Flowers

    Dr Gupta, I'm definitely in on this.

    June 24, 2009 at 12:04 | 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.