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. Melissa

    I currently track calories, nutrients and activity with Daily Plate. Using it last year, I lost 10 pounds in 2 months, a slow and steady pace. I stopped for a while because I got lazy with tracking, but now I'm back on it. It's really a great site and has helped me navigate my food choices, from vegetables and fruit to what fast food can I eat and stick to my calorie plan. And it's free (unless you want more features, but the free site is perfect for me).

    June 24, 2009 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Melissa

    By the way, I've lost 6 pounds in four weeks, basically just by managing my caloric intake with a few days of walking or riding the stationary bike. My goal is 12 pounds in 8 weeks and I'm halfway there.

    June 24, 2009 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Tammera Wine

    I've lost 10 lbs in a little over one month with a state of the art superfood antioxidant . SERIOUSLY eliminated all my food cravings. I've been a food addict all my life - multiple plates at salad bars, buffets, etc - now I only eat when my stomach growls and then usually quit before my first serving is completely finished. If anyone is interested, email me for info: tamiwine@yahoo.com :-)))

    June 24, 2009 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mimi Long

    My birthday is October 22nd. Count me in.

    June 24, 2009 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lisa

    I'm ready for this. On Monday I started walking again (I have issues running – arthritis in both knees and I'm only 40, but it's hereditary). I walked 2 miles on Monday and yesterday I did 2 1/2 miles. I want to work my way up to 5 miles per day at a fast pace. I also need to figure out how to get weight training in my routine. Any suggestions?

    June 24, 2009 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Connie

    Need to lose 55 pounds by next March. My daughter is getting married and I don't want a replay of my shopping for a formal dress for her cotillion 6 years ago. I remember sitting in the dressing room crying because nothing fit. I love to get as much information from others on how they have been able to achieve a healthy weight and maintain it. I am a Type II Diabetic and struggle with High Cholesterol and Triglycerides. I relly need to learn to live a healthy lifestyle.

    June 24, 2009 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Arpita

    Count me in too...I added 30 lbs to my frame after pregnancy. Now even after 4 years it is not bulging...I hope I will be able to required info about what to have in diet as I am a vegetarian and also eat only Indian food...

    June 24, 2009 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ferdia2010

    Would it take four months to get fit, surely it could be done in less ..

    June 24, 2009 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dave

    Hmm. I was initially excited about this, but now I'm leery of joining the tweet feed because I already see people giving advice. I really don't want lots of random people giving me diet and exercise advice.

    I second the idea of having a web page or forum for participation if we don't want the tweeter chatter from untrusted or uninformed sources.

    June 24, 2009 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Joe Perez

    It is all about the small things you do each day to change your lifestyle. Practice healthy habits, daily and you will get results. Commit to making healthy lifestyle changes.

    June 24, 2009 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jennelle

    I think this is going to be great! I just hope that you post some things that may catch my husbands attention. I exercise 3-5 times per week, (walking/ treadmill) for and hour. Not as out of breath as I used to be, but not where I want to be either. I have not lost any weight yet but I am working on it. Moral support and food tips would be very helpful. Looking forward to this!!!!

    June 24, 2009 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Pamela Smith

    Completed first day: Small oatmeal with soymilk, two pre-packaged diet meals (nasty but limited portions) and 30 minutes on exercise bike as it is 103 in Dallas. No beloved red wine.

    Lead on. ready for day 2.

    June 24, 2009 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Soupmaiden

    Hey, having been recently unemployed and encumbered with what so many others are dealing with, I just seem to languish days away. Even I have some concerns about my alcohol and tobacco use. I need some HELP on so very many different issues! Looking forward to checking in, provided of course I can keep the bill paid for this thing.

    June 25, 2009 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Lisa

    Thanks Doc Gupta-
    don't know what your milestone birthday is but I'm 48 and probably in the best shape of my life. Something just clicked – I took off 15 lbs with weigth watchers and work out almost every day- Jillian Michaels is a beast but in a good way. Thanks JM!! I think her workouts have boosted my metabolism.
    It's definitely a frame of mind and decision. Good luck out there everyone and remember... if you fell off today, start again tomorrow- you'll be proud of yourselves.

    June 25, 2009 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. GramGram

    I am 60 and it is now or never for me. Need to lose 30lbs
    to get off blood pressure medicine. I am an emotional
    eater and having a support group would help.
    I have problems like everyone else in this economy
    and binging brings momentary relief. Then I binge again
    to deal with the guilt of binging the first time.

    June 26, 2009 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RocketJ

    Help. Been on a diet since I was 8 years old. Now 54. Have yo-yo'd my whole life. Have looked great at times but never stayed there. Now at least 100 lbs overweight. Need something to look forward to.

    June 26, 2009 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rosanne

    I've respected you for years and I'm looking forward to this journey. I'm 64 and I need to lose a lot of weight but I have a hard time staying motivated. I'm committed to participate fully.

    June 26, 2009 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Lynn

    Always want to lose 5 pounds. The main thing for me though is that I am a type 2 diabetic whose father died at age 59 from congestive heart failure secondary to diabetes.
    My diabetes is hereditary. I was not overweight, exercises regularly but still developed it about 10 years ago (I am 54).
    I am in decent shape, want to lose in the middle which seems out of whack with my weight and exercise level, and hope this will help.
    BTW, my son is entering his 3rd year of medical school!

    June 26, 2009 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Margaret

    Turning 50 in July. I would love to start feeling like I'm 25 again. I need a lot motivation. About 70 pounds overweight. HELP.

    June 27, 2009 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. BigAl

    Your birthday is also my anniversary, another occasion for goal setting.

    June 28, 2009 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Michelle Wolf

    I am a good wt but really need to push myself to move and exercise, esp since my Mom died on the younger side with heart problems..keep sending out those tweets !

    June 29, 2009 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. aisha

    great looking forward to following this helpful iniiative

    July 5, 2009 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Deborah

    I would like to feel and look 'trimmer'. What has worked for me in the past is daily yoga for 20 – 30 mins., light free weights, walking to and from work. What I would like to know is, what is the most effective way for women to get extra protein without meat, chicken or fish in the diet?

    July 6, 2009 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Zee Ahmed

    Would LOVE to join but hates feeling hungry ! Don't we all . How shall I start?

    July 7, 2009 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Shire

    After 25 years of up and down weight, I've learned that if I'm full, I ate too much. Satisfaction is one thing, "full" is another. Maybe it's just me, but I can't keep a healthy weight if I eat till I'm full. I liked Dr. Gupta's suggestion to stop at 80% "full." It's just the truth for me, as much as it sucks. Once in a while I'll eat more, like for a big event or holiday. I try to imagine what it might have been like in days past, when "feast days" really meant something. Ordinary days meant people sometimes didn't eat big full meals three times a day. Conclusion: for a long time I just ate too much. Period.

    July 7, 2009 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Marilyn

    Okay, I'm ready to give up the best chocolate in the world here in the UAE, let's get busy!

    July 7, 2009 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. simon

    i want to lose 20lbs

    July 8, 2009 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Edie Davis

    Would love to start----where do I look and how do I get started.
    Thanks for your help.

    July 8, 2009 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Myra

    Here's what's has worked for me and I have lost and maintained the loss for over 10 years.

    Eat less of everything and don't deprive yourself of anything you crave. Limit yourself to one serving the size of your fist – that's the size of your stomach. Move more and DANCE! There's no fitness regime more enjoyable or more sociable. You will be exercising without having to set aside time for a fitness regime.

    I don't believe one needs diets – they stop working the moment you stop dieting. A change is lifestyle, eating habits and activity levels WILL change the way you look, feel and thus your life.

    July 9, 2009 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Joanne Ciccone

    I applaud this initiative. Belly fat is my demon for sure. I am 61 and just can't seem to get rid of it. In fact, in spite of eating right and exercising vigorously daily, the belly fat just sits there unaffected.

    I even started a blog about my frustrations. http://www.hatethescale.blogspot.com

    You are the greatest, Dr. Gupta. Keep up the good work for a healthier world.

    July 9, 2009 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Rachel

    I'm definately in.....training for a marathon that takes place around the 4 month end date!

    July 9, 2009 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Judy Cox

    I am ready to get started. I have at least 40 lbs to loose and my husband needs to loose also. He has high cholesterol and I have type 2 diabetes. Thank you for doing this,I think you are going to inspire alot of us to get going!
    Judy Cox, Coldspring,Texas

    July 9, 2009 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Wilie and Sandra

    Looking forward to starting .....let's go

    July 9, 2009 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. neil

    Thank you for the initiative and sharing of great information. I'm 41 and lost 35# but now can lose the last 40# to get under 200 pounds and I even run 30 miles a week and eat pretty well. I hope you share information about sticking points and how to re-shock the system when your body adjusts to a diet. Thank you

    July 9, 2009 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Cindy

    Looking for help for the group of 'shortys' out there – really tough to lose, esp. after 40. Looking forward to the extra help. Thanks!

    July 9, 2009 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Terry

    Would love advice on choosing a heart rate monitor.

    July 9, 2009 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Margaret

    Need to lose about 20lbs so i am in, and excited.

    July 9, 2009 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Andrea Long

    Following Dr Gupta to his 40th birthday and to my 40th birthday also. I don't need to lose any weight, but I'm looking to jump start a healthier lifestyle before my 40th birthday, so that my next 40 year years can be lead actively, happy and healthy.

    July 9, 2009 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Dena McQuarn

    My birthday is Oct 30 and I need to lose at least 80 pounds and I need all the help I can get. I walk, ride my bike, just need a little help with my eating habits

    July 9, 2009 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Brenda

    Finally! Just turned 57, postmenopausal and dealing with various hormonal issues, especially cortisol.
    Thank you for your briallant idea

    July 9, 2009 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Doug

    Help please, where can i find the four month plan.

    July 9, 2009 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Gary

    I'm in !! ... Every 5 years I lose 25 lb. for a recurring reunion and then gain it back. I'm 58, non-smoker and non-drinker. I just don't exercise enough and eat the wrong foods. Now's the time to get re-active !!

    July 9, 2009 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. resh

    i want to lose 20 pounds atleast . give some tips

    July 9, 2009 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. BRAR,G

    need to lose 25 lbs.i am 40 now.i am so excited for advise and start.

    July 10, 2009 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Robyn

    My husband and I are in. He was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago, after many years of being pre-diabetic and not really paying attention. Now he has neuropathy and some circulation issues and is still grossly overweight. I used to be a healthy 110-115 pounds, but 35 years of raising children and not paying attention to myself has added up to obesity on my part too, even though I am generally healthy.

    We committed to Weight Watchers in June and decided to give ourselves a year to lose all our weight. We are talking about food more than we ever have, but the pounds are definitely shedding (but his faster than mine...). I started exercising every day, but don't like a single routine, so I've been relying on Exercise TV shows and On Demand fitness workouts. After 3 weeks, I can feel a difference, even though I don't see it yet.

    My 40th HS reunion is in October, and I'm looking forward to being a lot thinner and healthier by then! Thanks, Dr. Sanjay 🙂

    July 10, 2009 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Cherie

    I was recently diagosed with a sever B12 deficiency...have finished the first round of injections, and am know taking shots once a month (!). I've been working out with a personnal trainer and am seeing great results! I, too, am excited about this 4-month plan! I want to lose 35 pounds for good!! And more importantly, be healthy and strong!

    July 10, 2009 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Carolina

    I am excited to get started, but where do I look for the 4 month plan?

    July 10, 2009 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Vivi

    I'm ready for this! Need to lose about 50 pounds, definitely need to revamp my eating habits and pay more attention when eating. This sounds like just the ticket!!

    July 11, 2009 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Cynthia

    I'm in!!

    July 11, 2009 at 06:41 | 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.