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. Cynthia

    Hi!! I'm a Zumba Instructor and have lost 27 pounds with Zumba.... I love everything fitness and I would love to be part of this...plus if I can help you guys in anything, just holler!!!! Good luck everyone!!!

    July 11, 2009 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Barbara Berkeley MD

    Hello to all who are participating in this challenge! I am a physician who specializes in weight reduction and who runs a blog and support site for those who want to make their weight loss into a permanent commitment. The biggest challenge dieters face is negotiating the period after they lose weight. Wouldn't it be great if this weight loss could be the last one?? Please feel free to visit us at http://www.refusetoregain.com and join a community of people who are true warriors against weight regain and who can provide support, tips and insight as you learn to live in a new, fitter body.
    Barbara Berkeley, MD

    July 11, 2009 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Lincoln Whyte Snr.

    I have been on a weight watch roller coaster for years. Surprise me!

    July 12, 2009 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Josie

    I'm in! Started 2 days ago, and am down 2 lbs so far. Determined to lose 60 total. Good luck to everyone!

    July 12, 2009 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Denise

    I would like to join too! I'm 57 and just have to get on a healthier path!

    July 12, 2009 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Christine Olsen

    I notice that the oldest Obama daughter walks with a side to side gait. Is this indicative of a hip or knee problem, or is it just a bad habit she has picked up trying to look cool?

    July 12, 2009 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Joan

    My lifestyle has always been to eat healthy, mostly organic, more veggies and fruits ...less meat...more chicken and fish. I have been a runner for 35 years but enjoy many other physical activities. At 56 I continue to live this lifestyle but have made some age appropriate adjustments in my exercise regime...due to aches and pains after too intense a workout.... I am in great shape and excellent health for my age. ...my dilemma...I am about ten pounds over weight and carry it on my tummy....I haven't been able to loose this weight...and it drives me crazy....any tips for losing that extra five to ten pounds of fat that has settled around my waist line?

    July 13, 2009 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Nancy

    I need 70 lbs OFF – I'm with you.

    July 13, 2009 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. keller

    I'm in need of losing the 20 pounds I gained after have back to back neck surgerys. I have been walking and excersing since I was 24. It was just an everyday part of my life. Since the surgey my whole quality of life has changed. All I want to do is lay in the bed but it hurts. Sitting for short periods hurts, even standing hurts. I have lost the use of most of my right hand and most of the time it takes me about 15 minutes to get out of bed. I'm very very depressed and don't know how to get out of it . I want my life back but sometimes I'm at the point I really don't care....about anything. What can I do? Please help me. I hope you answer this because I really need help and motivation,

    July 13, 2009 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. James H.

    Wow...to be able to discuss this topic and play a part in an intiative with this caliber of folks is quite amazing. I like forward to playing my role in creating discussion topics. Thank you Doc!

    July 13, 2009 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. James H.

    How well is the food pyramid put together when looking at a goal of overall health and BMI...?

    July 13, 2009 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Zelda

    I only need to lose 15 pounds, but as I get older, it gets harder. Need to lose to make sure I keep diabetes, metabolic symdrome, etc. away. Good for everyone. Thanks for the help!

    July 14, 2009 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mary Ellen

    I've asked my family to do this with me. Hopefully, we will all be more fit at the end of the 4 months.

    July 16, 2009 at 08:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Carol Evans

    I would love to join in. I need to loose 50 lbs desperately. When do we start?

    July 16, 2009 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Fred

    want to join your goal of better health & fitness. willing to make some key lifestyle changes & look for alternative advice, even if this means getting anew doctor etc. & etc.

    July 17, 2009 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. sabitha

    Count me in.....Wanna lose 20lbs, last few months desk work has caught me a lot, I hope this will be enough motivation....

    July 18, 2009 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. G

    Have already lost 12lbs in 6 weeks!
    Counting calories and going to the gym worked for me.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Craig

    This looks like a great way to shed my extra 20 lbs and look forward to starting the regimen and feeling more energy; physically and mentally.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. misty

    July 20. Better late than never. Current weight: 178. Goal: 140! I would appreciate your support and guidance.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. StellaBaBa

    I am 52. Although I look to be in my 40's and am in great health, due to my family history-high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer.....I want to shake 10lbs and get in great shape to continue to keep these health issues away. I'm also in the throes of menopause and am "carb sensitive" so the South Beach diet has helped me maintain my weight over the years.
    Now that employers, including mine do not offer health insurance-the insurance premiums on a private policy alone are reason enough to stay fit!!!!
    Come on all you "grown and sexy" women out there. We can make it happen.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jim Hall

    Recently purchased Wii game with Wii Fitness and Wii Active and feel this is a great way to work out at home. I can mix it up with running (real running outdoors). The Fitness game is great for increasing balance and practicing yoga. The Active "game" has a 30 day workout challenge that I am loving. Combining this with a change in diet, much more vegetables and fruits, less meat and smaller portions and I'm on my way to my goal of losing 20 lbs for the four month challenge. It all started like Rich Roll's revelation, looking in the mirror and seeing through the me I held in my mind's eye for the last couple decades and seeing what was in the mirror and what my wife has had to look at.

    Here I goooo!!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Nicole

    Count me in.....I will be forty in five months.

    July 21, 2009 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Dee

    I'm running a marathon in September and am still not in the shape I should be. However, I'm willing to do what I can to get there.

    July 21, 2009 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Emily G.

    I need to lose 180 lbs to get to my ideal weight. I am finally motivated to getting fit and have lost 10 lbs so far. I know this will be tough, but the alternative is dying from complications resulting from obesity. I'm 42 years old, but I feel like I am 70, and I am tired of it. Count me in!

    July 21, 2009 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Monica

    Great! I am in.

    July 21, 2009 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Terri in California

    I'm in! Just the motivation I need!

    July 21, 2009 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Joseph Fisher

    After seeing my older brother go thru Heart Surgery, I too realized I was just plain fat. At 55 years old I was at 233 lbs. I stated eating sensibly, and walking 4 miles a day. 23 weeks later, I've lost 47 lbs, and feel like a young man again. It's never too late to get in shape!

    July 22, 2009 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. N. S.

    I need to loose 12 lbs.

    July 22, 2009 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Joanne Ciccone

    Trying to lose weight as I age is getting so frustrating. It is good to have a place to at least talk about the frustrations. I have a blog for anyone interested http://www.hatethescaleblogspot.com to share ideas about hopefully fulfilling our goals.

    July 22, 2009 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Joanne Ciccone

    It is great to have so many people who want to get physically fit and to see so much support from so many others.

    July 22, 2009 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Tammy Lane

    Yoga has worked well for me in attaining better health. It has inspired me to eat better as well. Started out at 150 lbs. and lost 3 lbs over the last six months. That may not seem like much, but it's progress.

    July 23, 2009 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Manu

    I was 147 pounds 4 months ago with a belly. For my height 5'6" it was not bad but I decided to get fit. Now I am 130 pounds. I am doing 1 mile run on the treadmill every other day, and combine it with three sets of exercises, legs and lower body one day, upper body and abs ending with a 10 minutes session of sauna. Of course I have also pushed on calorie restriction based on my daily activities and results are showing. I exercise in the evenings but will shift to the mornings now as the sleep is getting affected.

    Like Dr. Gupta, I am still trying to find the balance, don't want to get too lean, I am not there yet but I think I am in the right direction.

    July 23, 2009 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. joanne ciccone

    any ideas out there for getting rid of belly fat. I am 61, 5'2", weigh 161 and use to weigh 148lbs., then 155 and now this. I work out everyday for at least 60-90 minutes vigorously, lift weights, eat low caloric foods and still nothing happens. I would appreciate some ideas.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Rosalyn Fretty RN

    Paging Dr. Gupta,
    Nurse Fretty needs to lose the belly fat. If I,m not successful, I,m coming to see the Plastic Surgeons at Emory for Lipo .LOL. Have a great birthday!!!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Rosita Whittaker

    This is only my suggestion: purchase a heat rate monitor and learn about your body and how different foods and exercises affect your heart rate, then you can adjust your calorie input accordingly. It works for me! Also, I'd suggest a high cardio exercise, like cycling or jogging or jump rope before lifting weights to maintain a higher heart rate. Good luck!

    July 23, 2009 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Rosalyn Fretty RN

    Need to lose the belly fat in less than 4/months.Big vacation in sept.
    If I,m not successful may consider Lipo, LOL.Have a great birthday!!!!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Toni

    I'm in. Thank you for this information and support. As a former Army officer, I understand the importance of being fit.

    July 23, 2009 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. sharadaamble

    hey ,would like to join the group.want to lose 20 pounds and get healthier.i have a 2 and a half year old baby and also getting back to studies to get back into my career. want to feel energetic and do lots of good stuff in life.would like to know the details as to how to go about it.do send me an email .would like to keep things going soon.thank you and lets go for it.

    July 23, 2009 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Anne Echeverria

    I just finished my own "60 Days Til 60". I lost 13 pounds and firmed up. I read an article that said personal motivation is the most important factor in losing weight and continuing to exercise is the most important factor in keeping weight off. I'm a believer!

    July 24, 2009 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. sujatha tata

    Need to lose 20pounds. Want to look good

    July 24, 2009 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. JUDY

    I need tp change my diet, my choresterol is high , I am spanish and hypoglucemic so it is hard to be on a diet. Thank you

    July 25, 2009 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Stuart

    Lose a pound of fat by running 60 miles or hiking up 2500 stories. Exercising is a tough way to lose weight. Alternatively, don't overeat. In fact, restricting calories is a more effective and faster way to lose weight. You must suffer–no other way around it. Fitness is another story. Exercise will get you fit. You can even be fat and fit.

    July 25, 2009 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Maryse

    My daughter has been overweight since she was 10yr.old I try to give her healthy food every day now she's 16years old she weights 216 pounds please help me Dr.Gupta"s

    July 25, 2009 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Natalie

    Good for you Sanjay! The last couple years, I've also allowed my busy-ness to bog down good fitness habits. But I find I feel better if I do even just a 20 minute walk after work before starting the evening chores, so I'm back to it. I've also cut out butter and mayo again, and am working on decreasing portion size. These little things do add up.

    July 26, 2009 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. ak

    Need to loose weight 25LBS–not just me but my 8yr old aswell. How can we involve schools more actively in developing better dietery habbits in kids. Ex–feeding tofu/vegetables instead of cheese pizza/juices and junk included in lunch menu at all schools nationwide.

    Someone has to take a big step in better dietary planning even for veg. menu in elementary schools.Scjools serving pizza form lunch shd be fined.Leave pizza as a treat by parents.

    July 26, 2009 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Joanne Ciccone

    I haven't seen Dr. Gupta actually respond to comments, so how do we all pull together. Maybe just posting like this helps.

    About school lunches. I think it is fighting a losing battle to change what the school offers unless you have the political know how and are a take charge person by nature.

    If you can, pack your own child's lunch with healthy foods that you try to eat at home. Maybe a tiny cookie or delicious fruit could be her reward. Children are stll growing, so itis best if they lose weight as they grow meaning just staying at the same weight while her height increases would be one solution, I think.

    July 27, 2009 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ellen Rosendhal

    I do exercise but maybe not enough. I am 75 years old and in excellent healtht with the exception of well controlled Diabetes II. Can I continue to go to aerobic classes with the youngsters (I can keep up with them, Zumba, too) or should I slow down and just stretch and treadmill? Although I get winded walking fast up hills, I can do many miles at a time without problems. Is this usual for super adults or am I fooling myself and perhaps causing some harm? (PS: most exercise advice seems geared to people under 40.)

    July 27, 2009 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Joanne Ciccone

    I would say that you Ellen Rosendhal, are a remarkable worman and in great shape. I would say keep up with what you are doing, but maybe pace yourself more. I am 61 and get winded walking up hills. Elliptical exercise equipment is great for us older people. Maybe wear a heart rate monitor to watch and keep your heart rate and pulse in the recommended range for your age.

    More power to you!

    July 27, 2009 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply


    July 30, 2009 at 23:52 | 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.