Dr. Phil's Plan for Weight-Loss Success

How to get off the diet roller coaster for good, and learn healthy eating habits for life.
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Dr. Phil and Weight Loss

Dr. Phil has just finished taping an episode of his TV talk show and now, back in his office, the famously tough-talking self-help guru has gone completely to mush. His suit jacket and tie have come off, and the good doctor -- all six-feet-four, 240 pounds of him -- is cooing over a brand-new addition to his family. "Isn't she a sweetheart?" he says in his folksy Texas twang, cradling an 8-week-old Labrador mix from the local SPCA in his beefy arms. But his wife, Robin, isn't so positive about the pup. Chatting with a friend just outside the soundstage on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, the petite brunette asks how long it typically takes for the breed to mellow out. "A couple years -- at best?" she says incredulously, laughing and rolling her eyes. Uh-oh. Guess it's a conflict this couple will have to iron out.

And nobody does it better than Dr. Phil. For eight years he has made it his business to help TV viewers deal with problems and clean up the mess we often make of our lives. In his most recent best-seller, Family First (Free Press, 2004), he tells parents it's their duty to get their misbehaving children in shape and offers them a step-by-step plan to make their households not just functional but phenomenal. And with The Ultimate Weight Solution Cookbook (Free Press, 2004), published as a follow-up to his blockbuster, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom (Free Press, 2003), Dr. Phil continues his crusade against what he sees as one of the biggest health threats to Americans today.

Much of his advice comes from counseling overweight patients when he was known as Phillip C. McGraw, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Texas. But his war on fat is also personal. His father, Joe McGraw, was chronically obese and died in 1993 of heart problems; obesity, in fact, runs in the family. Four years ago Dr. Phil, now 54, had his own scare when tests revealed he had high triglyceride levels, which can contribute to heart disease. Taking a dose of his own medicine, he "got real" by adopting a healthier diet and upping his cardiovascular exercise. He now adheres to a regimen that includes five miles on an elliptical trainer and weight training three mornings a week and an hour of tennis every afternoon.

When Dr. Phil isn't busy with his smash daytime TV talk show, now in its third season and boasting some 8 million viewers daily, he spends as much time as possible with Robin, 51, and sons Jay, 25, and Jordan, 18. Dr. Phil recently spoke about the reasons behind our unhealthy relationship with food -- and what Americans must do to end it for good.

Continued on page 2:  Weight Loss, Family, and Marriage


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