Dr. Oz talks extreme weight loss ‘thigh gap’ diets and magnesium energy boosters

For several years, girls, teens and young women have been obsessed with achieving the newest slim sensation: Thigh Gaps. But their extreme weight loss plans can pose dangers, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz. On his Feb. 25 talk show, Dr. Oz explored thigh gap diets. Plus: Find out how to boost your energy with magnesium.

As an example of how these diets can become obsessive, Dr. Oz talked with Camille Hugh, author of “The Thigh Gap Hack: The Shortcut to Slimmer, Feminine Thighs Every Woman Secretly Desires” (click for details). Camille feels that her book does a service in offering tricks such as overcoming hunger, exercises and focusing primarily on very low calorie foods. She defended her desire to achieve the thigh gap look.

However, Dr. Oz is concerned that books and views such as Camille’s can lead to eating disorders. He asked eating disorder specialist Dr. Jennifer Thomas to offer her insights.

Author of “Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? (The Almost Effect),” Dr. Thomas notes that Camille’s emphasis on extreme weight loss and low body fat parallels the development of anorexia. By obsessing on those goals, young girls are at risk of developing eating disorders.

In addition to the emotional aspects of anorexia, girls focused on developing thigh gaps put their health at risk, warned Dr. Oz. They may lose muscle, which impacts the metabolism and even can affect the heart.

Note: This week is National Eating Disorders Week, designed to spread awareness: Learn more by clicking here. And find out about resources on eating disorders, from memoirs to DVDs to self-help guides, by clicking here.

Also on the show, Dr. Oz discussed magnesium for energy and health. Symptoms of insufficient magnesium include constipation, anxiety, fatigue and muscle spasms. Studies show that up to 75 percent of American adults lack enough magnesium.

To boost your magnesium levels, eat these foods:

  • kidney beans
  • black beans
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • bran cereal

How to Lose Your Belly, Butt & Thighs

It’s common to want to trim a few pounds off a specific area of the body — or two, or three. But finding a method to blast that fat off for good isn’t easy. Your body’s metabolism is stubborn, as it wants to maintain status quo and keep that layer of fat right where it is on your belly, butt or thighs. Combat the body’s tendency for stasis by making lifestyle changes and committing to a lifelong healthy eating and exercise strategy to lose the fat and keep it off.

Instructions

  1. Start and maintain a healthy eating strategy that will help you lose weight and reduce fat. Read nutrition labels and avoid foods that contain saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. Don’t eliminate fat from your diet altogether, as some fat is necessary for the body to function, but consume healthy polyunsaturated fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, olives and fish. Swap white, refined carbohydrates for hearty whole grains that will fill you up in less time. Follow serving sizes to consume sensible portions, and reduce your calorie intake, but you don’t need to do anything drastic. Consuming 100 fewer calories a day is all that’s necessary to reduce belly fat.
  2. Tone the abs. Strength training can’t reduce fat in a specific area, but can tone the muscles underneath the body fat to flatten the stomach. Lie on an exercise mat and do crunches, first with your knees bent and then with your legs straight for an additional challenge. Perform pelvic tilts and leg lifts, which also work the butt and thighs. Do crunches or sit-ups for the abs. Perform pelvic tilts and lifts for the lower abs, butt, and thighs. Firm and tone the thighs and core with squats, using a set of dumbbells.
  3. Tone the butt and thighs to help make it look sculpted and lean. Most exercises will work the butt and thighs together. With a set of dumbbells and an exercise mat, do sets of squats and lunges. Do sets of variations on leg lifts while on all fours on an exercise mat. Work one leg at a time. Do three sets on each leg of lifting it straight out at a 45-degree angle, bending at the knee and lifting out to the side, and kicking up and back with the knee bent.
  4. Incorporate cardio or aerobic exercise into your daily routine to lose weight and body fat. You won’t be able to dictate where the pounds come off, but consistency and dedication will result in losing fat in the belly, butt and thighs as well as other parts of the body. Daily, moderate exercise is the best way to lose body fat. Take brisk walks of at least 30 minutes, or do a dance routine or go for a run or jog. Anything that elevates your heart rate for at least 30 minutes, every day, will help you lose weight and burn fat.
  5. Measure your progress. Use a measuring tape to keep track of the circumference of your waistline, hips and thighs. Gradually, you should see the numbers go down as you lose fat from these areas and tone the muscles underneath.