Is the Oprah Syndrome a Good or Bad Thing?

This article was published on: 05/5/22 5:55 AM

Reading Time: 2 minutes

There’s something I call the Oprah Syndrome. Maybe you call it the Dr. Oz Syndrome. Whatever you call it, the syndrome has the same effect on people. Let me give you an example to illustrate the Oprah Syndrome.

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What is the Oprah Syndrome?

My cousins invited me for a home cooked dinner. They are in their 80’s, in fairly good health and are aware of health foods and making the best nutritional choices possible.

Before we started the meal, they gave me a piece of bread and told me to dip it in olive oil and eat it first before eating anything else.

Now don’t get me wrong. I like bread and enjoy olive oil.

But naturally I was curious about their food choices and instructions to me.

I asked them when and why they started this new custom. They told me they were watching Oprah and a guest on her show suggested doing this.

Oprah Syndrome in action; whatever Oprah says, does, or her guests say and do must be correct, so I’ll do it too!

While I have great respect for Oprah and all the success she’s had, and especially her Oprah and walking commitment, sometimes this copycat behavior really irks me. Particularly when I’m in disagreement with the suggestions.

Here’s my case in point.

Is Walking Enough Exercise For Fat Loss?

These past few years Oprah has been using walking as her primary exercise and so have millions of her followers. Yet, she’s still overweight and still looking to get leaner.

While walking is better than no exercise at all, if you want a lean body it’s simply not sufficient exercise. It won’t help you burn fat.


Because in order to burn fat your body needs to produce fat-burning compounds known as catecholamines. When you produce them, they bind to metabolic receptors on the outer membrane of fat cells, causing their destruction.

That’s the scientific explanation, but all it means is that fat cells will shrink.

And what creates this fat burning effect?

This only happens when you exercise at 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Calculate this range with this formula: 220 minus your age times .60 equals your target heart rate zone.

When you exercise by the numbers and understand what’s required, you’ll burn fat.

So, yes, the Oprah Syndrome can lead you in the right direction, but in this case it’s important to add the missing piece that will get you RESULTS!

If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.

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For over 15 years, Shelli has been a freelance writer and wellness habit coach on Joyinmovement. She writes about brain fitness, creating a healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, and making positive habits stick. Stop procrastinating! Take action, join her free newsletter.


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