It's very rare that you hear of a relationship lasting nearly two decades, especially when you’re talking about one between a fitness professional and one of the biggest stars on the planet. Some 16 years ago, Oprah, who’s made no secret of her weight-loss struggles, professed her devotion to trainer Bob Greene to SHAPE, telling us of their daily regimen of cardio, strength training, and yoga.
All these years later, the TV guru still turns to Greene to stay fit. We caught up with the trainer exclusively (while he was in Hawaii on the "Oprah Compound") to get his three-pronged approach to weight loss that he shares with his star client.
"Healthy eating is a way of life, not a diet," Greene says. Here are three ways to make every meal as beneficial to you as it can be.
1. Add an anti-aging superfood to each meal. "These include blueberries, eggplant, and sweet potatoes." For a more complete list of so-called 'superfoods,’ check out Greene's website at 20YearsYounger.com.
2. Spice it up. "Herbs and spices like ginger and basil can help you live longer and fight infection and chronic diseases," Greene says.
3. Replace refined starches. Get rid of 'refined' starches like white flour, white bread, and white pasta, and replace with unrefined starches such as brown rice, steel cut oats, and legumes (such as black beans and lentils).
"You have to get moving—no excuses!" the trainer says. As you get started, keep in mind:
1. 200 minutes. "That is the minimum time everybody should do cardio per week," Greene says. "And most people should never walk flat on a treadmill, always on an incline."
2. Strength training. "Never skip strength training," he says. "Begin with light resistance—you’ll soon find yourself building fat-burning lean muscle."
3. Focus on your core. "These muscles are the most important in your entire body."
Skimping on sleep doesn’t just make you feel and look tired, it affects your entire life, Greene says. "You’re less likely to make it to that morning workout if you spent the night tossing and turning, and lack of a good night’s sleep can even cause you to gain weight."
1. Invest in a good mattress. "I have a Tempur-Pedic, and it has completely changed the way I sleep," the exercise guru says.
2. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. "Bottom line, you need this to function."
3. Consistent bedtime. "A set schedule will increase your chances of a better sleep," Greene says.