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Dr. Oz: Zinc for colds and Chris Powell's carb-cycling diet and weight loss tips

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Dr. Oz uncovered the truth behind some of the biggest health lies on the Jan. 14 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.

He examined whether the following health clichés stand up to scientific scrutiny:

  1. Does heat escape from your head? No. This is a myth.
  2. Does gargling with cold water eliminate hiccups? Yes. Cold water shocks and confuses the nerves.
  3. Does drinking alcohol warm you up? No. Dr. Oz said consuming alcohol actually has the opposite effect. Alcohol causes you to sweat, but it cools on your skin, causing you to feel colder.

Zinc Stops Colds & Dark Chocolate Fights Stress

Dr. Oz said a new study shows that zinc can help fight off a cold and shorten its duration.

Dr. Oz explained that most drugstore cold medicines mask the symptoms of a cold (such as coughing and congestion) but does not treat the rhino virus that caused the cold.

In contrast, zinc actually attacks the rhino virus, which can cut your cold's duration in half if you do the following:

  • Start taking zinc within 24 hours of your first cold symptom.
  • Take zinc until your symptoms disappear (or about four days).

Dr. Oz said a great stress reliever is dark chocolate as long as you don't overeat it. Dr. Oz previously explained that stress fuels weight gain and is the No. 1 cause of aging. For stress relief, Dr. Oz suggested consuming dark chocolate that has a minimum of 70% cacao, which is low in sugar.

Carb-Cycling Diet and Weight-Loss Tips From Chris Powell

In another segment of the show, Dr. Oz's guest was "Extreme Weight Loss" star Chris Powell, who said the best way to torch fat and promote weight loss is to build lean muscle mass.

Powell, author of Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, said the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism is all day long, so you lose weight and burn fat even when you're sleeping. Chris said resistance-training is the best way to melt fat and stimulate lean-muscle growth.

Chris told Dr. Oz you can fire up your metabolism and boost lean muscle production with a simple five-minute workout. He suggested the following exercises:

  • Jumping jacks. Doing 10 reps of jumping jacks works your glutes, calves, shoulders and abs.
  • Chair crunch. Sit in a chair and do stomach crunches while you hold on to the sides of the chair with your hands. Do 10 reps.
  • High knees: Stand in place and raise your knee to your chest and then alternate with the other knee. Do 10 reps.

Powell also advocates a carb-cycling diet, or or alternating between days of high-carb intake and low-carb intake, to keep your body guessing and your metabolism fired up.

On Chris' carb-cycling diet plan, you can eat 1,200 calories on a low-carb day, 1,500 calories on a high-carb day and up to 2,400 calories on a cheat day. Powell detailed his rapid weight-loss plan in his bestseller, Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution.

Winter Skincare Tips

Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi told Dr. Oz we need to change our skincare products during the winter to deal with the colder, dryer weather. To keep your skin supple and wrinkle-free during the winter, Dr. Oz recommended the following:

  1. Consume fatty fish. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines, bluefish and mackerel moisturize your skin from the inside out.
  2. Wear sunscreen. The sun wrinkles your skin, whether it's cold or hot out, so Dr. suggested wearing sunscreen all year round.
  3. Moisturize with Aquaphor. Dr. Oz said this inexpensive lotion can be used on your face, hands, or feet to protect skin from wind, burns, cold or dry air.
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