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Dr. Oz serves up summer weight loss tips plus Paleo diet coconut water

Get a better bikini body with tips from Dr. Oz.
Get a better bikini body with tips from Dr. Oz.
Photo by Frazer Harrison

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes insufficient sleep, which is linked to problems ranging from obesity to hypertension, as a public health epidemic. On his July 22 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz unveiled a holistic sleep remedy and summer weight loss tips from Dr. Andrew Weil. Plus: Find out about Paleo diet-friendly coconut water.

Ice cream, barbecues and poolside piña coladas can cause you to pile on the pounds in summer. Dr. Weil says that by eating bitter foods before a meal, you can curb your cravings holistically.

Among the foods that he suggests: Endives, dandelion greens and radicchio. Dr. Oz beamed happily when Dr. Weil added beer to the list.

When it comes to supplements, Dr. Weil recommends being careful about choosing multivitamins. Look for options that have low doses rather than mega-doses. In addition, avoid added iron unless you are anemic and limit vitamin C to 250 mg.

Those hot summer nights can cause you to toss and turn. Studies show that lack of sleep can cause you to consume more calories the next day, while your fatigue can make you move less. But rather than use sleeping pills, Dr. Oz suggests a holistic form of fitness called Qigong.

How it works: Qigong is designed to lower your stress levels, alleviate anxiety and help you feel calm. It consists of a series of movements combined with breathing exercises and sounds designed to remove energy blocks.

In addition, Dr. Oz discussed the popularity of coconut water. He's been on a mission to get people to kick their soda habit. But is coconut water a healthy substitute?

Yes, says Dr. Oz. He recommends limiting your intake of this beverage but says it is helpful for hydration because it contains electrolytes and vitamins.

But not everyone agrees that coconut water is the perfect beverage. "People are always keen to try something new and en trend," nutritionist Karen Poole told the Huffington Post on July 22.

She warns that it's essential to read the label. "If you are going to indulge make sure you read the label as some brands aren't as pure as others."

Poole expressed concern about the amount of sugar in some brands of coconut water. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently revised its guidelines to recommend a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar daily.

Just how much sugar does coconut water contain? One glass can contain three teaspoons of sugar, reported the UK Express on July 22.

Coconut water comes from the liquid of green coconuts. Because it is high in potassium, it can be beneficial for athletes, noted sports nutritionist Anita Bean. "It’s appealing in that it is not contrived in a lab nor made in a factory," she added.

For those on a Paleo diet, coconut water is considered an accepted beverage. Just as with coconut oil and coconut milk, it's also a useful substitute in recipes.

If you're counting carbohydrates, however, be cautious. Although it's low in calories, eight ounces of coconut water has 11 grams of carbohydrates, and one can usually has 16 ounces. If you're on a ketogenic diet, gulping down just two cans of coconut water could consume almost all of your daily carbohydrates.