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Dr. Oz talks with Mary J. Blige about banning booze and winning at weight loss

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Superstar Mary J. Blige may seem like one of those women who have it all. But, she told Dr. Mehmet Oz on his Dec. 16 talk show, she struggled for years with drugs, alcohol and her weight before resolving to reclaim her life.

Although she did succeed in overcoming cocaine use after a few years, Mary admits that she abused alcohol for decades. It was only as she neared age 40 that she resolved to turn her life around and take control of her health and happiness. Now she's lost weight, shaped up and is proud to show off her toned body.

Dr. Oz asked Mary to open up about what made her turn around her life. Did she hit rock bottom?

Mary was honest: She stopped drinking alcohol when she realized that she was in danger of dying from alcohol abuse. And after that, she gradually felt more empowered to seek health and happiness.

Mary appears on the December cover of Shape magazine and revealed her fit success.

"I haven't had a drink in a year and three months," she declared.

However, she admits that losing weight hasn't been easy now that she's over 40.

"As you age, your body really wants to hold on to extra weight," she said. So to get extra help, Mary hired a personal trainer. For cardio, she either runs on a treadmill or heads to the great outdoors.

"The treadmill is fine, but running outdoors gives me the best results," Mary added.

And the upbeat news in her life at this time of year: She loves Christmas. At 42, it's one of her favorite times of year, and she's even created a new album to celebrate it: "A Mary Christmas" (click for details).

But Mary does have one problem: PMS.

When the singer confided in Dr. Oz and told him about the weight gain, bloating and mood swings that bother her each month, he came up with these anti-PMS diet solutions that all women can follow:

  • Cut down on salty food.
  • Skip the chips and enjoy nuts
  • Nibble on cheese, which provides you with calcium and eases anxiety.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and foods that contain sugar.

When it comes to salt, how much is the right amount? Although Dr. Oz wants you to reduce your intake when you have PMS, he notes that recent research has shown that you do need some salt in your diet. He recommends limiting your intake to about 2,300 mg per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.

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