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Oprah Winfrey ends love affair with comfort foods with Paleo-style low carb diet

Get Oprah Winfrey's diet secrets.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Watch a few episodes of any show that features Oprah Winfrey. Read a few issues of Oprah magazine. It's almost impossible to do either without encountering the topic of food. Oprah may love "The Sound of Music" (she managed to reunite the cast) - but she adores the joy of eating even more.

From cupcakes to candy, from mashed potatoes to maple syrup, comfort foods bring out the best of Oprah's essence. Her eyes gleam; her voice becomes even smoother and richer than usual (and she already has a lovely voice), and her gestures are worthy of an orchestra leader.

Chefs should worship at her throne: Oprah praises cookbook authors and noted chefs in a way usually reserved for the Proust's and Michaelangelos of the modern world.

Forget Gourmet magazine. Set aside that issue of Food and Wine. When it comes to descriptions of food and lavish recipes, Oprah is the queen.

And yet...and yet. It is also difficult if not impossible to read those same issues of Oprah magazine and watch a week's worth of Oprah without encountering another obsession of Winfrey's: dieting. Oprah has devoted much of her career to wrestling with the weight fates. She hates her weight, yet loves to eat.

The result: a never-ending battle waged inwardly and viewed externally. In fact, one of Oprah's most famous TV moments came in 1988, when she proudly sauntered onto the stage in tight jeans, pulling a child's wagon piled high with over 65 pounds of very scary-looking fat. She swore at the time that she was not going through that lose-gain cycle again. And yet, what seemed like a mere month or so later,those jeans no longer fit and Oprah resumed her self-torture.

What's fascinating is that Oprah's food affair/diet torture reflects our national attitude. We want to literally have our cake and lose weight too. And we're not talking about a teeny tiny slice of sugar-free cake either.

In recent years, however, Oprah seems to have ended her yo-yo dieting dilemma. And since shedding 25 pounds in just six weeks, she's managed to lose more weight and keep it off.

Her secret weapons, according to the Huffington Post:

  • a Paleo-style diet prepared by a personal chef
  • working out and exercising on the treadmill workouts with trainer Bob Greene.
  • doing what she can to stick to filling foods such as fish, chicken, meat, fruits and vegetables

Following a Paleo diet can do more than help you lose weight: It can help you keep it off, says Loren Cordain, Paleo diet guru. In an exclusive interview, he said: "The DIOGENES trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Pediatrics showed that high protein, low glycemic load diets are the most effective diets in keeping weight off after weight loss in adults and preventing fat gain in children. These are the same diets whose nutritional characteristics emulate those of our hunter gatherer ancestors."

Want to follow a Paleo-style diet? Paleo diet expert Robb Wolf recommends avoiding these foods:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Dairy
  • Peanuts
  • Grains
  • Corn