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Powter, Get America Moving - Good Morning America
Jun 06, 2006
Exchange Your Unhealthy Lifestyle for a Good One

Susan Powter has a simple credo for weight loss and healthy living: common sense. That means no unpronounceable ingredients in her food and no food with unnatural, neon colors.

It seems to have worked. The weight loss icon of the 1990s has kept her body tight and toned after being fed up as a 260-pound housewife. Since weighing her heaviest in the 1980s, she has cut her weight in half, dropped to a size 2, and has never gained back the pounds. Now, after taking some time off to have a third child, Powter, 48, is back on the weight loss scene with a new article in Elle magazine and a new series of exercise tapes.

"[There are] thousands of symptoms directly connected to this thing called obesity," says Powter of "Stop the Insanity" fame. "Hundreds of diseases directly connected. So it isn't just a little bit of fat we're talking about anymore. We're talking about literally a culture ... that isn't working [toward better health]."

Powter, known for her blond buzz cut and energetic fitness infomercials, understands firsthand how difficult it is to overhaul your lifestyle, but that is exactly what she says people need to do. The key is to recognize what the human body was meant to do: Burn fat and build muscle mass.

"It's good to get a little action going," Powter says. "We can slowly, bit by bit, build ... an active body, which connects with your brain."

More oxygen in the blood burns more calories, and Powter adds that pumping it into your body through exercise will make a world of difference in fighting the obesity epidemic.

"What I call my lifestyle exchange program is literally exchanging a lifestyle that isn't working," says Powter. "Anything that you bought ... if it didn't suit you, didn't work in your life, you would literally take it back, wouldn't you? So my program is different in that it tells the truth."

The truth, Powter says, is that she "worked [my] butt off," literally -- and that is what overweight people must do to make significant change.

To get more information on Powter's weight loss philosophy, visit