Why the Biggest Loser Eating Plan Works
There are no two ways about it: the contestants on The Biggest Loser know - or rather, come to find out - that their weight-loss journey and the path to health is not a result of a "diet" or fad, but a medically sound lifestyle modification program that includes exercise and a sensible, healthy eating plan. Diets are temporary. This is not.
There is no "magic bullet" you can take to help you reach your weight and fitness goals. You must eat less and move more. But eating smarter is key. It is hard work, but it's well worth it on many levels. And it's the only healthy path. For 12 seasons, I've instructed every Biggest Loser contestant on the same eating plan - it works!
The Biggest Loser eating plan has helped hundreds of contestants (and viewers as well) reach their weight loss goals. But it's not only a great way to eat for weight loss, it's an excellent eating plan for ANYONE and EVERYONE in the family. It promotes a strong immune system and healthy blood sugar levels (and increased energy!), along with regularity and cardiac health. The bare basics of the eating plan are this: strive to get 45% of your calories from smart carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits), 30% of your calories from lean proteins and 25% of your calories from good fat (especially unsaturated fat like olive oil).
The Biggest Loser eating plan is great for those with (or without!) special dietary considerations. Did you know that one out of every four Biggest Loser contestants have diabetes when they arrive on the ranch? They ALL leave without it! You may also have heard on last week's episode when Joe Mitchell reported that he'd been taking blood pressure medication for two and half years and was able to stop taking his meds after only three days at the ranch! It has everything to do with the BL eating and fitness plan.
The key is to divide and conquer... try to have three meals and two to three snacks each day. And an important factor is to pair protein with each meal and snack. This helps level out blood sugar and helps you stay full longer.
So, how do you do this? Here is an example of how to structure your meals according to the BL eating plan:
Day One of a 1500-Calorie Menu
- 1/2 cup (3) egg whites, scrambled with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon chopped basil, 1 teaspoon grated parmesan and 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 slice Ezekiel or whole grain toast
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup decaf iced tea with lemon
- 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla Greek style yogurt (or frozen yogurt) sprinkled with 2 tablespoons sliced strawberries
- Southwestern Bulgur Salad with 3/4 cup cooked bulgur, 4 ounces chopped grilled chicken breast, 1 cup diced grilled veggies (2 Tablespoons onion, 1/4 cup diced zucchini, 1/2 cup bell pepper), 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro with 1 serving (1 Tablespoon) light Caesar vinaigrette and 1 Tablespoon shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- Ice water with lime
- 2 Tablespoons hummus
- 1/2 cup jicama slices
- 1 cup wild rice with toasted almonds
- 4 ounces grilled salmon filet
- 1 cup wilted baby spinach with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup diced cantaloupe
- Decaf coffee or green tea
- 1/2 cup raspberry sorbet with 1 teaspoon chopped pecans
I can't emphasize enough the importance of keeping a detailed food journal, recording everything you eat over the course of a day. When done vigilantly the journal becomes invaluable in spotting trouble areas and eventually becomes a grocery list and menu-planning tool. Here's a video where I explain food journaling in more detail (and get a peek at what goes on behind the scenes of The Biggest Loser).
Cheryl Forberg, RD. Biggest Loser Nutritionist
Keep reading this season, and I'll give you MORE menus, MORE recipes, MORE weight-loss secrets and all the things you need to be a Biggest Loser at home!
For more nutrition and cooking tips, visit Cheryl's website FlavorFirst.com
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