‘Biggest Loser’: Make simple swaps, see results

Take a cue from the competitors on the hit weight-loss show and get healthy! Cheryl Forberg shares low-calorie recipes as well as easy changes to start living a healthier lifestyle without using all your money or time in "The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps." An excerpt.

Introduction

When I opened my newspaper on a recent morning, I read something that shocked me: Over the past year, our obesity rates did not decrease in any state in America. It’s hard for me

to believe, because as the nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser,” I see and hear so many weight-loss success stories every day — and not just from contestants, but from viewers as well.

I first meet the contestants at the start of each new season of the show, when they sit down with me for a comprehensive nutrition consultation. During these meetings, I have the opportunity to learn about each individual’s unique history and struggles, including their typical eating habits and their past attempts to lose weight. What’s interesting is that no matter how different each person’s story is, almost all of them share many of the same issues. By now, I can almost predict some of the answers I’ll receive to the questions I ask.

After eight wonderful seasons with the show, I’ve learned a lot about the common difficulties and obstacles many Americans face when it comes to their eating habits and attempts at weight management.

Among these issues, I’ve identified 10 key factors that I believe play a vital role in weight gain and poor overall health. I’ve found that most of our contestants:

  1. Had absolutely no idea how many calories their bodies really needed (or how many they consumed each day).
  2. Frequently skipped breakfast and other meals.
  3. Didn’t eat enough fruits or vegetables.
  4. Didn’t eat enough lean protein.
  5. Didn’t eat enough whole grains.
  6. Ate too much “white stuff,” such as white flour, white pasta, white sugar, white rice, and simple carbohydrates.
  7. Didn’t plan their meals in advance and often found themselves grabbing something on the go which they ate standing up, in the car, or at their desks.
  8. Drank too many of their calories (some people consumed their daily calorie budgets in sugary drinks alone!) but didn’t drink enough water or milk.
  9. Didn’t get enough exercise (if any).
  10. Prioritized other things — such as their families, friends, and jobs — over their own health and wellbeing.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably all too familiar with many of these challenges. This book provides the tools you need to get started on your own transformation. A lot of people are afraid that creating a healthier lifestyle will be too hard or too expensive or that it will require too much time and effort. The idea behind “Simple Swaps” is to make getting healthy a less daunting challenge. Living a healthier life doesn’t mean you have to change everything at once — it begins with small, manageable steps. A good place to start is to swap some of your daily habits and choices for healthier versions. For example, you might swap your daily glass of fruit juice for a piece of whole fruit, or swap your sweet afternoon treat from the coffee shop for a satisfying snack that combines protein and carbohydrates to give you a boost of energy.

I created 100 “Simple Swaps” and more than 30 mouthwatering recipes for this book based on my experience and success with “The Biggest Loser” contestants and the common struggles most people face when it comes to weight loss. Many of these recommendations are the same ones I give the contestants when they come to see me on that first day at “The Biggest Loser” ranch. Throughout the book, you’ll find not only my recommendations and advice, but tips from the contestants themselves, who know firsthand how tough it can be to fit lifestyle changes into a busy schedule, and who have incorporated these swaps into their weight-loss efforts.

Whether you’re looking to shed just a few pounds, lose a significant amount of weight, or simply maintain a healthy weight, these “Simple Swaps” will not only help you keep fit, but also ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need for optimal health and wellness. Swapping one unhealthy food, habit, or lifestyle choice for another, better one is where it all begins.

Excerpted from “The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps” by Cheryl Forberg, RD, and The Biggest Loser experts and cast with Melissa Roberson. Copyright (c) 2009 by Universal City Studio Productions LLLp. Reprinted with permission from Rodale Books.

Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
Makes 8 (about 1-cup) side dish servings or 4 main course servings
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Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
Yield: 4 small pizzas Servings
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Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
Makes 4 servings
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Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
Makes 2 (3⁄4-cup) servings
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Excerpted from “The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps” by Cheryl Forberg, RD, and The Biggest Loser experts and cast with Melissa Roberson. Copyright (c) 2009 by Universal City Studio Productions LLLp. Reprinted with permission from Rodale Books.

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