For many people who lose weight, examining their eating habits and modifying them to include lean proteins, vegetables and fruits leads to success. For some people, like Hannah Lester, having an easy recipe to incorporate into her daily routine helped her maintain her weight loss for seven years. For others like, Dr. Kevin Gendreau, having healthy swaps for foods he loves makes sustaining his weight loss fun and tasty.
Four people who successfully lost weight and maintained it shared some go-to recipes with TODAY.
Kevin Gendreau, who lost 125 pounds
After Gendreau’s sister died of ovarian cancer, he reevaluated his health and realized that being 300 pounds caused him to have many health conditions, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and sleep apnea. In 2017, he started intermittent fasting with a low-carbohydrate diet. Since then he lost 125 pounds and has successfully maintained his loss while reversing his health conditions. Making healthy versions of foods he loves helps him continue his healthy habits.
Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly Coconut Macaroons
- 2 egg whites
- 1/8 cup erythritol/monk fruit
- 1/8 cup almond flour
- 1 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together egg whites and erythritol/monk fruit until it forms stiff peaks.
- In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut, vanilla and butter.
- Once stiff peaks have formed, fold together all ingredients.
- Form 8 to 10 small, 1½-2 inch domes and place them on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops of the macaroons start to turn golden-brown.
- Melt about 1/8-1/4 cup of chocolate chips, if using, and drizzle over the top.
Hannah Lester, who lost 123 pounds
Starting the morning right helps many people stick to their healthy eating habits all day long. Lester lost 123 pounds after she realized she was “the fat friend,” and has been maintaining her loss for seven years. She admits that she doesn’t like cooking but relies on some simple hacks that make eating healthy foods easier.
- A serving of yogurt
- A handful of your favorite fruit
- A serving of granola
Place the yogurt in a bowl and top with fruit and granola.
Al Roker’s keto breakfast
After Al Roker starts his day at 4 a.m. with a workout, he often makes a batch of his ketogenic diet breakfast— an easy-to-make egg muffin. This muffin includes foods that so many people enjoy: eggs, cheese, veggies and some meat.
Keto egg muffins
- 6-8 eggs
- A dollop of half-and-half or heavy cream
- Leftover veggies from the fridge
- Grated cheese plus an extra slice for each muffin top
- Beat the eggs with the half-and-half or heavy cream.
- Fill in four to six spots in a jumbo muffin tin with the egg mix.
- Add in any leftover veggies.
- Crumble in bacon.
- Top with grated cheese of your choice.
- Bake at 350 to 400 F until they’re puffy and brown (about 30 minutes).
- Place one more slice of cheese on top and place it back in the oven until it melts.
Bridget Nieves, who lost over 100 pounds
When Bridget Nieves read a report that noted that obesity was a risk factor that contributed to death when people had COVID-19, she decided to lose some weight. Nieves, who can be found on Instagram as Making Friends with Food, ordered a Peloton to encourage herself to work out, and made healthy swaps in her diet. She tracked her food and planned what to eat using the app Lose It! In 11 months, she shed 103 pounds.
“For me, the biggest thing was finding ways to incorporate the foods I love without restricting myself and while creating a calorie deficient,” she told TODAY. “I had to find creative ways to tweak the foods I love to make them healthier.”
She shared two recipes that can help anyone hoping to make some healthy food changes.
- 3 ounces organic spinach and kale
- 1 ounce fat-free shredded mozzarella
- Roughly 1 cup 100% liquid egg whites
- A small amount of turkey pepperoni
- Spray medium-size skillet with olive oil spray.
- Sauté spinach and kale over medium heat.
- Spray pan again.
- Add egg whites and thoroughly cook.
- Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni and cover, reduce heat to low and cook for two to three minutes, until cheese is melted.
Nieves even offers a dessert for those with a sweet tooth.
Air-Fried Oreo and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
- 1 crescent roll triangle
- 2 Oreo thins
- 1 snack-size Reese’s peanut butter cup
- Dusting of powdered sugar
- Open crescent roll container, remove one triangle and slice it into two equal halves.
- Spread dough thin with a rolling pin.
- Place two Oreo things inside one dough triangle.
- Place one Reese’s inside the other dough triangle.
- Fold dough around cookies and smooth, sealing all edges.
- Cook in air fryer for 10 minutes at 350 F.
- Remove from air fryer and let cool for two minutes.
- Top with sifted powdered sugar.