Contestants on NBC’s The Biggest Loser are lucky. They not only have the privilege of a credible fitness support team to help them lose a lot of weight. They also wrench lots of moneymaking, fortune-striking mileage from the media.
Ironically, it is an attention they will never get from sedentarily watching TV in their couches.
But you’re luckier. You can lose weight without sacrificing your privacy. You can go on a diet without being subjected to humiliation by the camera. You can exercise without millions of people watching you.
You can easily follow The Biggest Loser Diet in the comfort of your home. It is basically a 4-3-2-1 food pyramid, with fruits and vegetables taking the base (four servings) and fats on top (one serving). It is done in tandem with good ol’ physical activity. The benefits should be a plethora then, anywhere from weight loss to decrease in cholesterol levels to stabilization of blood pressure.
Dr. Michael Dansinger, an obesity researcher from Tufts University, designed the Biggest Loser program alongside Dr. Cheryl Forberg, a renowned chef and dietitian. Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, alongside writer Maggie Greenwood-Robinson, take credit for the workouts in the program.
How the Biggest Loser Diet Works
They conceived the Biggest Loser program to take 12 weeks. During this time, you are expected to keep a daily log of your intake, so you can monitor the sizes of your portions. Expect to eat more than three small meals full of fiber and protein daily. Expect everyday exercises too, from 30-minute up to one-hour workouts.
This diet causes weight reduction simply because it lets you exhaust more calories than you take in. Its meal plans make you feel full for less calories than provided by your habitual intake.
In the Biggest Loser diet, you should take meals more often but smaller than usual. In fact, you must eat them with intervals of only a few hours to flout your hunger. To make sure you are eating as planned, you should keep a log of your food intake, particularly your portion sizes.
Your meals in the Biggest Loser Diet generally steer clear of sugars and refined starches. These compounds increase glucose and insulin in the blood, contributing to hunger.
But your calorie needs are not the same as the next person. As in the TV show, you need to compute your calorie level. Just multiply seven by your weight at present (in the reality show they use six as the constant). If you weigh 300 lbs. then, your calorie needs should top off at 2,100 a day. If you weigh 150 lbs., 1,050 a day should be enough. However, the diet’s creators concede that 1,200 calories is already a minimum for most anyone.
Compute your calorie level again every time you lose pounds. This is important if you want to sustain the momentum of your weight loss.
Dieting is not enough in the Biggest Loser program. As you may have seen on TV, the program requires you to bust some moves. If you don’t know where to start, consult The Biggest Loser Diet book. It has details on resistance training and cardiovascular workouts for efficient fat burning. Usually, the program calls for an hour of physical activity a day.
Everything is in the book, including strategies to maintain your ideal weight once attained. Also scattered throughout the tome are nuggets of motivational wisdom from Biggest Loser contenders themselves.
You get plenty of motivation enough from watching the series but you’ll find even more from the Biggest Loser online club. Join it in lieu of a fitness trainer who can personally galvanize you. You would get such perks as recipes, meal plans, and tailor-made fitness plans data.
What you can eat in the Biggest Loser Diet
Natural whole foods and lean proteins are the centerpiece of the Biggest Loser Diet. They efficiently give calories, thereby preempting your hunger before it occurs. Put another way, you are debarred from eating appetite stimulants, which consist of potatoes, bread, pasta, and other “white foods.” You are also advised never to consume processed foods, especially those with too much fats, sugar, or salt.
Good examples of whole grains are bread with two grams of fiber per serving and cereal with five grams of fiber per serving. Lean fish, lean meat, low-fat dairy, and tofu are good protein choices.
Rule of thumb: If you can’t articulate the ingredients on the label, don’t eat the food. A product must never contain saturated and trans fats. Otherwise, eat food without additional fats, if not raw.
Equally importantly, drink 48 to 64 oz. of water every day. Instead of juice and extracts, eat whole fruits and vegetables.
Carbohydrates should represent 45 percent of your caloric intake; protein 30 percent; and fat 25 percent. In sum, follow the 4-3-2-1 rule for portion sizes. Every day, consume four servings of vegetables and fruits; three servings of protein; and two servings of whole grains. Consume only a serving or none of fats, sweets, and alcohol, so long as it does not exceed 200 calories.
You may refer to the book for examples of weekly meal plans and easy-to-prepare recipes for all calorie levels. For breakfast, you may eat one serving of whole grains; half a serving of lean protein; and a serving of fruit. For lunch, take in half a serving of whole grains; a serving of protein; and a serving of vegetable. For dinner, feast only on half a serving of whole grains; half a serving of protein; and two servings of vegetables. Snack on a fruit and half a serving of protein in between meals.
If you still crave fr more than your calorie level allows, just ear more servings of fruits and vegetables.
Experts weigh in the Biggest Loser Diet
Many nutritionists laud the Biggest Loser eating program. They find its plans familiar, what with their heavy stress on lean to low-fat protein, alongside many vegetables and fruits. They also find common ground with the program’s creators insofar as they all condemn refined grains.
Dietitians, for their part, support the 1,200-calorie daily limit set in the diet. They caution about eating less; you may be deprived of essential minerals and vitamins.
But the Biggest Loser Diet is not without its fair share of cynics. Most of their grievances about the diet focus on the carbohydrate requirement. It may turn out to be inadequate for a very physically active person.
Your carb intake must be commensurate with the energy needed to sustain you when you are physically active. If you esteem yourself running short of energy, you may want to eat more servings of carbs.
Some fear the diet may be too deficient in vitamins and minerals. Diets are known to be such. Otherwise, you should be able to get everything you need from the regimen.
NBC’s reality series can be very inspirational. Thankfully, you can follow this diet in the comfort of your own home, without the prying lens of the cameras.
It can be customized to suit your nutritional requirements. You are likely to follow it all the way to the finish, because it never risks getting monotonous. The meal plans are very varied.
Designed by credible experts, the Biggest Loser Diet has a strong scientific foundation to make it a superlative measure for weight loss. Its benefits look to the long-term.
In order to get the most out of this diet, take omega-3 fatty acids or eat fish with low mercury content twice a week. You my also want to take some diet pills and multivitamin supplements for even better results. Follow these and become a real-world reality star.