Read all about it in The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle. Penned by Dr. Cheryl Forberg, resident dietitian of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, the diet entails making a hundred lifestyle changes, covering everything from food choices to kitchenware to meal plans. Forberg guarantees you would never revert to your former habits after making these big but simple swaps.
Forberg wrote the book for people who don’t have a cadre of experts to galvanize them as in the TV show. Herein, you will learn how to satisfy your appetite healthily and at least become aware of the decadence of your gastronomical tendencies.
Yet do not expect to slim down as fast as the contestants in the reality show. The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps causes weight reduction only gradually, in the manner contestants adopt after being booted out. You may lose as much as 3 lbs. weekly nonetheless, especially if you are physically active.
How the Biggest Loser Simple Swaps works
This program rolls out one change of routine or “swap” at a time. Whenever you grow accustomed to a swap, go for even more. You may attempt multiple swaps at one time though.
For a start, swap your kitchenware with nonstick pans, mini-muffin pans, squeezable containers, and cooking sprays. At the same time, monitor your intake with a journal and take up the habit of reading labels on products.
This program is not complete without the requisite tips on physical activity. The book will teach you how to contort easy exercises into your schedule.
What you can eat in the Biggest Loser Simple Swaps
Like in the reality show, set your calorie level or budget before going on a swapping spree. Do this by multiplying your weight at present by a constant factor of 7. The means you have an allowance of 7 calories per pound of your weight. If you weigh less than 150 lbs. however, talk with your doctor about a more appropriate calorie budget.
Simple Swaps generally turns you against anything processed, refined and artificial. Forty-five percent of your daily caloric intake must come from unrefined carbohydrates; 30 percent from lean protein like dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, soy, etc.; and 25 percent from fats. Your sodium or salt intake must not exceed 2,400 milligrams a day.
On any given day, these recommendations indicate three servings of lean protein, two servings of whole grains, and four servings of fruits and veggies. They also mean one serving of avocados, nuts, oils and sweets: extras that must not exceed 200 calories per day.
Three fourths of your daily calorie budget must come from your breakfast, lunch and dinner, the last fourth from your in-between meals. But you can tweak the meal plans to accommodate your eating style. You can eat less at lunch if you want to, for example. Just remember never to miss the three meals.
Except for dairy goods, your calorie sources must be in solid form. Remember, however, that the book’s dairy recommendations fall short of the quantity established by the US Dietary Guidelines.
Recipes in the Biggest Loser Simple Swaps
These two exemplify the many low-calorie recipes you can follow in the tome:
Greek Style Pasta
- 6 oz. whole-grain penne
- 8 oz. artichoke hearts, halved lengthwise
- 1⁄4 cup low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cups tomatoes, roasted
- 8 kalamata, sliced
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon peel
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- optional: fresh oregano
Cook the penne to al dente as specified in the package instructions, and put aside.
To make the sauce, pour oil into a large nonstick skillet over medium to high heat. Put in onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft and barely brown. Add garlic and simmer but do not brown it. Mix the bell pepper in and cook until soft. Combine them with the roasted tomatoes. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the artichokes and wait for a minute still.
Mix the cooked penne with the sauce in a bowl and toss. Move the mixture to another bowl and top it with olives, lemon peel, and crumbled cheese. Add oregano as garnish if you want.
Each serving contains 140 calories, 27 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 41 0 milligrams sodium.
Smokey Pea Soup
- 2 oz. or 3 slices Canadian bacon, chopped
- 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 can or 15 1⁄2 oz. fat-free chicken broth
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup milk
- 3⁄4 lb. or 2 cups shelled edamame
- 6 tbsp. Greek-style yogurt (fat-free)
- 2 tbsp. chives or scallions, chopped
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- ground black pepper
Cook the bacon in a small nonstick skillet, then set aside.
To make a puree, pour oil into a nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion for 4 minutes. or until soft but do not brown it. Throw in garlic and cook for one more minute, but do not brown. Put in broth, cumin, milk, sage, and salt. Boil. Throw in the edamame over low heat and wait for 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture into blender and shake it until smooth.
Pour the puree back into the pan and add the bacon. Add seasoning (salt and pepper). Sprinkle with scallions/chives and use yogurt as garnish.
Each serving gives 130 calories, 12 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 39 0 milligrams sodium.
Experts weigh in the Biggest Loser Simple Swaps Diet
You may find that this diet reneges on its promise of not making you feel deprived. You may think its calorie budget too puny to ever stymie your appetite, let alone nourish you.
Nutritionists suggest increasing the diet’s allowance to 10 calories for every pound of body weight. Without any personal trainer or doctor to wait on you at all times, you should be fine on your own with this budget. The author herself agrees: Followers of the Biggest Loser Simple Swaps may take in 7-10 calories a pound per day.
For all that, no less than the American Dietetic Association called the Simple Swaps program “wonderful.” They acclaimed its positively simplistic approach towards dieting and fitness.
Everybody, whether chubby or plain obese, can subscribe to this program. The advice in the book is simple enough to integrate into the most mundane life.
More than the strategies and recipes, the profusion of advice from former Biggest Loser contenders is the book’s best feature. Their commentary can truly inspire you to shed weight. After all, these are people who have really shared your experience, not experts merely acting on theoretical knowledge.
Old habits die hard, but with the Biggest Loser Simple Swaps, you can kill them in no time. But rather than hurrying you up to lose weight, this program asks you to do it one swap at a time. That way, when you finally lose weight, the benefit is for the long haul.
You get to eat many low-calorie, nutritious foods in Simple Swaps but just to maximize the program’s caches, try taking a daily diet supplement. Or at least take multivitamins to bridge any nutritional deficiencies caused by the limited calorie budget. Take those preferably with calcium, seeing as the diet may fall short of standard recommendations for dairy consumption. Also, consult a licensed dietitian to make sure the meal plans fit you.
Great things do begin with small steps, “simple swaps” if you may. With the right motivation, you can complete The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps and make that big switch to healthiness.