'The Biggest Loser' Diet
What You Can Eat on The Biggest Loser Diet continued...
Here's a sample meal daily plan:
Breakfast: 1/2 serving protein, 1 serving whole grain, 1 serving fruit
Snack: 1/2 protein, 1 fruit
Lunch: 1 protein, 1/2 whole grain, 1 vegetable
Snack: 1/2 protein, 1 fruit
Dinner: 1/2 protein, 1/2 whole grain, 2 vegetables
Dieters are urged to choose foods that are not processed and contain no added fats, sugar, or salt. "Read food labels, and if you can't pronounce some of the ingredients on the list, don't buy it," suggests Forberg.
Whole fruits and vegetables are preferred over juices or dried fruits. Foods should be eaten raw or prepared simply without extra fats. Whenever fats are used, they should be healthy fats -- not saturated or trans fats.
Dieters should choose whole grains that are less refined and have at least 2 grams of fiber per serving of bread or 5 grams of fiber per serving of cereal, with no more than 5 grams of sugar. Protein choices include lean meat or fish, vegetarian protein, or low-fat dairy. Your calorie level determines portion sizes and your protein options.
Still hungry? You can eat more than four servings a day of fruits and vegetables.
How The Biggest Loser Diet Works
The Biggest Loser diet works because you burn more calories than you eat, and if you follow the prescription for eating healthy, whole foods every few hours, you shouldn't have to deal with hunger.
"When you eliminate refined starches and sugars or the appetite stimulating foods, hunger and appetite go way down because blood glucose and insulin spikes are minimized," says Dansinger.
Meals are scheduled frequently to help dieters avoid hunger. In addition, portion sizes are monitored and detailed records kept of food intake.
Your starting calorie level is determined by multiplying your current weight by seven (On the television show, they use a factor of six for quicker results). The recommendations range from a low of 1,050 calories for a 150-pound person to a high of 2,100 calories for a 300-pound person.
Most people eat more than they think, so in essence the low end is probably closer to a 1,200-calorie diet," says medical director Dansinger.
As you start losing weight, you'll recalculate your calorie level and take in fewer calories or get more exercise. "If you want to maintain a fairly aggressive weight loss, you may need to adjust your caloric intake to your lower weight," says Dansinger.
The book also includes tips for weight maintenance once you've reached your goal. "We base our recommendation on 10 to 12 calories per pound and an hour per day of exercise for maintenance," says Dansinger.
You can avoid the ups and downs of yo-yo dieting if you follow these five nuggets of advice from contestants who have lost weight on The Biggest Loser and kept it off:
- Eat a healthy breakfast every day
- Enjoy fruit and/or vegetables with every meal
- Have protein with all meals and snacks
- Stay active
- Plan your meals, snacks, and exercise