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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Expert Q&A: Tips from 'The Biggest Loser'

An interview with Cheryl Forberg, RD
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How does competition help people lose weight?

Whether it is on our show or with your friends at work, contests establish timeframes to help people stay focused on their goal of improving health and losing weight. That sets up the framework that becomes reinforced when the numbers on the scale go down and they start to see positive changes. It gives people happiness, confidence, and a feeling of satisfaction that working together with like-minded people can help you achieve your personal goals.

What kinds of exercise are recommended for people at home?

First, check with your doctor before you start exercising.

Just moving more is a great way to start, and then push yourself out of your comfort zone to be more physically activity. Walking the dog is a good start but it doesn’t constitute a workout. Set up an evaluation with a fitness trainer to establish a basic routine that works all your muscle groups and includes aerobic activity and strength training. Strive to incorporate a workout into your daily routine on most days.

How do contestants keep the weight off after the spotlight is gone?

Long after the finale and lots of lost weight, contestants stay in touch with each other and continue to share a wonderful support system. The support they receive from their communities, peers, family and friends is critical to their continued success. Several contestants flew to San Francisco to compete in a marathon together. They have Facebook groups, and many go on to be motivational speakers to share their success stories. All of these things help them stay focused on their personal commitment to eating healthy and exercising.

Once they achieve their goal weight, they slowly dial up the calories in increments of 50-100 and dial down exercise intensity to find the sweet spot of maintenance. Many folks continue to keep a food journal. By the end of the show, they are walking calorie counters who understand the role of calories in and calories out as the formula for weight loss.

What motivates most people to keep the weight off?

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