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You Can Be a 'Biggest Loser,' Too

Experts and contestants from 'The Biggest Loser' TV show offer weight-loss advice.
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WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature

From almost the very first day the contestants gathered, it was clear the The Biggest Loser was destined to be a hit TV show.

In this popular NBC reality series, two teams of overweight contestants compete to transform not only their bodies, but their lives. One lucky "loser" -- the contestant who makes the biggest strides toward that transformation -- comes away with $250,000.

"It is a life-altering experience," says Kim Lyons, personal trainer and fitness advisor for The Biggest Loser's Red Team. "Changing your body changes the way you feel about yourself and even how you feel about life itself. It takes work, but in the end all the contestants realized that it is so worth it."

But what if you don't have all America cheering you on, and don't have a quarter of a million dollars as motivation?  How do you go about making those major life changes?

"It all comes down to making the decision that 'thin is definitely better,'" says chef Devin Alexander, author of TheBiggest Loser Cookbook.

Once you commit to wanting to lose the weight and believe that you can, then the rest is a "piece of cake," says Alexander, whose cooking show, Healthy Decadence, is shown on the Discovery Channel.

That's true even when it comes to lusting after a real-life piece of cake, she says.

"Well, you can't lose weight eating cake all the time, but I think the biggest lesson many of the contestants discovered was that you don't have to eat boring, bland, tasteless food in order to lose weight," says Alexander, who battled her own weight problems for over two decades.

If you can just get over the idea that diet food is bad food, you're halfway there, she says.

Something else the contestants learned: You don't need drill-sergeant-level workouts to drop those pounds.

"The food was great, so we made the exercise fun.  And each group of contestants was also continually surprised to discover that exercise doesn't have be miserable, or take place in a gym wearing sweat clothes," says Lyons. 

As long as you're moving, she says, you're exercising some part of your body. And the more you do it, the easier it gets.

10 More Tips From The Biggest Loser

To help keep you moving toward your weight loss goals, Lyons, Alexander and several of the "Biggest Losers" offer these additional tips and tricks:

  1. "Eat often -- snack often," says Alexander.  While this may seem contrary to traditional dieting advice, the chef says that as long as you keep an eye on calories and portions, eating often will stave off hunger attacks that ultimately sabotage your diet. "When you're starving, you grab whatever is available -- and that's the quickest way to get off your eating plan," says Alexander.
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