Welcome to the Biggest Loser - Turlock's 12 Week Weight Loss Challenge.

Biggest Loser Turlock begins a new 12-Week Individuals Challenge on January 7, 2014! You’re making a commitment to lose weight, and we’re looking forward to supporting you along the way. Check in on our blog often for weekly results, mini - challenges, and tips to help you stay on track and lead a healthy lifestyle!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A New Year... A New You!

Our next Biggest Loser Turlock challenge will be 12 weeks long and will begin on January 3rd! The participants fee is $30.00 per person. CLICK HERE to view and download our flier for this challenge and them spread the word! The more people sign-up, the larger the prize pot gets!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the Winner Is....

Derick Holt! Derick lost 22.2% of his bodyweight for a grand prize of $1750.00! Semper Fi my friend! You're ready for the Marines now...but are they ready for YOU!!!???

1. Holt, Derick $1750.00 -22.2%
2. Hooker, James $700.00 -21.4%
3. Almarez, Martin $525.00 -21.1%
4. Baucom, Debbie $350.00 -17.9%
5. Holt, Rick $275.00 -17.2%
6. Parreira, Merry $200.00 -16.4%
7. Parreira, Joe $175.00 -15.4%
8. Turnbow, Juli $150.00 -14.4%
9. Yonano, Susan $125.00 -13.5%
10. Kelly, Julie $100.00 -12.8%

Thanks to all of you for a well fought battle. The 10 of you lost a combined 412 lbs! But more importantly, GREAT JOB setting into motion new healthy habits that have and will continue to make huge impacts on your overall health! All participant combined lost a total of 1284 lbs!

Next round of Biggest Loser starts January 3rd, 2011!

For those of you who have signed up for our 6-week Holiday Challenge: 50 people have signed up and we are on our way! Remember, no weigh-ins until January 3rd, but you will receive a weekly email with tips to help you stay on track at maintaining your weight during the holiday season.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holidays.... UGH!

Yes, the holidays are coming. But that doesn't mean you have to gain weight. Here are 10 tips to help you stay slim over the holidays.

1. Just because it Christmas doesn't mean you have to give up your normal routine. If you normally have tea and an egg-white omelet for breakfast, then keep doing that over the holidays. Don't forget to go to the gym, also. But long brisk walks are just as good. Note: exercise reduces stress.

2. If you are running around all-day and are feeling very hungry, don't reach for the donuts. Instead, try some fruit. An apple, or a banana and a cup of green tea. As soothing cup of hot chocolate will also make you feel less hungry.

3. If you know you'll over do the sweets after a wonderful Christmas dinner, then skip one of the side dishes.

4. Don't overeat. We all like to try every dish in front of us, but you don't have to eat large portions. This was you won't be mad at yourself later.

5. If you don't want to eat continuously, take a break and do something else. Play with the children. Go for a walk.

6. If you're full, stop eating. Eating more and more and more will only cause you to put off stopping. Only eat 2 pieces of cake and then offer to help in the kitchen.

7. If you're out shopping all day, eat something. Don't starve yourself until dinner and then overeat. Get a snack that is high protein, low fat.

8. If you're going to a holiday party, don't fast all day. If you are that hungry you will eat a lot and quickly. So eat a normal meal during the day before you go to the party. At the party, eat small portions, and try not to eat seconds.

9. If you always eat a lot of the cookies you bake , try something else. Bake other treats that you don't care for.

10. If you travel during the holidays, pack drinks and snacks. Fruit, trail mix, power bars.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Top 6 Fitness Myths and Truths


Would your friends lie to you? They just might be...

This time of year is all about starting fresh—new goals, solid plans, better habits. You probably have a new exercise routine to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals. Along the way, whether in the gym, reading the latest books, or talking with your friends, you’ll hear a lot of advice about exercise—not all of which is true.

There are several common misconceptions about exercise and weight loss, but don’t let yourself be fooled! Here are the Top 6 Fitness Myths and the Truths that debunk them:

Myth #1: You can take weight off of specific body parts by doing exercises that target those areas.

Truth: This concept is called "spot training" and unfortunately, it doesn’t burn fat. When you lose weight, you are unable to choose the area in which the reduction will occur. Your body predetermines which fat stores it will use. For example, doing sit-ups will strengthen you abs but will not take the fat off of your stomach. Similarly, an activity like running burns fat all over your body, not just your legs. You can, however, compliment a balanced exercise program with a selection of weight training exercises to gradually lose weight and tone the body.

Myth #2: Women who lift weights will bulk up.

Truth: While on a weight lifting program, the right hormones (testosterone) are necessary in order to bulk up. Women’s testosterone levels are much lower than men’s, so in most cases, they are not capable of building large muscles. In fact, since muscle takes up less room than fat, women tend to lose inches when they strength train. So in addition to the physical benefits (increased metabolism, decreased risk of osteoporosis, increased strength), strength training will help you slim down too!

Myth #3: If you can’t exercise hard and often, there’s really no point.

Truth: Even moderate activity is shown to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. If you don’t have 30 minutes in your day to exercise, try splitting it up into 10-minute segments instead. Everyone can find 10 minutes to spare sometime during the day! There are simple things you can do to increase your activity without having to go to the gym: take the stairs instead of the elevator, jump rope or do body weight exercises (push ups, crunches) at commercial breaks, take a short walk after lunch. Remember that any exercise is better than none!

Myth #4: Performing abdominal exercises will give you a flat stomach.

Truth: This is similar to Myth #1 above. The fact is, the only way to get a flat stomach is to strip away the fat around the midsection. This is accomplished by doing cardio/aerobic exercise (to burn calories), strength training (to increase metabolism) and following a proper diet. Abdominal exercises will help to build muscle in your midsection, but you will never see the muscle definition unless the fat in this area is stripped away.

Myth #5: You will burn more fat if you exercise longer at a lower intensity.

Truth: The most important factor in exercise and weight control is not the percentage of fat calories burned, but the total calories burned during the activity. The faster you walk, bike or swim, for example, the more calories you use per minute. Although you will be burning fewer "fat calories", you will be burning more total calories, and in turn, will lose more weight.

Myth #6: No pain, no gain!

Truth: Exercise should not be painful! At the height of your workout, you should be sweating and breathing hard. You should not be so out of breath that you cannot answer a question, but should not be so comfortable that you can carry on a full conversation. That’s how you know you are working at a good level. It’s important to distinguish between muscle fatigue (feeling "the burn") and muscle/joint pain (sharp and uncomfortable pain during movement). Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you’re doing something wrong. Listen to your body. If it’s painful, stop!

There’s a lot of fitness information out there- some reliable, some not. The important thing is to ask questions. If you don’t understand something or question the source, ask a qualified fitness professional for their advice. Sticking to the truths of these myths will keep you healthy, injury-free, and on track to meeting your fitness goals.

-- By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer

Friday, November 12, 2010

Do You Suffer from Diet Rage?

Rules of the Road to Help You Reach Your Destination
-- By Mike Kramer, Sparkpeople Staff Writer

After slowing down to an unexplained stop for the 147th time in the space of 2 miles, I decided that I hated the world. Surrounding me were an ocean of maddening brake lights, rain pelting the windshield and thousands of tons of steel and fiberglass flung around by a clueless pack of selfish morons who obviously didn’t know the first thing about driving!!

It was in serious danger of ruining my whole day.

Is there anything more frustrating than being bogged down in traffic? Most all of us have been there before. That discouraged, fed up feeling that just makes us want to throw up our hands in surrender or lay them on the horn.

Thankfully, I stopped muttering helplessly and started thinking instead. And I realized that I often witness another type of "road rage" – the frustration that builds on the road to weight loss: Diet Rage.

Think about your dieting history. Does it give you the same feeling as an exasperating traffic jam? You never quite get where you want to go as fast as you want to get there. You get aggravated, yell (usually at yourself), and see people in other lanes going faster than you (how do they DO that?!), and it usually ends up ruining your day.

Here’s the lesson: Getting frustrated with your diet does no more good than getting frustrated in traffic. It just makes you unhappy, unsuccessful and tense.

By the time I got to work (it was a long commute), I noticed a lot of things that we, as weight loss veterans, can learn from traffic jams. Next time you start to feel frustrated with your weight loss progress, keep these "lessons of the road" in mind:

Pay less attention to how much further you have to travel. Stop asking yourself "are we there yet?" You’ll get there when you get there. Instead, look at the scenery, think about life, carry on a conversation, sing along with the radio, or simply be thankful for how far you’ve come.

The journey is always more fun with a passenger. Have you asked anyone along for the ride?

You know the route you need to take to reach your weight loss goals. It’s already mapped out. As long as you stay pointed in the right direction, you’ll get there. Even in the worst traffic jams, you still get to your destination at some point. It’s the same way with dieting – just a matter of time. It may take longer than you first expected, but you will get there.

There will always be periods of stopping and starting. It’s something that you should just anticipate and allow for. No use getting upset or stressed about not making progress. It’s a normal part of the journey.

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta go with the flow of what’s going on around you. Life can present some situations that you really can’t do anything about. When that happens, staying straight and steady – doing the best that you can – will keep you on track and sane. In traffic, impatient people stop, change lanes, weave in and out of other cars, driving themselves and everyone else crazy – and in the end, usually don’t get any farther along than you do by staying put and going with the flow.

Shortcuts never work.

Driving too fast is dangerous. That’s why they call it "crash" dieting. Slow down, take what life gives you, and make sure you arrive at your destination in good health.

I finally did get to my destination after all. Hands were pried away from the steering wheel, teeth were unclenched, and a few aspirin were popped. Of course, people in the cars around me probably had a good laugh at my arm-waving and soundless yelling. Funny how we can lose our senses when faced with something that frustrates us, whether it’s traffic or our diets.

Thanks to these insights, my story had a happy ending. Hopefully, remembering these rules will help you reach your destination sooner – and more content – than you expected.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"BAD" Foods You SHOULD be Eating

Peanut Butter
The bad rep: Peanut butter is super-fattening.

The good news: Peanut Butter is high in fat but that doesn’t mean it’s fattening. (Gaining or losing weight, and body fat, basically comes down to balancing calories.) That said, peanut butter is a concentrated source of calories, so you don’t want to go overboard. But you don’t need to eat tons to feel satisfied: just a tablespoon (90 calories) or two of peanut butter goes a long way. Plus, peanut butter provides protein and folate, a B vitamin important for the healthy development of new cells.

The bad rep: A significant source of dietary cholesterol, egg yolks are off-limits for those concerned about heart health.

The good truth: Medical experts now emphasize that saturated fats and trans fats are bigger culprits in raising blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol is. Plus, eggs are super-satisfying: in one study, people who ate a scrambled-egg-and-toast breakfast felt more satisfied, and ate less at lunch, than they did when they ate a bagel that had the same number of calories. Egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds that research links with reduced risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people over 50.

The bad rep: Beef is full of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, so people who care about their hearts should avoid it.

The good truth: Lean cuts of beef are a low-fat source of protein and iron, a mineral essential for getting oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body—and one many women (of childbearing age) are deficient in. There are many lean cuts of steaks: filet mignon, sirloin, strip steak, flank steak. If you can’t remember the names, pick steaks that are deep red with a relatively small amount of marbling—a fancy name for fat—to find lean cuts.

The bad rep: Chocolate has lots of fat, lots of sugar—and it tastes amazing, so it must be bad for you.

The good news: Dark chocolate contains flavanols, antioxidants that seem to have a blood-thinning effect, which can benefit cardiovascular health. And, recently, researchers in Switzerland reported that eating dark chocolate (1.4 ounces of it) every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, including cortisol, in highly stressed people. But be sure to account for the calories (1.4 ounces delivers 235)—or you may be stressed to see extra pounds creeping on.

The bad rep: Potatoes rank high on the glycemic index, which measures how quickly different foods raise your blood sugar. Foods with a high GI value tend to cause a higher spike in blood sugar—and in insulin, the hormone that helps glucose get into cells—which can be a problem for some people, particularly those with diabetes.

The good news: Potatoes are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C. And unless you’re eating an absolutely plain potato all by itself, its GI value doesn’t matter. (It’s also worth noting that the glycemic index is an imperfect and controversial scale.) A high-GI potato becomes a low-GI meal if you simply add a little olive oil, because the added fat helps slow the absorption of the potato’s carbohydrates.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Results week 8

Before I get to week 8 results, I want to update all of you on what will be happening after we finish this round in 2 weeks...

BIGGEST LOSER 12-week Challenge: Kicks off Monday, January 3rd.
This next big challenge will run 12 weeks instead of 10, and by popular demand, we are bringing back the "Do Not Weigh" pass. Which means each participant will be given one "Do Not Weigh" pass at the beginning of the challenge that they can use to skip a weigh-in and avoid the penalty. This 12-week challenge will kick off on Monday, January 3rd and run through Monday, March 28th. The fee will remain $30.00 and aside from the "do not weigh" pass, all the rules will be the same as our current round. You can sign-up beginning this coming Monday.

BIGGEST LOSER 6-weeks of Christmas Challenge: Runs from our final weigh-in on November 22nd through our next initial weigh-in on January 3rd.
Here's how it works. There are no weekly weigh-ins for this maintenence challenge. The goal is to weigh no more than 1 lb heavier on January 3rd than you did on November 22nd. The only days you must be present and weigh in are November 22nd and January 3rd.
The challenge fee is $20.00

• If you weigh more than 1lb higher on January 3rd than you did on Nov. 22nd, then you win nothing and you $20.00 entry fee will be split among those who maintain or lose (see below)

• If your weight is up 1lb or less, or you have maintained, or lost additional weight during the 6 week challenge, you will get your $20.00 back... PLUS you will split all the fees that are forfeited by those in the first catagory with any others who were also successful.

- 50 people participate in the 6 week maintenance challege and pay $20.00 each
- The prize pot is $1000.00
- Of those 50 people, 18 maintain their weight or lose weight during the challenge and 32 gain more than
1 lb and forfeit their chance at a prize.
- The payout would be calculated this way... 32 x $20.00 = $640.00 forfeited
$640.00 divided by 18 winners = $35.55 ea.
$35.55 + initial $20.00 refunded = $55.55 ea.
PLUS you maintained your weight during the toughest season!

I'll have info and sign-up sheets for both challenges this coming Monday at weigh-in. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

And here are your TOP ten through week 8
1. Holt, Derick -18.0%
2. Almarez, Martin -17.8%
3. Hooker, James -15.8%
4. Baucom, Debbie -14.2%
5. Holt, Rick -13.8%
6. Parreira, Merry -13.5%
7. Turnbow, Juli -11.7%
8. Parreira, Joe -11.4%
9. Ainslie, Brett -10.2%
10. Lellhame, Sabrina -9.8%

MINI CHALLNEGE FROM LAST WEEK: We had 21 participants lose over 2lbs last week, and the lucky winner, drawn from those 21 names was Merry Parreirra. Merry wins a copy of the new Biggest Loser Desserts Cookbook!

And just a little more general housekeeping... we have 2 weeks remaining, with our final weigh-in for this challenge on November 22nd. As a reminder, if you owe any outstanding penalties, please come prepared to pay them off next Monday or on the 22nd. The top 10 winners will be paid via check on Friday, November 26th... I will arrange a time for you to pick up your winnings that day, or bring the check to you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hidden Calories in Beverages

Most people would assume that a latté, non-fat, no whip would be low in calories. But no! The count for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, non-fat, no whip, venti at Starbucks is 330 calories. That latte’s lots of calories come from 7 teaspoons of sugar and 14 ounces of skim milk. But it could be worse: the Pumpkin Spice Latte, whole milk, whipped, venti is 510 calories. Beverages can be a surprising source of calories from added sugar and/or alcohol and fat. And those liquid calories go down with such ease that we hardly even notice them.

The Amount We Drink
A report titled, What America Drinks, analyzed data from over 10,000 Americans aged four and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999-2000 and 2001-2002. It found that beverages account for 22 percent of calories in the average American diet. On any given day, nearly 50 percent of American kids and adults drink at least one sugary soft drink (aka soda.) When soft drink intake is averaged across the whole population (including non-consumers), intake is 12 fluid ounces per day, but soda drinkers average 24 fluid ounces. Teenage boys drink the most soda, 31 fluid ounces on an average day.

Didn't See It Coming
When people drink their calories, they do not normally compensate by eating less. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, Richard Mattes, Purdue University professor of foods and nutrition, gave 15 normal-weight men and women an extra 450 calories a day as either a liquid (three 12-ounce cans of soda) or a solid (45 large jelly beans) for four weeks each. He explained the study's results to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “When they (the research subject) got the solid food, they ate less at other times, so they adjusted for all of the calories.” In contrast, “when they got the liquid food, they just added those calories to their customary diet. They didn’t compensate at all.” He concluded that liquid calories simply aren’t as filling as solid calories. It may be because liquids lack the filling power of fiber and/or they leave the stomach too fast for the brain to respond and react. Although, thick liquids, such as shakes, register better than do thin liquids.

Hidden Calories
You might want to clue your family and friends into to the problem with beverages - other than water. First, the calorie counts are off the charts, and then, their empty calories aren’t filling. Check out the calories in a 20 fluid ounce serving of the beverages on this list. Soda and soft drinks are typically sold in 20 ounce bottles, and drinks served in little glasses, like eggnog, can easily add up to 20 ounces over the course of a day.

•Coca-Cola Classic 243 calories
•Red Bull Energy Drink 265 calories
•Chick-fil-A Iced Tea 230 calories
•Gatorade Performance Series Energy Drink 516 calories
•Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red 300 calories
•Orange Juice 280 calories
•Cranberry Juice 340 calories
•Dunkin Donuts Coffee with Cream and Sugar 240 calories
•Starbucks Hot Chocolate With Whipped Cream, Whole Milk 551 calories
•Odwalla Superfood Micronutrient Fruit Juice Drink 325 calories
•Jamba Juice Banana Berry Power 433 calories
•Eggnog 860 calories
•Beer, Regular 260 calories
•Wine, Table, Red 500 calories
•Margarita 1000 calories
•TGI Friday's Mudslide Orange Dream Frozen Cocktail 1411 calories
•McDonald's Chocolate Triple Thick Shake 733 calories

Thursday, November 4, 2010


What a great dish for one of those nights when your kids have a late soccer game! Brown the meat, layer in the ingredients, set your slow cooker on low and go!

16 oz (1 lb) ground beef, 96 % lean
2 c eggplant, diced (no need to peel it)
1 jar low-sodium marinara sauce
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 t dried thyme
1 1/4 c water
15 oz. ricotta cheese, part skim
1 T parsley chopped
1/4 c egg substitute(or 1 egg white)
1 c shredded Italian blend cheese
6 lasagna noodles, dried, no boil variety

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over moderate heat; drain any excess fat. Stir in red pepper flakes, thyme, tomato sauce, eggplant, and water. In a bowl combine the egg substitute, ricotta, Italian cheese blend, and parsley. Place enough meat sauce to cover the bottom of slow cooker. Top with 2-3 noodles, broken to cover the meat sauce. Repeat layer. Top second layer with cheese mixture and finish with a top layer of the meat mixture. Cover and set slow cooker on low. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 271.0
Total Fat: 10.2 g
Cholesterol: 56.6 mg
Sodium: 283.8 mg
Total Carbs: 18.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 24.8 g

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Results Week 7

It's getting close! Only 3 more weeks to go before we crown our newest winners! I wanted to inspire a few more of you who are really close to breaking into the TOP 10, so below you will see our current Top 20. Remember, only the top 10 get paid! So now is the time to really start pushing yourself if you are close!

Top 20 through week 10
1. Almarez, Martin -16.2%
2. Holt, Derick -14.7%
3. Hooker, James -14.5%
4. Baucom, Debbie -11.6%
5. Parreira, Merry -11.6%
6. Holt, Rick -10.9%
7. Parreira, Joe -9.9%
8. Turnbow, Juli -9.5%
9. Rodrigues, Darren -8.5%
10.Ainslie, Brett -8.3%

there is only a bit over 1% difference between #10 & #20!

11. Curry, Sarah -8.2%
12. Lellhame, Sabrina -8.1%
13. Jimenez, Jose -7.9%
14. Yonano, Susan -7.8%
15. Gonzales, Elizabeth -7.7%
16. Jimenez, Sophia -7.2%
17. Clark, Jeanette -7.2%
18. Moon, Chester -7.1%
19. Herting, John -7.0%
20. Kelly, Julie -7.0%

Congratulations to all you you you lost over 2lbs these past 2 weeks! That's a tough challenge considering all the halloween candy that's been laying around! Our winner for the 2lb challenge is...... SHELLINI SINGH! Shellini gets to pick up her copy of the Biggest Loser Fitness book at the next weigh-in!

THIS WEEKS CHALLENGE: Lose 2lbs in 1 week. When you weigh in next Monday, if you have lost 2 lbs or more between 11/1 and 11/7, you will quaily for the chance to win The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook: More than 80 Healthy Treats That Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth without Breaking Your Calorie Budget.


Save 100+ Calories
1. Add the Olive Oil Last
We often think of sautéing as a lowfat cooking method, but some vegetables, such as eggplant, mushrooms, and greens, tend to soak up the majority of the fat that's added to the pan. Steam your veggies instead, then toss them with a few teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt.
Calories saved per cup: 150

2. Lighten Up Your Juice
Fill a water bottle with 6 ounces of juice and an equal amount of sparkling water. Or make an Arnold Palmer by mixing 6 ounces of lemonade with an equal amount of unsweetened iced tea.
Calories saved: 100

3. Make Skinny Mashed Potatoes
Mix in half a cup of low-sodium chicken broth for every 3 pounds of potatoes instead of half a cup of butter or heavy cream. If you still crave that rich flavor, top a small scoop of mashed potatoes with a pat of butter (that's about a teaspoon) for just 36 extra calories.
Calories saved per cup: 150

4. Trade in Your Wine Glass
Traditional red wine goblets are designed with a larger bowl to allow the liquid inside a chance to breathe. Fill it up and you may be getting 8 to 9 ounces of wine. Using a champagne flute, which holds only about 5 ounces, guarantees automatic portion control.
Calories saved: 100

Save 250+ Calories

1. Downsize Your Baked Goods
You can automatically halve the calories in fresh-baked muffins by using a pan with a dozen slots rather than one with just six. And if you swap half a cup of applesauce for the half cup of butter or oil called for in your recipe, you can save an additional 75 calories per muffin.
Calories saved: 310 to 385

2. Get Sandwich Savvy
A 6-inch tuna hero with lowfat chips may seem like a light meal, but it contains 700 calories and more than 30 grams of fat. Opt for a small turkey sub without mayo or oil-and skip the soda, chips, and cookies.
Calories saved: 420

3. Bulk Up Your Pasta-with Veggies
If you're making pasta at home, a 2-cup serving of noodles with a large ladle of meat, vodka, or Alfredo sauce can set you back 600 calories or more. To fill your plate, mix a cup of pasta with a cup of steamed veggies, topping the dish with half a cup of your favorite jarred marinara sauce.
Calories saved: 250

4. Serve Dessert in a Shot Glass
Can't resist taking a slice of key lime pie or cheesecake at a buffet? Allow yourself to savor the amount that fits in a shot glass (that's about 3 tablespoons) and you'll save 80 percent of the calories you'd get in a full-size portion.
Calories saved: 360


1. Take Your Own Popcorn to the Movies
A medium container from the theater has at least 900 calories-not including the "butter" topping. Pre-pop your lowfat favorite and stash the bag in your tote.
Calories saved: 600

2. Ditch Designer Cereals and Granolas
Multigrain and all-natural options can still be high in sugar and fat. Pour a bowl with milk for breakfast and you can easily spoon up 700 calories before you even walk out the door. Go for fiber-rich cereals that contain 200 or fewer calories per cup.
Calories saved: 500

3. Choose a Leaner Cut of Meat
When dining at a restaurant, order a 6-ounce filet mignon rather than the 10-ounce T-bone or prime rib. Some chefs will brush the meat with butter or oil after cooking to make the steak look juicier, so ask that the kitchen skip this step to cut an extra 100 calories.
Calories saved: 500 to 600

4. Turn Your Back on the Buffet Table
Pick a spot that's at least 16 feet from the smorgasbord and face away from the food when eating. One study showed that people who did this ate several hundred fewer calories, on average, than those who sat just a few feet away.
Calories saved: 650

Double Your Weight Loss with 1 Easy Tip

You hear all the time that to lose weight, you should track what you eat. Well, a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that keeping a "food diary" may double your weight loss efforts.

Researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research kept tabs on 1,685 overweight and obese adults (men and women), whose average weight was 212 pounds. The researchers encouraged participants to adhere to a reduced-calorie, DASH eating plan and asked them record their daily food intake and exercise minutes.

After 20 weeks, the average weight loss was 13 pounds per person. But researchers discovered something else; the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the end. Participants who did not keep a food diary lost about 9 pounds over the course of the study, while those who recorded their food intake six or more days per week lost 18 pounds—twice as much as those who didn't track any food!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Trick to Managing the Treats

Halloween candy showed up in August (as though we needed to get a jump on our holiday shopping!) and will still be on sale in November. What is the trick to managing your weight when the food you love is everywhere?

Scaring Away the Cravings

Halloween can be a scary time of year for those trying to eat less. You may be haunted by all the candy in the house, leading to a full-blown chocolate binge, sugar hangover, and vows to do better tomorrow. I call this the Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle.

The tricky part is that labeling the foods you love as evil actually increases their power over you. When what you really crave is considered "bad," you feel guilty for even wanting it and deprived because you can't have it.

The result? You find yourself foraging treats from the pumpkin basket and burying the candy wrappers at the bottom of the garbage can so your children won't find out. Of course they inevitably discover that you've been sneaking and stealing their candy. Talk about guilt!

How to Stop Raiding Your Kid’s Trick-or-Treat Loot

Minimize your exposure.Wait until the last minute to buy Halloween candy then buy only what you really think you'll need for the big night. Get the stuff kids love rather than bags and bags of your favorites.

Remember, it's not your food.
All too often we eat whatever shows up--Halloween candy, donuts in the break room, or samples in the grocery store. But you didn't choose to put it there so stop mindlessly putting it in your mouth!

Get your own.
You'll be less tempted to get into the kid's holiday candy if stop depriving yourself the rest of the year. Scary, I know. (Learn how in Dr. May’s post Fearless Eating.)

If you really want some candy, ask your child to share a few pieces with you. Through observation, they learn that it is possible to balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment.

Eat what you love.
Skip the sugary kid candy (unless that's what you love) and instead choose a few that you really love. Set them aside to eat when you really want them. I like to keep mine in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Save room for dessert.
If you're going to eat Halloween candy (you know you are!), then adjust for it. After all, does it really make sense to eat all your dinner to earn dessert?

If you love it that much, act like it!
Enjoy those M&Ms® one at a time, mindfully without distractions. (To learn how, read Dr. May’s post on Mindful Eating.)

Just right!
The fun-sized treats are the perfect size for a few mindful bites of heaven. And those first few bites are always the best, so think before you dive in for more.

Eat fearlessly without guilt.
We all know that guilt leads to more eating, not less, so let it go.

Don't torture yourself with exercise.
Being physically active feels good and provides numerous benefits for your health. Just be careful not to turn it into punishment for eating or penance for eating something “bad.”

Pass it on.
Halloween is a great time to teach your kids how to enjoy a little candy as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Michelle May, M.D. is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle (Read chapter one). Dr. May is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops that help individuals break free from mindless and emotional eating to live a more vibrant, healthy life

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The following is a great article regarding exercise momentum from SparkPeople.com If you haven't visited this site, go there today. It's chalk full of great motivators, tips and tools for helping you on your weight-loss journey...

You're 5 Minutes Away from Major Momentum!

Can you relate to any of these scenarios?

Alice is feeling overwhelmed because she has a lot of weight to lose. She doesn’t know where to begin, so that frustration has prevented her from even starting an exercise program.

Sherry exercises for 30 minutes 3 times a week, but doesn’t feel like exercise is part of her daily routine. She’s looking to make it more of a habit.

Bill can’t seem to find the motivation to get started with a program. He doesn’t think exercise is really going to make him feel any different, so what’s the point?

Jane has decided to start an exercise program, so she goes to the gym two hours every day for a week. At the end of the week she is tired, sore and already burned out. She doesn’t make it to the gym again for several weeks.

These scenarios are all very common. Many people have problems developing a consistent exercise routine—whether they just don’t know where to begin, or don’t know how to make exercise as natural as brushing your teeth every morning. Still others just need a boost of motivation and energy now and then.

If finding the motivation to work out seems like a daunting task to you, here’s a great place to start: 5-10 minute "SparkStart" workouts! Although 5-10 minutes will not give you immediate weight loss results, it will help you develop a routine and a foundation to build on. Sometimes all you need is a push in the right direction!

A SparkStart gives Alice a very reasonable starting point. It helps Sherry stay consistent with her exercising throughout the week. Bill will notice he has more energy and feels better after his quick workout. And Jane will begin to change her "all or none" mentality and focus on small steps to develop a habit. So regardless of your current level of activity, a 5-10 minute SparkStart workout can be a great source of motivation and the "spark" you need to move your program into gear!

Here’s what SparkGuy (SparkPeople founder and C.E.O.) had to say about the 5-10 minute workout:

"You won’t immediately see big improvements from this, BUT it will help you turn exercise into a habit so that you don't need to keep going through the frustration of starting over. After doing this consistently for awhile, you'll start noticing small improvements that will motivate you to do even more - and your energy level will slowly start to increase. I've seen people get incredible results using this method."

SparkStart workouts include easy exercises you can do at home when you get up in the morning, while you’re making dinner, or while waiting for the laundry to finish drying. Pick something you enjoy so you are more likely to stick with it. Below are some examples to help get you started. All of these workouts can be modified depending on your fitness level and time available.

Workout 1: Light jog in place (2 minutes), jump rope (2 minutes), light jog (2 minutes)

Workout 2: Sit-ups (2 minutes), 25 push-ups, sit-ups (2 minutes), 25 push-ups

Workout 3: Light jog in place (2 minutes), 1 set squats (8-12 repetitions), 1 set lunges, 1 set squats, 1 set lunges, leg stretches (2 minutes)

Workout 4: Take your dog (or just yourself!) for a quick walk around the block

Workout 5: Walk/run up and down the stairs 5 times

Workout 6: Brisk walk in place with arms pumping, knees up (3 minutes), 25 jumping jacks, brisk walk (3 minutes)

Workout 7: Light jog in place (2 minutes), fast jog in place (5 minutes), light jog in place (2 minutes)
More examples of strength training exercises and stretches can be found in the Fitness Resource Center .

To give yourself a real boost, start an exercise "streak". Do some sort of activity every day (could be 5 minutes, could be longer) for as many consecutive days as possible. Challenge your family members or co-workers to see who can carry the longest streak! Post the number of days in your streak on your office wall or refrigerator door. It’s a good source of motivation and a great way to keep exercise in the front of your mind!

So are you up for the challenge? Are you ready to "spark" your workout? There’s no time like the present, so get started today!

Misperceptions About Weight and Size

Perception is everything in the way we see our weight. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are based a private reality. Some fat people think they are thin and some thin people think they are fat, which shouldn't be a problem except that perception influences the way we take care of ourselves and our self-care, in turn, determines our likelihood of staying healthy.

Assessing Weight Perception

In research settings, when clinicians assess satisfaction with weight and body image, they use instruments to gauge the way individuals think about their appearance. For instance, Stunkard’s 1983 classic Figure Rating Scale (shown below) is commonly used to assess body image perception in studies. Research subjects would be asked to select the figures that represent their current, actual, and ideal size, which would then be compared to figures selected by the research scientists. This scale and others are appropriate for initial screening of whether perception is off at either end of the range.

“I'm not fat; I'm fluffy, big-boned, etc.”

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine last week showed perception is off for a subset of the obese population. The study consisted of a survey of more than 2000 men and women who participated in the Dallas Heart Study between 2000 and 2002. Everyone in the survey was in the obese range with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. (At 5’4”, BMI 30 is 174 pounds and at 5’11", it is 209 pounds.)

The participants were asked to look at images of nine figures that varied in size from underweight to overweight (like Stunkard’s Figure Rating Scale) and to chose the figure that looked most like them. Eight percent of the respondents saw themselves at a normal weight even though they were actually obese and two-thirds of them said they were at low risk of ever becoming obese.

Most Likely to Misperceive

This study concluded that underestimation of body size is more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, and heavy people who are active. It’s easy to see how we could miss a weight problem when everyone around us is overweight. Other studies have shown that, in general, people with more education and higher earnings have a more realistic view of their appearance, and that women, are more likely to see themselves as heavier, regardless of size, presently or in the past. Likewise, people living in societies that put a premium on thinness commonly express the opposite misperception, seeing themselves as fat when they are thin. How often do we hear people say, “I can’t stand my body,” when their bodies are perfectly functioning and normal in every way.

Ignorance is Bliss

Reuters reports that, in the Dallas survey, people who misperceived their body weight were happier with their health and felt healthier than those who did recognize their obesity. They were also more likely to think they would not develop high blood pressure or diabetes or have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetimes. In addition, they were less likely to see their doctors or seek out screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, and their potential for stroke.

The Bottom Line: It’s great to have a positive body image regardless of weight and size and, in the short run, one is only as healthy as he or she feels. But it is also naïve to think that the complications of obesity don’t apply to any of us. It's not a good idea to be blind to risks down the road. For ourselves and our loved ones, it is best to use objective health determinants like height for weight, BMI and body composition to identify impending problems and to nip them in the bud.

By Mary_RD on Oct 26, 2010 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Which McDonald's item should you choose?

McDonald's Regular Hamburger
McDonald's Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich (no mayo)

Scroll Down to See The Winner

Which McDonald's sandwich should you choose?
A regular-sized hamburger from any fast food joint is usually a smaller portion, making it a good choice. And grilled chicken makes for a lower-fat alternative to breaded chicken. Plus, the tomato slice and leaf lettuce on McDonald's Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich both pack some vitamins that McDonald's Regular Hamburger lacks. But between a hamburger and a chicken sandwich, which has fewer calories?

The Low-Cal Winner
McDonald's Regular Hamburger

Although the grilled chicken is lower in fat (4.5 grams compared to the burger's 9 grams), the low-calorie winner is the hamburger. At 250 calories, a regular hamburger can satisfy your fast food craving without much damage. The Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich, while still one of the healthiest sandwich choices, weighs in at 370 calories—and that's with no mayo in sight! If you're looking for a lower-calorie grilled chicken option, McDonald's Honey Mustard Snack Wrap with Grilled Chicken contains just 260 calories and 9 grams of fat. Leave off the cheese and you will save 40 calories and 3 grams of fat. Now that's a fast, healthy bite!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RESULTS TIME! Half-Way... week 5!

We're at the HALF WAY point...and here are your current TOP 10!

1. Holt, Derick -12.2%
2. Almarez, Martin -12.0%
3. Hooker, James -11.3%
4. Parreira, Merry -10.6%
5. Holt, Rick -9.6%
6. Baucom, Debbie -9.2%
7. Parreira, Joe -9.1%
8. Gonzales, Elizabeth -7.7%
9. Lellhame, Sabrina -7.5%
10.Davis, Tami -7.2%

PAST WEEK'S CHALLENGE... I asked you so send me your favorite lo-cal snack to share in an upcoming column in our blog. I received a good handful, and you should see them on the blog by the end of the weekend. Our winner, drawn randonly from those who sent in ideas was... TAMRA PARTIN! Tamra, you can pick up your copy of the Biggest Loser book on Monday at weigh-in. Here was Tamra's lo-cal idea:

Homemade Mocha:
Cup of Coffee = NO CALORIES
Hot Cocoa Mix = 25 Calorie Pack

Take care of a sweet tooth and save money and calories by not going to Starbucks!!!

THIS WEEK'S MINI CHALLENGE... The next mini-challenge will cover a 2 week period, beginning today and ending on November 1st. Everyone who loses 2 lbs or more will be put in a drawing for The Biggest Loser Fitness Program book. Fast, Safe, and effective Workouts to Target and Tone Your Trouble Spots.

Speaking of Fitness Programs,starting a fitness program doesn’t have to be overwhelming when you are armed with the proper tools to get things rolling. Once you’ve committed to getting in shape, there are several things you can do to ensure you’ll exceed your short and long term fitness goals. There are also some things you should avoid at all costs to ensure you stay on the path to fitness and wellness. What exactly are the rules when it comes to fitness?

•Write down your fitness goals. You’re more likely to stick with a program once you have set some specific goals.
•Always strive to eat a well balanced diet that includes ample servings of vegetables and fruit.
•Break down your meals so you are eating several mini meals per day.
•Assess your current fitness level before starting an exercise program. By doing so, you’ll be able to establish goals that meet your specific fitness needs.
•Consider talking with your health care provider before embarking on a fitness program, particularly if you are struggling with a health condition such as diabetes or obesity.
•Supplement your diet with essential fatty acids. You can do this by eating two servings of fish per week.
•Choose alternatives to satisfy your cravings when possible. Consider frozen fruit over ice cream or opt for a mini chocolate instead of the whole candy bar.
•Always stretch before and after your exercise routine.
•Don’t overdo it! Try doing too much at once and you’ll burn out swiftly. Slowly increase the intensity of your workouts.
•Diversify your workout routine. If you do the same exercises day after day, you’ll quickly tire and are more likely to skip workouts.
•Work out with a friend. You’ll help motivate each other.
•Keep healthy snacks available at all times. You’re less likely to grab junk food if something good for you is readily available.

•Over-train. Your body needs time to recover in between workouts.
•Skip breakfast. Eating breakfast will jump start your metabolism and provide you with the energy you need to get through the day.
•Skip stretching.
•Skimp on sleep.
•Set unrealistic goals. A healthy rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. If you have 50 pounds to lose, don’t expect it to come off overnight, you’ll set yourself up for disappointment.
•Compare your successes and failures to others. Everyone is unique, and what works for some may not work for others.
•Work out randomly. Work out regularly to maximize the benefits you’ll reap from a consistent fitness routine.
•Give up. Consider talking with a friend in times of discouragement.
•Forget to reward yourself on occasion.

"One of the most common mistakes first-timers make is taking on too much at once. You’ll be too sore and too tired within a few short days to continue. Always start out slowly, ALWAYS."
- D. Cavalone, Personal Trainer

Always remember to keep an open mind and remain flexible when starting a new exercise routine. At times you may find it necessary to change your routine slightly. Life is a dynamic ride and you’ll find your fitness journey is too. If you’re willing to try new things and set reasonable expectations, you’ll reap the rewards of your fitness program and successfully achieve your fitness goals.
-Antigone Arthur

Monday, October 18, 2010

What is "Normal" Eating? - Part 1

Test Your Knowledge with the Normal Eating Quiz

Do you often wonder how “normal” your eating habits are, or how they compare to what experts consider to be a “healthy” approach?

If you’ve adopted a philosophy of a "lifestyle” approach to weight loss, then you know that a crash diet—or any other temporary diet—isn’t a good idea. But what does “normal” eating look like, especially when you have quite a bit of weight to lose? Do you sometimes wonder where to draw the line between doing what’s necessary to lose weight, and becoming too focused on what you eat? Are you confused about whether normal eating is something you start doing after you’ve lost the weight, or something you should aim for now as part of your weight loss program? And can you recognize the difference between normal eating behaviors and attitudes, disordered eating, and full-fledged clinical eating disorders—and determine when you or a family member might benefit from professional help?

If you feel a little confused about all this, you’re not alone. There are a lot of confusing and contradictory claims floating around about what’s “normal” when it comes to food.

This article, the first in a series of three articles discussing "normal" and abnormal eating habits, contains a quiz that will help you identify your own eating behaviors, attitudes and assumptions. When scoring your quiz, you'll learn how your behaviors stack up against what the experts say about healthy, normal weight loss and effective long-term weight maintenance.

Quiz: Are Your Eating Normally?

The six statements below discuss common eating behaviors and attitudes. If you agree or mostly agree with the statement, mark it True; if you disagree or mostly disagree, mark it False. Write down your answers as you go along so that you can compare your responses with the explanations below.

1. True or False: It is normal to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel satisfied.

2. True or False: People should trust their food preferences to guide them in making healthy food choices.

3. True or False: To lose weight, you must adhere to strict goals for daily calorie intake and exercise.

4. True or False: It is abnormal to eat for any reason other than meeting your body's nutrition and energy needs.

5. True or False: "Good" foods should be eaten regularly and "bad" foods should be avoided as much as possible.

6. True or False: Since you have to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight, you should expect to be a little hungry most of the time.


1. True—It is normal to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel satisfied. Every healthy person has an innate, biochemical system that regulates hunger and satisfaction in response to your body's actual needs. Problems such as emotional eating or poor impulse control may have led you to lose contact with this system over time. But you can reconnect with it and use it to establish normal eating behaviors and patterns that you can rely on, even while you are working to lose weight.

2. True—You should use your food preferences as a guide when making choices. We all have innate tastes and preferences, such as a “sweet tooth” or a preference for salty and fatty foods. Under normal circumstances, these preferences enable you to make food choices that meet your nutritional needs. Unfortunately, most of us live in a food environment that provides many food choices that appeal to our innate preferences, but provide empty calories (soda) or have excessive calories, salt, fat or sugar for their nutritional value (candy bars). This means you will need to beef up and use your nutritional knowledge to navigate your way to “normal” food choices. Trying to deny your desire for sweet, fatty or salty foods will usually cause more problems than it solves.

3. False—To lose weight you must maintain a calorie deficit over time. Your body does not operate like a bank account with cutoff times and daily account balancing. It is always in the process of using or storing energy, based on what you're doing at the moment. Tracking calories eaten and burned over a 24-hour period is merely one convenient way for us to monitor things. Going “over” on calories on any one day does NOT mean you have blown it. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should continue overeating and start over later, or that you should go to the opposite extreme of restricting food the next day. It is simply a very small bump in a very long road.

4. False—It is normal to eat for other reasons besides nutrition. Food is never just fuel. Our bodies react to foods in many ways, producing feelings of pleasure and relief from unpleasant physiological states such as anxiety, stress, and low mood. We learn from our earliest moments to associate eating with comfort, caring, and human connection. Likewise, human cultures have always given many deep, social, and even spiritual meanings to food and eating. It is completely normal to use food for all these purposes. However, it's not normal to use food as your primary way of meeting these needs, or to push away uncomfortable feelings and thoughts.

5. False—There are no "good" or "bad" foods. A healthy, active body can utilize a certain amount of virtually all kinds of nutrients, including refined sugar and saturated fat—it’s simply a question of reasonable amounts. Normal eating does not abide by strict or inflexible rules, or even “healthy” ones. It is about finding your own balance between pleasure, health & fitness, good nutrition and meeting your weight goals.

6. False—You should not feel hungry all the time. As long as you have surplus fat to burn, your body should be able to handle a reasonable caloric deficit without experiencing chronic hunger. If you are eating normally, you can expect to feel hungry every 4 hours or so, which is when your regulatory system typically wants you to eat something. If you are hungry more often than that, you may be eating too little, aiming to lose weight too quickly, eating unbalanced meals, or mistaking appetite (the desire to eat for reasons other than satisfying your body's needs) for hunger.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fast Food: Convenient and Healthy

When you are on the go, you need to get things done and get them done now. Unfortunately, for some people, this means everything is done “on the go.” However, just because you live your life in the fast lane doesn’t mean that your eating habits have to stay there, too.

Today more than ever, fast food restaurants are trying to jump on the bandwagon of society’s push to live a healthier lifestyles by advertising low-fat and healthier options on their menus. Take advantage of this! Obviously, the best and most effective ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle are by exercising and maintaining a nutritious diet, but everybody knows there are those times when you are forced to grab your grub from the drive-thru. So the question is, how can you eat fast and healthy?

The first of two ways you can cut down on your fat and calorie intake is by ordering salads or grilled, not fried, sandwiches. Fast food chains McDonalds and Wendy’s both offer a variety of healthy and tasty salads on their menus, all under $4. If you are not in the mood for crisp veggies, then try McDonalds’ grilled chicken sandwich with only 10 grams of fat and 230 calories or the Jr. Hamburger from Wendy’s with only 9 grams of fat and 270 calories, both under $2.

There is always the fresh and fast option of Subway, which has 6 sub sandwiches under 6 grams of fat, all under $5. Even though we are all familiar with Jared and his love for Subway, his ability to have the discipline to limit the type of fast food he put into his body helped his weight loss more than anything. So come on! It’s simple and you can do it! Eat to fill your nutritional needs, not just to curb your hunger. You can eat healthy while still getting the treat of eating out if you practice these simple ideas:

• Ask or look for the nutritional information available for restaurants. Be mindful of what you are eating.
• Go easy on the condiments and extras, i.e. cheese, sauces, super-sizing.
• Eat in moderation.
• Eating fast food here and there won’t hurt, but don’t make it habitual.
• Substitute grilled for fried.
• Drink ice water or milk instead of soda.
• Beware of fat filled salad dressing.
• Chicken is often less fatty than beef.
• If you splurge on fast food for lunch, make extra sure that your dinner is healthy and nutritious.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Results Time! Week 4

TOP 10 through week 4
Holt, Derick -10.88%
Hooker, James -10.31%
Almarez, Martin -10.30%
Holt, Rick -9.08%
Parreira, Merry -8.61%
Baucom, Debbie -7.08%
Davis, Tami -6.94%
Parreira, Joe -6.88%
Gonzales, Elizabeth -6.77%
Briggs, Jonathan -6.40%

LAST WEEK'S WINNERS.... The mini challenge last week was to show up for one of our FREE workout sessions. We threw your name in a hat each time you showed up from last Tuesday through Monday morning, then we pulled 3 names to receive a free Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred with Weights DVD.

THIS WEEK'S MINI CHALLENGE... This next challenge is for our BLOG! Healthy snacks are all around us, except when we seem to be STARVING! E-mail me with your favorite "Healthy Snack", include the number of calories and serving size, and I will start compiling them immediately on our BLOG where all of you can view them. When you get hungry and don't know what to grab, check out the blog and see what your fellow challengers are eating! Oh, and of course, if you email me a snack idea for this challenge you will become eligible to win the NYT Bestseller: The Biggest Loser...The Weight-Loss Program to Transform Your Body, Health, and Life!

Nearly 25 people have now lost more than 5% of their overall body weight in these 1st 4 weeks, and as you can see, our leaders are now passing the 10% lost mark. This is significant and reason to celebrate!

Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight reduces your risk of serious diseases.

Many people want to be healthy more than they want to be skinny. One of the most important reasons to lose weight and maintain that weight loss has to do with your health. Excess weight is associated with many health problems, some of them life-threatening.

Heart Disease
It’s the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S. Being overweight can have as much of an impact on your heart’s health as smoking and high cholesterol, according to medical studies. It increases the risk of high blood pressure, which is associated with a risk of strokes, and promotes abnormal levels of blood cholesterol. If you sport a spare tire or a beer belly, do what you can to get rid of it: Abdominal weight is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Type 2 Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, you’re at risk of developing this blood sugar metabolism disorder if you are overweight, have a sedentary lifestyle, and are over the age of 45. Uncontrolled, type 2 diabetes leads to serious medical problems, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness.

Several years ago, an important large-scale study on the relationship between cancer and obesity was conducted by the American Cancer Society. It involved 750,000 Americans from 26 states and analyzed information on the participants’ body weights, smoking habits, and cancer deaths over a 13-year period, from 1959 to 1972.

After adjusting for the effects of age and cigarette smoking, the study found that people whose body weight was 40 percent higher than average had an overall increased risk of cancer death -- a 33 percent increase in men and a 55 percent increase in women.

Overweight men had higher rates of colorectal and prostate cancers, and overweight women had higher rates of gallbladder, breast, cervix, endometrium, uterus, and ovarian cancers.

This condition involves a wearing away of the tissue that protects your joints and can be both painful and debilitating. According to the Arthritis Foundation, being overweight contributes to, and aggravates, osteoarthritis.

Sleep Apnea
With this sleep disorder, the upper respiratory airways collapse, resulting in people snoring loudly, waking up suddenly, and then returning to sleep. It causes poor sleep and severe daytime fatigue.

Summing UpIf you are overweight, losing even a little weight can help you be healthier. Medical experts generally agree that losing just five to 10 percent of your body weight reduces your risk of serious diseases.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Do You Know If You Are REALLY Hungry?

No, it’s not a trick question. The thing is, most of us overweight folk are so used to putting something into our mouths whether we’re hungry or not hungry; upset or not upset; happy or not happy—that we totally lose touch with what real hunger is.

“It goes back to listening to your body,” Bob said in a phone conversation just today. “When my contestants get to the ranch and start eating healthy meals and snacks on a regular schedule with lots of exercise, then after about two weeks, they really know what hunger is.”

“At first they’re like, ‘I’m not gonna eat.’ Then, after working out so hard they don’t feel like eating. But finally it kicks in,” he said.

If a contestant feels really, really hungry, despite having eaten as planned, Bob encourages them to have a small snack, but a healthy one and more protein than carbs. Then just keep on going and eventually your hunger meter is going to settle into normality.

One important mental game not to play with yourself, he says, is to think that because you’re working out, you’re entitled to eat more. Yes, you’re going to be hungrier, but pay attention to what your body is telling you and if you must snack, do it in the new healthy way you’re adopting. You can re-program your thinking!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

13 Keys to Success

From Biggest Loser Club Experts

6 Exercise Keys to Success
1) Doing 200 – 300 minutes of cardio per week (or building up to it).
2) Making sure your cardio exercise is challenging. Beginners do a steady, challenging pace. Experienced exercisers alternate a hard day with an easier recovery day to help recover from hard efforts.
3) Making steady and measurable improvements in your cardio fitness.
4) Doing strength training for each major body part (chest, back, legs, shoulders, core) 2 – 3 days per week.
5) Making sure the resistance you use for your strength exercises is very challenging.
6) Making steady and measurable improvements in your strength.

7 Nutrition Keys to Success
1) Eat every 3-4 of your waking hours (which will give you 5-6 small meals/snacks per day).
2) Eat protein and/or fat with carbs.
3) Choose high fiber carbs and not white flour carbs.
4) Make sure that you have a good source of protein at lunch and dinner.
5) Choose healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, and olive oil, and eat a couple of servings daily. Don't cut your fat intake too low.
6) Make sure you're eating 2-3 fruit servings each day.
7) Make sure you're eating at least 3 servings of vegetables each day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chicken & Spinach Soup w/ fresh pesto

This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients—boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto.

Makes 5 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup carrot or diced red bell pepper
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces), cut into quarters
1 large clove garlic, minced
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons for garnish (optional)


1.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot (or bell pepper) and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
2.With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
3.Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor (a mini processor works well). Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.
4.Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with croutons, if desired.
Nutrition Information

Per serving: 204 calories, 8g fat, 18g protein, 6g fiber, 691mg sodium

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


TOP 10 through week 3
1. Holt, Derick -9.21%
2. Almarez, Martin -9.14%
3. Hooker, James -8.66%
4. Holt, Rick -8.38%
5. Parreira, Merry -6.84%
6. Parreira, Joe -6.65%
7. Rodrigues, Darren -5.74%
8. Jimenez, Jose -5.53%
9. Gonzales, Elizabeth -5.50%
10. Jimenez, Sophia -5.42%

As a group, we have now lost a total of 758lb in 3 weeks!

THIS WEEKS NEW MINI CHALLENGE: By including exercise in your weight loss program, you’ll discover that not only will the weight come off, but your metabolism will improve, your fat will be replaced by lean, muscle tissue (rather than loose, jiggly flab), you’ll feel more energetic and mentally alert, and you’ll be better able to keep the fat off. Our goal for you this week is to come and try out one of the early morning or evening Biggest Loser exercise classes that we offer our challenge participants free of charge. For each Biggest Loser exercise class you attend, your name will be put in a drawing for 1 of 3 Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred with Weights DVD's. If you attend one class this week, your name goes in the drawing once...If you attend 3 of the classes this week, you get your name in the drawing 3 times! I'm attaching our workout schedule to this email, or you can visit our blog for the schedule of times as well by clicking http://BLTurlock.blogspot.com

Last weeks Mini Challenge winners: Last week we challenged you to lose 2lbs in one week. 33 of you lost 2 lbs or more! Great job. Our 5 winners are (names randomly chosen)
Mike Curry
Jaylen Schindler
Ronna Uliana
Paulette Cooper
Darren Rodrigues

Congratulations! You each won a Biggest Loser Complete Calorie Count Book! The book will be in your file next monday at weigh-in!

This week not only saw 33 people LOSE 2 lbs or more, but we also had a large contingent of folks who really struggled. As a matter of fact, we had over 40 people who GAINED weight this week. Am I surprised? No. 3 weeks into a diet plan, that's when it starts getting tough. The novelty is wearing off. The reality is setting in. This is just plain hard work! The truth is, after the 3rd week has usually been when i quit and give up.

You may have been dieting for a few weeks, started off well, but over the last couple of weeks your weight loss may have slowed down. In fact, you may even have gained a couple of pounds and right now you may be wondering if you can be bothered to continue. You may even be thinking to yourself: "Just one more bad week and I can stop dieting and slip away quietly."

If this sounds like you, let me ask you a question.

Q. Have you experienced this type of situation before? For example, did your previous diet plan end in similar circumstances? Did slower weight loss cause you to feel disillusioned about your progress and then to quit the diet altogether? If so, what happened when you stopped dieting? Did you feel better? Were you happier? What has happened to your weight since that time?

Bearing in mind your answers to these questions, let me try and explain the reality of losing weight. Not the hype, not the false promises, but the reality.

Most of us become overweight as a result of bad eating habits. To reduce weight, we need to change these habits. But this change can only happen over time. Starting a diet won't erase all your regular cravings for fattening foods overnight. You need at least a couple of months to feel comfortable with your new eating habits.

Unfortunately, most dieters expect miracles! They think that as soon as they start dieting, all their bad eating habits will fly out the window. And when this doesn't happen, they become unhappy and frustrated and - usually after about three weeks - give up their diet altogether.

As we say to all our participants, the truth is that losing weight requires patience and, above all, realistic expectations. Most people who expect rapid continuous weight-loss are doomed to rapid disappointment. You need to persevere, and be prepared to "bounce back" from the inevitable bad days and bad weeks.

But it's definitely worth it.

I mean, how does quitting your diet help? Sure, it might take some pressure off you temporarily, but pretty soon you're going to look in the mirror and think "Ouch!" And all your old negative feelings about yourself are going to come flooding back. Which will probably lead to more comfort-eating and more weight gain.

So quitting a diet is no solution to anything.

The people who succeed at losing weight are not "perfect dieters". They do not lose weight every week. They do not have a secret store of super-human willpower that stops them from wanting to binge on ice cream, chocolate or pizza. They have bad days and bad weeks, just like any other dieter. The thing that distinguishes them and the thing that helps them succeed, is that THEY DO NOT GIVE UP WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH. They don't fold if disaster strikes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Recipe: Curtis Stone's Turkey and Vegetable Chili

Here's a healthy alternative to a hearty favorite, chili!

Serves 4


For the chili:
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, medium diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small red chili, seeded and small diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large carrot, peeled and small diced
1 large celery stalk, medium diced
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and medium dice
12 ounces 1% lean ground turkey
4 medium size ripe tomatoes, medium diced
8 oz cooked white or black beans
4 cups baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plain fat free Greek style yogurt
Micro cilantro to garnish, (can substitute with chopped chives or chopped cilantro)


•Place a large saute pan over medium high heat, then drizzle with the oil.
•Add the onion, garlic, and red chili and sauté for 2 minutes, or until tender.
•Sprinkle the cumin over the onion mix and stir well, then add the carrot, celery, and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables begin to get tender.
•In a separate saute pan, brown the turkey in the remaining oil over medium high heat, then transfer to the vegetable mix.
•Add the tomatoes and the beans and cook for a further 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid has evaporated.
•Stir in the spinach and remove from the heat.
•Season the chili to taste with freshly ground black pepper
•Spoon the chili into serving dishes
•Spoon a tablespoon of the yogurt onto each garnish with the micro cilantro and serve.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 280
Total Fat 7g
Sat Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 35mg
Sodium 120mg
Total Carb 28g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugar 7g
Protein 29g

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


If you're trying to lose weight, calorie counting can be a critical part of your weight loss process. It has been proven that calorie counting is an effective way to lose weight, because it enables you to identify low-calorie foods and perform the right physical exercises to maintain a fit and healthy body.

Caloric Requirement
Caloric requirement varies from one person to another, and you have to find out your own caloric requirement before you can set your calorie goals for losing weight. There are a number of tools on the Internet that can calculate caloric requirements for people of different weights, genders and activity levels. All you have to do is provide certain information about yourself, and you will get a response showing your caloric requirement and recommended caloric intake. You can also use a formula known as the Harris-Benedict Formula, which is a mathematical formula that is specifically developed for estimating caloric needs.

Determining Calories in Food
The next thing that you need to do is learn how to determine the calorie contents of foods that are sold in the supermarket or grocery store. Most packaged foods have a nutrition facts label on them, and this label provides lots of information about the nutritional contents of the food, including the amount of calories per serving. The label also shows the size of each serving. Another way to find out about calorie contents of foods is to use calorie charts and calorie counting tools on the Internet, such as FitDay.com. These tools can provide calorie information on many different types of food, ranging from fruits and vegetables to fast food.

Portion Sizes
When you are counting calories, it is important that you follow the portion sizes that are recommended by the nutrition facts labels or calorie counting tools. You have to measure the portion size of a food before consuming it, so that you can keep track of the number of calories that you are taking. Some of the things that you can use to measure portion sizes are a measuring cup, tablespoon and teaspoon, and kitchen scale.

Cutting Calories
To lose weight, you can either eat less or burn more calories, and the amount of calories that you manage to cut is called a calorie deficit. To keep track of your calorie intake, you need to have a notebook to record the total number of calories that you consume and burn everyday. Certain tools on the Internet can help you find out how much calories will be burned when you do certain physical activities. You have to be disciplined enough to eat the right foods and do the necessary exercises to reach your calorie goal everyday. While you are concentrating on cutting calories, you should also try to consume foods that are rich in essential nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bob Harper - Workout Tips - Motivation


TOP 10 through week 2
1. Holt, Derick -8.52%
2. Hooker, James -7.32%
3. Almarez, Martin -6.03%
4. Holt, Rick -5.45%
5. Nieuwsma, Deb -5.34%
6. Parreira, Joe -5.31%
7. Parreira, Merry -5.08%
8. Giffen, Jacob -5.02%
9. Rodrigues, Darren -4.70%
10. Rose, Cathy -4.66%

Following 2 weeks of healthy eating and activity, our group has lost a total of 688 lbs!

Our mini challenge for last week was to maintain a food journal for a minimum of 3 days. Unfortunately only 20 of you brought in your journals to show us for the challenge. If you aren't a believer in the power of a food journal (heightens awareness of the amounts you eat) take note. The 20 folks that DID track their food with a food journal this week, lost an average of 3.5 lbs each! And our winner for this challenge is KYLEE SKIDGEL. Kylie wins a Biggest Loser digital food scale! (Pick it up next week at weigh-in)

THIS WEEK'S MINI CHALLENGE... 2lbs...lose 2lbs...you can do it! Each person who loses 2 lbs this week will qualify for our drawing for 1 of 5 Biggest Loser Complete Calorie Counter Books: The Quick and Easy Guide to Thousands of Foods from Grocery Stores and Popular Restaurants--As Seen on NBC.

Too exhausted or busy to squeeze in the gym? Ditch your DVR and try these 6 simple moves between commercial breaks.
1. Couch Push-Ups
These modified pushups sculpt your triceps and chest.
Facing a couch, kneel on the floor about 2 feet away from it. Cross your ankles, and place your hands shoulder-width apart on a cushion edge. Slowly bend your arms, and lower your upper body until your chest touches the couch. Hold, then press up again.
Cardio finish: Do jumping jacks.

2. Side Crunches
These work your oblique muscles for a trimmer tummy.
Lie on the couch on your left side with your legs together and your knees bent. Place your right hand behind your head with your elbow pointing toward the ceiling. Wrap your left arm across your waist. Contracting the oblique muscles along your right side, lift your shoulder off the couch, bringing your rib cage toward your hip. Hold, then slowly lower. Repeat, then switch sides. (If your couch is too soft, you may need to do this exercise on the floor.)
Cardio finish: Do crossover punches. While standing, twist from your waist, and alternate punching your fists diagonally across your body.

3. Armchair Stands
This variation on squats tones your butt and thighs.
Sit on the edge of a chair or couch with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without using your arms, press into the floor with your feet, and stand, tightening your butt muscles as you rise. Keep your abdominals tight and your back straight. Hold, then slowly lower yourself. Before you touch the chair, stand up again.
Cardio finish: Walk or jog up and down stairs

4. Armchair Dips
These moves are the ultimate arm flab fighter.
Sitting on the edge of a chair (or couch), place your hands on the edge on either side of you. Move your feet out so that your butt is off the chair, and your knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Bending your elbows so they point behind you, lower yourself as far as comfortable. Hold, then slowly press up again.
Cardio finish: Circle your fists in the air, as though you’re boxing a punching bag.

5. Leg-Up Couch Crunches
Watch your form on these for maximum flat-belly benefits.
Lie on your back on a couch with your knees bent, your feet up on one end, and your hands behind your head. Pressing your lower back into the couch, slowly lift your head, shoulders, and upper back off the couch. Hold, then slowly lower. (If your couch is too soft, you may need to do this exercise on the floor.)
Cardio finish: Do knee lifts. While standing, alternate bringing your right elbow down to meet your left knee, and vice versa.

6. Scissors
These will help your legs look amazing in skinny jeans.
Lie on your back on a couch (you may need to angle yourself for more room) with your hands (palms down) under your butt and your legs straight up in the air. Keeping your knees slightly bent and your feet flexed, slowly spread your legs as far apart as comfortable. Hold, then slowly bring your legs together, resisting as you press them in.
Cardio finish: Do side slides, stepping your right foot out to the side, then sliding your left foot to meet it. Repeat in the opposite direction, doing this as quickly as you can.


You can use a regular notebook for your food journal. It does not need to be a special journal that is made just for dieting. A basic notebook will give you the room to customize your journal to your specific needs. This is very important for food journaling success.

Food journaling should be something that is done everyday. It is important to note the date and the time of day at the top of each journal entry. This is a basic step for everyday to make sure that you can reference your journey later on to see how well you have progressed. You can make posts after each meal to make sure that you do not forget to enter your food.

Food Entries

When it comes to food journaling, the more specific you are in the details when you enter your data, the more successful that you will be. You will want to write down everything that you eat and the amount of food that you eat. It is important to include everything from what you drink to the butter that you place on your roll. This is the only way that you will get an idea about how many calories that you consume during the course of the day.

Food journaling is about listing everything that you eat, not just meals. Any time that you snack, you will want to list it in your food journal. By being honest with yourself and your food journal, you will see the greatest weight loss results.

Entering More Than Food

As you write about what you are eating, think about what you were feeling when you ate. Were you hungry or were you bored? By noting your emotions and feelings in your food journal, you will begin to see patterns in how you eat. To lose weight, you only want to eat when you are hungry. By identifying other emotions that cause you to eat, you will be able to eliminate them from your diet and life.

Food journaling is a tool that will help you to evaluate and track your diet. This is a key factor in being successful when it comes to any diet plan. You need to be able to hold yourself accountable for what you eat and to see your progress as you go through your weight loss plan.


Keep it up. Your healthy habits, that is.

We all tend to relax – or be lax – on weekends; that’s what they’re for, right? But loosening our grips on a healthy lifestyle, even just for the weekend, can sabotage our efforts to reach health and fitness goals.

Recent studies indicate that we tend to take in more calories on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The exact number varies from an average of 85 calories per weekend day to 115, and while that may not seem like much, it adds up. A pound is 3,500 calories, so 345 extra calories a week will lead to nearly a pound after 10 weeks — or an extra five pounds over a year.

You may think, "So I eat a little more on Saturday night, I’ll exercise that off on Sunday." Sunday arrives, yet you find excuses not to exercise.

Church starts at 9 a.m.? Then get up at 7 a.m. and walk a few miles. You rise early to workout on weekdays, why not now?
Not a morning exerciser and you can’t miss 60 Minutes or Alias on Sunday evening? Tape or TiVo it and hit the gym.
Your wife wants your help in the garden? Good news – the experts deem yard work real exercise.
Watching your kids’ baseball games all day? Stand up while you watch: standing burns more calories than sitting. Or take a walk between games.
Do you just not feel like working out because, after all, weekends are for relaxing? Just a few minutes of exercise is better than none. Keeping up with your exercise routine will help you reach your fitness goals that much faster, and once you get into the groove of working out, you’ll crave it. Promise.
And it doesn’t stop with fitness. While it’s easy to drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day when you have a water bottle sitting on your desk at work, where you’re stuck for half your waking hours, weekends are different. You’re watching your kids’ soccer games or shopping or doing yard work or visiting the craft booths at the local art fair. Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go just doesn’t seem feasible.

Keep your eye on the prize: a healthier you. Be conscious of what you eat during the weekends, stick to your healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercising just like you do during the week. If you need to reward yourself for the hard work (or the diligence you’ve kept to your diet) through the week, see a movie or get a massage. DON’T get the cheesy fries appetizer or order an extra margarita – the study mentioned in the third paragraph shows that the additional weekend calories come from fat and alcohol.

On weekends, give yourself a break, but make it a healthy one.

Looking forward to seeing less of you at Monday's weigh-in!