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!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

5 Diet Myths (and what you can learn from them)

Diets are filled with rules about when, what, and how much to eat. While “the rules” may make sense on the surface, unless you understand why you do certain things, you’ll break the rules as soon as the temptation is greater than your motivation.

Let’s examine some of these myths, where they come from, and how to make long term changes that work for you.

Myth 1: Don’t Eat After 7pm

Your metabolism doesn’t shut off at 7:01 pm so why is this rule so common? Many people who struggle with their weight overeat in the evening after dinner so they aren’t snacking because they’re hungry. They’re snacking because they’re bored, watching television, rewarding themselves, or feeling lonely.

Rather than using a temporary rule to address those habits, when you feel like eating in the evenings, ask, “Am I hungry?” If you’re truly hungry, eat, keeping in mind that your day is winding down so you don’t need a big meal. If you aren’t hungry, think about why you feel like eating anyway and come up with a better way to address that need. Ken, a man in one of our Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating workshops, realized he was just bored so he started doing stained glass to entertain himself while he watched TV.

Myth 2: Eat Small Meals Every 3 Hours

This rule is based on the fact that many people who don’t struggle with weight issues tend to eat frequent small meals. However, they don’t check their watch to tell them when it’s time to eat; they eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re satisfied. Since that tends to be a small-ish meal, they get hungry again in a few hours.

Instead of watching the clock, begin to tune in to the physical symptoms of hunger and fullness to tell you when to eat and when to stop. Your stomach is about the size of your fist so it only holds a couple of handfuls of food comfortably. By relearning to trust your body’s signals, you can learn to follow a frequent small meal pattern naturally.

Myth 3: Don’t Let Yourself Get Hungry

A corollary to myth 2, this rule is based on the belief that overweight people are incapable of controlling themselves when they’re hungry. In my experience with thousands of Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating workshop participants, the opposite is true.  Once people learn to tell the difference between physical hunger and head hunger, they begin to meet each need more appropriately. Perhaps the rule should be “Don’t let yourself get too hungry” since it’s harder to make conscious choices when you’re starving.

Myth 4: Follow Your Diet Six Days a Week Then You Can Have a Cheat Day

Hmmm…what if you were a harsh, overly strict parent six days a week then completely ignored your kids every Saturday? It doesn’t make sense to try to be perfect Sunday through Friday while obsessing about everything you’re going to eat on your “day off.” Then when Saturday comes, you overeat just because you’re allowed to so you end up feeling miserable all day. Personally, I’d rather enjoy eating a little of the foods I love every day, mindfully and in moderation.

Myth 5: Carbs are Bad… or Fat is Bad… or ______ is Bad

“Good food, bad food” thinking can lead to feelings of deprivation, cravings, overeating, and guilt.  All foods can fit into a healthy diet using the principles of balance, variety, and moderation to guide you. Use nutrition information as a tool, not a weapon.


A sustainable personal approach trumps short term rules.  Rather than walking a tight rope that you’ll fall off of sooner or later, dig a little deeper to better understand why, when, what, how, and how much you eat. You’ll gradually create a more flexible, personalized approach to making decisions that both nourish and nurture you.

By michelle_may_md on Apr 21, 2011 03:00 AM in Dieting & You

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Week's Mini Challenge Winners Are...

Last week we challenged you to keep a food journal, logging everything you ate, for at least 5 days. If you did, your name was put in a drawing for a Biggest Loser Food Journal. We're pleased to announce the winners are:

Robin Lauck
Misty Hale
Gina Uliana

Congratulations! Now don't forget, everyone, to take a look at this week's mini-challenge (located in a box on the left) for a chance to win a prize!

Walking for Weight Loss

This ain't no walk in the park

Walking sometimes gets a bad rap when it comes to weight loss since, as many believe, it just isn't a challenging enough exercise. For example, check out a calorie calculator and you'll find that you have to walk twice as long as someone jogging to burn the same amount of calories. Or do you? The truth is, it isn't walking that's the problem...it's you.  
Not a Walk in the ParkWalking is easy: you can do it anywhere, anytime with no special equipment. There's no learning curve and it's something you can incorporate all day long. However, The Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Review featured a study about walking for exercise and found that only 26% of the people in the study walked briskly enough to achieve the intensity level recommended by the U.S. surgeon general. So, how do you know when you're going fast enough? Use the checklist below to make your walking workout more effective.
Your walking checklist:
  • Pump your arms. Keep your elbows at 90 degrees and swing your arms back and forth in a natural motion to add intensity.
  • Shorten your stride. In her article "10 Walking Mistakes to Avoid", Wendy Bumgardner says, "All of the power of your walk comes from pushing with the back leg and foot." When you increase your speed, take shorter, quicker steps.
  • Stand up straight. Are you slumping? Good posture helps you breathe easier and you put less stress on your back, shoulders and neck.
  • Walk briskly. What is brisk? It means walking fast enough to cover at least 3.5 miles in an hour. To figure it all out, walk a mile and time it. If you make it in 15 minutes or less, you're on the right track.
  • Monitor your intensity. Pretend as though you're late for an appointment or hurrying to catch a bus. That should be your pace throughout your workout.
  • Walk long enough. Your walk should be between 30-60 minutes.
  • Spice things up. How about adding some hills, speed-walking or even jogging to boost intensity? This is no time to stop and smell the roses (although you can enjoy their lovely color as you whisk by).
Walking is an excellent way to meet your cardio needs as long as you work hard enough. A leisurely stroll certainly has its place but, if you're going for weight loss, save the strolls and pick up the pace.

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S MINI CHALLENGE (column to the left) for a chance to win The Biggest Loser Power Walk DVD!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

10 Easter Treats You Can Eat for 100 Calories

Don't let the Easter Bunny hop all over your healthy eating plans. These 10 treats will allow you to indulge--for 100 calories or less!

24 Small Jelly Beans

99 calories
0 g fat
19 g sugars 

24 Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

98 calories
0 g fat
20 g sugars

Half of a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg

90 calories
5 g fat
8 g sugars

0.6 oz. Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny

(Slightly less than half of a 1.5 oz solid chocolate bunny)

95 calories
6 g fat
9 g sugars

3 Robin's Eggs

100 calories
4 g fat
15 g sugars

5 Jordan Almonds

90 calories
3 g fat
15 g sugars

6 Cadbury Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs

95 calories
4 g fat
14 g sugars

6 Gumdrops

100 calories
0 g fat
15 g sugars

0.6 oz. Solid White Chocolate Bunny

(Slightly less than half of a 1.5 oz solid chocolate bunny)

92 calories
6 g fat
10 g sugars

3 Marshmallow Peeps

98 calories
0 g fat
22 g sugars

Written by Natalie Nichols, SparkPeople Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Single Best Way to Lose Weight

It’s scientifically proven: The key isn’t just what you eat, it’s what you write

By Kate Torgovnick

Keep a food diary. Studies show that a journal doesn’t just aid weight loss — it turbo-charges it. When researchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research followed more than 2,000 dieters who were encouraged to record meals and snacks, they found that the single best predictor of whether a participant would drop weight was whether the person kept a food diary. It trumped exercise habits, age, and body mass index. The number of pounds people lost was directly related to the number of days they wrote in their log. (It’s no coincidence that Weight Watchers, one of the most successful diet programs, asks participants to track what they eat.)
Here are five more reasons to start a journal today — even if you swore off diaries in middle school.

1. You’ll get a reality check about how many calories you consume.
Americans typically underestimate their daily intake by about 25 percent, reports nutritionist Carrie Latt Wiatt, author of Portion Savvy. The situation gets even more complicated when you eat out. In a 2006 study led by Cornell University, 105 diners in fast-food restaurants were asked how many calories were in their orders. For the small items, almost everyone guessed correctly; for the larger orders, the diners underestimated the calories by a whopping 38 percent. It may be an issue of perception, says study author Brian Wansink, Ph.D. The larger the quantity, the harder it is to make an accurate guess — the same is true for distances and heights.
Even professionals can be tricked by hefty portion sizes. When an NYU researcher asked 200 dietitians to estimate the calorie count of four popular restaurant dishes, the experts lowballed the number for each by a whopping 250 to 700 calories.
So stop assuming and start calculating. A good manual, like the classic Calorie King Fat & Carbohydrate Counter, makes it easy by giving you the calorie counts and fat grams for a huge number of foods. Or try and online calorie tracker, available free at sites suck at caloriecount.about.com, Sparkpeople and FitDay

2. You’ll cut back on between-meal munching.
Make a mental checklist of what you ate yesterday. Sure, you can probably remember breakfast, lunch, and dinner — but what about that mini Snickers you snatched from your coworker’s stash? Or that spoonful of mashed potatoes you took off your husband’s plate?
It’s easy to overlook bites, licks, and tastes (known as “BLTs" to professionals). But that’s a huge mistake — there are 25 calories, on average, in each mouthful. Translation: Six little bites a day add up to around 15 extra pounds a year.
“I remember one client who was keeping a diary and couldn’t understand why she wasn’t losing weight," says Bethany Thayer, R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “We were discussing the problem when she took out a peppermint. I asked her how many she ate every day, and she said, ‘A bag.’ They’re nine calories each, but the whole bag is several hundred."
Writing everything down can also help you make smarter food choices. If you often order a Starbucks Grande Dulce de Leche Latte, entering the data will bring you face-to-face with the fact that your beloved drink packs 440 calories, versus 23 calories for the same-size regular coffee with milk.

3. You’ll discover where your diet detours.
“I thought I ate a lot of vegetables — it seemed like I was constantly cooking spinach, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts," says Melissa Smith, a 32-year-old mom from Omaha who’s been keeping a food diary for the past 18 months. “But looking back over a few weeks of my journal, I was surprised to realize that I was only eating veggies once or twice a week." So she made salads a regular part of dinner and noticed that it helped her eat less of her entrĂ©e. Her analysis and follow-up action paid off: She’s lost more than 27 pounds.
A balanced diet is the key to weight loss, says Suzanne Farrell, R.D., who owns Cherry Creek Nutrition in Denver. “Whole grains, low-fat dairy, green vegetables, orange veggies, beans, nuts — science shows that we need to eat these regularly to reach a healthy body weight. So when I flip through my clients’ journals, I always look for what I’m not seeing."
To find out how many servings of each food group you should be eating, go to mypyramid.gov. This tool will calculate the correct portions based on your age, gender, height, weight, and level of physical activity. It’ll also tell you the number of calories you should aim for daily to lose weight.

4. You’ll learn why you pig out.
Experts suggest that, to help break bad habits, you record not only what you eat, but the circumstances that prompt you to eat. For example, maybe you indulge in more sweets at work because you sit close to the vending machine. Maybe you have a milkshake several times a week because you pass Wendy’s on the way home. Or maybe every time you worry about money, you retreat into the kitchen for chips.
When you begin to notice these patterns, you can figure out ways to change them. If the vending machine is a constant temptation, stock your desk drawers with fruit and granola bars. If you can’t resist a fast-food sign, MapQuest a new route to work. If you eat when you’re under pressure, steer clear of snacks and take a short walk instead (it’s a scientifically proven stress buster).
Another bonus: “When you increase awareness of what’s going into your mouth," says Thayer, “you’ll feel fuller sooner than if you were just mindlessly munching."

5. You’ll see real results — quickly.
Your food diary can be as revealing as the one you kept in fifth grade. For example, to get a glimpse into how much you’ve improved your diet, compare the entries in week one (Twinkie-filled) to week four or five (ideally, veggie-filled). You can also discover which decisions translated into pounds lost — for instance, that week you had fish for dinner twice might’ve helped you lose weight.
Food journals also let you give yourself credit where credit is due (personally, I reward myself with a gold star each day I resist eating candy). And that positive reinforcement is essential for shedding pounds.

How to Write Off Pounds: A Cheat Sheet to Get Your Food Diary Started

Choose Your Medium
If you’re using pen and paper, buy a regular spiral notebook. Or go for a pre-organized book like the DietMinder. Computer addicts should check out online journals, such as myfooddiary.com ($9 per month) or the ones we mentioned above.

Start Recording
The crucial info to write down: the time you ate, what you ate, and how much you ate. Make a habit of jotting notes right after you eat. “If you wait until the end of the day, it’s too easy to leave things out," warns Suzanne Farrell, R.D. Tracking your diet online? Remember to take paper with you to restaurants, so you can write down every ingredient and calculate its nutritional content afterward.
You may also want to invest in measuring cups — they’ll help you learn what a one-and-a-half-cup portion looks like (it’s a lot less than you think) — as well as a calorie-counter book and a calculator. Armed with these tools, you can track your calories like a nutritionist would.

Get Personal
Customize your diary so it reflects the info that’s most useful to you. For example, if you’re someone who eats whenever food is in front of you, create columns in your journal to rate how hungry you were before and afterward. If you snack your way through hard days, add a column to describe how you were feeling when you ate. Trying to figure out when you’re most drawn to junk food? Record where you were when you indulged and what was going on at the time. Also, if you’re trying to break a specific habit, like scarfing down ice cream at night, create a column for that, so you can give yourself a star for each day you resist the urge.

Be Honest
Include every single bite, lick, and taste (anything larger than a crumb counts). And don’t forget to keep track of your sips. Even the most diligent diarists often forget to include the glass of white wine they had at dinner (120 calories) and their 3 p.m. can of Coke (155 calories).

Find Your Favorites
Counting calories is easier for creatures of habit: If you have a bowl of cereal for breakfast almost every morning or a turkey sandwich three times a week, you won’t have to look up the number each time.

Keep Your Diary Close
“I’m forgetful, so I always need to put the journal where I can see it — on my kitchen table, on my desk at work. I carry it a lot in my hand, too, as a reminder," says Melissa Smith, 32, of Omaha, who lost 25 pounds keeping a food diary.
You can also try this trick from Maryellen Mealey, 42, of Chicago, who lost big (188 pounds) keeping a journal: “I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t eat anything unless I wrote it down first. It’s obsessive, but I’m a mindless snacker and putting everything in the book really helped me be more conscious," she says.

Examine the Evidence
No matter how diligent you are, a food log won’t help in the behavior-changing department if you don’t analyze it. At night, sit down and calculate how many calories you consumed. Tally up what food groups you’re eating, and make adjustments. (A big plus of online tools is that they do a lot of the analysis for you, totaling everything with a click of a button and often giving you charts to show what you can improve.)
You may also want to consult a registered dietitian. A professional may see things in your diary that you don’t (we reccomend Karin Plett RD here in Turlock). A two-year study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle showed that participants who consulted a dietitian had better success keeping off weight than those who followed their usual diet.

Reward Yourself
“I read that it takes 28 days to build a habit," says Mealey. “So when I have a new goal — like eating veggies more often — I do it for a month, then treat myself by shopping or going to a movie with a friend. Rewards give me an incentive to keep going."

Read more: Keep a Food Diary to Lose Weight - Food Journal Diet Success - Good Housekeeping

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week One Update and Results!

We are off and running! This first week, our participants have lost over 453 lbs this 1st week! With 128 participants currently registered, that's an average of 3.5lbs per person! Outstanding Start! It's always so exciting to see highly motivated participants, ready to dive into a new and better way of living! Keep up the great work and you'll be feeling the results before you know it!

Just a few reminders as we head into week 2...

Our FREE morning workout group gathers at 5:30am everyday, Monday-Friday for a great cardio workout called Insanity! If you haven't made it yet, give it a try!

NOTE TIME CHANGE: Also, Trainer Devin Griffiths, will hold another FREE early evening workout this Wednesday, April 20, from 6:30pm - 7:30pm at Markley Park, across the street from Monte Vista Chapel. Come and join us!

This week we introduce our 1st Mini Challenge. We'll be posting a lot this week about the power of calorie tracking. Your challenge? Grab some paper, or your iphone app, or an online tracker, and track every calorie that you take in, every day for 5 days straight. Show us next Monday that you completed this task and we'll enter you into our drawing for one of (3) Biggest Loser Food Journals!
As any Biggest Loser knows, weight loss boils down to simple math. Carefully tracking food intake (calories in) and exercise (calories out) is essential for successful weight loss. Now, you can record your calories and track your progress the same way the Biggest Losers do with The Biggest Loser Food Journal. This interactive, indispensable weight-loss tool shows you how to:
• Set a daily calorie budget
• Choose foods on The Biggest Loser Food Plan
• Record daily meals, snacks, beverages, and water intake
• Create an exercise plan and log workouts
• Cook recipes created by The Biggest Loser nutrition team

The Biggest Loser Food Journal will help you stay accountable, discover a strategy that helps you meet your goals, and celebrate your successes. Start tracking—and losing—today! 

Have a great week, and remember to check here often for healthy lifestyle updates!

Can't wait to see if you win? Purchase one for yourself by using the link below!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Goal Setting for Weight Loss

 If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything, is ready, we shall never begin.
- Ivan Turgenev, novelist, poet, playwright

Sometimes it seems like we're always putting off our goals until some vague time in the future called "Once". "Once the New Year rolls around...", "Once I have my new job...", "Once I retire...", "Once the kids are in school...", "Once the kids are OUT of school..." Sound familiar? By waiting for Once to get here, we waste time and frustrate our desire to do what we really want. It's a fact of life that every time one potential distraction disappears, it's quickly replaced with a new one. There will always be something that can stand in your way - if you let it. Ask yourself: are these distractions real reasons, or just good excuses for putting something off? Goals cannot be started in the future. The laws of time and nature dictate that you can only act in the present. You are here, today. So are your goals. The only good time to start is right now.

Tips on Setting Daily Goals

Setting goals creates a map for how to achieve weight loss and optimum fitness. Goal setting helps dieters stay on track and bridge the distance between a vision of an ideal health and its reality, report consultants at Effective Time Management Strategies. Dieters and those looking to achieve a well-balanced daily diet plan can effectively use many of the techniques used by successful business people.

Get Specific

Specific goals are more effective than general fitness goals to get healthier or just to "lose weight." A specific daily goal may be to eat 1,200 calories and exercise for 30 minutes. Specific daily goals easily can then be translated into weekly and monthly goals. To be specific, you must be able to measure the goal to know if you have achieved it or not. Keep a food journal to track daily intake. Write down the specific exercise you'll do each day, such as walk for 30 minutes or use the elliptical machine for 15 minutes and walk for 15 minutes.

Be Realistic

Set realistic goals that are both healthy and achievable, advise doctors at the Mayo Clinic. By breaking down fitness goals into daily slices, you have the opportunity to make small changes each day. For example, if you've not exercised in years, make your daily goal to walk for 10 minutes a day for the first week and 15 minutes every day for the second week, until you reach 30 minutes a day. If you have been eating three large meals and fatty snacks every day, start by making your daily goal to eat one healthy snack, like carrot sticks. Repeat that daily goal for a week and then set a daily goal of eating a salad for lunch. Make small changes until you've reached a larger, healthier goal.

Make a Note

Write down your goals for the day. Include your specific eating and exercise goals in your day planner or other calendar you use for business and personal appointments. It's easier to fit food preparation and workouts into your schedule when you know what your schedule will be for each day. At the same time, when you pencil in a 30-minute walk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 a.m., you'll know not to book another appointment at that time when you go to your calendar. Use a calendar for meals and snacks and build in an occasional treat. By writing down your meal plans each day, you can make adjustments when you know you'll be eating out and when you'll have time to make big batches of soup or to cut up vegetables.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/83970-tips-setting-daily-diet-goals/#ixzz1JW9O1rvv

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Ditch Your Diet Excuses For Good

Yes, of course you’d like to lose weight. But you’re busy. And you’re tired. And you’ve got a whole houseload of people (throw a few pets in there too) relying on you for, well, everything. You’re sick of salads. You forget to go to the grocery store. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, life is too short—to not take charge of your health today. Ditch your diet excuses. We’ll help you
Diet excuse #1: I have a life.

When you’re just starting out on a diet, often it’s fun. There’s the promise of success to come. There’s the initial weight loss—that gets noticed by friends and co-workers. There’s the fun challenge of trying new things. Then, your weight loss slows down and the novelty wears off. Between work and family and friends, how the heck are you supposed to find time to shop and cook and hit the gym? You put yourself first. That’s the common trait among The Biggest Loser contestants who’ve been most successful, the NBC show’s nutritionist Cheryl Forberg, R.D., told EatingWell’s Michelle Edelbaum recently. (Discover more weight-loss secrets from The Biggest Loser’s nutritionist here.) Yes, your kids need you—so you need to keep yourself healthy so you can take care of them. Yes, you have a lot of work—but maybe you’ll be more productive if you’re treating your body right.

Diet excuse #2: The scale isn’t budging, so why bother?

There’s nothing worse than working hard at something and seeing no progress. When that happens, though, you don’t work harder: you work smarter. Why aren’t you losing weight? Do you really need to lose weight? Or are you at a healthy range to begin with? (See how healthy your weight is here.) If you truly do need to lose and you can’t, consider this: Perhaps you’re not being as “good” as you think you are. A couple of jelly beans from the office stash here, a vanilla latte that didn’t count because “it’s just a drink” there, and you’ve racked up a couple hundred calories. Write it all down in a food diary to keep yourself honest. (Tips for a food diary that really will help you lose.) Eat more veggies, whole grains, fruit and legumes, like beans and lentils (lentils are Cheryl Forberg’s most underrated weight-loss food): they all contain fiber. (Find out how high-fiber foods help blast away pounds and get recipes here.)

Diet excuse #3: I don’t know what to cook.

Planning ahead is critical to weight-loss success. Because what do you do when you haven’t prepared a healthy dinner? You order a cheesy, greasy pizza. Or you pick up Chinese takeout on your drive home. Or maybe you still make something—but it’s late and you’re starving, so you snack on cheese and crackers and nuts the entire time you’re chopping and stirring. And then you still eat the dinner you’ve made. (Um, that’s me.) Think planning menus sounds boring? So don’t do it. Steal someone else’s. Someone who knows that dinner should taste delicious and sometimes you need a little dessert. Where to find just that? Here: EatingWell's 5 Weeks of 500-Calorie Dinner Menus. Or try EatingWell’s 28-Day Weight-Loss Meal Plan—just pick your calorie level and voila!—breakfast, lunch and dinner planned for a month.

Diet excuse #4: I’m sick of eating the same salad every day.

One way to know how many calories you’re eating is to eat the same stuff every day. English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast. Salad with grilled chicken for lunch. Baked fish, brown rice, steamed broccoli. Effective, yes. But so boring that eventually you’re going to revolt and go nuts on foods that actually get you excited. So why not just skip to that part? There are a gazillion ways to make a salad. So many delish, healthy recipes for chicken. Mix it up! Start here: Tantalizing Dinner Salads to Help You Shed Pounds.

By Nicci Micco, M.S for EatingWell.com

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FREE WORKOUT... with a fitness trainer!

Devin Griffiths weighed 240lbs back in 2008. He wore size 38 waist pants and a size XL shirt.

Today Devin wears a medium shirt, a size 30 waist pants and weighs 175 (a loss of 65lbs). Even better, he's kept that 65lbs off  for over 2 years now!

Devin's success came the old fashion way... creating a calorie deficit by limiting the calories going in and by burning calories. And during his journey he found out something... he loves to work-out. So much so that he has pursued a career in personal training so he can show you that YOU TOO can lose weight while finding exercise fun AND rewarding.

Devin has agreed to hang out with us on occasion at our Biggest Loser weigh-ins, answer your questions about fitness and exercise, AND offer us occasional free workouts*. 

The 1st Free Workout with Devin happens tomorrow !

 Markley Park (south-east corner of Berkely & Monte Vista). 
All fitness levels encouraged!
Bring a towel and a bottle of water, and wear comfortable clothes and tennis shoes.
No need to sign-up, just show up!

* Devin is also offering ongoing group or private sessions and his rates are rock bottom!
For more information, contact him at:
Devin Griffiths

Welcome New Biggest Loser Participants!

We officially have 125 participants for this round of Biggest Loser Turlock! That means we will be paying our Top 10 Losers! Right now, the prize pot for 1st place in over $1500, and it can still grow! If you have friends or co-workers who are just now hearing about our challenge, it's not too late for them to join in. They can show up at our weigh-in next Monday and we'll get them all set up!

For those of you who are new to this, next Monday will be much quicker to weigh-in. You'll simply find your private folder at the front table, (they are in alpha order by last name) grab it and head straight to the scale.

Our INSANITY Workout kicked off at 5:30am this morning. The info on this workout is found in the left column of this blog, as well as on the backpage of the handout you received at registration. We work out FREE Monday-Friday, no need to sign-up just show up!

If you have any questions throughout the challenge, feel free to email me. You can find my email on the handout you received at registration (under line #9) Or leave comments here on the blog by clicking on the words COMMENT below!

More to come when I get all our folks into the database!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Made to Crave

With this new 10-week challenge that begins today (April 11th) we are introducing an optional study that will dive into what's behind our dieting struggles. This study, titled MADE TO CRAVE will take place on Monday nights at 6:00pm beginning May 2nd and run for approximately 8 weeks.

Has food become more about frustration than fulfillment? Made to Crave reveals a missing link between a person’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. Author Lysa TerKeurst personally understands the battle that people face. In Made to Crave, she will help you:

Break the cycle of “I’ll start again on Monday,” and feel good about yourself today.

Stop agonizing over numbers on the scale and make peace with your body. Replace rationalization that leads to diet failure with wisdom that leads to victory.

Reach your healthy goals and grow closer to God through the process.

This book is not a how-to manual or the latest, greatest dieting plan. Made to Crave is a helpful companion to use alongside whatever healthy eating approach you choose — a book and Bible study to help you find the “want to” in how to make healthy lifestyle changes.

More information will be available at the weigh-in the next several weeks. In the meantime, if you are interested and plan to attend, use the links below to order you participant materials. (we will be reading the book and using the participants guide. You will not need the DVDs as they have already been purchased for the group.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Next Challenge Begins April 11th!

Just a reminder that our next 10-week challenge begins this coming Monday, April 11th, 2011. Weigh-In take place anytime between the hours of 4:00pm and 6:30pm at monte Vista Chapel, in WJB 107 (near the church office and fountain...look for signs) All you need to do is bring your cash or check for the $30.00 participant fee and you're in! For more information on the challenge, scroll down and look for the box on the left with our official rules. Hope to see you there!

Oh, and CLICK HERE to download and print our challenge flier! Bring your friends!

6 Truths You Should Know about Fad Diets

Since I know we’re gearing up for summer dieting season, I think it’s a good time to confess I’ve never been a fan of fad diets. They make ridiculous promises. Sure, you may drop 10 pounds in a week eating cabbage soup, and little else, but it’s water weight, not fat. (What about fasting to jumpstart weight loss and other “too-good-to-be-true” diet claims to help you lose 10 pounds in 10 days?) Once you go back to eating like a normal person you’ll gain it right back. That’s the biggest problem with most fad diets: they generally don’t give you eating patterns that you can stick to long-term. Essentially, they set you up to fail.

But I’ll be the first to admit that there are kernels of truth buried in the shaky “scientific” rhetoric of many popular plans—real advice that will help you lose weight healthfully. Without further ado, I give you 6 weight-loss secrets I’ve found hidden in fad diets...and how to apply them with common sense to your own healthy weight-loss plan.

#1: Eat delicious foods that you love. The bottom line of French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano: food should be savored and enjoyed. Guiliano is right: We should continue to eat foods that we love, like chocolate and cheese—just in small portions. Deprivation diets only work for a short time. Making room for a small treat every day can help you stick to an overall-healthy eating plan for the long haul. (Click here for 100-calorie chocolate desserts you can make in an instant.)

#2: Keep things simple. Celebs like Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson have reportedly tried Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet—which prescribes six pre-packaged cookies, plus a one real meal every day. The beauty of this plan is, well, you just eat what you’re told. But you don’t need “appetite-suppressing” cookies (there’s no science to show they really work) to cut calories. It’s the hassle you want to cut to so try pre-portioned frozen dinners that feature lean proteins and vegetables. Better yet, seek out quick, simple recipes that transform fresh whole ingredients into satisfying low-calorie entrees. (Click here to get a healthy 4-week plan to slim down filled with delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.)

#3: Have some lean protein, good carbs and lots of veggies. According to “The Zone” diet, created by Dr. Barry Sears and made famous by big-name followers like Jennifer Aniston, meals that are precisely 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates can reset your metabolism in a way that results in weight loss, reduced risk for heart disease and loads more energy. I don’t buy into the Sears’ super-exact 30-30-40 formula but I do know that meals like the ones he suggests—a small amount of lean protein, such as salmon, paired with “favorable” carbohydrates, like vegetables and whole grains—do tend to be more satisfying. Science shows that gram for gram, protein tends to be more filling than carbohydrates or fat. Vegetables and whole grains contain fiber, which causes you to digest them more slowly than refined carbohydrates like pasta or white rice.

#4: Don’t be afraid of fat. If the Atkins’ diet taught us anything, it’s that following a fat-free diet isn’t always the best way to lose weight—especially if your favorite fat-free foods are big, caloric cookies and bagels. Then, the more sensible South Beach Diet came along and taught us to opt for healthy fats, like almonds and fatty fish, over the artery-clogging burgers and bacon that Atkins permitted. South Beach also encouraged carbohydrates that fall low on the glycemic-index (i.e., they don’t cause rapid spikes and drops in your blood sugar)—vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and barley. And we all should adopt the philosophy that judicious amounts of healthy fats trump unlimited refined carbs any day.

#5: Soup can help you lose weight. The anonymous creator of the “Cabbage Soup Diet” was onto something: soup (based on a low-calorie veggie, like cabbage) very well may help you lose weight. Various studies show that soup is highly satisfying. In one study, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, people consumed the fewest calories on days when they ate soup. Broth-based soups packed with vegetables and lean proteins or fiber-rich beans give you the biggest bang for your caloric buck. (Need ideas for yummy soup recipes? Click here to get 6 skinny soup recipes that are ready in 30 minutes or less.)

#6: Keep an eye on sugars. The Zone, South Beach, Sugar Busters and Atkins, all had us cutting back on sugars. While I don’t advocate limiting healthy foods that naturally contain sugars, like fruits and dairy (unless you have diabetes and your doctor tells you to) I agree that cutting added sugars is good for our health and our “bottom lines.” The average American consumes 355 calories of added sugars each day. Recently, the American Heart Association released new recommendations advising women to eat no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars (that’s about about 6 teaspoons) and men to stick to less than 150 calories, approximately 9 teaspoons. “Sugars” on Nutrition Facts panels include natural and added sugars, so check ingredient lists for sugar and all its aliases: corn syrup, honey, molasses, etc. The closer sugars are to the top of the list, the more the food contains. (Get recipes for 7 delicious desserts, no sugar added.)

By Nicci Micco
Nicci Micco is deputy editor of features and nutrition at EatingWell and co-author of EatingWell 500-Calorie Dinners. She has a master’s degree in nutrition and food sciences, with a focus in weight management. She's addicted to ice cream and pizza. But she also can’t imagine going a week without eating sweet potatoes, salad greens or kidney beans. Kale and beets also rank at the top of her favorite-foods list.