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!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Congratulations Juan Aispuro!

Congratulation Juan Aispuro! You are our Biggest Loser! Juan is walking away with $1600.00 for losing 18.9% of his body weight over the past 10 weeks! Great Job!
Here's the Top 10!

1. Aispuro, Juan $1600-18.9%
2. Campos, Javier $640-17.5%
3. Vasquez, Lala $480-17.3%
4. Smith, Scott $320-16.2%
5. Lauck, Robin $250-14.3%
6. Kistler, RayDell $225-13.4%
7. Ramirez, Marisa $200-12.4%
8. Dahlquist, Darla $175-12.1%
9. Russell, Becky $150-11.4%
10. Pimentel, Lisa $125-10.5%

Enjoy your Summer Everyone! Hope to see many of you again in September when we kick off our next 10-week challenge! And in the meantime...


Instead of using your vacation as an excuse to abandon your healthy lifestyle, use your vacation to practice your healthy lifestyle!

You plan a vacation to give your mind a break from the monotony and stress of your daily life. Why not also use your vacation to give your body a break from the monotony of the same old exercise routine and the stress of dieting? Your body and your mind will thank you for it—and you may discover how to bring your vacation lifestyle back with you into your daily life.

Experience New Activities

Choose destinations that offer hiking, golf, tennis, water sports, skiing, or other opportunities for activity. Depending on your motivation and fitness level, you may wish to consider fitness-centered vacations such as fitness spas, yoga retreats, tennis camps, walking or cycling tours, adventure vacations, and other active destinations.

While traveling to your destination, walk around the airport and stretch during your flight. If you’re driving, take plenty of breaks to move around, stay refreshed, and enjoy the scenery.

No matter where you go, the hotel staff and other locals can provide advice and personal recommendations about nearby recreational opportunities. The owners of a bed and breakfast in Oregon suggested an early morning hike before our flight home. My husband and I tromped through a soggy forest, came across a family of deer, and finished on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We ended up with muddy shoes and great memories of our trip!

Take advantage of the hotel’s on-site exercise facilities, swimming pools, and walking maps to nearby attractions. Consider renting bikes to really see the area. Think about wearing a pedometer to see how many steps you rack up while sightseeing, strolling through museums or amusement parks, shopping, or walking on the beach.

When you’re visiting friends or family, join them for an evening walk, work out with them, or suggest a hike or walking tour of their favorite places. Instead of just going out for a meal together, suggest dancing, bowling, or other active pursuits. Your host will probably welcome the opportunity to stay active even while they have visitors.

Savor New Flavors

Instead of using your vacation as an excuse to eat too much, make it a point to really slow down and savor your food. Enjoy regional specialties, local products, and fresh produce. Skip the ordinary; vacations are a great time to experience new flavors and try new foods. And remember, there is no need to ruin a fabulous meal by eating so much that you are uncomfortable and regretful afterward.

If you’ll be eating out a lot, it helps to keep some of your daily meals light to balance the heavier ones. Carry healthy, satisfying snacks with you so you don’t feel trapped into buying something from a machine or fast food restaurant while you are on the go. Split an entree or dessert, and watch your alcohol intake. Remember to savor the whole dining experience including the atmosphere and the company—not just the food!

Rejuvenate Your Spirit

Make your vacation restful and truly restorative by leaving plenty of unscheduled time for relaxation. Practice deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, or tai chi – especially on the beach or other scenic outdoor locations. Arrange a massage or other body treatments to pamper yourself. Get enough sleep so you’ll be well rested and have plenty of energy for the rest of your activities.

A vacation provides many opportunities to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit. Even if you don’t have plans to travel, you can reenergize your healthy lifestyle choices by trying new activities, enjoying new foods, and making every day an experience to savor!

By Michelle May, M.D.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Does Sleep affect Weight Loss?

Question: I only sleep 5-6 hours each night. Is this really a big deal?

Expert Answer: Sleep is instrumental to good health and even weight loss. A disruption in your hormones and your different metabolic processes has all kinds of adverse effects. Your fat cells respond to the food you eat differently, based on your hormones. Sleep loss affects the level of certain hormones, putting your body in a position to gain weight.

Sleep loss also can cause a lack of desire to achieve goals because you feel fatigued and "run down." Sleep is also important in developing lean muscle tissue. When you work out, you are actually tearing your muscle - sleep and proper nutrients help re-build the muscle. Yes, sleep is a big deal!

Time Involved: At least 8 hours

Body Benefit: Energy, Improved weight loss, Balanced hormones, and more!

For more information on how sleep affects your ability to lose weight, CLICK here to read an interesting article on the subject.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Five Star Grilled Vegetables

Because you can grill these vegies out on your grill or in the oven it is very versatile and tastes like summer any time of the year!


    3 C. Asparagus, chopped in 2-3 inch pieces 2 C. onion, cut into large pieces 1 Red Pepper, cut into large pieces (about 8) 2 C. sliced zucchini 6 cloves garlic chopped fine 1 T olive oil 1/4 tsp. salt fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Or if you are using your grill, preheat at a medium-high heat.

Feel Free to add/replace vegies of your choice. You can't go wrong with the recipe.

Mix all the vegies together on a large cookie sheet (or in foil if using grill). Sprinkle the garlic over top. Drizzle oil on top with salt and toss with your hands lightly to coat completely.

Bake 450 for 45 minutes or until tender or crunchy to your liking. Stir mixture every 15 minutes. If grilling, fold foil tightly and place directly on grill. Watch closely to prevent burning and turn over half way through cooking.

4 - 1 cup servings

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 128.6
  • Total Fat: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 176.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 22.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Maintenance Challenge

Following our final weigh-in on June 20th for this 10-week challenge, the folks who organize our weekly weigh-ins will be taking a break for the summer. We will begin another 10-week Challenge on September 12th, 2011.
But if you are like me, you may be a bit concerned about gaining weight over the summer! So in the interim, we will offer...

The goal of the maintenance challenge is to "MAINTAIN" your weight between June 20th and September 12th. No required weigh-ins. We will take your final weigh-in for this Biggest Loser Challenge and compare it to what you weigh on Mon, September 12th. If you weigh the same, or less, you win!
  • The fee for the challenge is $20
  • If you have gained weight on Sept. 12th as compared to June 20th, you forfeit your $20.00 to the prize pot.
  • If you stay the same, or weigh less on Sept. 12th as compared to June 20th, you win... winners get back their initial $20 fee PLUS an equal share (with other winners) of all forfeited fees (from gainers)
  • There are no "required weigh-ins" other than your weight on Sept. 12th. However, we will offer 2 elective weigh-ins (one mid-July and one mid-August) where you can come in and step on the official scale to see how you are doing. No one writes down a thing. It's just for your own knowledge.
To Participate in the Summer Maintenance Challenge, you must sign-up, pay your fee, and step on the scale on either Monday, June 13th or Monday June 20th.
We will have more information on the challenge at this Monday's weigh-in!

How to Lose Weight with MYPLATE

Looking to shed a few pounds before you bare it all this summer? Using MyPlate, a new food icon created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that reflects dietary guidelines for Americans, may be the perfect ally.

Here are six tips to help you use MyPlate to lose weight:

1. Mind Your Calories

Choosing more nutrient-dense foods highlighted in MyPlate—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy products—having smaller portions of lean protein foods, and cutting back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium such as sweets, sweetened drinks, pizza, and fatty meats can help you curb your caloric intake.

Based on a 1,600 calories per day plan*, MyPlate recommends:
  • Vegetables: 2 cups
  • Fruits: 1.5 cups
  • Grains: 5 ounces
  • Protein: 5 ounces
  • Dairy: 3 cups
Use CalorieCount's Unit Converter to get the right portion sizes.

2. Divide and Conquer

Even though MyPlate includes five food groups, you don’t need to fill your plate with all five each time you eat. If you usually have three meals and two snacks a day, choose items from at least three or four food groups for each main meal, and items from one or two food groups for each snack. Find what works for you and choose meals and snacks that satisfy (but don’t stuff) you.

3. Fill Up on Produce

MyPlate recommends half your plate to include vegetables and fruit; these fill you up because of their high water and fiber content. And while eating more of them won’t automatically help you lose weight, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests it may help protect against weight gain. Aim for at least ½ to one cup of produce every time you eat.  Here are some suggestions:
  • Have fresh berries over low-fat plain yogurt
  • Mash banana in whole-grain pancake and waffle mix
  • Sprinkle dried fruit, or pear, apple, orange or grapefruit sections in salad
  • Use a variety of fruits to make a smoothie
  • Add grilled vegetable slices to sandwiches
4. Go for Grains

The General Mills Whole Grain Check-Up revealed over 60% of Americans believe they get enough, but only 5% get the recommended three servings (at least 48 grams) of whole grains a day.  Aim for one whole grain each time at each meal. Examples include one slice whole wheat toast, ½ cup cooked oatmeal, one cup flaky/puffy whole grain cereal, ½ cup cooked brown/wild rice or whole wheat pasta, and three cups air-popped popcorn.

5. Partner with Protein

The CDC reveals “most Americans eat more protein than we need.”  Of the five ounces of protein recommended a day, here are some general serving sizes: one egg, one ounce of meat, poultry, or fish, ¼ cup legumes (beans and peas), or ½ ounce nuts or seeds.  The USDA guidelines also suggest 8 ounces of fish each week. Choose foods high in protein in their leanest, lowest fat forms and in small portions to maximize nutrient intake.

Additionally, MyPlate recommends three cups of dairy—also rich in protein (milk and yogurt especially)— each day. One cup of dairy equals one cup milk/yogurt, or 1.5 ounces of hard cheese or two ounces (about three slices) of processed cheese.

6. Read the Fine Print

Although sweets and alcoholic beverages didn’t make it onto MyPlate, these indulgences can fit in—even if you’re trying to lose weight. Two Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, 34 plain M & Ms, five ounces of red wine, and 14 ounces of light beer each provide about 120 calories, the amount allotted for solid fats and added sugars in a 1,600 calories per day plan*:

*For more information about MyPlate and the USDA's dietary guidelines, click here.  According to the American Dietetic Association, a safe rate of weight loss is one to two pounds a week.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

25 Ways to Get Back on Track Today

The article below is from SparkPeople... a wonderful healthy lifestyle website. Following the holiday weekend, it seems the timing is right for this topic!

Don't Give Up On Your Goals!

Not long ago, you were energetic and determined to start your healthy lifestyle. Starting with enthusiasm and hope, you watched your food intake diligently, exercised like it was going out of style, and even avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner. You were confident that you were going to reach your goals once and for all!

Then certain tragedy struck! You ate an extra piece of birthday cake. Realizing you had “blown” your diet, you ate another and another and couldn’t get it together the next day either. Or worse, you missed one workout, and that turned into a whole week away from the gym. After that, your momentum to start over again was gone, and your gym bag hasn’t left the closet since.

Every time you misstep on your healthy journey, you have two choices: to keep walking backwards, which will surely take you even further away from your goals; or to accept your lack of perfection as normal and forgivable, and take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings your closer to the future you want.

If you’re reading this, you might have been walking backwards for a while. But instead of waiting for the next day, week, month or even year to overhaul your habits, start TODAY. And start small. You can’t go from the recliner to running or from burgers to Brussels sprouts in an afternoon. But you can do one, two or even a handful of small things that will help you regain your momentum for healthy living.

When you feel like getting back on track is overwhelming, try one (or more) of these small steps each day.

1. Try a short workout. Even five minutes is better than nothing. For ideas browse our video library or workout generator.

2. Try a new recipe. Cooking healthy foods can be fun and it never has to be bland.

3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day, so start if off right! Get lots of breakfast ideas here.

4. Drink your water. Try to aim for 8 cups each day and you’ll feel the difference!

5. Look at Motivational SparkPages. Seeing how others overcome similar struggles and obstacles can be a great source of motivation.

6. Track your food today. No matter how it adds up, you’ll learn from it.

7. Update your SparkPage. It’s a visual way to track your ups and downs, but also your progress.

8. Share your goals. Whether you post them on the Message Boards or share them with a friend, you’ll be more accountable.

9. Exercise for 10 minutes. Jump rope, march in place, or do some crunches. Small amounts do add up to something big!

10. Find a buddy. Get support from friends, whether you need someone to listen or a mentor to give you ideas and encouragement.

11. Take a walk. Don’t worry about how long or far you go—just get out there!

12. Create a motivational collage. Include pictures of your goal and reasons why you want to get there.

13. Go shopping for some healthy foods. Use this shopping list for ideas.

14. Check the nutrition facts before you go out to eat. That way, you can make an informed choice.

15. Ride your bike. Even a leisurely ride has benefits for your body and mind.

16. Work in the yard. Gardening and yard work is a great way to add activity to your day.

17. Take the stairs. Even if this is the only thing you do all day, you’ll feel stronger for it.

18. Rack up those SparkPoints! You earn them for every healthy task you do on the site—talk about motivating! Aim for a certain milestone, such as 100 points, and then reward yourself with a SparkGoodie!

19. Listen to an inspirational song. Better yet, make a playlist of them so you can turn to it whenever you need a boost.

20. Re-start your SparkPeople program. Sometimes it’s easier to get back on track when you have a clean slate.

21. Measure your portions. It’s a simple way to learn how much you’re eating.

22. Eat a piece of fruit. Even if 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables sounds impossible to you, one is doable.

23. Slow down during meals. You’ll be less likely to overeat and more likely to enjoy your meal.

24. Play! What kids call “play,” we often call “exercise.” Play a sport, a game, or use the playground equipment to bring the fun back into fitness.

25. Learn something new. Sometimes simply taking a quiz or reading an article about nutrition, fitness, or health can change your mindset and get you back on track.

In tennis, losing one point isn’t the end of the world. It happens to the best of them. In fact, if you can consistently win a few more points that you lose, you may end up in the hall of fame. With healthy eating and exercising, as long as you’re consistently out-stepping your steps back, you’re ahead of the game. If you expect perfection (and many of us do), you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and guilt.

You CAN get back on track today. Even if you’re moving slowly, you’ll be moving in the right direction!
-- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator