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, April 30, 2012

Why Is Week Two of Weight Loss Hard?

With two-thirds of Americans currently overweight, it is evident that losing weight is not an easy task to accomplish. During the first week of weight loss, motivation is high and the pounds seem to roll off. Week two is often a different story. Understanding why weight loss can slow down will keep you from getting discouraged as you continue along on your weight-loss journey.

Water Weight

It is common to lose 3, 4 or even 5 lbs. the first week when changing your diet. However, a large percentage of this lost weight is water. When you decrease caloric consumption, your body starts to burn glycogen for energy. Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrate and tends to hold onto large amounts of water. When it is burned for energy, this water is released. Because each gram of glycogen holds onto 4 g of water, there is a significant weight loss when it is burned. That is why week two's weight loss won't match week one's weight loss.


Refined carbohydrates like sugar, candy, soda and chips tend to have an addictive quality to them. For most people, the more you have of them, the more you want them. When you change your diet and cut down on these foods, your body goes through a kind of withdrawal, and you get intense cravings for these foods. If you are eating a healthy diet, these cravings will dissipate after a short time, but they tend to be really bad in week two. This is something you just need to try to tough out until the cravings become more manageable.

Decreased Motivation

When you first start a diet, you are really excited to make changes, and your focus and adrenaline get you through the first week easily. In week two, you start to realize that this whole weight loss thing is going to take some work. The realization that your life will have to seriously change to accomplish your goals becomes apparent. In other words, reality sinks in. This can be a challenge for many.

Muscle Soreness

Most weight-loss plans include an exercise component. It is common to overdo it the first week and experience delayed onset muscle soreness. Delayed onset muscle soreness occurs after 24 to 48 hours in response to either aerobic or resistance exercise. Eccentric muscle contraction leads to structural damages to the muscle that tends to result in an inflammatory response. This soreness can sap your will to exercise because it is uncomfortable. It is a good idea to gradually increase your physical activity over a period of weeks to decrease delayed onset muscle soreness. This will help to keep you motivated in week two and going forward.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/371795-why-is-week-two-of-weight-loss-hard/#ixzz1tXst4xWB

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Can You Cheat on your Diet and Still Lose Weight?

How Cheat Meals and Cheat Days Affect Your Weight Loss
  -- By Becky Hand, Registered Dietitian
"Cheating" is the act of deceiving others or being dishonest. The word conjures up images of copying someone else's answers during an exam, fudging your taxes, or counting cards.  Needless to say, these are not positive activities.  But does the same negative connotation apply to a cheat meal (or day) for a person on a diet?  Can "cheating" on one's diet be beneficial—even fun—or is it just setting the stage for dieting disaster? 
As a registered dietitian, I am often asked about cheat meals and cheat days.  Usually the dieter seems to be asking the question out of desperation. He or she often mentions feeling obsessed and exhausted of counting calories. "I want to have a cheat day once a week where I can eat whatever I want without worrying about my calories," they often say.  "But will this cheat day hurt my weight loss?" In other cases, people eat so "clean" (i.e. perfect) on their diets that they simply can't keep up with it day in and day out. They feel that they "need" a cheat meal or day to look forward to and keep them accountable to their strict diet all the other days.
I think everyone would agree that even though it has been documented to help people lose weight, daily calorie counting is a big pain in the butt.  You have to read labels, measure portions and keep track of so many details. Food selection is constantly on your mind.  Focusing so much on calories makes it easy to get into the trap of trying to eat a strict diet of "good" foods, then falling off the wagon and overeating the "bad" foods you tried to avoid.  Your vocabulary and thoughts are consumed with extremes: good foods vs. bad foods, cheating vs. being good, restricting vs. overindulging. It is easy to see why you'd want to "cheat" on a system like this. But is cheating on your diet really the answer?
Scientifically speaking, "cheating" has not been studied enough for me to give you a clear-cut answer on whether or not it works in the short-term or the long-term.  However, the science of caloric intake, as well as the psychological implications of cutting and counting calories, has been extensively researched.  So let's explore what we do know and apply it to the idea of cheat days.

"Calories in vs. calories out" is the golden rule for effective weight loss. To lose weight, a person must eat fewer calories than he or she burns.  Let's assume you are cutting a total of 3,500 over the course of a week to lose 1 pound.  In this example, your daily calorie intake is about 1,200-1,500 calories. (Calculate your daily calorie needs for weight loss here.) Say you choose to eat right in the middle of your recommended range: 1,350 calories per day. How would an innocent "cheat" day affect your progress?
  • Scenario #1:  On your cheat day, you indulge in a few extra sweets or treats and take in 2,500 calories total.  This brings your daily average to 1,514, which is still within your weight-loss calorie range.  Therefore, you should still lose weight for the week.
  • Scenario #2:  On your cheat day you eat anything and everything you've been craving: a fast food value meal, potato chips, a milkshake and some buttery popcorn. You take in 4,000 calories.  This brings your daily average to 1,729, which is over your weight-loss calorie range.  Therefore, you will probably maintain your current weight for the week.
This simple example illustrates how a cheat day can easily derail your weight loss efforts.  If you eat with reckless abandon and no real plan (or calorie counting), as in scenario #2, you'll stall your weight loss. But scenario #1 shows how the occasional higher calorie day can still fit into a weight-loss plan when it's properly planned and somewhat controlled.  Planning for that little indulgence on occasion is easier than you may think and uses the weight loss technique that I call "calorie banking." 
Your Calorie Bank
The banking of calories works in a similar fashion as your checking account or debit card.  For example, if you invite your main squeeze to dinner and a movie on Friday, you have to make sure you have the funds to cover your outing. So you save a few extra bucks Monday through Friday, therefore providing sufficient money in your account to spend on the evening out.  Now, apply the same principle with the calorie banking.  By eating at the lower end of your recommended calorie range Monday through Friday, you can accumulate a few more calories to spend on your Saturday splurge day, while still remaining within your weekly budget when you take the average for the seven day period.  While this gives you more calories to spend on your special day, it still requires planning. This works because a single day of calories (whether low or high) won't make or break your weight loss. It's the overall trend—or weekly average—of calories that affects changes in your body.
Better than Cheating: How to Remain Faithful to an Eating Plan You Love
If you feel the desire to cheat on your diet, it may not be your fault. Your diet—or your view of how you "should" or "need to" eat to lose weight or be healthier—is the real culprit. If your diet is so restrictive, plain, boring, tedious, or "perfect" that you can't stick with it forever, then try these smart strategies to bring your eating habits back to normal.
  • Start embracing all foods.  Remember that no single food causes weight gain.  Weight management is based on total calorie intake—not the restriction of certain foods, ingredients or food groups. All foods can fit into a healthy eating plan. Instead of thinking about foods as being "good" or "bad," change your food language.
    • Instead of saying "This is a bad food," say "This food has a lot of calories; if I really want it, I will have it in moderation."
    • Instead of saying "I cheated," say "I ate more than I wanted to, but that happens to everyone once in awhile. It is normal and I won't beat myself up over it."
    • Instead of saying "I was bad," say "I ate more calories than I intended, but I am in control now."
  • Start to enjoy those "off limits" foods in smaller portions. Slowly incorporate food you once considered "bad" into your eating plan.  Don't be discouraged if you occasionally eat too much of a food that you once considered "off limits."  If you are used to eating large quantities of a food, it may take practice to moderate your portions. To help, savor every bite and take your time eating.  Make snacks last at least 15 minutes and stretch out your meals to last at least 30 minutes.  Do not eat out of packages.  Make food special by putting it on a real plate or bowl and using silverware.  Limit distractions and enjoy your food without watching television or using the computer.
  • Socialize and enjoy. Enjoy once "off-limit" foods in the company of others. This may help you avoid over-indulging, which is easier to do when you are alone.  When you are in a restaurant with companions, order what you want, not what you "should" eat.  Savor every bite and enjoy it slowly.  Stop eating when you feel the first signs of fullness.  Don't feel that you must clean your plate.  If you have difficulty eating certain foods in small amounts when home alone, practice eating safe portions in safe places where you are less likely to overeat. 
Overcoming the Desire to Cheat
I have a friend named Patrick who had smoked for more than 30 years and finally decided to quit. The next time I saw Patrick, I said, "I hear you've quit smoking.  How's it going?" 
Patrick sternly looked me straight in the eye and said, I did not quit smoking, for I am not a quitter!  I chose to not smoke!" 
What a powerful statement that you can apply it to your weight-loss journey as well.  You are not a quitter! You are not a cheater! If you feel the need or desire to "cheat" on your diet, it may be worth examining your relationship with food and whether you're actually taking steps to leave dieting behind in favor of adopting a healthy eating plan that you can live with for life. The idea of "cheating" tends to reinforce the concept that certain foods are "good" in your mind while others are "bad." This idea is hard to break if you've been on and off diets throughout your life, but it's not impossible. The healthiest eating plan—and mental outlook—is to embrace all types of foods and never to feel guilt, remorse, embarrassment or discouragement about the foods you eat. Taking proactive steps to ditch the "diet" mentality can reduce your anxiety and obsession with food and help you avoid out-of-control bingesthat derail your weight-loss efforts.
Kushner, Robert, MD, ''The Swing Eater Handout,'' in Dr. Kushner's Personality Type Diet (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2003).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Wall-Sit Challenge returns!

This week's mini challenge (On Monday at weigh-in) is physical...but something you can all practice through-out the week in preparation because the challenge will take place at weigh-in next Monday! Beginning at 4:00pm, and repeating again every 20 minutes...

Anyone that wants to participate will line up together against the building wall as we yell Ready-Set-Go! Each person will take on the wall sit position (See below), and the top 3 people throughout the day to hold their wall sits the longest win! We will also have a 4th and 5th place prize which will come from a participant list drawing. Simply participate in the challenge to enter. (See mini-challenge box to the left to see the prize!) Practice on your lunch break at work, as you watch TV at night, or while your oatmeal is cooking in the microwave in the morning!

Wall sits are a challenging way to develop your leg muscles. You also do them in almost any space, provided it has a wall. Stretch your legs before you start, especially your quadriceps.

• Lean your body against the wall at a 45-degree angle with your back to the wall.

• Bend your legs and slide your back down the wall until your legs are at a 90-degree angle, bent at the knees. It should look like you're sitting on an invisible chair. Hold the position for as long as you can.

• Your first attempt at a wall sit will be difficult. You might be able to hold the position for only 30 seconds. With practice, you'll be able to hold the position long. Your legs gradually will get stronger and leaner.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Team Names and Snacking...both take thought!

Just a reminder that if your TEAM has yet to submit it's name you have until weigh-in on Monday, April 23.


Research actually shows that snacking in between meals, or even eating 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day, is better for you than the traditional two or three larger meal routine. That is, of course, if you are eating nutritious snacks instead of the all-too-popular vending machine potato chips and soda, which many of us are drawn to.

So really, it’s a matter of making good snack choices when it’s time for a food break. Power foods are always a good bet, because they usually combine high nutrients and lower calories. These could be anything from grains to dairy to fruits and vegetables.

Healthy snack choices start at the grocery store. That’s where the decision is made to eat healthy snacks – not at the office or on the couch, but at the grocery.

You still want to watch how much of these healthy snacks you eat. This is a snack, remember, not a meal. So buy, cut up or make single servings of any snack food you can. Here are some healthy snack ideas to consider next time you head to the grocery.

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Yogurt
  • Fruit cup
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Grapes
  • Plum
  • Orange
  • Berries
  • Watermelon
  • Raisins
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed nuts
  • Tomato
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Cauliflower

  • Green or red peppers
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Nuts
  • Whole wheat cereal with skim milk
  • Trail mix
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat bagel or toast
  • Pure bran muffins
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Broth-based vegetable soup
  • Skim and low-fat milk
  • Bean soup

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekend-Proof Your Workout Plan

A No-Excuse Guide to Fitting in Exercise Every Weekend
Most of us follow a set schedule during the weekdays. If you're like me, you know exactly what time you'll get up, go to the gym, shower, go to work, eat your meals, and hit the sack. But on the weekends? That schedule usually goes from nailed down to nonexistent.

On the weekends, I usually stay up longer, sleep in longer, eat at random times and—I'll admit—skip a workout or two. Ack! While taking a rest day can be good for you, falling into a pattern of always skipping workouts on the weekends can impede your progress, slow your fitness gains and even throw you off your workout mojo. (Ever notice how much more difficult that Monday morning workout can be after a weekend of not-so-healthy eats and leisure activity?) Follow the seven tips below to make exercise a priority all week long—not just during the work week!

7 Tips for Fitting in Weekend Workouts
  1. Turn workout time into play time. Think working out on the weekend has to be at the gym? Think again! The weekend is the perfect time to take your workout outdoors for a hike, a bootcamp at the park, a bike ride at a nearby trail or even a session of skiing (on water or snow, depending on your climate). If the weather in your area is less than ideal, why not gather some buds for an indoor basketball game, a workout DVD or even a visit to that indoor rock climbing wall you've been dying to try? The sky is really the limit, so get outside—or stay indoors—and have fun!
  2. Schedule some "me" time. The best part about weekdays is that our schedule is consistent and more or less on autopilot. Make your weekend more like a weekday by setting a schedule for Saturday and Sunday. Not every second has to be laid out (where's the fun in that?), but schedule an hour or two that's just for you. Use the time to be active doing something you really enjoy like Zumba, running or Spinning class, followed by some relaxation time. Meditate, read a magazine, take a long bath—do something that's good for you.
  3. Make housework a workout. Most of us have to do at least a few chores over the weekend, so if you're short on time, transform your housework into a workout! Put on some tunes and see how quickly you can do more physical chores like vacuuming, scrubbing the bathtub, mopping the floors, mowing the grass or washing the windows. Here are more ways you can turn housework and yard work into a calorie-torching exercise routine!
  4. Try something new. The best part of working out on the weekend: You have more time (hopefully!). Take advantage of your open schedule by trying something new or going somewhere different for your usual workouts. Whether it's a new group fitness class, running at a new park or even joining a game of softball with some pals from work, trying something new can work your muscles and brain in new ways thereby helping to prevent boredom and those dreaded plateaus. You may even find a new activity that you love or make some new friends who also like to get active on the weekends.
  5. Set a goal (or two). The best way to achieve any goal starts with setting one! If you really want to be more active on the weekends, set a goal to do so. It can be as simple as saying you want to walk every Saturday for a month. Set a smart goal and then reward yourself when you succeed.
  6. Grab a buddy. We all know how important it is to have support when trying to lose weight and get healthy. So be sure to include your team-mate,  friends and loved ones in your weekend workout plans. Ask a bud to try that new trail with you or turn your usual movie date night into something more active like bowling. Make it fun! Not only will you be burning calories, you'll be making way more memories than just sitting around watching television.
  7. Fuel your body right. It's hard to want to work out if you're not fueling your body for success. Studies show that people tend to make poorer food choices—and eat more—on the weekends. Sure, the occasional late night out, cocktail or order of chicken wings won't really hurt you, but if these weekend habits become the norm—or turn into a weekend splurge-fest—they could get in the way of your fitness goals. Who really feels like working out after eating too much, sleeping too little or drinking one too many? Make it a priority to get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals and snacks.
 -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Workouts & Weight Loss Percentage

Our FREE morning workouts kicked off this morning with Emily Kern leading a great bootcamp style workout, really focusing in of some muscle groups that are guaranteed to be sore tomorrow! Thursday morning Darla Dahlquist is leading a circuit training group and Friday, we work out with Bob Harper (see below)! Everyone is welcome to attend these free workouts. They run Monday-Friday mornings at Monte Vista Chapel from 5:30am-6:30am. Same building as weigh-in.

We have almost 2 full days under your belts! How are you feeling? Hope you are all having fun looking up new healthier recipes to cook and fun new ways to get your exercise in.

A few people have asked HOW we calculate the % of weight lost for each team. Here is the equation:
     The total amount of weight lost by both teammates combined
                                                divided by
     The total starting weight of each teammate combined.
(you will need to then shift the decimal point to the right 2 spots to see the number as a percentage.

Example: Team A 
Team A's combined weight at the first weigh-in was 462lbs.
At week 1, they weighed in again and lost a combined total of 11 lbs.

11 dived by 462 = .0238
move the decimal over to the right 2 spots and you get 2.38& or 2.4% weight loss for Team A after week 1.

The good news for me is that we use a very reliable Excel spread sheet that calculates all of this for us! But for those that wanted to know...there ya go!

We'll have some great info to share tomorrow. check back then!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Biggest Loser TEAMS kicks off!

Welcome to all our newest Biggest Loser participants! We had 92 people sign-up for this current 10-week challenge that runs through June 25th. Hope you all head to bed tonight with a great anticipation for what's in-store for your health!

46 TEAMS so far.... I say so far because the same thing always happens. All our participants are energized and ready to start making big changes in the way they eat and the way they exercise! Friends, family and coworkers quickly get wind of what you are doing and lament that they wish they had known about Biggest Loser...they would have joined.... Tell them all it's not too late! We will take late registrations from now through next Monday's weigh-in. They can still sign-up, still participate in the TEAM CHALLENGE, but they can not make up for the days they lose by dragging their feet. The challenge is over June 25th for all of us, even the late sign-ups. So get them in here ASAP to sign-up.

The following times have been set aside to sign-up late registrants:
Wednesday, April 16th at 6:15am and between 5:00pm-5:30pm (reservation required)
Friday, April 20th at 6:15pm and between 5:00-5:30pm (reservation required)
Monday, April 23rd from 4:00pm-6:15pm (no reservation needed)
To take advantage of one of these times, they need to contact Patti in advance at 209-634-4935 (work number at Monte Vista Chapel) between 8:30-5:00. If no one calls, no one will be there to weigh them.

I don't know about all of you, but I'm excited to start making a big difference in how I approach my health! Hope you are too! More information coming Wednesday evening!