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Do You Know What You’re Eating?

Posted: October 27, 2014

Do You Know What You’re Eating?

For Biggest Losers, Week One was about getting moving and tracking how MUCH they ate. Week Two was about turning up the intensity of their exercise, and improving WHAT they ate.

Regardless what diet you’re on, or what company’s supplements you take, the best results always come from the most committed people. Whatever you do, if you stick to it, and work hard, you’re bound to get results.

Personally, I’m convinced the best diet is NO diet. You simply choose to eat better. I’ve noticed that most diets and nutrition supplement companies still have two things in common. Whatever the product or protocol, you’re also supposed to: 1) stop eating junk, and 2) exercise. So I think we should at least do that, right? Quit eating the junk and get plenty of exercise.

Now I’m not a nutritionist, but over the years, many Biggest Losers have gotten great results with normal meals that have a serving each of Protein, Starch, and Fruits or Greens. Here’s why that matters.


Protein is for building muscle and bone. But most people don’t get enough protein in their diet. Good sources of protein include low fat dairy products like milk, yogurt and cottage cheese; lean cuts of beef, pork, poultry, fish, nuts and some beans. Many active people find it helpful to supplement their protein intake with protein shakes.


Starches are complex carbs that take awhile for your body to break them down, so they give you long lasting energy. They also have lots of vitamins and minerals. Good sources of starch include high quality whole grain cereals, oats, breads, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pastas (whole wheat),  rice (long grain wild), and some beans.

Be careful with these, as starches have a large effect on your insulin levels, especially if you have diabetes. If you do, check with your doctor. Most of us eat way too much starch, especially processed, and refined carbs (junk foods). These are basically simple sugars with almost no nutritional value. Avoid these and focus on high quality complex carbs. Even so, try to limit yourself to just one serving per meal.


Fruits are obvious, and provide great quick energy and lots of vitamins and minerals. We typically don’t eat enough of them. The more variety the better. Have one for breakfast, and another as part of a healthy snack.

Greens are all those vegetables we tend to avoid, but they’re very important to good health. They provide lots of vitamins and minerals and have lots of fiber too. Try to eat at least a serving or two a day!

Remember, a meal is pretty good for you when it contains a serving of protein, high quality starch, and fruits or greens. Here are some great examples we’ve seen lots of people use over the years. They’re simple, balanced, and easily available:


• Whole grain cereal, a cup of 1% milk, and fresh or frozen strawberries or blueberries.

• Oatmeal, Milk, and a Banana.


• 6″ Sub on whole grain, with chicken and lots of vegetables.

• Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich on whole grain bread, and a banana.


• A serving of Meatloaf, 1/2 of a sweet potato, and a serving of frozen mixed vegetables.

• A chicken breast, whole grain pasta, and a mixed salad with low fat dressing.

Finally, don’t forget to mix in 2-3 healthy snacks. A quality snack will have both carbs (for quick energy) and protein (for muscle and bone). Some good snacks include:


• Apple slices w/peanut butter.

• Fruit & yogurt.

• Whole grain crackers & cheese.

• Protein shake.

• Protein Bar

Most women will be comfortable and lose weight around 1,500-1,650 calories a day. Smaller women may need a little less, and taller women may need as much as 1,800 calories. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) says women should never go below 1,200 calories a day. This can be a problem, as many women aren’t hitting their minimum calories each day. This actually makes it harder for them to lose weight. You’ve got to hit your “minimum.”

Men will usually do well around 2,400 calories a day, and some men can even get by on 2,000-2,200 depending on motivation. The ACSM says men should never go below 1,800 calories, but that’s usually not a problem, as guys tend to overeat. Watch your portions.

If things go wrong and you get derailed, don’t sweat it too much, unless it’s happening all the time. Most experts will tell you its O.K. to have a “cheat” meal or day once in a while. You just had it. Now get back with the program. You might add some extra cardio to catch up. Above all, remember that diets usually come to an end, but eating right will last forever.

So there you have it. Give it a try. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up as one of our Biggest Losers, too!

Our Week Two Winner for Biggest Loser “22” was Tracy Whitaker, who lost 4.4 lbs and 2.6% of her body weight. Colton Gore took 2nd place, losing 4.6 lbs and 2.3%, and Mark Clark finished 3rd, losing 5.8 lbs and 2.1%.