So you didn't make it on the TV reality show The Biggest Loser. That's sad, because you would have been a very interesting contestant. As a consolation prize, though, you can still adopt the Biggest Loser Diet. They say that 6 weeks on this diet will have you losing weight, reducing your cholesterol, lowering your blood pressure and reversing diabetes. Here are the details.
Dr. Michael Dansiger and Cheryl Forberg developed the Biggest Loser diet in collaboration with now-famous trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. Their diet combines a low calorie meal plan and lots of exercise to produce prime-time results.
The Biggest Loser diet uses a pyramid scheme that they label "4-3-2-1." That stands for 4 servings of fruits and vegetables, 3 servings of protein, 2 servings of whole grains and 1 bonus serving. These servings are spread across three meals and two snacks. This helps avoid hunger pangs, as does a real focus on high fiber foods that fill your stomach without contributing many calories. Oh, yes, don't forget to drink 4-6 servings (12 oz each) of water every day, too.
Depending on your current weight, the Biggest Loser book details 1,200, 1,500 or 1,800 calorie meal plans. They recommend multiplying your current weight (in pounds) by seven to arrive at your ideal diet calorie count. In any case, nearly half (45%) of the calories come from cabs, about a third from protein and a quarter from fat. That tantalizing "bonus" serving in the 4-3-2-1 pyramid is your choice of fat, sweets, alcohol or whatever, as long as you don't go over 200 calories.
How will this diet help you? The meal plans have few "bad" fats and a lot of the "good" fats, so your cholesterol should move in the right direction. By increasing your HDL cholesterol, the plaque buildup in your arteries should decline. This will help your blood pressure. By dramatically decreasing your calories while exercising strenuously, your type II diabetes should improve. All in all, this diet and exercise program has many positives. On the other side, nutritionists have observed that the meal plans are a bit light on some nutrients. That would suggest that you continue to take your multivitamin make sure you include some fish in your protein budget.
Can you lose weight on the Biggest Loser diet? Almost certainly, if you follow the rules. You will be eating fewer calories than you burn, so the weight will come off. Will it come off as quickly as it does on TV? It's unlikely that you will spend as much time working out out as the contestants, or that your personal trainer will have the motivational skills of Jillian or Bob. But if you are dedicated, and your diet buddy is there for support and encouragement, this diet can be a winner.
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