Back in 2004, NBC revealed a new reality show in which morbidly obese contestants would compete to lose the highest percentage of their bodyweight over the course of several months. Many of the contestants are at least 100 pounds overweight, and through an intense diet and exercise regimen would end up dropping all the way down to a normal weight. A big part of the show was the tough training from professionals such as Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, and the show is still running today.
Not only has the reality series been very popular, but it has inspired many people around the world to start extreme weight loss regimens of their own. Now, The Biggest Loser is a global phenomenon with competitions and a massive online community all looking to lose weight or maintain their massive weight loss. Now, there is also a diet associated with the brand that has promised these weight losses. Let’s take a look at The Biggest Loser Diet to see what it entails, and if it might be the right weight loss program for you.
Inside The Biggest Loser Diet
While contestants on “The Biggest Loser” are on the ranch, there have been stories where they are eating very few calories and working out to the point of pain and exhaustion. Though those claims have been refuted by NBC and producers of the show, you won’t have to cut down to a couple of hundred calories per day on The Biggest Loser Diet. Instead, you are focusing on a healthy and balanced diet everyday.
The main part of The Biggest Loser Diet is the pyramid that focuses on foods lower in calories yet still filling. The structure of the pyramid is a 4-3-2-1 style, with four servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of lean protein, two servings of whole grains and one serving that you can pick from as long as it doesn’t exceed 200 calories. A lot of popular diets out there focus on the eating alone, but The Biggest Loser Diet also promotes intense exercise on top of it to maximize weight loss.
With foods that have a combination of high fiber and protein, you will be able to have more natural energy to get you through the workouts and not dependent on sugar or caffeine. Staying hydrated with plenty of water will also help you feel more full, while also making your workouts easier. This is another big part of The Biggest Loser Diet.
In terms of calories, don’t expect to get much since you are relying on fruits and vegetables to make up nearly half of your diet, and lean proteins don’t have many calories at all. Those servings make up 70 percent of your diet. Eating like this has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, which is important for patients that are obese and will improve long term health. You can also eat out with this plan with some proper planning, which is a big advantage.
What’s on the Menu?
There are plenty of cookbooks and meal plans available with The Biggest Loser Diet, as it is one of the most well known weight loss programs. However, not many of them are free, and customized meal plans through their website can cost a bit more than $10 per month. However, they have made some information available for free, and this is what your first couple of days will look like if you are following a 1,500 calorie per day diet:
- 1 Whole Grain English Muffin
- 1 Ounce of Lean Ham
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1 Slice of Lowfat Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Ounces of Turkey Breast
- 2 Slices of Tomato
- 2 Teaspoons of Mustard
- ¼ Cup of Alfalfa Sprouts
- 1 Multigrain Tortilla
- 4 Ounces of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
- 8 Ounces of Fat Free Milk
- 1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
- 8 Medium Asparagus Spears
- 1 Large Apple
- 1 Stick of Lowfat Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 Hard Boiled Eggs
- ¼ Cup of Hummus
- ⅓ Cup of Oatmeal
- ½ Banana
- ½ Cup of Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 6 Ounces of Tuna
- 1 Whole Grain English Muffin
- 1 Slice of Lowfat Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons of Diced Onion and Lowfat Vinaigrette
- 1 Portobello Mushroom Cap
- ⅛ Cup of Lowfat Marinara Sauce
- ⅛ Cup of Turkey Sausage
- 1 Tablespoon of Lowfat Mozzarella Cheese
- ½ Teaspoon of Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ Tablespoon of Chopped Basil
- 1 Cup of Edamame
- 1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
- 1 Teaspoon of Honey
- ¼ Cup of Tofu
- ¼ Cup of Sliced Strawberries
- 1 Cup of Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons of Granola
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 4 Cups of Fat Free Chicken Broth
- 1 Teaspoon of Chopped Oregano
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion
- 12 Ounces of White Mushrooms
- 4 Ounces of Grilled Salmon
- 1 Cup of Steamed Broccoli
- ¾ Cup of Ronzoni Grain Pasta
- ¼ Cup of Marinara Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of Grated Parmesan
- ½ Cup of Cottage Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon of Almonds
- 1 Medium Pear
- 2 Ounces of Sliced Chicken Breast
- 1 Wedge of Melon
Losing Weight and Exercising on The Biggest Loser Diet
There have been times on “The Biggest Loser” will contestants will lose upward of 20 pounds within their first week. While that result is not typical for someone that just needs to lose 20 or 30 pounds, it can be done for those that were heavy enough to be on the show. Don’t expect those results, but you can expect to lose a fair amount of weight fairly quickly. After all, diet experts ranked The Biggest Loser Diet as the top diet out there for quick weight loss.
The menu doesn’t look too much different than a lot of the other popular diets out there, so what is it that makes this one so much better at losing weight fast? Not only are you eating a low calorie diet, but you will also be exercising a lot on The Biggest Loser Diet. The paid online community shows you new exercises on a near daily basis with videos, but you can find workouts on your own.
The Biggest Loser brand has released exercise books, DVDs and even video games with motion control that get you through a typical Biggest Loser workout. You don’t necessarily need to do their branded workouts, as you can get what Bob Harper calls “moderate exercise” for 60 to 90 minutes four times per week. Walking at a fast pace (or slow jogging) counts as moderate exercise, as well as swimming and cycling. That adds up to anywhere between 240 minutes to 360 minutes of exercise per week (four to six hours, respectively).
People burn on average of 375 calories for walking four miles per hour (for one hour), meaning that you are burning at least 1,500 calories per week in exercise and upward of 2,250. That makes a big dent in the roughly 9,000 calorie per week diet that you would be eating on The Biggest Loser plan, allowing you to lose weight quickly by doing the minimum.
What are the Negatives?
“The Biggest Loser” as a show has drawn some criticism, which is only normal when it comes to something as touchy as weight. As for the diet, it gets high marks in nutrition and safety as there are no side effects for this well balanced diet, though it can be difficult to follow with all of the meal prepping and recipe searching that you are likely to be doing. It’s also a solid diet for those with gluten free diets or are diabetic to follow.
Another thing that “The Biggest Loser” gets criticism for its the long term weight loss. After losing a significant amount of weight, contestants on the show tend to regain a good portion (if not all of) the weight. However, much of that has to do with the fact that the contestants go on a different crash diet and an exercise plan that would be nearly impossible to follow in the long term. The Biggest Loser Diet combats that, and it has received above average marks for sustained weight loss as long as you keep up with regular exercise.
Summing it Up
While the reality series has been the target for a lot of nutritionists for making contestants lose weight too fast with unsustainable changes to their diet and exercise, that’s not the case with The Biggest Loser Diet. You’ll be learning a lot about making lifestyle changes, and you don’t have to completely deprive yourself as you get one serving of whatever you want per day (though you shouldn’t overdo it).
The diet itself was created by several nutritionists, with Cheryl Forberg leading the way. Whether you want to follow the online community for an average of $13 per month is up to you, but there are plenty of resources that will help motivate your weight loss and give you new exercises so you don’t get bored with the same old thing.
The success that has been seen with The Biggest Loser Diet is rarely matched by other popular programs, so it would be hard not to recommend the program, especially if you have a significant amount of weight to lose and need to get healthier overall.