What Can You Eat on the Biggest Loser Diet?
The Biggest Loser Diet is a calorie-restrictive diet. With the calorie intake set to the safe minimum and calorie expenditure maximized due to the highest tolerable amount of exercise, dieters lose weight rapidly.
For most dieters the target calorie intake is 1000-1400 calories per day. For monitoring daily calorie intake, the dieter has to keep a food journal.
The Biggest Loser Diet is a moderate-carbohydrate diet providing about 45% calories from carbs, 30% from lean protein and 25% from fat (mostly healthy unsaturated dietary fats).
The main sources of carbohydrates in the diet are whole grains, fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Grain products are high in calories and low in volume, which is why dieters are recommended to favor non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruit over whole grains. Dieters should consume at least 4 cups of fruits and non-starchy vegetables every day.
When choosing among grain products, the ones with higher fiber content are preferred. In generated, grain products should be consumed in moderation.
Starches are discouraged, which helps to cut down the total calorie intake. Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and other starchy vegetables are limited to a single serving per week (two servings is the maximum you may have on an occasional week).
Vegetables should be eaten raw or cooked for the minimal amount of time possible, which is important to preserve vitamins. Use a non-stick pan to stir-fry vegetables and avoid adding fat (which is very high in calories, providing 9 calories per gram). Grilling and steaming are two other diet-friendly ways to cook your vegetables. If you can’t get fresh vegetables, you can use frozen or canned ones. Always check the sodium content of canned vegetables. Make sure to rinse canned vegetables to control your sodium intake.
Add variety to your menu; eat a new fruit every week. Pick fruits of different colors–red, yellow, green, purple, orange. Fresh fruits are the best source of vitamins and minerals but you can use canned fruit too. Syrup adds empty calories to your fruit so make sure you pick fruit packed in water, not sugary syrup.
If you are not allergic to whole grains, you should always favor whole grain products over refined grains. Whole grains are higher in dietary fiber and other important nutrients. Refined grains offer mostly starch, which is rich in calories but not nutrients. Read food labels to choose grain products that have at least two grams of dietary fiber per serving. Make sure that the first ingredient listed on the food label is “whole grain” or “whole wheat”. Enriched flour is not necessary whole grain.
Avoid breakfast cereals loaded with sugar. Choose cereals that have no more than 5 grams of sugar and at least 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
The free main groups of protein include animal protein (beef, poultry), dairy protein (low-fat or fat free milk, yogurt and other dairy products) and vegetable protein (beans, soy products). Make sure your diet includes a variety of proteins.
While consumption of lean red meat should be limited to 2 servings a week, you can enjoy chicken breasts, turkey, or egg whites, which are great sources of protein and are low in fat (egg whites are fat free). Another great source of protein and is fish, which is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Limit consumption of processed meat (sausages, bologna) as much as possible.
When choosing dairy product, make sure they are low-fat (1%) or fat free. Yogurt is a great choice unless it is loaded with added sugars. You can also opt in for low-fat or fat free milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese.
Do not forget to incorporate into your diet the sources of vegetarian protein such as legumes, beans and soy products.
Healthy fats are unsaturated fats, such as the ones found in olive oil or nuts and seeds. Eliminate saturated and trans fats from your diet.
Dieting is a task that needs planning and preparation. Eat 3 small meals and 2-3 low-calorie snacks a day. Never skip meals to avoid hunger and binge eating.
Make sure you are hydrated. Drink water thought the day when you are thirsty. Aim to drink about 8 glasses of water (tea, juice, low-fat milk, and other non-alcoholic unsweetened beverages) a day. Keep track of all meals and beverage in your food journal to control your total calorie intake.
Daily exercise will help you increase your calorie expenditure. Aim for 7 hours of exercise at the appropriate level each week. Your personal trainer will help you define your recommended exercise intensity.