Saturday, January 31, 2009


It was another good week for retention for Biggest Loser “6.” The way it works is if someone misses two Friday night’s in a row, we drop them from the rolls. So far, we’ve lost only one!

In six Biggest Losers, this is by far the best start ever. We’re really trying to get people to understand the power of committing to a thing and sticking to it. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easily—you have to work for it. It’s the same when losing the fat. You’ve got to eat right and exercise smart.

The workout was tougher this time. After walking for 10-15 minutes as a warm-up, they did five rounds of “grappling” where two people grab each other and try to push and move them around for a minute. After each round, they dropped down and did a minute of partner setups.

Then they were introduced to Burpee’s—a wicked exercise where you drop down, do a push-up, hop back up, and jump up with your toes off the ground. It’s a very demanding exercise because you’re using your entire body.

They did 5 sets of 5 Burpees. By the end of the 12-weeks, they’ll be able to do all 25 Burpees in a row (but it will still be tough). Finally, they walked another 5 minutes as a cool-down.

Their assignment for next week on the machines is to do 2 paired machines back to back, without stopping. For example, doing the Bench Press (pushing) and Seated Row (pulling) back to back, repeating 2 or 3 times before moving on to the next pair.

These are called super-sets, and will really raise the intensity of their workouts. They’ll do this for a week before we introduce free weights at the end of week four.

On the food side of things, by now, most of the participants are aware of their “minimum.” This is the minimum number of calories to live, called basal metabolic rate (BMR). I’ve found that “minimum” seems to help people understand it’s an amount never to go below.

When I meet them, nine out of ten women don’t hit it, and perhaps half of the guys. Some are still having trouble hitting their minimum. Until they do, it will be very difficult to lose weight. At that point, most weight loss is either muscle or water.

When you don’t hit your minimum, somehow, your body thinks it needs to preserve fat. Once you hit it, though, your body will “relax,” and allow you to start using fat for fuel.

For most women, it’s usually between 1,300 and 1,400 calories, and never below 1,200. For guys, it’s usually around 1,800 calories. To feel better and have plenty of energy, most women need to be around 1,650, and guys need to be around 2,400.

Once we got them thinking about the amount of food they needed to eat, we talked about the quality of food. To operate at our best, we need to be eating three healthy meals, and 2-3 healthy snacks.

Every meal should have a source of Protein, Starch, and Fruits or Greens. We tend to eat too little Protein, too much Starch, and almost no Fruits and Greens!

Sources of Protein include low fat dairy products like skim or 2% milk, low fat yogurt, or low fat cottage cheese. Other sources include fish, poultry (chicken and turkey), lean cuts of beef and pork, nuts, and some beans. You can also eat soy products and protein shakes.

The purpose of protein is building muscle and bone. Make sure you get a full serving of protein at every meal, and try to get at least a half serving of protein in every snack.

Starches are way misunderstood. Entire diets tell you to avoid these like the plague. One problem though. Starches are your best source of long-lasting energy.

Because they’re a complex carbohydrate, starches take your body longer to break down, giving you a long-lasting source of fuel, which is their main purpose.

Quality starches include whole wheat or multi-grain breads and cereals, oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, some beans, corn, long grain wild rice, and whole wheat pastas.

In this country, we way over-do starches, but make sure to get one at every meal for long-lasting energy. It will fuel your workouts and the rest of your day, too.

Fruits & Greens
These are pretty simple to figure out. We don’t eat near enough of these, and as a result, miss out on lots of vitamins and minerals, which is their main purpose. They also provide us quick energy, and lots of fiber.

In case you haven’t seen them for awhile, you can find them in the produce section. Spend some time there and fill up your cart—you’ll feel better in just a day or two.

Snacks should be a combination of carbs and protein. The carbs will give you the fuel you need to get through your workouts and to your next meal. The protein will continue helping you build healthy muscle and bone.

A good plan is to shop that way. Ask yourself what your protein will be, what the starch will be, and what fruits or greens you’re going to have with it. Start eating this way, and you’ll feel better within just a couple days.

Finally, we talked a little bit about fats. If you’re eating the way I described, then you just need to eat low-fat foods, avoid foods cooked in vegetable oils, going with stir-fry and olive oil instead. Everyone should also take Omega-3 fish oil capsules every day.

This week’s winner was once again Bill Lewis, who lost another 3.0% of his body weight and 6.8 lbs. Bill won a Wal-Mart gift certificate provided by our friends at Terry Elston’s State Farm Insurance. In just three weeks, Bill has lost 27.8 lbs.

Second place went to Shawn Bowers with an impressive 2.7% of his body weight and 7.5 lbs, and third place went to Ken McConkey who lost 2.3% of his body weight and 7.7 lbs.

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