It's totally addicting to watch the contestants on The Biggest Loser hit the scale each week. Season 7 winner Helen Phillips lost an astonishing 54 percent of her body weight (plummeting from 257 pounds to 117), she dropped from a 46DD to a 34C bra size and shrank a full shoe size (to a 10). That takes dedication. Healthier meals and physical exercise, like these easy ones, can work wonders.
GET SKINNY WITH QUICK AT-HOME WORKOUTS
But once she settled into "normal" life back home, how did she keep the pounds off? It wasn't easy. "The show was over, there was no more Ranch, and I realized I was now the Biggest Loser winner - and the pressure was really on," she recalls. "I would lie awake at night and think, What if I gain the weight back? What if I slip back into my old ways?"
THE HEALTHY WAY TO ENJOY FAST FOOD
So "getting healthy" became a family affair. "We eat fresh, unprocessed food that grows on trees and in the garden, plus chicken, fish, and lean meats," says Phillips, a former gourmand who specialized in cooking the fattening foods of her Polish heritage, like pierogis and kielbasa. "When I cook now, I use no butter and only a tiny bit of olive oil. And I still eat small portions five times a day, just like I did on the Ranch."
EAT RIGHT WITH THESE HEALTHY FAMILY RECIPES
Here Are Some of Her Keep-It-Off Behaviors:
- Stick with a low-cal, low-fat diet - about 1,500 calories per day, with less than 30 percent coming from fat (Phillips consumes about 400 additional calories per day to help fuel her daily exercise; see Helen Phillips's 5-a-Day Meal Plan).
- Eat breakfast every day - it helps prevent overeating.
- Forgo the high-fat, high-sugar empty calories of fast food.
- Keep a daily food journal and step on the scale regularly.
- Exercise at least 200 minutes per week (Phillips works out about 120 minutes per day).
- Cut TV viewing to 10 hours or less per week (the national average is 28 hours). Phillips went from watching up to five movies in a row when she was heavy to almost zero now.
- Avoid taking weekends and holidays "off" (Phillips indulges in one higher-calorie day a week, a practice she started at the Ranch).
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.