Cheryl recently spoke with Toby Amidor of The Food Network’s Healthy Eats blog about being both a chef and nutritionist and her seven years working with the contestants on NBC’s The Biggest Loser.
Toby brought up the subject of maintenance:
Q: The contestants on the show have a lot of help from a registered dietitian and trainers, what tools are they provided with so they can continue to get healthy or maintain once they leave the show?
The trainers certainly teach them a variety of different cardio and strength training options. It’s important to find an exercise you really love or you’re not going to stick with it. The gym at the Ranch has state-of-the-art equipment and the trainers are always teaching new things in and out of the gym to keep everyone interested, engaged and ideally increasing their muscle mass while shedding pounds.
I introduced them to a new way of shopping, cooking and eating. I also taught them how to weigh, measure and journal their food intake while at the Ranch. One of the many things you didn’t see was that I reviewed every contestant’s food journal every single day which was an incredible teaching tool for learning about portion sizes, meal timing and accountability. I still get calls from contestants I haven’t seen in years. They tell me when the pounds start to come back the first thing they do is pull out their food journals again.
And later on in the interview Cheryl revealed that she is working with a number of former Biggest Loser Contestants who have done just that.
Though I still want to share my weight loss expertise with a large audience, I’d also like to focus more on that slippery slope we call maintenance and show people that eating well and staying there are not mutually exclusive.
I’m currently coaching a group of former Biggest Loser cast members about maintenance weight — how to get and stay there.
As Cheryl has explained in the past, we — almost all of us — tend to to eat more than we think we do, and food journaling can play a big part in getting back on track (as can the help and assistance of a nutrition professional).
In this video, made backstage during preparations for The Biggest Loser Season 5, Cheryl talks more about the importance of food journaling.