"The Biggest Loser" may be must-watch TV, but it's no template for sustained weight loss. Often, contestants in the grueling weight-loss competition pack pounds back on: Take Erik Chopin, Season 3 winner. He went from 407 pounds down to 193 - then bounced back up to 327!
But you can lose and keep extra pounds off by sticking to our six-step plan.
1. You snooze, you lose - weight, that is. Getting enough sleep (7-8 hours) every night quiets your "I'm hungry" hormone.
2. If you eat it, write it down. Most people underestimate how many calories they're eating, so keep a journal of everything you consume. (And try to make it lots of produce, lean protein, and none of the five food felons: grains that aren't 100 percent whole, trans fats, saturated fats, added sugars and sugar syrups.)
3. Slow and steady wins. Aim to lose 1 pound a week. Starve yourself, and your metabolism slows to a crawl and your hunger hormones scream, "Eat more, now!"
4. Eat less, but more often. To keep blood sugar levels steady, eat five times a day - three meals and two snacks.
5. Get (and keep) moving. We say, walk 10,000 steps a day. Then you'll sustain improvements such as lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and lower lousy LDL cholesterol.
6. Team up with a buddy with similar goals, and enlist your family's support - almost none of us can do this alone, and you can't do it if a family member tries to reward your success with one of the five food felons.
© King Features Syndicate