In the Season 4 finale of The Biggest Loser, 18 contestants lost a staggering combined total of 2,207 pounds, Jillian Michaels' underdog Black Team dominated, and identical twins Bill and Jim Germanakos swept the competition, winning the $250,000 grand prize and $100,000 at-home prize, respectively. Here, five pound-droppers share diet and exercise tips that can help you slim down in 2008.
$250,000 grand-prize winner
Lost 164 pounds
"Don't eat anything white. No white bread, no white rice, no white pasta. If you're going to eat carbs, eat something that's whole-grain or long-burning carbs, like sweet potatoes or yams. Blueberries are my addiction now. They're really good for you, low in calories. In my house, we call them the blue M&Ms."
Lost 97 pounds
"American-size proportions are gigantic, so when I eat out, I cut my meal in half and put it to the side. That way I'm eating three ounces of chicken instead of six."
"Eat breakfast. When the doctors met with us, they told us that the only thing all 18 of us had in common was that we never ate breakfast. We never got our metabolism started at the beginning of the day, and by lunchtime we were starving."
Lost 105 pounds
"Make better choices. If you're eating at a Mexican restaurant, just modify the order: Don't have the chips, order black beans over refried and stick with chicken. Use salsa instead of sour cream and hold the cheese. You still get that good taste you love but without all the bad stuff on it."
"One thing dieters have problems with is that we're used to instant gratification. You want something so you get it. Now I have one cheat meal a week where I eat something that's a little bit higher in calories or something that I've really been wanting. That way, I don't feel like I'm depriving myself all the time."
Lost 113 pounds
"Split up your [hour-long] workouts into two smaller [half-hour] sessions. It makes the workout seem more manageable — plus, afterward, your body continues to burn calories faster than it normally would. So you get that after-burn effect twice a day instead of just once."
"I'm a huge advocate for taking any kind of class that gets your heart rate up — spinning, kick-boxing. There's a team atmosphere when you're with other people. Also, it's mindless. Someone else comes up with the workout for you and you just follow along."
$100,000 prize at-home winner
Lost 186 pounds
"Every single thing I put in my mouth, I put in my food journal. I think that's the most important thing you can do. Weight loss is not rocket science; it's basic calories-in versus calories-out. If you keep track of everything you put in your mouth and you're burning more calories, you have no choice but to lose weight."
"I eat a lot of chicken and potatoes. One thing I found a lot of uses for is I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray. The spray is different than the tub. The tub has emulsifiers in it to make it firm — and that's fat. With the spray, there's no fat, no salt, and it tastes really good."
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