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Interviews



“I Feel Absolutely Great.” Biggest Loser’s Rachel Frederickson Speaks About Her Win and Shocking Weight Loss

Last night’s Biggest Loser finale wasn’t exactly the celebration we were all hoping for. Rachel Frederickson, a favorite to win, and one of our favorite contestants to watch, was named the Biggest Loser over Bobby Saleem and David Brown. Her victory should have been wonderful, but instead had a sour taste to it.

Rachel Biggest Loser Finale

What stuck out was how thin she appeared to be. At just 105 pounds, Rachel lost 60 percent of her body weight during her Biggest Loser journey, setting a new record for highest percentage of body weight lost during the show. NBC has offered “No comment” about Rachel’s weight loss.

Mary Hartley, R.D., spoke out against the speed at which Rachel lost weight.

“Fast weight loss is often associated with muscle loss and protein-calorie malnutrition since protein from the muscles and organs is converted to glucose to feed your brain. Muscle glucose makes up for the lack of glucose coming in. Rapid weight loss, and any starvation, leads to psychological changes that promote binge eating as the body attempts to replace lost mass.”

From a starting weight of 260 pounds, Rachel lost 155 pounds in 7 months. What concerns us about her weight loss is Rachel admits to being 5’5″ tall which puts her current BMI at 17.5. That’s solidly in the underweight range, and she is the only contestant in Biggest Loser history (worldwide) to end their season underweight.


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Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle – Tom Venuto’s Best Seller Gets Revamped for the New Year

Tom Venuto is a bodybuilder, fitness expert, and author who has gained a loyal following from fans who appreciate his “been there, done that” approach to getting in shape. His latest book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Transform Your Body Forever Using the Secrets Of the Leanest People in the World is already climbing up the Amazon charts with five-star reviews. A book with a title that long has got to be chock-full of good information. We spoke with Tom about his latest project and how it differs from his previous bestseller.

burn the fat feed the muscle

Tom hasn’t always been the lean and lithe picture of health he is today. “In college, I had let myself go a little from eating junk and drinking beer, and I put 20 pounds of fat right on my gut,” he admitted. “One day in the gym I saw a small group of bodybuilders who were preparing for competition. They had the most amazing bodies I had ever seen.” When Tom asked about their training and diet regimen, they gave him a barrage of insider info. From that meeting he was inspired not only to change his own appearance, but help others, as well.

In his previous book, The Body Fat Solution, Tom approached weight loss from a mental and psychological perspective. In Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, he delves into nutrition and training. There are so many chapters devoted to nutrition that Tom has dubbed it the “nutrition bible.” And while some of the information is based in science, he assured me it’s written in a way that you don’t need a biology degree to understand it. “It’s all based on science, but it’s just me talking to you like a regular person, no technical jargon, so it’s actually fun and easy for an average person to read,” he said.


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Shower or Eat? Nutrisystem Allows Real Hollywood Mom Melissa Joan Hart to Choose Both

Staring down a new year’s resolution looks a little different for actress Melissa Joan Hart this year. Now in what she’s calling maintenance, the star of Melissa and Joey is “no longer trying to lose weight, just to maintain a healthy lifestyle.” That’s her goal for 2014, when she will celebrate a one year anniversary as spokeswoman and client of Nutrisystem.melissa joan hart ns

After delivering her third son in fall of 2012, she, like just about most women, had postpartum weight to lose. She turned to the meal delivery diet, which she calls “a little lifesaver,” and it has helped her get back to her fighting weight, so to speak.

“It’s a simple system for any mom to use,” she told us. “It takes the guesswork out.”

Any mom is faced with the seemingly daunting task of getting back in shape after delivering a child, but in Hollywood, the pressure is almost cruel. Hart told us that this group of famous moms are “ridiculed, almost like bullied,” and says it’s tricky being in the spotlight because “everyone wants to see how fast you can lose it.” She calls the situation unfair, but digresses that “it’s our job, it’s what we do.” And for this busy working (and acting) mom of three, it’s good motivation “to be as healthy as I can while putting my children first.”

She admitted to rushing through breastfeeding in the past so that she could start a crash diet and lose the weight, but that wasn’t the case this time around. Almost six months after delivering her third son, she started Nutrisystem. Thanks to the ease and variety of the brand’s wide menu, the only resolution Hart is taking on this year has a lot more heart itself. “I’m focused on my children and more playtime with them,” she said.
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In Yoga XXL, Yoga is a Practice Open to Every Body

Yoga XXL IngridIn her new book, Yoga XXL: A Journey to Health for Bigger People, author Ingrid Kollak asserts “Yoga is for everybody.” In this thoughtful illustrated guide for beginners and beyond, Ingrid, a registered nurse and yoga teacher, focuses on the benefits of yoga for the mind and body, regardless of the body’s size.

At the DietsInReview compound, we’re routinely bombarded with books and DVDs about weight loss and exercise. Many titles in our library contain the same healthy buzz words over and over including, “Diet this” and “Walk off that,” so we were intrigued when “Yoga XXL” arrived in the mail.

The in-your-face title not only got our attention, it left us a bit stunned. Was it politically correct? Was it unkind? After interviewing the German-born author, I’m convinced that regardless of the title, her motivation was completely sincere.

Before she became a teacher, Ingrid remembers attending yoga classes where students with larger bodies were treated with either indifference or outright cruelty. “In classes I saw yoga teachers who plagued their students physically and mentally,” she recalls. “Many yoga teachers had an outdated view that all yoga students should look a certain way: lean and limber. I noticed that these teachers did not encourage or help students who did not fit that strict model.”


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Biggest Loser “Save” Goes Home Amid Controversy – We Talk to Craig

Last night on The Biggest Loser, the battered white team was dealt another blow when trainer Jillian Michaels was called out during the final weigh in for giving her team caffeine supplements last week without permission. The public chastising led to a ripple effect of consequences including a four-pound penalty for Jillian’s team and a reversal of last week’s events that gave immunity back to team blue and allowed the convenient return of fan favorite Ruben Studdard.

Unfortunately, the white team could not overcome Jillian’s penalty and Craig fell under the red line – for the second time.

BL Craig 2

We had a chance to speak with Craig about his elimination, his feelings toward Jillian now, and how he’s doing at home:

DIR: Your journey continued with a save from Jillian but ended because of it, how does that feel?

Craig: I know my leaving was premature but it was my time. The five weeks I had at the ranch were amazing and gave me motivation to do it on my own at home. I was actually excited go to back and see my wife and daughter.

DIR: How is your relationship with Jillian? Do you blame her for your exit?

Craig: My relationship with Jillian is great. Fear-wise she helped me through things I never would’ve been able to work through on my own. I’m using everything she taught me and I’m grateful.


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