Weight Loss: You Can Be a 'Biggest Loser,' Too (cont.)

7. "Never overlook the power of seasoning," says Alexander. One way she made even the blandest diet foods grab the contestants' attention was by using low-sodium seasonings. "People never realize what a major difference spices can make on even simple dishes like grilled chicken or salmon," she says

8. "When it comes to cooking in flavor, it's never about the oil," says Alexander. Many dieters believe that unless food is fried in oil, you don't get much flavor. But, she says, the real secret is pan-browning, which can happen without oil. The trick to getting restaurant-quality taste, she says, is to never overload your pan with food. "If you put too much in the pan, the moisture content causes the foods to steam and not pan-fry," she says. "By reducing the amount of food in the pan you get that tasty pan-seared browning, without the use of any oils."

9. Don't try to do too much exercise, too soon. You not only run the risk of injury, but you'll also get quickly discouraged. "Don't try to stare down 45 minutes of exercise," says Lyons. "Tell yourself it will be OK to quit after 10 minutes, because most of the time once you get going, you'll keep going."

10. Remember: Self-esteem feeds on self-esteem. Accomplishing a little something toward your weight loss goal every day will not only get you on the road to success, but help keep you there. "You are not just losing weight, you are changing your life and your lifestyle," says Alexander. "If you keep that in mind, you come to see that every change, no matter how small, comes together to make a huge difference in not only your weight, but your life," says Alexander.

Recipes From The Biggest Loser Cookbook

Here are some recipes from Alexander's The Biggest Loser Cookbook.

Better Blueberry Pancakes

Says Alexander: "If you're as big a fan of these pancakes as my brunching buddies and I are, rest assured that you can double, triple, and even quadruple this recipe with great success. In addition, the batter will keep in your refrigerator for up to three days. I personally like to mix the batter fresh and enjoy the pancakes with a friend. ... Otherwise, I find myself tempted to eat more than one serving."

1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup whole-grain oat flour
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spray
1/2 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries
Sugar-free, low-calorie pancake syrup (optional)
100%-fruit orange marmalade spread (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, flour, egg white, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Whisk just until blended. Stir in the blueberries. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is hot enough for a spritz of water to sizzle on it. With an oven mitt, briefly remove the pan from the heat to mist lightly with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! cooking spray. Return the pan to the heat. Pour the batter in 1/8-cup dollops onto the skillet to form 3 or 4 pancakes. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the tops and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until browned on the bottom. Transfer to an oven-proof plate. Cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with cooking spray and the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes total.
  • Place 4 pancakes on each of 2 serving plates. Serve immediately with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spray, syrup, and/or fruit spread, if desired.