Biggest Loser Weeks 4/5: "You Are What You Eat"

By Anna Yee

February 22, 2011 Updated Feb 28, 2011 at 4:40 PM CDT

"I think people tend to say, 'Oh, I work out, so I can eat whatever I want, and you can't do that," said Pam Schoedel of the Biggest Loser's Forrest Green Team. "You have to eat healthy along with the working out."

Pam has the right idea as she and the other Biggest Loser contestants enter the 5th week of the competition at the Peoria RiverPlex.

This season, nutritional value is everything. Teams are learning how to eat right through demonstrations and classes.

One important lesson is adding whole grains to your diet.

"A lot of times we get in the rut of eating only whole wheat bread or whole wheat rice," said Liz Eells, the team dietitian, "but I kind of wanted to open their eyes to all the different whole grains we have out there."

There's plenty choose from-- anything from wild rice and quinoa to barley and wheat berries.

They're packed with the good stuff for your body and can even help prevent cancer. Even better, you can get them at local grocery stores.

And while you're out shopping, Liz gives some extra tips to hike up the wholesome. She says:
-choose bright colors
-try something new
-shop seasonally

"Right now citrus is in season," said Eells, "so go for those oranges, those grapefruit. You're going to get great quality, and it's going to be cheap."

Liz says it's about starting with one change, something small.

"Even if that means eating more extra serving of fruits and vegetables, eating one more whole grain, replacing that whole wheat bread for white bread, you're going to make a difference in your overall health," continued Eells.

Besides eating the right foods, Pam is taking a step in the right direction.

"My friends pledged money for every pound I lost in Biggest Loser, and half of it's going to go to the St. Jude Dunlap runners, and the other half to Alzheimer's Association," said Schoedel. "Both my uncles died this year of Alzheimer's and has affected our family greatly."

Mortality is what Pam thinks about as she makes changes for a better lifestyle.