2. Vegetables offer lots of nutrition for very few calories. In a frying pan, Pope will saute lots of fresh vegetables together, such as summer squash, red peppers, zucchini, "any kind of vegetable that looks good," along with egg whites, adding jalapeños, salt and pepper and srirachi sauce for flavor.
"There are only 13 calories in an egg white, so you can do 10 egg whites and you only have 130 calories. With all the vegetables, I have a big fat plate of food and I have only got 300 calories, if you count really hard. Sometimes I'll put in a whole egg, but I have to decide I'd rather have the taste of an egg, or the fullness of fullness of six egg whites."
3. Another easy meal: Take 200 calories of whatever your protein of choice — shrimp or steak or chicken or burger, and fry it with beef stock. Take about 4 cups of beef stock, and add lots of vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and carrots and flavor it with some sriacha sauce. "On 'The Biggest Loser,' we didn't see very many carrots because they have a little more sugar in them. But at home, I will use them. I love making a big pot of that for supper, it's warm, soothing and even if you eat the whole pot, you are only 400 or 500 calories into it."
4. Pope recommends eating 1,500-1,600 calories per day. "Some people don't eat enough food," he said. "They don't have enough energy and your body doesn't know what to do, it's saying 'Are you feeding me today or starving me?' "
5. Simple, easy math. Divide the day's calories into about 400 for each meal, and the remaining 400 into two 200-calorie snacks, so you're eating consistently throughout the day.
6. Use "good" fats, such as olive oil and avocado. "What I didn't realize is that you have to have good fat in order to burn fat," said Pope, who became a fan of Wholly Guacamole, a "Biggest Loser" sponsor. "Yes, good fats still contain calories, so you have to be careful with that."
7. Eat most of your carbohydrate foods before noon, and stick to healthy carbs, such as vegetables and whole grains. "When I was on the show, you would get most of your carbs in before noon. Brett (trainer Brett Hoebel) was big on that. It has to do with burning fat."
8. Do your first workout in the morning on an empty stomach. "Brett was also big on that. He said your body is looking for sugar. If you are not giving it any sugar, it will go to burn your fat reserves."
9. Group exercise helps you work harder. "There's a certain energy level, you are feeding off of everyone's energy," Pope said. "And it makes you feel accountable. I am demanding on people if they don't show up for class."
10. Use a heart-rate monitor (found in sporting goods stores) to let you know how hard your body is working. "It doesn't lie to you. You might think you're really working hard, but you look down and the monitor tells you exactly how hard you're really working."
DENIS BLACK BEAN AND QUINOA SALAD
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeo pepper, seeded and minced (or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced thin diagonally (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh yellow or green beans (optional)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 green pepper, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced olives, optional
2 cups cooked black beans (drain and well-rinsed)
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