Monday, June 27, 2011


I recently interviewed Deni Hill, Sarah Nitta and Justin Pope, contestants on last season's "The Biggest Loser," for a story that ran in the Deseret News. I have shared weight loss tips from Sarah and Justin in previous posts.  Here are some of  Deni's favorite weight loss tips: 
1. Fit in some movement at work. “If you have a desk job, see if you can use a large exercise ball to sit on instead of a chair,” said Hill.  
While sitting on a ball, your body has to continually work to balance it, which strengthens your abdominal muscles and improves your balance. 
“And climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator!” Hill adds.
2. Run or walk first thing in the morning, before breakfast. “This gets your metabolism going,” Hill said.
3. “Interval training really revs up your metabolism,” Hill said. “Here’s something I learned from our trainer, Brett Hoebel, when you are on a stationery bike: Pedal at a high wattage (high intensity) as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then pedal at a low wattage for 30 seconds. Repeat this 10 times, for a total of 10 minutes. Then bike at a normal pace for five minutes before repeating the 30-second intervals for ten more minutes.”  
4. Cross train. “Mix things up!” said Hill. “I like to take different classes at the South Davis Rec Center and Skills Fitness, such as Zumba, spinning, step, Body Jam and Body Pump. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, go to classes. They are almost as good as having a personal trainer.”
5. Find a walking partner. “It makes your walks so much more fun when you’re with someone to talk to!”
6. Don’t shy away from the gym because you think you’re too heavy. "That's what the fitness center is there for. I was so intimidated going to a gym, but they are for heavy people, not just people who are already in shape. Find one that will show you how to use the machines and give you a program to follow, so you don't get intimidated.”
7. Keep healthy foods on hand so you don’t succumb to fast food. While she was competing at home, Hill received weekly deliveries of The Biggest Loser Meal Plan by eDiets, a gift given to all of the contestants.  
"I didn't use them all the time, because I like to have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables," she said. "But it really helped once in awhile when I didn't have time to cook for myself and I was dashing out the door."
She developed a Black Bean and Quinoa Salad that is hearty, satisfying and packed with nutrition. Quinoa (pronounced kin-wa) is a grain-like seed which has a high protein content.  
Hill also learned to make flatbread wraps filled with either the salad, or a lean protein. She adds guacamole (“avocado is a good fat”) and a yogurt dip, and packs it with lots of veggies.  
To satisfy that sweet tooth, Hill devised a treat using a low-fat bran cracker spread with fat-free cream cheese and spreadable fruit. “This is as good as cheesecake to me!” Hill contends. 
The Utah raspberry grower, Cornaby’s, makes stevia-sweetened fruit spreads that are 10 calories per tablespoon. “It’s the best spreadable fruit I’ve ever tasted,” said Hill. “You can buy it at Macey’s.”  (You can also find it at

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