The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps – Book Review

When I first heard about the book, The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle, I assumed from the title, that it was mainly about food swaps. Use olive oil instead of butter, or instead of eating a fatty donut, try whole wheat toast. Similar to the “Eat This, Not That” book series.

But once I started reading, I realized it was so much more.

The book starts with summaries and Simple Swaps from various Biggest Loser contestants. I found this section of the book the most inspiring. My favorite was Jen Eisenbarth from season 3.

Swap someone else’s voice for your own. We’re told what’s acceptable and what’s not by others. But listen to your voice. Figure out what works for you.

What an inspirational quote! It set the tone for the whole book for me.

I haven’t read all of the prior Biggest Loser books, but it’s good to see better food recommendations in this book as compared to the ones I have read. They even recommend grass fed beef and free range chicken, but alas don’t mention any better pork, eggs and dairy, but I guess that goes without saying. It’s definitely a clean eating lifestyle that’s promoted.

It’s definitely a bright, very easy to read book with lots of color and photos.

Most recipes include a color photo of the finished dish, and of course, the nutritional data is included.

What I didn’t like is that exact amounts for some ingredients were lacking. Such as 2 slices of cheese or one breast of chicken. Yes, one could assume that it’s 1 oz cheese or one pound of raw chicken, but it be so easier to see it in the recipe, just to keep it straight. Calories can differ drastically when you aren’t using exact measurements!

Recipes that sounded intriguing.

Tangy turkey wrap pg 92
Asian Wild Rice Saute pg 110
Buttermilk Cornbread pg 111
Nutty Waldorf Salad pg 133
Mini Apple Gingerbread Cupcakes pg 152

There are lots of good tips, for instance, if a food contains more than 9 grams protein it’s considered high protein. I didn’t realize that! I love Jillian’s tip on page 173. Use a deck of cards for your workout content!

Same as prior books, they suggest unrealistic (and unhealthy) calorie goals. “Present weight x 7” – for my weight of 161, that calculates to 1127, way below the suggested minimum of 1200 calories and extremely below my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) of 1454 calories just to stay alive! I wish they would stop suggesting such unrealistic calorie consumption! That’s not something that a person can live with for life!

The other complaint is that they promote processed soy meat-free products, like soy hotdogs, sausage, pastrami. And they sort of suggest using artificial sweeteners in a roundabout way, but they did highlight healthier sugar substitutions like agave and stevia.

Overall I thought The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle would be very helpful for someone needing good weight loss information and inspiration. It’s a way of life not a diet! But as I said previously, the calorie goal suggestions should be completely ignored!

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

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