FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our Registered Dietitian, Sarah Berndt, has answered some questions you may have. If you don't see what you're looking for, please feel free to contact us at weightloss@georgeforemancooking.com with any questions you may have that are not listed below!


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Nutrition

How often should I eat?

This depends on multiple factors, but generally you should eat a minimum of every four to five hours to stay energized, prevent you from feeling deprived and keep your metabolism steady and elevated. Try eating three meals and one or two snacks a day.

With my work schedule, sometimes I can’t eat dinner until close to bedtime. Is this OK?

Eating right before you go to bed may disturb your sleep and hinder digestion. However, the most important factor influencing weight loss is not the timing of your meals, but the total number of calories you consume. Instead of eating dinner late at night, try switching the timing of your afternoon snack and your dinner so that you eat dinner earlier in the day and a snack later at night.

Help! I'm craving salt!

While cravings are a normal part of weight loss, they can do damage to your waistline! Instead of reaching for high-calorie salty foods with little nutrition, such as potato chips, try one of these healthier alternatives:

  • 3 cups of air-popped, microwaveable popcorn—about 100 calories
  • 1 ounce whole-wheat crackers with 1 Tbsp olive tapenade—about 200 calories
  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese with 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds—about 200 calories
  • 1 ounce whole-wheat pretzels—about 100 calories
  • ½ cup shelled edamame sprinkled with ¼ tsp sea salt—about 100 calories
  • Sliced tomato and cucumber topped with 2 Tbsp feta cheese, dried oregano and a dash of red wine vinegar—about 100 calories
Help! I'm craving sugar!

Cravings tend to come on strong and dissipate over time. Waiting out a craving can be your best solution. Distractions such as brushing your teeth, drinking a glass of water or chewing sugar- free gum can help curb your craving. If, however, you choose to eat something sweet, try one of these healthier options:

  • Low-fat fudge pop—about 100 calories
  • Mini Strawberry Shortcakes: Spread eight vanilla wafers with ¼ cup low-fat ricotta cheese mixed with 2 Tbsp strawberry all-fruit jam and create mini sandwiches—about 200 calories
  • Buff Banana Ice Cream: Blend together one peeled, frozen ripe banana and 2 Tbsp low-fat milk—about 100 calories
  • One graham cracker sheet, halved, and sandwiched with ½ Tbsp hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)—about 100 calories
  • 1 ounce of dark chocolate—200 calories
  • 20 frozen grapes—about 100 calories
What beverages can I drink?

Drink both sugary and alcoholic beverages in moderation or avoid completely to aid your weight loss. Water is one of your best choices, but there are other low-calorie options as well. Please refer to the Skinny Sip’n list of best beverage choices.

Can I count beans, edamame and lentils as a protein instead of a grain?

Yes, foods such as beans, edamame and lentils contain both protein and carbohydrate and may be counted as either a protein or a grain depending on your preference.

I have high cholesterol. How can I lose weight and reduce my cholesterol?

The good news is that by using your George Foreman® Grills meal and exercise plan, you are already on the right track because it features heart-healthy fats and lean meats, while your George Foreman Grill helps reduce the amount of fat in the foods you cook. Research has shown that if you are overweight, losing as little as ten pounds can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol by five to eight percent.1 Further, even moderate exercise can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, improve your HDL (good) cholesterol and lower triglycerides. 1,2 In addition you should reduce your intake of saturated fats, trans fats and dietary cholesterol. 1,3-5 Saturated fats are found in animal-based foods such as marbled meats, poultry skin, whole-fat dairy (such as ice cream, cheese, yogurt and milk) and in butter. Saturated fats are also found in some plant foods such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Cholesterol is a type of fat primarily found in animal products such as egg yolks, shellfish, liver and other organ meats.

  • Tip: Replace saturated fats with heart-healthy, unsaturated fats such as olive, safflower or canola oil. Choose non- or low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meats such as eye of round, sirloin tip, top round, bottom round and top sirloin. Also choose “choice” or “select” cuts of meat instead of prime. When choosing poultry, remove the skin before cooking.
  • Tip: Trans fats are manufactured fats made from hydrogenated oils and are often found in prepackaged baked goods, fried foods, snack foods and fast food. Try to avoid trans fats at all possible.
  • Tip: Read nutrition panels and the ingredient lists for anything “hydrogenated.” This is especially important because manufacturers can list zero grams of trans fat even if a food contains 0.5 gram of trans fat or less per serving.
  • Tip: Reduce your intake of all high-cholesterol foods and limit egg yolks to four per week. 3-5 You can substitute egg whites for any of the eggs used in the George Foreman Grills meal plan.

In addition to reducing your intake of saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol, you should increase your intake of soluble fiber, heart-healthy fats and plant sterols or stanols.

  • Tip: Eat plenty of foods high in soluble fiber such as oatmeal, barley, lentils, peas, beans, apples, pears, oranges and broccoli, just to name a few. Soluble fiber helps to remove cholesterol from your body. Research indicates that five to ten grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.3-5For example, 1 ½ cups of cooked oatmeal contains six grams of soluble fiber. Top it with a banana and you’ve just started your day with 10 grams of soluble fiber.
  • Tip: Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, olives, canola oil, nuts, avocado and seeds. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish and fish oils such as salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Aim for three 4-ounce servings of fatty fish per week. If you prefer not to eat fatty fish, you may want to try omega-3 fortified eggs and plant sources of omega 3s such as walnuts and ground flaxseed. In addition, you should talk to your doctor about whether omega-3-fortified fish oil supplements would benefit you.
  • Tip: Research shows that if you replace unhealthy fats with monounsaturated fats, it helps to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. 3-5
  • Tip: Plant sterols or stanols are naturally occurring substances found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. They have a similar structure to cholesterol and compete with cholesterol inside your body, preventing cholesterol from being absorbed as easily. Research has shown that sterols and stanols have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by five to fourteen percent when two grams of sterol/stanol are taken daily. You need to eat a fortified food to get two grams of sterols and stanols (these are usually found in fortified foods such as yogurts and spreads similar to margarine—read the label).8
I have high blood pressure. How can I lose weight and lower my blood pressure?

Check with your doctor to see if he or she recommends following the George Foreman Grills meal and exercise plan, which may help you lower your blood pressure. Reducing your sodium intake and eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and legumes, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein and heart-healthy fats will also help. 3, 6-7

  • Tip: Replace high-sodium foods with lower sodium varieties of breads, cereals, sauces (such as soy sauce), salsas, deli meats and dairy products (such as cottage cheese). Read nutrition labels to avoid pre-packaged foods high in sodium such as chips and pre-packaged meals. The American Heart Association recommends keeping sodium levels below 1,500 milligrams per day. 6,7
  • Tip:Beans, bananas, oranges, tofu and potatoes are rich in potassium, which may help lower blood pressure. 3,7
  • Tip: Calcium has been shown to help reduce blood pressure 3,7 The average adult needs 1,000 mg of calcium per day. This is equivalent to about 3 servings of calcium-rich non- or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese per day.
Am I required to follow the recommended meal plan?

You are not required to follow the recommended George Foreman Grills meal and exercise plan, but we have developed it specifically to help you lose weight, gain energy and make delicious meals while using your George Foreman Grill. Many people have experienced great results with this plan. It has been created to accommodate a variety of daily calorie ranges, and you can customize it based on your activity level and calorie needs. We encourage you to try it out!

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Weight Loss

How much weight should I lose each week?

The amount of weight you lose each week will vary, which is normal, however, an average weekly weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds is usually expected.

How can I lose weight around my midsection?

You may lose weight in some areas of your body more slowly than others, and the midsection can be a stubborn area for many people. Although you can’t lose weight in one specific area, by eating a balanced diet that promotes weight loss, and engaging in both cardiovascular and strength-training exercise regularly, you will lose weight in these trouble areas over time.

How do I keep the weight off after I've reached my goal?

First of all, congratulations on reaching your weight loss goal! That is a very impressive accomplishment. Remember that this is not a quick-fix diet, but a lifestyle change. Hopefully the new habits that you learned with the George Foreman Grills meal and exercise plan will become a way of life for you. If you would like to maintain your weight loss, continue to plan your meals each week, and use the delicious recipes, meal plans and grocery lists we have provided for you. Now that you know what works for you, don’t be afraid to experiment with your own recipes and meal plans. Stick with your exercise plan, don’t forget to keep a food journal and monitor your weight (and continued progress) by doing regular weigh-ins, measuring yourself or checking how your favorite “skinny” clothes fit.

Help! I've stopped losing weight. What should I do?

The rate at which you lose weight and continue to lose weight will vary based on how much you need to lose initially, as well as your age, sex, activity level and what kind of medications you are taking. If you have a lot of weight to lose (50 pounds or more), you may lose a lot in the beginning but then weight loss may slow or stall temporarily. If you have less to lose, you will naturally lose less each week. It is important to remember that this is a lifestyle change and not a quick-fix diet. You didn’t gain all of this weight over night, so it will take some time to lose. If you feel you have reached a plateau, you can increase your activity level, adjust your daily calorie intake and keep a food journal. Writing down everything you eat is an important reality check to ensure that you are being honest with your portion sizes and food that you consume each day.

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Special Circumstances

I am taking prescriptions medications. Do I need to make adjustments to how much I am taking or adjustments to the program?

If you are taking prescribed medications, please talk with your physician before starting any diet or exercise program. That way your physician can work with you and may adjust your medications as you lose weight and increase your activity level, and let you know if there are any adjustments you should make to the program.

How can I continue to eat well when I’m at social events?

It’s all about planning ahead. If you know you have a special dinner or party to go to, make sure all your meals prior to the event are healthy. Have a filling snack before you go, and if there is a treat that is hard to resist, enjoy a bite or two and follow it up with a healthy option. If you do accidentally go overboard, don’t use this as an opportunity to give up. Make the next day count with an energetic workout and smart food choices.

How can I dine out and stick to my weight loss goals?
The George Foreman Grills meal plan incorporates plenty of delicious foods, and many of these options are available when you eat out. First of all, have a healthy snack so that fatty appetizers or the breadbasket don’t tempt you. If you have the option, check out the menu for the restaurant online first, so that you can decide in advance what you will eat. Plan on splitting portions and bringing home leftovers. Focus on lean cuts of meat, fresh vegetables and dishes that aren’t swimming in creamy sauces or are deep-fried. Check out our eating out guide for more tips on enjoying a restaurant meal without damaging your waistline.

I have been sick and have been unable to follow the exercise plan. Should I quit the program?

No! This program is about making lasting lifestyle changes, which also means being able to handle the challenges that happen in life. Once you feel better and get your energy back, resume your regular workouts and meal planning. The ability to bounce back from small setbacks in your program is a very important part of making this a lifestyle.

I'm going on a vacation/business trip. How can I continue to follow the exercise program while I travel?

Pack your exercise clothes and check out your hotel gym. If anything, you should be able to do some type of cardio. Or pull on your tennis shoes, and go for a walk or run and enjoy the different sights of the city you are in. The main point is to continue to try to fit some sort of activity into your day so that you continue to stay active and make fitness a priority, even when you are on the road. You can also purchase in-expensive elastic bands to pack in your suitcase, so that you can do a quick weight workout whenever you need to. You can also do basic exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and lunges in the comfort of your hotel room. If you are unable to work out on the road, make it a priority to return to your regular exercise program as soon as you return home.

I'm going on a vacation/business trip. How can I stick to the meal plan while I travel?

It helps to plan ahead. Stock your carryon with nutritious snacks, such as almonds, nutrition bars, fruit and veggies. Try to focus on making smart choices when you are eating out, but don’t beat yourself up if you indulge yourself here and there. Follow an indulgent meal with an energetic workout the next day or a walk around a new city. If you are on vacation, try to incorporate fun activities into your schedule so that they balance out the treats you may be eating. Enjoy your trip, but also resolve to jump right back into your routine when you get home.

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Exercise

I'm already following an exercise program. Should I continue to follow it?

If your physician has recommended a specific exercise program, continue to follow that. If you would like to follow the George Foreman Grills exercise program, check with your physician first. If you are already accustomed to working out and you are following your own program, you can continue to do that, but feel free to incorporate exercises from the George Foreman Grills exercise program into your routine.

Can I modify the suggested exercise program?

If you are accustomed to working out and are already following a program, feel free to modify this program based on your own activity and fitness level. As always, if your physician has recommended an exercise program for you, please talk to him or her first.

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References

  1. Powers E, Saultz J, Hamilton A, et al. Clinical inquiries. Which lifestyle interventions effectively lower LDL cholesterol? J Fam Pract. 2007 Jun;56(6):483-5.
  2. Slentz CA, Houmard JA, Johnson JL, et al. Inactivity, exercise training and detraining, and plasma lipoproteins. STRRIDE: a randomized, controlled study of exercise intensity and amount. J Appl Physiol. e-pub 2007 Mar 29.
  3. Key Recommendations; Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/dietaryguidelines/2010/policydoc/chapter3.pdf
  4. National Cholesterol Education Program
    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/ncep/index.htm
  5. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: National Cholesterol Education Program
    www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/ncep
  6. American Heart Association
    http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride_UCM_303290_Article.jsp
  7. Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf
  8. Judd J.T., Baer D.J., Chen S.C., Clevidence B.A., Muesing R.A., Kramer M., Meijer G.W., "Plant sterol esters lower plasma lipids and most carotenoids in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults." Lipids (2002) 37(1): 33-42.

Meet The Expert

Sarah Berndt is a Registered Dietitian and co-owner of Hybrid Fitness and Fit Fresh Cuisine. She co-owns the businesses with her husband Ryan Berndt. She is also a certified personal trainer and holds advanced certifications in Adult Weight Management. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Zoology and Dietetics. She received her Master’s in Nutritional Science from Boston University and previously served as the sports dietitian to the University of Wisconsin-Madison athletes. She was also honored as the recipient of the Wisconsin Dietetic Association 2011 Emerging Dietetic Leader Award and served as the Wisconsin Dietetic Media Spokesperson from 2007-2009. She lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin.

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