Tag Archives: entertainment

LIGHT food on A&E show “HEAVY”?

As many of you are surely doing, I again tuned in for “Heavy” on A&E last week. Reasons for being overweight run the gamut, but it boils down to regularly overeating and/or eating too much of the wrong variety of foods.

Well, I’ve been waiting to see participants actually sit down to a meal, and on this latest show, it finally happened. After pushing themselves to the limit with gym exercises, walking and swimming, the featured guy and gal sat down to a spartan  dinner.  We were just given a quick glance at the plates, but the discouraged expression on the faces of the two diners was certainly evident. A glimpse at the meal showed what looked to be an average-size bowl of greens-based salad, about a half-cup scoop of  something I’m assuming was a protein source or possibly a protein/grain combo, a tiny serving of vegetables, and a drink. Perhaps this was not the whole meal, but that’s all viewers were shown. (One of the elite spa’s employees did mention that participants’ daily calorie quota ranged between 1200 and 1800 calories, which is certainly a reasonable amount for those wanting to lose weight.) 

But from my perspective, those who see this kind of meal, and think such a strict regimen is what is required to rid themselves of excess poundage are being given an unrealistic model.  My calorie goal is 1400 daily, and my lightest meal of most any day is around 350 calories, which, well-planned, provides me nourishment and satiety for a few hours. Here’s an example of two meals that add up to around 750 to 800 calories, leaving around 600 calories for the other meal and a couple of snacks:  Breakfast – 2/3 cup oatmeal, 1 slice 50-calorie whole wheat toast, 2 tsp. vegetable-oil spread and a bit of jelly, 1 cup 1% milk, coffee, and a piece of small fruit. Lunch – about 3-ounces lean protein, 1 fat serving, 2 non-starchy veggies (half-cup servings), 1 to 2 grain/starch servings and a fruit.

It has been exciting and impressive to see the results and changes in both weight and attitude in “Heavy” participants at the end of 6 months, but the process being a role model on how weight loss is done wouldn’t be one that’d draw many devotees. I’m hoping, on future shows, to see meals that would give encouragement to the everyday Joe or Joni, that calorie-reduction does not have to equal deprivation.

Surely one of the program’s goals is to see participants lose as much as possible in the 6-month time frame. However, for those who – armed with knives and forks – are doing daily battle in kitchens and cafeterias across the country, there is hope: by eating wisely and healthfully, and exercising most days, a person could realistically expect to shed around two pounds a week (over 50 pounds in six months, which is a great accomplishment), and provide a LIFESTYLE one could live with. Your thoughts?

 (A note from Slimvictory: if you’d like to receive new articles as they post, please sign up on my home page. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.)


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Super-simple Tilapia Recipe

Fish and other lean protein can help produce weight loss. (Photo by Ann Maniscalco)

I had made up my mind I would not like tilapia…until I tasted some cooked in a rich, spicy, butter sauce. Deciding to try my hand at a healthier recipe, I came up with this:

  • Tilapia fillets (3-4 ounces each)
  • Parkay buttery spray
  • Cajun spice (I use Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic)
  • Lemon pepper

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees. Line pan with foil. Lightly spritz fillets with buttery spray on both sizes, and dust with spices. Cover and bake about 15 minutes; uncover and bake about 10 more minutes or until done.

I had also decided I was not going to like Mrs. Dash, but I made one fillet with the buttery spray and a good sprinkle of the Original Blend of Mrs. Dash, and found it to be incredibly tasty as well. Either way, a heart-healthy dish, for sure!

(Note from Slimvictory – if you’d like to receive my new articles as they post, please subscribe on my home page. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.)


Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, meal preparation, menu planning, nutrition data, recipes

Weighing in on the new A&E show, “Heavy”

Eating healthy can be simple and tasty! (photo by Ann Maniscalco)

I’m thinking a lot of folks tuned in to watch “Heavy” last Monday night. This new program presented by A&E introduced us to two morbidly-obese patients from the Houston, Texas area: Tom and Jodi (the show can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/5smjqgc). Six months of their lives and their struggle to lose weight and address issues that helped fuel their obesity were played out for us.

The show began with a bit of background detailing their weight-loss struggles. Their desperation was evident. After having their current health assessed by a physician, they were ushered away for a month in a controlled environment where they worked with personal trainers who pushed, prodded, and praised them. Both participants lost weight, but after they went back home, Tom, succumbing to the enablers he lived with, gained a considerable amount of weight back, and was brought back to the facility before returning home again. Jodi worked through some emotional issues, made some tough decisions, and continued her weight loss. At the end of six months, Tom and Jodi had lost an astonishing amount of poundage, trading bad habits and actions for a greatly-improved quality of life.

Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the show:


  • The dangers of obesity were discussed
  • The necessity of permanent lifestyle change was shown
  • The value of support was made evident
  • The change in the participants, both physically and mentally, was well-portrayed
  • It wasn’t a competition


  • There was a lack of focus/explanation on the nutritional side
  • Not many of us have the option or desire to go to a controlled facility for a month or to pay for such an array of professionals
  • I would have liked to have seen more of their lifestyle changes after they arrived home

All in all, I think the show deserves a thumbs-up, as it offered hope and encouragement to those who need to lose weight (or lose weight again) without portraying the journey as an easy-to-fix scenario. As one who has struggled to lose weight before arriving at my goal weight (and is having to mindfully and regularly focus on maintenance), I plan to be a regular viewer of “Heavy”. Each week, two new participants will be featured. It’ll be interesting to compare the various journeys.

(A note from Slimvictory – if you’d like to receive an e-mail of my articles as they post, please sign up on my home page. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.)

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