Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start Review

I have to start off by thanking each and everyone of you for your continued support as I journeyed through the past 30 days testing out the Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start book. I looked forward to each day and the kind words your comments would bring. I am excited about the results and LOVED everything you said on my morning post (I didn't know I had so many supporters!) ~ Thanks - you all seriously made my day!

As you all know I am a BIG fan of The Biggest Loser and I really do believe in and support losing weight in a healthy way. To me, this means making lifestyle changes in the foods you eat and becoming active each day. It's not only important how much you eat (calories) but in the quality of the food you eat (not processed, organic whenever possible, healthy, wholesome choices). I think that there is alot more to losing weight other than calories in versus calories out. If you ask any person who struggles with weight and food, most would tell you it's 90% mental. Alot of times, we eat to feed our emotions versus fuel our bodies. I'll be the first to admit I can eat to celebrate ANY emotion ~ happy, sad, stressed, mad.....the list goes on. For all of these reasons and more, this is exactly why I chose to do the Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start Diet. It breaks everything down into small, attainable goals that you build on each day for 30 days. You get a sense of accomplishment being able to "check" off and reach each days task at hand. Building confidence through little "successes" helps you get stronger in your journey and empowers you to keep going.


The book starts off by giving you a basic foundation of what you need to know to be successful. It allows you to develop your "plan" by giving you:

- Tips for success - making the commitment to you, setting up a plan, etc

- Some Biggest Loser Success Story Inspiration - one of my favorite parts because it highlights each cast member with their reason for wanting to lose & what works for them

- You get the lowdown on how to eat - similar to the food pyramid - it's all about balance and getting in ALL food groups

- Building a fitness foundation - from beginner to advance and how to use the books workouts based on where you are in your own fitness level

- Weekly Summary Breakdown by theme:
*Week 1 - Stuck to your seat
*Week 2 - Meet Your Muscles
*Week 3 - Take It Up a Notch
*Week 4 - Your Very Own Finale!

- A 30 day workout calendar that I highly recommend photocopying and "coloring" in each square as you complete your workout each day

- 30 days of Transformation ~ Each day you have 1 mental aspect to focus on, 1 eating plan that is optional to follow and of course your workout. I LOVE that the book focuses on EACH of these areas EVERY day!

- What's Next ~ How to continue building on your success!


* They have step by step pictures (with Ali Vincent!) with complete descriptions of how to perform each exercise.
* You workout 6 out of 7 days with 1 day of rest.
* Each day includes simple stretching - so important!
* Cardio & Strength is rotated every other day after the first week which is all cardio
* On the Cardio Days you do 10 minutes of Mobility & Body Weight Exercises - think of deep stretching and Yoga - it's awesome after a good cardio workout.
* The exercises optinos are presented for BOTH beginners and intermediate.
* Cardio starts out as a simple 20 minute walk and you build up each day by adding on 2 minutes until you reach 50 minutes. You can very this based on your fitness level as walking, jogging or intervals.
* Strength training is designed to work each major body group once per week - upper body, lower body, abs. You start out doing one set and work up to 3 sets.


I really like how the book is designed to start out easy and you work your way up. For the beginner you will feel like a pro after you have completed the 30 days and it's enough to make you sore. For the advanced person, the beginning of the book might seem too easy but by the end I am sure it will have you sweating it up. I tried my best to stick to the workouts that they have in the book, but, if I felt great, I kept going. If I wanted to run instead of walk, I did. I definitely think you get out of the workouts what you put into them. I gave about 80% of what my potential is and I think I could have pushed further for better results. I will definitely continue to use their strength training ideas because they are great. I am not a fan of using books to workout because I find I personally do not usually do that. Give me a printout and I will. If this is an issue for you, then, copy the pages to take with you to the gym.


I really like that the book offers up variety ~ I really think that is KEY to being successful in any healthy eating lifestyle. The recipes that they have are absolutely tasty and ones I will repeat in the future. I like that they are not complicated and all are made in 30 minutes or less. I do think it can be a bit overwhelming to try to cook everything they have in the book. It seems like you are cooking full meals sometimes twice a day. It does take alot of preparation in that I shopped one week in advance for ALL the meals and often cooked up the next days meals the night before or on the weekend. I do wish that they would have "leftovers" at least once or twice throughout the week in the form of having last nights dinner for lunch the next day or what not. I often halved the recipes (which typically make 6-8 servings) and it was still more food than was eaten. Maybe they assume you have a family you are feeding it all too? The nice part is I now have a freezer stocked full of homemade frozen dinners for the next month since I didn't want to waste :) All that being said the book does give you the option of fixing/eating your own foods not in the plan ~ the main goals are stay within the daily allotted calories and focus on eating all food categories in a healthy way. 1,500 calories of Oreos is alot different than 1,500 calories of healthy eats. Did you know you can get so much MORE healthy food for your calories than junk?

You do eat alot of fish (I made substitutions alot because I can only eat so much fish) and you usually have soup and/or salad with your lunch. I think this is a great idea because it helps you feel fuller on less calories.

TOP 15 FAVORITE RECIPES that I put a spin on - in no particular order. Click any of the recipes to link to the recipes I made.

* Doc's Chili
* Asian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken
* Egg Foo Young for Breakfast!
* Thai Chicken Curry
* Pesto Pizzettas
* Mini Blueberry Muffins
* Spicy Tomato Soup
* Mushroom Soup
* Fish Tacos
* Grilled Chicken Fajitas
* Chunky Applesauce
* Grilled Salmon Burger
* Black Bean, Corn, Avocado Burrito
* Stuffed Mushrooms
* Confetti Couscous


* Reaching your goal is like "the happiest feeling you could imagine times ten thousand!" I remember this every day when I am tempted.

* You have to be doing this for you!

* Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable - "Once you learn to step out of your comfort zone and face your fears, the world will be at your feet".

* You are capable of more than you think

* What is hunger? Use the Hunger Scale to determine hunger/fullness

* Act As If - Fake it til you make it! "It's a prcess. If you fail, keep starting over. New habits and routines take weeks to master." Can you guess who said this?

* Make Best Friends with Yourself - "It's not bout being in control, it's about being empowered." And who said this? Hint they are both trainers....


I have to say I absolutely LOVED the book even if it did require some work. Nobody ever said that being healthy and fit would be easy, they just say it's worth it! I absolutely agree. I am proud of the results I had in a month - sure, I probably could've pushed it a little more and not dined out or had a few treats, but, you know what, that is not me. If I am changing my lifestyle, I will go out to eat & make healthy choices, sometimes I'll have the cake and sometimes I won't. But, what matters most is that you eat healthy 80% of the time for the 20% of the treats you choose to indulge in as you enjoy life. It's not realistic to say I'd never eat another piece of cake. The 30 day Jump Start allowed me to follow a healthy eating and workout plan, while mixing in life's fun AND losing weight plus inches. What more could you ask for?

If you are looking to buy it, I definitely think it's work the money if you think you can commit to yourself for 30 days. You can check out more of the details on (they let you page through some of it) and/or buy it online by clicking HERE.

I would love to know your thoughts of my gigantic review :) Please feel free to share and ask away.

Do you have any questions you want answered about the book that I didn't address?


  1. Great review! I'm mainly interested in the "diet" portion, but how would you compare it to say... Weight Watchers?

    I also LOOOVE the show! And I'm considering buying these books. Your pictures of the food were enough enticement for me ;)

  2. wow that was a seriously good review!! I have had the workout side down for years, so it's just leaning in to continued healthy eating that I need to do.. eh hem passing on the bagel in the back room this morning...or not

  3. Jess ~ It's funny that you ask that. This is why I tried to "point" out the Weight Watchers points as I did the 30-day Jump Start. I pretty much use Weight Watchers as my guide to any eating plan I follow. I use it to see where things fall on the points scale as well as to see if I am meeting all my requirements.

    Are you familiar with the Weight Watchers Plans? I'd say this plan is very similar to CORE or now with their Filling Foods. You focus on healthy, natural foods and the points range runs daily between 25-27 points.

    I do think you get more freedom when you are on Weight Watchers because you can eat whatever you like, versus the book, has specific meal plans. However, with either one, you can focus on sticking within your daily calories/points.

    I have ALL the Biggest Loser cookbooks and LOVE them. You know, I think if you go to you can sign up for their "club" and get all 3 books for free. Just cancel before your free trial is up or something. It might be worth checking out if you are interested in that route.

    I LOVE Weight Watchers and think you can use it along with these books or you can give the 30 day book a try to "Jump Start" things and mix it up for a little variety.

    Does that answer what you were looking for?

  4. RunToFinish ~ Thanks - I am hoping I didn't make the review too long - LOL You know that is my biggest struggle too - I usually am good at one or the other - working out or eating great. It can be tough to balance both, but, I do find that when I am working out I tend to want to eat better.

  5. Thanks, Danica! I've never done Weight Watchers. I don't like the idea of having to count calories, but I need some sort of system to make sure I'm not eating too much. I've been considering Weight Watchers. I guess it depends on if I can afford it or not! I'm seriously contemplating getting the Biggest Loser book. :)

  6. Great review! Thanks! I agree that loosing weight is about so much more than calories. The mental and emotional aspect is huge!

  7. loved the rundown danica. you are a great writer. this review really nailed it, i feel like i know exactly what the book has to offer! i enjoyed all the recipes you shared while doing the 30 days. i love what you said about 1500 cals of oreos vs 1500 cals of good eats. how true it is! i loved all your insight and once again i am SO proud of the changes you made in the past 30 days! you are amaaazing :D

  8. What a beautiful review, Danica!

    How do you feel now that you are off of a structured meal plan? Are you planning your own meals now?

    I love to plan meals (and snacks) and it seems to really keep me on track nutrionally.

  9. Jess ~ I absolutely agree - counting calories is very time consuming and not always easy to do accurately. This is one reason I LOVE Weight Watchers - they assign points values to food so it makes counting calories easy. You eat a certain number of points each day and the points are easy to follow. They also focus on eating healthy foods which is awesome too. I do think the book is awesome and definitely a great start especially for the cost. If you decide you want to track calories here are two of my favorite online FREE sites.

    KK ~ Thanks - I really think that is important to point out. Sure people LOVE to eat and all, but, alot of times when we eat when we are not hungry there is definitely a reason.

    Janetha ~ Thanks so much for the compliment and nice comment! I really learned the importance of what you eat when I did the Eat Clean Diet and followed the CORE program on Weight Watchers....what you is almost more important than how much.

    Angelea ~ I LOVE making up my own menus each week and trying out new recipes. It was a nice break to have someone else do it for me, but, my to try recipe list is so big now :) LOL.....I definitley agree planning is the total key to success. Without it, I do not do as well.

  10. Loved the review I just bought this book last night and went looking for others who have done it to see what they thought. I am bookmarking your blog I loved it!

  11. Amy ~ Thanks so much for the compliment on my review and bookmarking my blog. I would love to know what you think of the book as you go along. If I can answer any questions you have as you work your way through the book I will if I can. Feel free to email me, post or share your ideas. danicasdaily@gmail dot com.