CT's Biggest Losers Face Challenges in the Kitchen

For a month, our  four biggest losers have been pushing their limits physically in the gym and we've been following JR Reaves, of Farmington, Suzi Waters, from Middletown, Jean Jordan, from Old Saybrook, and Elizabeth Szewczyk, from Enfield, on their journey.

At home,they have been fighting a food battle and we recently paid visits to their kitchens.

Elizabeth has completely overhauled her mealtime menus and was recently making baked salmon and asparagus.

Our dietitian, Cassandra Forsythe Pribanic, said Elizabeth did a great job.

But, Elizabeth found herself in a tough spot earlier in the week when she hosted a family party.

"We had pizza and chocolate cake and chips and dip," Elizabeth said -- all of her old favorites.

"I said goodbye to all of these wonderful friends of food," she said. She normally would have kept the cake and leftover pizza. 

"(I)Sent it all out," she said.

Jean, who has three children at home, cooks a lot and has been making healthier choices.

"It's been really eye-opening.  I've really cleaned up a lot of what I'm eating. (I'm) eating lots of fruits and vegetables and really eliminating a lot of the processed foods," Jean said.

She's feeling the difference from the change in food.

"The scale can go up and down or sideways but the clothes (are) getting bigger and bigger feels good," she said.

She's also found being part of the biggest loser program keeps her honest.

"I can't cheat in front of anyone.  We were out at a party this weekend and the entire party knew who I was and what I was doing, so that helped me keep on track," she said.

Preparation is the key to keeping JR on track.

"(I) go grocery shopping every Sunday now. I have a menu of everything that I'm going to cook. I spread it out for the week, so I grill all my meats (on) Sunday, cook my vegetables and I just put the meals together for the week," he said.

So, making lunch doesn't take long. When we visited his kitchen, he just had to chop his veggies for his salad.  The chicken was in the refrigerator ready to go.

"He has his fridge all doctored up ... Everything's all organized and ready to go,” JR’s trainer, Tyler English, said.

Tyler recently checked in on JR's progress at home.

"He did a great job. He did a great job," Tyler said.

Suzi also stays on course by cooking ahead. Salads with salmon have become a staple in her diet.

"I don't feel bloated like I used to all the time and I'm proud of myself for eating a healthy meal," she said.

She has cleaned out her cupboards and tossed anything unhealthy that might be too temping.

"It's inspirational for other people too. That's the thing that I think is the best part of it, when someone comes up to you and says ... your story really helps them do something," Suzi said.

This week, there were big improvements for all of our biggest losers.

"It's important that they learn these habits that they learn for life because the weight will come right back on if they don't learn how to keep on doing this for good," Forsythe-Pribanic said.

When you combine healthy food with high intensity fitness, you get results.

This week JR was our biggest loser, dropping 8.6 pounds, putting him at 415.

Elizabeth is down four pounds to 227.

Jean dropped two  pounds to 262.

Suzi stayed the same, at 246 pounds.

Overall, Elizabeth has lost the most weight, shedding 15 pounds.

Jean has lost 10, Suzi dropped eight and JR has lost six pounds since the first weigh-in.

Find out who will take the biggest loser lead next week.  

To read more of Elizabeth's Biggest Loser blog, click here. To read Suzi's blog, click here.

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