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To change your diet, change your palate, says 'Biggest Loser' nutritionist Cheryl Forberg

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June 24, 2011|By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Cheryl Forberg, nutritionist for "The Biggest Loser," says people can learn to live good, healthful food
Cheryl Forberg, nutritionist for "The Biggest Loser," says… (Linda Russell photography )

"The Biggest Loser" contestants don't just learn about exercise--upending their diets is an essential part of the program as well. Join a live Web chat Monday, June 27 at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. CT, 3 p.m. ET) with Cheryl Forberg, nutritionist for "The Biggest Loser," who is also a registered dietitian.

Forberg wrote the eating plan for the show and counsels contestants on nutrition. Forberg is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and the author of "Flavor First: Cut Calories and Boost Flavor with 75 Delicious, All-Natural Recipes." We asked her how people can change their palates and learn to appreciate the true taste of good food.

"I think when contestants come to 'The Biggest Loser' ranch they're so accustomed to these over-salted, over-sweet, over-processed foods, that learning to eat clean foods is definitely like detoxing for a couple of weeks," she said. "But once they've had a chance to kind of wean themselves away from the old foods that were their everyday fare, their taste buds wake up and they learn to appreciate the sweetness of a piece of fruit or the tanginess of a nice balsamic vinegar on their salad."

Foods labeled "healthy" are still often perceived as bland and boring, Forberg added, but that doesn't have to be the case. "I'm a classically trained chef who became a registered dietitian," she said, "and I've spent my career figuring out how to make flavors really over the top."

Case in point: On a recent trip to the ranch Forger demonstrated some easy way to cook vegetables, such as roasting a red pepper. "They went crazy eating it," she said. "I posted a photo of it and some people asked what it was. That was a wake-up call that we really need to stick to basics."

Do you have a question for Cheryl Forberg? Email jeannine.stein@latimes.com and join the chat to see the answer.

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