‘Extreme Weight Loss’ Season 4: Chris and Heidi Powell Don’t Call That Brownie ‘Cheating’

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Trying to lose weight? Craving pizza? Go ahead and have some, but don’t call it “cheating” on your diet.

Chris and Heidi Powell, the husband-and-wife trainers from ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss,” returning Tuesday, May 27, prefer “reward” and “reset.”

The Powells advocate “carb cycling”: two days a week of low-carbohydrate meals — except breakfast — and high-carb the other five, with one “reset day, where guys eat 1,000 extra calories, and girls eat 750 extra calories” to kick-start the metabolism, Heidi tells Zap2it. “And its a food of their choice, because it’s important that we don’t let them feel deprived, because what happens when you feel deprived?

“If someone says, ‘You can never, ever, ever have a brownie for the rest of your life,’ and brownies are the thing that you love, then all you’re going to want is a brownie, right?” she continues. “And the second you eat that brownie, you’re going to feel like a failure, you’re not going to tell anyone, you’re going to hold that secret in, and you’re going to fall off the wagon.”

A thousand extra calories sounds like a lot to anyone who’s ever tried to drop a few pounds on a 1,200-calorie-a-day diet — but the folks featured on “Extreme Weight Loss” start their yearlong transformations with a target of 2,250 calories a day for men, 1,750 for women. For those who have been living on 5,000 calories a day or more, any reduction gets results.

“It really is like playing poker with the body,” Chris says. “You don’t want to show your whole hand at once. You’re not going to take someone who’s 500 pounds, feed them 1,600, 1,700 calories a day, and have them working out for three hours a day because over time their body will adapt to that (and stop losing). … We want to make sure the game of poker lasts 365 days.”

What did you have for dinner last night?

Chris: “I made eggs for me and Heidi and [our daughter] Marley. It was a total of six eggs but three yolks — I did take out three of the yolks just for the fat. … I put a little bit of cheddar cheese in the eggs, I diced up some low-sodium turkey breast, chopped up some little green onions, put a dash of black pepper in there … and some tomatoes.”

What is your favorite recipe?

Heidi: “The one thing that Chris makes that is a hit around the family, the neighborhood … is the peanut butter power fudge bar. … It has protein powder, steel-cut oats … some honey … and all-natural peanut butter. It is the most incredible treat for kids … that makes sure they’re getting the protein that they need, healthy fat. … Because they’re so dense, they’re incredibly filling.”

What do you not like to cook?

Heidi: “I hate baking bread and stuff, because it just takes too long.”

Chris: “If we can’t prepare it in about 10 to 15 minutes, we don’t make it.”

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