As a NewYork Times bestselling cookbook author, chef for TV’s The Biggest Loser, and host of America’s Chefs on Tour on PBS, Devin Alexander lives and eats her message: You don’t have to deprive yourself to be fit and healthy.
But it wasn’t always this way. At 16, Alexander was 70 pounds overweight. “I had heard somewhere that if you cut just 100 calories per day, you could lose 10 pounds a year,” she says. She started by making some small changes to one of her favorite dishes, eggplant Parmesan, substituting low-fat cheese and baking instead of frying. Over the next few years, small substitutions like these led to big results. She lost the weight, and has maintained her weight loss for 16 years.
Her recipe re-making talents led to a flourishing food career, including her affiliation with The Biggest Loser, media appearances and advisory positions, her own catering company, and a string of cookbooks, including Fast Food Fix, The Most Decadent Diet Ever!, and The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook.
Alexander recently returned from the White House as part of Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools Program. And her food line, Devinly Delites, is currently in the works.
Here, Alexander shares a lean version of the McDonald’s Big Mac that tastes like the real thing (she even cracked the code to their special sauce!), and a healthy take on restaurant-style potato skins.
Photography: Lisa Cohen