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Weight Loss
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biggest loser.. How do they do it??

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How do they lose so much weight every week? it seems as if I exercise more, then I am suppose to eat more, and there is little benefit to the weight loss effort (benefit to my health of course). 

Is it safe to exercise like a mad man like they apparently do, as long as you take in the minimum calories for your stats?

Do they recommend  less exercise so people don't burn out or hurt themselves?

I enjoy working out, and would like to do so more, but not if it is going to stall my weight loss efforts, or make me need to "eat back the calories lost" 

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I love the Biggest Loser and watch it faithfully.

On the last season (with Julie, Isabeau and the twins) I thought that they exercised about 3 hrs a day. I remember one of them saying they maintained their exercise at home by meeting with a personal trainer on addition to exercising for 1 hr in the morning and another hour later on in the day.

On this new season with the couples/partners, I was watching mon/tues (whenever it showed) and Jillian was telling her black team that they needed to feed their bodies and eat at least 1600 cals/ day since they were working out up to 6hrs on some days.  I'm no expert but I presume the reason they lose weight as rapidly as they have (an average of 30-40lbs or more in 6 weeks) in becasue all they do all day is workout. When they're not getting their one on one personal training from Jillian or Bob they are running on the treadmills, doing the ellipticals or walking/ running outdoors. it's pretty crazy!

Good question. 

 On one show some of the "losers" were in trouble for eating too little calories.  One of the women should have been eating 1500.  That is what I am suppose to eat and my workouts are not even close to being as strenuous.  The week they ate the proper number of calories the weight loss was so much better (this weeks episode). 

I don't know how they're able to lose such big numbers each week. Well, besides exercising as a full time job but I also think they're eating back a lot of their calories too. 

Did you see The BL this week?  They were talking about why a few of them showed gains in last week's weigh in and was because they weren't eating enough to sustain their workouts.

When you say take in minimum calories for your stats do you mean eating the bare 1200 (since you are a woman) or are you talking the bare minimum meaning maintaining a full 1000 calorie deficit?

You do need to eat back some of your workout calories if your workout will create a deficit larger than least eat back enough to bring your deficit into a safe range.

Its worth remembering 5 things about that show

1. the contestants are all constantly monitored by doctors, so they will be perfect weightloss candidates - no thyroid problems, lots of fat, little muscle etc

2. they give up their day jobs and dedicate all their time to losing weight. How many of us on here could do that?

3. A lot of the weight they lose, at least initially, is water weight.  Also, this is something my friend told me, so I'm not 100% sure, but apparently some of the contestants gain weight immediately before going on the show, so that it will be easy to lose

4. It is a contest. They are all VERY motivated.

5. They have personal trainers at their beck and call. They will be working out 5 hours a day, so they will lose a lot of weight.


Also worth bearing in mind most of them will put at least some of the weight back on when they get back into the real world. 

Haha! I love that show! From what I gather, they are eating meals every 2-3 hours and working out 4-6 hours (at least) everyday. I think that's really the only way to drop the pounds like they do. Feed the machine,work the machine. Repeat. All the while they are building muscle mass which is speeding up their metabolism so they burn more calories than they did  before. If you simply ate less calories than is required by your body you would lose weight, but you would become a skinny fat person, meaning that your body fat % would still be too high, and if you lost a lot of weight, you would have that excess skin problem to deal with on top of it.  If you want to work out a lot, you should be eating appropriately with a deficit of no more than 1000 calories (and don't forget about doing weights and core body work so you hold onto and build upon as much lean body mass as possible).


I think it is much easier for them because they are in a controlled environment and don’t have food around that isn’t healthy.  They also exercise about 5 hours a day. 


Last week, you could see Jillian was upset when she found out they weren’t eating their calories, therefore weight gain or no loss.  Your body needs fuel to replace the calories you are burning.  I believe this week they ate their calories and therefore, achieved weight loss.  If you don’t fuel your body it will go in starvation mode.


However, as much as I like the show, I know it is not realistic.  It’s great for the people because they learn how to eat properly and exercise.  However, in the real world you can’t exercise 5 hours a day.

The thing is, I work early in the morning, and am off work by 10 am or noon most days, with nothing to fill my schedule until I pick up the kids from school at 3 pm. So I DO have 3 or 4 hours a day I could devote to exercise if I chose.  My question is why bother if no matter how hard I work out I can only leave a 1000 calorie deficit. 

I am 39 yr old 5' 3" female with 58 lbs to lose.  I eat 1200- 1500 cal a day, doing cardio most days for 30-60 mins and circuit aerobics or other strength training  M-W-F.

I assume I am healthy for the most part (doctors have found nothing wrong with me), although I am not seeing the weight loss for my efforts that I had expected.  I attribute that to perhaps early onset menopause (haven't had a cycle in 6 years) or perhaps I messed up my metabolism doing atkins to goal weight, then eating nothing but carbs for a year to gain it all back (stupid, stupid, stupid!!)

I just started watching the biggest loser, and have seen 10 episodes in re-run, and am watching the current one.  I wish they would spend less time showing us the "drama"... 20 minute weigh ins,  10 minutes on eliminations, etc. and more time showing us what they eat and what they DO.

there are some really incredible mom-athletes that devote themselves to a certain sport or training for a marathon, etc. mommster, you could look into something like that.

all the things everyone is telling you @ Loser Club is doesn't keep the weight off, it's a well regulated competition and the reasons they don't show you what is really going on is because, hey, you probably shouldn't be doing this at home.

it's not healthy.

the truth is about losing weight, if you want to keep it off, you have to let it come off gradually. good luck.
I think weight comes off easier when you have more to lose.

when you get down closer to your seems impossible.

That show motivates me to want to work out more.  I haven't but I keep wanting to.
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The weight falls off the people on the Biggest Loser for a few reasons:

1. They have massive amounts of fat on their bodies. The higher your bodyfat, the easier it is to lose.

2. They are eating just above their BMR, ensuring their metabolisms stay normal, but maximizing their caloric deficits.

3. They are burning several thousand calories a day through heavy training.

I wouldn't be surprised if they maintain 4000-6000 calorie deficits every day. Such deficits will cause a loss of at least a pound of solid fat every day. Also, one must consider the fact they will lose a lot of water on such restricted diets.

mommster, the biggest loser is television, not real life.  in real life, we're healthier if we have balance.  working out three or four hours a day probably doesn't promote this.

now, if exercise promotes your spiritual and social health as well as your physical well-being, that's different.
I'm guessing what they're doing is probably safe, but I don't think it's a good idea.

Loosing weight too quickly has a lot of undesired consequences-namely that it is more difficult to maintain and you don't have as much time to adjust to your new lifestyle.

Given that you don't have massive amounts of weight to loose, I'd say the slower the better, but that's just my experience.

I lost 54 lbs six years ago, and I've kept it off, but what I do now isn't that different from (so-called) 'dieting'.

Second what everyone else has said about the 'contestants' lifestyle while on the show.

BTW: I lost the weight eating 1500 calories a day and exercising, but not heavily.

I think Biggest Loser gives people false expectations for weight loss.

They are monitored by doctors and their job is to work out all day. They have nothing to deal with family wise or job wise or stress wise. They have no opportunities to eat bad foods. They have doctors, nutritionists, and trainers on call all the time.

People don't live like that in the real world. If I could quit my job and still have shelter, food, and a personal trainer, I would. And I would be super fit. But I can't, because I live in the real world.

Doctors say the best rate to lose weight is up to 2 pounds a week.

If you lose it too fast, you're exponentially more likely to gain ti back. Also, your body doesn't have time to adjust and you're going to have skin and flab and ew.

Just.... quit watching it and it will go away.

When I was 30 I had a traumatic experience afterwhich I locked myself in my home, refused to answer the door or telephone and stopped eating. After about ten days I started using the Weider rope (the one that fits over the door handle) about 5 to 7 hours a day. I also started eating one fairly large greek salad a day. I was 189 lbs and size 18/20. At the end of two months I was 139 lb of solid muscle, no flabby skin and wearing size 10 (5'6"). I finally went to see a doctor and received help for the trauma and started to eat and function again. Yes, I gained the weight back (after six years) because I literally stopped exercising and eventually went back to eating for emotional reasons. At age 56 I don't think I would have the same ambition or results. At this stage of my life, cc+ is a much better option.

EDIT  I am in no way condoning what I did as healthy or desireable, only stating a fact. The weight loss was not planned, it was more an escape mechanism to deal with my situation.

How do they actually (physically) work out that much--5 or 6 hours each day?

As many of us here know, when we start working out (are overweight, etc.) from being sedentary, the next day we are ACHING and our muscles feel stiff.

I am wondering if the contestants get massages. Maybe they do two hours of stretching after their workouts?

I can't imagine them even being able to get out of bed the first few days after working out so hard, let alone work out for hours on end again the next day, and the next. Anyone with me? Wouldn't they be hobbling around, aching like crazy? I know with the condition (or lack) that I'm in right now, if I do an abdominal workout for instance, my abs are aching for two whole days afterwards.

Original Post by eatsome:

Watch this video of biggest loser trainer Jillian Michaels talking about she helps contestants lose weight

I went to her website to see what it was like. The initial page asks you to input your stats. Then, it gives you a synopsis of your body type and what kind of eater you are. Those two parts are free. After that, it asks you to give credit card information because the plan she creates for you costs $4 a month. Really, that's not too bad. I just wish it didn't advertise itself as FREE! I'm trying to decide if that's what I want to do.

Does anyone know of anyone that's tried it?

i think jillian rocks, but even if i weren't a student, i wouldn't give her my money.  i know what to do to lose weight.  it's not like you give her your credit card and she comes to your house to kick your ass; you're going to get form letters telling you what you already know.

jillian is an entertainer.  giving her money would be like giving russell crow money and expecting him to be your boyfriend.
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I did just start exercising @ the local Y, but in the week i've been going i found that when i hurt in the am if i go and exercise then the pain lessens a lot,  then i will go to work and around the end of myy shift i start to hurt again so i go home eat and go right back to the y so i won't hurt again...........i also didn't know i could have this much energy all the time :)

the biggest loser is insane but ya they are being monitored all the time. To be hontest most of the contestants have stayed in a healthy lifestyle i read an article about it somewhere only one jillian thinks has went back to there former lifestyle becuase this contestant hasnt talked to her in a long time. I wouldnt want to lose weight that rapidly though the excess skin would be nasty lol
Too funny and true, pg! 

As someone who started at 465 lbs, I have to keep those weight loss numbers in perspective now that Im at 360.  I usually find just under 1% of body weight to be a good loss goal. 
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