Biggest Loser Then and Now: Have Former Winners Kept the Weight Off?

I wonder if most people who watch The Biggest Loser think, “I wish I could do that” -or- “If they can do it, so can I”?

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The contestants are luckily surrounded by all the tools and support they need to lose weight, BUT reality is much different and most people don’t have a multi-million dollar production budget at their disposal.

Season after season the show continues to wow its viewers, but is the dramatic weight loss permanent after the show is over?

How do these contestants fare when they return to the reality of normal life?

Original Biggest Loser Ryan Benson

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In one season, he was able to lose a staggering 122 pounds!

So how is Ryan Benson doing these days?

An article in Time magazine checked in with some of the former “Biggest Loser” winners, including Benson who has gained back roughly 90 pounds after the show was over.

He claims that as soon as the show was over, he regained “32 pounds in 5 days simply by drinking water.” This is incredible and points to the fact that when any person loses weight rapidly, (faster than 1-2 pounds a week) normally the weight loss is mostly due to water loss.

At last report Ryan now weighs 300 pounds.

Kelly Miner: Season 1 Runner Up

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Kelly lost 79 pounds during the show.

Where is Kelly Minner Now?

One former participant who is still losing weight after losing the show is Kelly Minner.

The first-season runner-up went from “242 lbs. to 163 lbs. by the finale and now weighs 140 lbs.”

Matt and Suzy Hoover: Season 2

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He lost 157 pounds and she lost 95 pounds but have since gained some of the weight back.

They aren’t giving up though and are continuing on the weight loss journey.

Matt now weighs 237 and Suzy weighs 175.

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Erik Chopin: Season 3

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Although he had one of the most dramatic weight losses in the show’s history, he gained most of the weight back.

He weighed 407 pounds before the show and returned to 368 pounds after the show.

He ended his weight rebound after a 2010 documentary featured his story.

He now weighs 245 pounds.

Bill Germanakos: Season 4

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He lost 164 pounds on The Biggest Loser and only gained 37 pounds back after the show.

He’s now a spinning instructor and weighs 207 pounds.

Ali Vincent: Season 5

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She was the first female to win on the show with an 112-pound weight loss. She managed to maintain the weight after the show.

This weight loss launched her new career with her own book and website.

Update: Ali reveals, “It’s been 5 years since I won (The Biggest Loser) and I’ve seen myself gain at least 5 pounds a year. I’m stuck in the middle.”

She has a new show: Live Big with Ali Vincent where she gets back on the scale and intends to get back on track. It airs on The Live Well Network.

Michelle Aguilar: Season 6

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She weighed 242 pounds at the beginning of the show and 132 pounds at the end to claim the prize.

However, she doesn’t disclose what she now weighs. Never ask a woman her weight, I guess.

From pictures and current videos, it looks like she has kept most of the weight off.

Helen Phillips: Season 7

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Helen lost 140 pounds on the show and only gained back 18 pounds.

She is the oldest Biggest Loser and has the record for losing the most weight.

She now works to end childhood obesity and she speaks candidly about her plastic surgery to remove excess skin in this video.

Danny Cahill: Season 8

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Danny lost a whopping 239 pounds to win season 8 and he has kept most of the weight off since.

He is now a motivational weight loss speaker and singer that travels the country. Here’s his website.

According to the NY Times Danny currently weighs 295 pounds

Michael Ventrella: Season 9

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He started at 526 pounds and weighed 262 pounds at the show’s finale.

After the show, he became a trainer and professional public speaker.

He now weighs 289 pounds, but says he no longer focuses of the scale but his measurements.

Patrick House: Season 10

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Patrick only weighs 16 pounds more than he did when he won The Biggest Loser and has been working on building muscle.

He now works with overweight teens and completed his 3rd Boston Marathon.

He also wrote a book is called “As Big as a House”.

Patrick’s current weight is 235 pounds.

Olivia Ward: Season 11

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She started The Biggest Loser weighing 261 pounds and then dropped to 132 to claim the show’s title.

Now she’s just 10 pounds heavier and appears regularly on the Dr. Drew Show as a weight loss guru along with her sister Hannah. Here’s their website.

It looks like she has kept the weight off.

John Rhode: Season 12

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John was a 40-year-old teacher and coach when he entered the Biggest Loser Ranch and weighed 445 pounds.

He dropped an amazing 220 pounds and won season 12 weighing 225 pounds.

It looks like John has gained a little of the weight back, but is active running marathons and doing Crossfit while inspiring others to get fit and live healthier.

He now weighs between 225 and 230 pounds depending on what he’s training for.

Jeremy Britt: Season 13

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22-year-old Jeremy was 389 pounds when he joined the competition and had been overweight most of his life.

He won season 13 by losing 190 pounds weighing just 190 at the finale.

Since winning Jeremy is working on maintaining his weight loss.

Danni Allen: Season 14

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The newest winner is Danni Allen. She started the competition at 258 pounds and finished at 137 for a loss of 121 pounds.

She is now enjoying her win and is doing the talk show circuit talking about her experience on The Biggest Loser.

She recently shot a commercial for Subway restaurants

Rachel Fredrickson: Season 15

Rachel Fredrickson before, at finale, and now

Rachel Fredrickson recently became the Biggest Loser in the show’s history with an astounding 60% weight loss for a total of 155 pounds shed.

Some of the show’s fans on twitter expressed concerns that she actually looked too thin at 105 pounds during the show’s finale.

She has gained about 20 pounds back since the show.

Season 16: Toma Dobrosavljevic

toma biggest loser season 16
This season of NBC’s Biggest Loser featured former star athletes who had let their once fit bodies decline after they quit playing their sport.

Former soccer player, Toma Dobrosavljevic took the grand prize with an astounding 171-pound weight loss!

His starting weight was 336 pounds and he weighed just 165 pounds at the finale.

A year later, Toma is going strong and has kept the weight off. He now being paid by Planet Fitness and DietBet.com to endorse their services.

Season 17: Roberto Hernandez

roberto hernandez biggest loser 2016

Roberto Hernandez, a teacher from Chicago, took the grand prize after losing 160 pounds in all. He started the season weighing 348 pounds and at the finale weighed in at 188 pounds.

His twin brother Luis won the “at home” prize with an amazing 139-pound weight loss.

This season contestants were constantly being tempted with cash to give up and go home which was a first for the reality show and Bob Harper took over as the show’s host.


Based on the previous Biggest Loser contestants, do you think the show promotes long-term weight loss success or just short term benefits?

It shows us all just how easy it is to put on weight when getting fit is no longer part of a show’s production value. 

If you’re interested in trying a Biggest Loser style workout or diet, have a look at the Biggest Loser Bootcamp (15 day free trial).

Credit: Thanks to NBC for the images.

Disclaimer: Your results may vary and the contestants’ were largely due to their dedication and adherence to their calorie/macro protocols.

Comments

  • Jones Nicole

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  • Hoby

    Nope.

  • Hoby

    Diets can kill.

  • LetTheTruthBeKnown

    Speaking of the biggest Losers, many women are certainly these days.

    • Jesse Stella

      i want to thank Dr Trust for bringing back my ex husband, we broke up for more than 4 month and he told me that he never want to see me in his life again. i love him so much to the extend that i could not do any thing again, i was confused and depress due to the love i had for him.i did everything i could do to have him come back to me but all went in vain. so i decided to contact a spell caster, i did not believe in spell casting i just want to try it may be it would work out for me. i contacted Dr Trust for help, he told me that he have to cast a love spell on him, i told him to start it. after 3 days my husband called me and started to apologize for leaving me and also he told me that he still love me. i was very happy and i thank Dr Trust for helping me get back my ex husband back to my hands. his spell is the the greatest all over the world, it was the love spell he cast on my ex that make him come back to me. all you ladies who want back your ex husband back i want you to contact DR TRUST at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct at (Marriagespellhelp@gmail.com) OR (Marriagespellhelp@yahoo.com) and get your problems solve or you can call his cell phone on +2348056391583

  • Morgan Oi

    why black ppl don’t win the biggest looser? don’t they have will power or discipline? are they waiting for the government to loose weight for them?

  • Jesse Stella

    i want to thank Dr Trust for bringing back my ex husband, we broke up for more than 4 month and he told me that he never want to see me in his life again. i love him so much to the extend that i could not do any thing again, i was confused and depress due to the love i had for him.i did everything i could do to have him come back to me but all went in vain. so i decided to contact a spell caster, i did not believe in spell casting i just want to try it may be it would work out for me. i contacted Dr Trust for help, he told me that he have to cast a love spell on him, i told him to start it. after 3 days my husband called me and started to apologize for leaving me and also he told me that he still love me. i was very happy and i thank Dr Trust for helping me get back my ex husband back to my hands. his spell is the the greatest all over the world, it was the love spell he cast on my ex that make him come back to me. all you ladies who want back your ex husband back i want you to contact DR TRUST at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct at (Marriagespellhelp@gmail.com) OR (Marriagespellhelp@yahoo.com) and get your problems solve or you can call his cell phone on +2348056391583

  • Jesse Stella

    i want to thank Dr Trust for bringing back my ex husband, we broke up for more than 4 month and he told me that he never want to see me in his life again. i love him so much to the extend that i could not do any thing again, i was confused and depress due to the love i had for him.i did everything i could do to have him come back to me but all went in vain. so i decided to contact a spell caster, i did not believe in spell casting i just want to try it may be it would work out for me. i contacted Dr Trust for help, he told me that he have to cast a love spell on him, i told him to start it. after 3 days my husband called me and started to apologize for leaving me and also he told me that he still love me. i was very happy and i thank Dr Trust for helping me get back my ex husband back to my hands. his spell is the the greatest all over the world, it was the love spell he cast on my ex that make him come back to me. all you ladies who want back your ex husband back i want you to contact DR TRUST at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct at (Marriagespellhelp@gmail.com) OR (Marriagespellhelp@yahoo.com) and get your problems solve or you can call his cell phone on +2348056391583

  • Anna Andersson

    Look at this amazing video with the winner of Biggest Loser Sweden https://youtu.be/mKDJlOWtGPs

  • Jai

    I watched biggest loser since season 7 and when Jeremy from Season 13 won the Show i had enough and started a weight loss journey. I started out at 406lbs and Went all the way down to 199lbs losing 207lbs and lost around 51% percentage of weight loss and i just want to tell everyone there is an athlete inside and you just have to find it

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Awesome job Jai! Way to go 🙂

  • John Farley

    If you look at rachel fredricksons facebook photos she now looks closer to 150 pounds despite running in a marathon.i think by next year she willbe back to about 200 pounds

  • MaryElaine

    How did they FARE. Not FAIR.

    • JamesF

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • Nope

    Those are the winners and mostly success stories. There are a LOT more contestants that have been on the show, and the statistics don’t lie. Most of them have likely gained back all of the weight.

    • newstradomus

      Exactly!!! Statistically, fewer than 10% are going to keep the weight off, about 90% of diet and exercise weight loss patients keep it off over a 2- 5 year period.

      • curchel@yahoo.con

        Did you mean 90% would NOT keep it off over a 2-5 year period

        • alicia arol

          That had to have been what that person meant, & I believe that I actually heard it was only a disheartening 5% of people who lose a lot of weight who are able to keep the weight off long term. ):

  • Scotty

    I think America’s problem with obesity can be directly related to entertainment and fast food portion size. When I was a child, there was no such thing as internet, texting, xbox, etc. I recently visited my old neighborhood and was astonished at how far I walked to and from school. When I got home, the books went inside the door, and we were off to play at 2:45 until about 6:30 in the forest or basketball. So that’s four hours of activity without snacking. We would walk miles without even thinking about it. There was maybe one fat kid in the ENTIRE school. And not fat by todays standards, just chunky. And the medium fry at McDonalds was the large. The small hamburger or cheesburger was the regular size, and the 12 oz drink. Now you get a double quarter pounder with cheese, a super large fry, and all the coke you can possibly drink. It’s a whole day’s calories in one meal. Especially since the internet and internet on peoples phones, you pass by a playground, and there’s no kids at all. Or parent’ are so scared of Silence of the Lambs white van rapist that they keep their kids inside.

    • Paranormal Skeptic

      I think America’s obesity problem is directly related to putting too much food into our faces.

    • Fiona1933

      Us too in UK. No snacking. Thats the key. You werent allowed to eat between meals as it would ‘ruin your appetite”. And such a lot of running about. I have actually seen some stupid blog claiming that its ‘child abuse’ to take snacks away from a child and to demand 90 minutes exercise a day. Child abuse. when as you say, we’d have at least 4 hours a day with no food…wow, the trauma!

    • Jennifer

      I graduated high school in 1984 & have similar memories. I walked to school and it was a little over a mile. My nieces live a quarter of a mile from the same school and are driven to and from it everyday. After school there was either TV with some After School Special or being outside with friends–we played basketball, went to the pool, walked to the park and played squash…always on the go! There was only one obese girl in my school and she had MS & was in a wheelchair. I was 130 pounds/5 feet 7 inches when I graduated and was considered chunky! To visit friends I walked and that sometimes meant 2 miles each way but we were so used to it that it never felt like a big deal. There were no video games or 24-hour channels to keep us sedentary.

    • d

      You’re being ridiculous. My cul de sac is full of stupid kids all over the place, and I have never seen an empty playground here. Maybe you live in some trailer park where mac and cheese is a four star meal, but not everyone lives the way you describe in your grossly generalized post.

      • ncgmac

        Depends where you live. Like others who graduated high school in ’84 I had similar memories. I also grew up in Southern California. So we were outside all the time either walking somewhere, playing games, or when we got older swimming in the ocean. We moved to North Carolina. Wow did life change. I ran cross country to keep my weight down. Pretty much everything around us was rural, so no more walking, you don’t walk on a country road with blind spots. Then there is the humid dog days of summer and the winter. Sorry, some days you just don’t go outside. Granted as kids we tend to be more resiliant to the heat etc. However, today kids can play inside. Who wants to go walk outside and get hit with water for air when they can be inside playing video games. Adults too for that matter. Our technology and lifestyle successes do impact our health and we need to recognize that.

    • I am the smrt

      That first paragraph made me very hungry! num num num!

  • Historia

    It looks like the show really helped them get their weight down. I was told by a doctor to shoot for a loss of one pound a week. I can’t even seem to do that. It’s like the fat has grabbed onto my body and won’t let go.

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Historia, check out Flexible Dieting. It’s been working wonders for people just like you. https://healthyeater.com/ebook

      • Historia

        Thanks for the tip. I shall never give up fighting “The Battle of the
        Bulge!”

      • Margaret

        IIFYM (flexible dieting) for the win! We need to continue spreading the word! Weight training instead of excess cardio too!

        • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

          We sure do Margaret! Thanks for helping do so!

    • Hege Bjelland

      How about looking at raw till 4? 🙂
      I felt the same way as you, and only gained weight (up 1 pound each month), I did all the different stuff I was told to do, like low carb diet, weightloss pills, soup diet, 1500 kcal each day and more.
      I found fullyrawkristina on youtube and started the lifestyle, and it is working for me! 🙂
      I’ve lost 6 pound since new year. And there are no calorie restriction.
      By eating ft4 and working out 2-3 times a week I for the first time in 5 years are accually loosing weight and can keep it off. (Been on rt4 since september now).
      Find a friend that puches you to join their training and eat rt4, it is not too hard and you can even eat candy and drink coke after 4.
      (ofc. people are different so diets/lifestyles works different on each person, but I’ve seen hight success rate on this lifestyle)

    • Paranormal Skeptic

      Do you use a method of logging your food, such as MyFitnessPal?

      • Historia

        No. I’m not that organized.

        • Paranormal Skeptic

          Well, then it’s not because your body wont let fat go, it’s because you’re eating too much.

          Logging food isn’t very hard, to be honest. MyFitnessPal lets you scan in anything with a barcode, and it’ll pop up all the menu items at any chain restaurant you’re at.

          • Jill Metcalf

            I agree! I tried for 2 years to take off weight. The only way I could do it was with intense exercise until I got my fitbit. The weight is coming off at 2-2.5 pounds per week. I had plantar fasciitis and had to stop exercise for a week. I still lost weight. It’s the easiest weight loss I’ve ever had. I’ve had some big struggles with losing in the past.

            As for the biggest loser contestants, it’s sad that they were given an opportunity and didn’t follow through to maintain. I agree that a few pounds, even 10 or 20 might come back because they aren’t working out all day every day, but if they are following the diet plan they were given, 1200 calories/day will keep the weight off.

          • Margaret

            1200 calories a day will NOT keep the weight off!!!!! That is bioscience from the 80’s.

          • Laura

            I am doubtful anyone on that show learned healthy and reasonable ways to maintain their weight (loss). They go into it with a lifetime of bad diet, overeating, and sedentary lifestyle and are put through an outrageous experience of very rapid weight loss. They come out of it just as broken, if not more so, than they were going into it.

          • OneAngryDemocrat

            ICAM. I cannot imagine putting myself through the grueling workouts and finally achieving significant weight loss, just to regain. Obviously they were there for the money and did not take seriously enough the amount of hard work it takes to lose weight and keep it off.

        • OneAngryDemocrat

          Try SparkPeople.com. I lost over 30 pounds by logging food and activity and the support is really helpful. Best part, it is free.

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  • Rachel Morton

    I have been low carbing 20 grams or less a day and working out 5 days a week with both cardio and strength training and I am down 30.8 pounds in 10.75 weeks. Carbs and fat free make you fat and keep you fat. Check what you are eating.

    • Lee

      Diets don’t work period. Anyone who tells you fats and carbs are bad is lying to you. It’s about a lifestyle change and eating correctly. It is not about cutting out food. Because once a diet is over you will revert back to you’re original wieght. LIFESTYLE CHANGE

  • alicia arol

    Ali Vincent gained back MOST of the weight she lost on “The Biggest Loser”, yet she apparently still “sings the praises” of The Biggest Loser”: Last night, she was featured on Inside Edition as a former Biggest Loser constant defending the show against all the backlash the show’s been receiving lately. I used to religiously watch “The Biggest Loser” season after season, but even while I was immensely enjoying watching the show for both entertainment purposes & motivation I was able to recognize that most people who lose that much weight that quickly will inevitably gain back most if not all the weight they lose. Now, all these years later, a doctor who studied for many years all the former contestants from a long ago season of “The Biggest Loser” has come forward with some disheartening studies that actually show how the bodies of formerly obese people who lose loads of weight seem to want to return to that original weight-the person’s metabolism becomes permanently lower and the person’s body actually reduces it’s production of a certain chemical that aids in preventing weight gain from occurring in that individual. In 2008 I weigh 232 pounds. I very gradually got down to a lean 160 pounds the old fashioned way-via hard work & discipline that I managed to maintain within 5-10 pounds for about 3 years, & I currently weigh approximately 184 pounds: I understandably hated hearing about the undeniable aforementioned “scientific evidence” regarding the near inevitability that formerly obese individuals who lose huge amounts of weight will eventually (even if it takes 10 years to do so) regain every ounce they lost, but I refuse to give up or give in=I 100% acknowledge that I might eventually regain back every ounce of weight I lost, & “someday” I might again weigh 232 pounds even if I try really, really, hard to not let this happen, but the fact of the matter is that if I take to heart this doctor’s discouraging findings, GIVE UP & ACCEPT DEFEAT, & DO NOT EVEN TRY AT ALL TO MAINTAIN MY STILL NOTEWORTHY FIFTY POUND WEIGHT LOSS then it’s an absolute certainty that I will eventually again weigh 232 pounds or maybe even more than that…

    • Jake

      Don’t listen to garbage. Over 2 decades ago I weighed in close to 300 pounds at 5’1. I now fluctuate between 135 and 155 pounds depending gon medications, salt intake, and number of carbs I eat on a daily basis. So I have wardrobes from size 8 to 14. Frankly, that’s pretty darn good and a heck of a lot better than the 26-28 I once wore! Don’t get deterred by naysayers. I maintain by eating Atkins most of the time, with treats when needed, and an occasion al binge. I enjoy and don’t beat myself up. Don’t starve! Eat! The old 80-20 rule. Good luck.

  • Tiffany

    Don’t worry about pounds. Focus on inches. I’ve been working out 5 days a week for 6 months. When people see me they say wow you lost so much weight! I have to correct them and say I actually haven’t lost a pound. I gained three! Or I say, I didn’t lose weight, I just redistributed it. The point is, muscle out weighs fat. So stop focusing on weight loss and just keep doing what you’re doing. The mirror will tell you all you need to know.

    • Mishi Chan

      I needed to hear this. I have not seen the scale budge and I’ve been working out and staying active. I don’t messure, cause it depresses me so I go by how my clothes fit. I try to tell myself not to step on the scale and I dont often but when I feel like I have a few great weeks I am compeled to. Just yesterday I did and was floored that it stayed the same! Its so mentally frustrating!

    • 𝒿𝒶𝑒𝑔𝑒𝓇𝒿𝒶𝓆𝓈𝑜𝓃

      This is so true. I haven’t lost a pound and yet I feel slimmer than ever due to diet and exercise changes.