Coach Ted's Diet Advice

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

By Ted KallmyerUpdated June 20, 2022

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”?

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?

A recent study looked at the Biggest Loser data and discovered some interesting findings. Most of the contestants, along with the drastic weight loss, also drastically reduced their metabolic rate, making it difficult to keep the weight off for good.

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 a 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.

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 on 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

Here’s the most important ingredient to diet success.

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

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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

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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.

In 2017 NBC officially canceled the Biggest Loser.

In 2020 The Biggest Loser is back but on The USA Network. Bob Harper is back as the host/coach.

2020 Biggest Loser Winner

2020 biggest loser

James Dibattista (Photo by: Richie Knapp/USA Network)

The 2020 Biggest Loser winner was Jim DiBattista a 47-year-old football coach from Pilly.

His starting weight was 385 pounds and when he finished the show he was 144 pounds lighter, weighing in at just 241 pounds.

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. 

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.

Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author, and macros coach. He has helped hundreds of clients reach their body transformation goals.

188 Comments

  • Sheryl Linsley

    Hi, So they have gained a little or in some cases lost more. Why is the show not on because a Contestant sued. Then make the contracts better. Look “My 600LB Life” ppl have died from that surgery. I understand it’s a surgery. I see it worse then loosing it by drastic dieting & exercise. Both shows all the ppl who signed up for it Knew what it was. Some it’s their last hope for this eating disease/disorder.

    Reply
  • STEPHANIE LEWIS

    I do miss watching the biggest loser show, regardless about the negative statements that have been made to be true.

    Reply
  • Gg

    Terribly written article. You don’t give all the numbers for each contenstant. Impossible. to know where some of them are at. Need starting, ending and current weight for all.

    Reply
  • RP

    We Americans NEED to see SMART & HEALTHY lifestyles on TV way more than seeing all the racial togetherness and the LBGTQ community togetherness!

    If Americans are seeing hearing smart and healthy cultures consistently across the airwaves…..then they can care less about racial divide along with LBGTQ divided communities!!!

    Some Americans didn’t have another’s help to educate and make smart and healthy choices.

    Reply
  • Melody

    The show was an inspiration to me to get fitter and healthier and it taught me many styles of excercise without gym just by watching.
    I think this show should make a come back in a big way.
    T V couch potato viewers are always first to watch and if it makes people aware then it is one of the best programmes of all time.

    Reply
  • Joanne

    I think the show was an inspiration to people to lose weight and get healthy.

    Reply
  • BRS

    It would be easy to lose weight if the government took health seriously and made it more difficult to get soft drink and unhealthy foods and made it easier for people to have access to healthy foods. Unhealthy food is cheap and easy. We as a society have taught ourselves that food that makes us fat is an easy source of nutrition . Tax sugar, tax fat and force the companies to offer healthy choices. Make cities more pedestrian friendly rather than our never ending love of private transport. Teach our children how to lead healthy lifestyles. The side effect of many food additives and medications are appetite stimulants, This also makes us eat more than we need to and gain more weight.

    Reply
    • John Hawley

      Go live in Cuba then tell me what you think of a total Government takeover.

      Reply
    • Charles

      It’ll just become like criminalizing drugs. It’ll create a black market for unhealthy food. People will still go for shitty food regardless of whether losing weight is easier or not.

      Reply
  • Alta Craig

    Dr. Jason Fung’s book, “The Obesity Code” gives a simple and easy to understand explanation of what causes obesity and how to change the Insulin Resistance that is at the bottom of it. He explains exactly why those who lose weight with the ‘calories in/calories out’ method will inevitably regain the weight they lost within a year or two. It’s a fascinatingly simple explanation with a simple solution. I highly recommend it.

    Reply
    • Wendy

      I have read his book as well. I lost 70 lbs and have kept it off for 8 years now. It is doable but you must be extremely dedicated and disciplined. That being said I have now had cancer and am borderline prediabetic, so I have switched to LCHF and am going to try fasting. Just want to say it is not impossible but keeping the weight off with calories in- calories out is s challenge.

      Reply
  • Mark Mac

    OMG, one of the commenters talking about the only scientific facts being published in “science” journals. There is so much BS in those called science journals, it’s not even funny.

    There is also contradictory information published. And the amount of outright fraud that has been perpetrated in the name of science and published in “medical journals” is absolutely breathtaking.

    More times than not, people who consider themselves scientists and among the most biased individuals I’ve ever found… And they are so smug, to boot.

    “Science” has become nothing more than people who are interested in protecting their paradigm.

    Reply
    • Chris Ferguson

      So what, you live your life by voodoo and faith healing?

      Reply
  • Miami Sunset

    Most of those who have kept it off seem to have some sort of business incentive to keep the weight off. But I suspect that NBC was inclined to pick candidates who were most likely to keep up a routine.

    It should also be noted that one doesn’t have to loose a large amount of weight to change their health. Even just 10% can make a big difference. Going for an ideal weight can be a mistake.

    Reply
  • Tina Walker

    Absolutely it promotes weightloss… But when they are feeling the withdrawal of their fav foods and only been away for 3-4 months…. Its extremely easy to go home and say… I’ll just have one… Its natural… But its the brain that tells us and its the brain that rejects…. You have to be strong enough to change and push threw the challenges of everyday life…. Avoid things that trigger that bad and let people.accept the new you amd hour choices or disgard them for helping you to be unhealthy….. Remove the poisons and anf.up your brain power you can do anything…. its a change of life style forever not a quick.fix…. Thats the first step to success…. The show inspired… Thats what it was set out to do…. It gave people the steps and pieces to succeed and said… Do it….. If you care about yourself enough….
    Some just don’t know how to work around the business of life and spend the time prepping that food… Or picking the healthy salad over that sandwich….
    Miss you biggest loser…..
    People still need you
    #biggestloservhangeslives

    Reply
  • tony

    I think the problem with the BL show is that whenever you drastically lose enormous amounts of weight it takes years for your metabolism to work itself out. It’s a scientific fact. That’s why fast weight loss never works. That’s why fad diets never work. Your body needs all nutrients that each food group provides. Plus what no one talks about is, what are they considering healthy. I’m 5’7 185 lbs. I have 12℅ body fat. My waist is a 31. I where a 34 pants. Now my BMI says I’m overweight. We focus too much on weight instead of health. Another issue is the curve of calories. I was an obese child I weighed 150 lbs in the third grade. I lost the weight as a teenager through sports and weight training took me about two years. When I lost the fat, I actually had to eat more because my focus was having good health and excelling at my workout rather than having a set weight to lose. I needed the proper fuel to make workout goals, not the weight loss goals. The mirror test or clothes test is way more efficient than weight. Set goals for workouts rather than weight goals or ascetic goals like getting a six pack. Those never maintain. Plus I think obesity is big business. Drugs, surgery, and health insurance all make money from the issues we have with obesity. If u have high blood pressure take a pill. Diabetes take all kinds of medicine. All of these things are preventable, but this countries medical field refuses to educate society on diet and actual health. My father who took around 14 pills a day for high BP. All his life all his doctor said was clean up your diet. No education on how, info on what to eat and why. Just clean up your diet. Then he had a massive heart attack. Lived. Afterwards the surgeon sent him to weight loss classes. He got educated on what to eat. What he should eat. Funny thing is some things he thought he shouldn’t he could and some things he ate for years which he thought were healthy werent. Short story is that he lost weight, he’s on one bp pill and he’s healthier on dialysis (because of the excess BP pills) than he was before dialysis. They wait till you’re almost dead to medically show you a healthy life.

    Reply
    • Diane T

      This is so true. The very sad fact oeople have to want to lose weight or want to stop taking the Pills that are prescribed. The more medicinu that some people take the sicker they become. Your statements are so true.

      Reply
    • Max

      Please don’t say “scientific fact”, when really it isn’t. Whenever you say that in the future, please find the article in a scientific journal and link it to actually back up what you’re saying. Otherwise it’s just useless bro science.

      Reply