Watching contestants on NBCs The Biggest Loser slim down can be
motivating to anyone who wants to lose weight and get healthier. Although
The Biggest Loser contestants enjoy the advantage of constant
professional supervision, people at home can also succeed at weight loss by
following the same basic diet and fitness principles. Cheryl Forberg, RD, a
dietitian with The Biggest Loser, shares the secrets of how she has
helped contestants lose weight -- and keep it off -- since the show began in
What motivates most people to stop making excuses and make the commitment
to lose weight?
Got a question about diet or nutrition? WebMD asked the experts for answers
about eating healthy and losing weight.
There are multiple factors that can trigger a person to finally make the
necessary changes to lose weight. It could be a trip to the doctor and a
diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Parents who cannot participate
in family life (because of weight or health issues) are motivated by their
desire to be able to join their kids. Other motivators are negative
experiences, such as trying to squeeze into an airline or movie theater seat,
buying extra large-sized clothing, or no longer being able to wear their
wedding ring. The psychological impact of feeling inferior because of size or
any of the stigmas associated with overweight people can be powerful motivators
to get down to a healthier weight.
What are some of the habits that caused the contestants to become
No two people are alike, but in general, before coming to The Biggest
Loser ranch, contestants skipped meals, ate large portions, drank too many
liquid calories, ate too much white stuff (sugar, potatoes, rice, pasta,
bread), and did not get enough exercise or eat enough fruits and vegetables.
Most people didn’t have a diet plan, ate on the run, standing up, in their
cars, or at their desks. Most importantly, they prioritized everything over
their own health, and food was more important than the number on the scale.
Can someone at home expect to see results similar to the contestants on
Yes, they can be successful, but not in the same way as the contestants on
the show. It is a reality show, but it is not reality for most people to have a
trainer, incredible equipment, fabulous food, cooking experts, and the luxury
of weight loss as your full-time job.
And don’t expect huge weekly weight loss like on the show. Shoot for 2-3
pounds a week. Larger people may lose more in the beginning, and anyone who has
never exercised will see bigger results once they start moving more.
We try to impart education on the show to help people lose weight at home.
Seeking professional help from doctors and registered dietitians, along with
using our guidelines, can help most people find success.