Biggest Loser's Weight Regain Study

Some of our members have been asking about our opinion on this article found in the NY Times. The article is an overview of a study which follows the contestants from the Biggest Loser six years after the competition ended.  After the competition, the study sites that almost all of the contestants regained some, if not all, of the weight they lost during the show. On top of all of this, the study the phenomenon that not only do they gain their weight back but their metabolic rate is much lower than an equivalent size person that did not go through the competition.

Below are some of our thoughts on this article. As always, please post comments on your thoughts related to this matter!

Biggest Loser Study’s Main Point:

Years after, the contestants from the Biggest Loser seem to have a depressed metabolic rate which is making it extremely difficult for them to maintain their weight loss.

LightenUp Fitness’s Points:

  1. Weight loss was too extreme, almost 10 lbs per week. Generally accepted weight loss pace is a max of 2 lbs on average per week.
  2. Muscle has roughly 2x to 3x higher metabolic function than fat, therefore the weight which was lost was most likely fat and muscle. As their fat decreased at a rapid weight they were unable to develop muscle tissue at the same rate to simulate the same metabolic rate of an “average” 200 lbs man or woman.
  3. No information talks about their lifestyle regiment after the TV show ends. Nothing mentions lifestyle choices, continued exercise and activity levels, etc. There is mention of frustration and binge eating after the show.


Lifestyle change takes time, patience and practice. It took us awhile to get where we are on the higher side and will take awhile for us to get to where we want to be on the lower side. Like the tortoise, slow and steady will win the race. Nutrition is so important in the initial phase of weight loss, however in the maintenance phase strength and muscle development become key as you want to increase your metabolic rate.


LightenUp Fitness is a lifestyle improvement company. Though there is a lot of research that supports our methodology, we still have a bias. Always go to the source to strip away the bias of the interpreter. By reading the source, you remove the bias of the reporter and only deal with your and the researcher’s bias which is much more manageable!

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