‘It’s a miracle no one has died yet’: The Biggest Loser returns, despite critics’ warnings

The NBC show, which begins its 17 th season on Monday, has been accused of putting amusement before health with its focus on competitive weight loss

The Biggest Loser is back. After more than a 30% drop in ratings last season, some were questioning if the competitive weight loss reality indicate would be canceled altogether. But after considerable delay, its 17 th season will premiere on Monday on NBC. The topic is, with so much criticism suggesting the display does more harm than good, whether it should return at all?

It was the biggest mistake of my life, Kai Hibbard, the winner of season three told the Guardian. As part of the application process Hibbard had to sign a non-disclosure agreement precluding her from publicly to talk about the indicate without first getting approval from a public relations representative from NBC. But her experience has inspired her to be an outspoken critic regardless of a possible suit, though she has received several discontinue and desist letters from the network.

In an interview with the Guardian, Hibbard described incessant fat shaming by trainers, ridiculous exercise regimen that were done solely for entertainment purposes, dehydration for weigh-ins, and manipulation by producers to pick wins and make villains.


Kai Hibbards before and after photo from The Biggest Loser, season three. Photograph: NBC via Getty Images

In my season there was a woman named Heather who was made to look like a combative, lazy bitch, Hibbard said. But in actuality, she had a torn calf muscle and had developed bursitis in both knees. When she refused to run, they edited it to induce her appear lazy.

According to Hibbard, the presents producers try to lead viewers to believe contestants have lost weight faster than they have. Nobody on the show lost 20 pounds in a week, she said. Once, a week was actually three weeks because of the shooting schedule.

Hibbard also said contestants engaged in dehydration tactics prior to weigh-ins to make it appear as though they had lost more pounds. We would put on a ton of clothes, shut all the doors and windows and work up for two to three hours to sweat out as much weight as we could.

There is no good reason to pick up a piece of driftwood and sprint down the beach when you weigh 265 pounds, except that it appears good for the camera, Hibbard said. The contestants are pushed to do daily workouts that are approximately 10 days the amount that is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. The fact that vomiting buckets are always nearby, and regularly used, is telling.

According to one former contestant, the extreme weight loss tactics used on the depict lead to a high relapse rate. Suzanne Mendonca, from season two, explained to the New York Post last year that the reason why The Biggest Loser is reluctant to do a indicate reunion is because were all fat again.

Eric Ravussin, a professor of human physiology at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, published a study on The Biggest Loser in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology& Metabolism. His findings help explain why Biggest Loser contestants put back on the weight they lost so quickly.


The Biggest Loser season 17. Photograph: NBC/ Getty Images

Ravussin and his team compared 12 people from The Biggest Loser with 12 people who lost similar quantities of weight via gastric bypass surgery. Because of the formers extreme exercise regimen, the reveals contestants lost less muscle and more fat than the surgery group, but their drop in resting metabolic rate was double that of the gastric bypass group.

In other words, despite all the exercising, the metabolisms of the biggest losers crashed hard much harder than those who lose weight at a gentler pace.

Its therefore not surprising to consider contestants on the display regains the weight, especially when you consider the phenomenon called post-starvation hyperphagia, which, he explained, is scientist-speak for pigging out. A 1997 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that after a period of starvation, a hormonal reply causes people to overeat, often gaining more than what they lost in the first place.

And induce no mistake; the contestants on the reveal are starving. By the end I was working out six to eight hours a day and eating a thousand calories a day or less, Hibbard said.

Harley Pasternak, a Los Angeles-based trainer and New York Times bestselling writer, was hired as the first trainer on the show in 2004. In an interview with the Guardian, Pasternak said that during the course of its indicates developing stage he formed reservations and pulled out before filming began for the 2004 series premiere in October. The more I learned about it, the less it seemed like it would be a good idea for me, he said.

Jillian Michaels.

Pasternak, who has a masters degree in exert science, said the dramatization of the weight-loss process, with screaming and yell and exclaiming fretted him. He also expressed concern over potential traumata due to over-exercising. Pasternak is not the only trainer to turn down a role on the indicate for ethical reasons.

These entertaining scenarios make for great television, said Pasternak, but its not for someone who is concerned with stimulating people healthy.

For Pasternak, the final straw came when producers cast Los Angeles-based personal trainer Jillian Michaels alongside him. The last straw was when they cast an actress opposite me, he said of Michaels. Though Michaels does have some personal develop certifications, Pasternak did not ensure her as a professional. I was going up against a Tv trainer , not a real one.

Michaels went on to be the proves trainer for a dozen seasons in total, permitting her to build a multimillion-dollar fitness empire. She left The Biggest Loser in 2014 and this month will premiere her new reality show focused on her personal life called Just Jillian.

For 12 years, Jillian Michaelss tactics wreaked havoc on prove contestants. To motivate her squad she often lunged insults, and verbally threatened contestants as they attempted to meet their weight loss targets. Here is a selection of her quotes from previous seasons 😛 TAGEND


Trainer Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser, season five. Photo: NBC via Getty Images I dont care if people succumb on this floor. You better die looking good.( Link) Im proud that I made him puking.( Link) If you dont operated I will pull Alex on the floor and I will transgress every bone in his body!( Link) I dont care if one of your legs fall off or if one of your lungs explosion.( Link) The only way youre coming off this damn treadmill is if you die on it!( Link) Its fun watching other people suffer like that.( Link) Rachel Fredericksons big reveal at the end of season 15.

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