There has been a lot of recent controversy surrounding the show The Biggest Loser. Even though it was popular enough to spawn plenty of copycat shows around the globe, the show was cancelled in 2016 after increasing pressure from people who claimed that the diets and exercise regimes used behind the scenes were far too excessive. Contestants even spoke about being bullied by their personal trainers, and the fact that the hosts were actually barely present during their training.
All of this, plus accusations that the concepts used during filming were completely unsuited to normal life, means that most Losers seem to go right back to their old habits after the cameras stop rolling. Although the programme was dedicated to showing obese people – usually hugely obese – losing weight and getting fit, most of the previous contestants don’t look as great today as they did when the show ended. Many of them have put weight back on, some have returned to their starting weight, and some have even gone all the way past it and more.
The thing about willpower is that you can do anything once you apply it, so there are also people on the other side of that coin. There are contestants and winners who have managed to stay hot after the show ended, enjoying their new bodies enough to maintain them. These happy individuals have managed to keep their weight off and stay beautiful, and more power to them for it. Here’s both the best and the worst of the Biggest Loser alumni.
16 Michelle Aguilar – Stayed Fit
As the winner in 2008, Michelle Aguilar achieved an impressive transformation. She went from 242lbs to 132, making her slim and trim for the first time in a long time. After the show ended, Michelle managed to keep the weight off, which allowed her to go for her dream wedding to the man she had fallen in love with. She now has a daughter and is the proud author of a book called Becoming Fearless, which was released in 2011. She looked magical on her wedding day, and even posed for photos as she and her groom ran away from their guests. She is one of the cuter winners, so we’re happy to see that she held tight to her goals and stayed fit after the show ended. Given the general timescales of other winners, however, she might want to watch out for how the next few years go.
15 Ryan Benson – Gained It Back
As the first winner of Biggest Loser, Ryan had a lot resting on his shoulders. Unfortunately, those shoulders got broader and broader during his time after the show. Sadly, he now weighs more than he did when he signed up to take part. He reported that after leaving the production, he gained “32 pounds in 5 days simply by drinking water.” That highlights just how unhealthy the trainers’ advice is. “I slipped back into my old habits real quick. Within the next year or two, and in about four or five years I had put back on all of the weight,” he said. After losing 122 pounds on the show, he ended up putting much more than that on and weighs more in 2017 than he did in 2004. He stated that he is trying to lose the weight again, but it just isn’t happening. After putting his body through the stress and shock of rapid weight loss, it may no longer be possible to do it again.
14 Patrick House – Stayed Fit
Patrick House was the winner back in 2010, when he lost 181lbs in order to get down to a final weight of 219. From being so overweight you could barely see his face, he had certainly done well to improve his appearance during the course of the show. But the story after it finished was even better. Not only has he kept the weight off, he actually defends the show against accusations from some other participants, who say that the training techniques destroyed their metabolisms and that they were forced to use weight-loss drugs. “To use that study as a way to turn it around and say, ‘It’s Biggest Loser‘s fault I gained the weight back’ – you wouldn’t have the weight to gain back to begin with if it hadn’t been for Biggest Loser,” he said in 2016. “I just don’t buy into the whole theory of pointing a finger at a production company, a TV show, when it really comes down to the person.”
13 Matt Hoover – Gained It Back
As the season two winner, Matt was following in the footsteps of Ryan Benson, who put on weight after the show ended. So, did Matt follow him completely? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, he did. He ended up gaining at least 100 pounds, and while this didn’t put him back at his starting weight, it’s still a significant amount. He hasn’t disclosed his current weight, but images of him with his wife Suzy, who he met during filming, clearly appear to show a larger man. They have a couple of kids now and seem to be very happy in their lives together, but he definitely wasn’t able to keep the trim physique that he gained after the show. They both tried hard to keep the weight off, but for Matt, following a strict diet and exercise programme just didn’t pay off. With parenthood looming, it’s also hard to stay motivated.
12 Olivia Ward – Stayed Fit
Olivia Ward was the winner of season 11 when she shrunk herself down to 129lbs after starting at 261lbs. She has managed to maintain her weight rather than having metabolic issues get in the way, and has even toned and tightened up her body a lot more. This might have something to do with the fact that she is now an instructor at SoulCycle, meaning she can easily maintain the level of exercise needed to stay fit. "It's never too late," she wrote on Facebook. "If you want a change, go and get it. Age is just a number after all. I feel better at 41 than I ever did at 21." She’s leading the way for those who want to keep the weight off after the show, demonstrating that a total lifestyle change is the way to stay fit. She definitely looks fantastic now, particularly compared with her starting point!
11 Erik Chopin – Gained It Back
Erik Chopin has had one of the most dramatic stories after the show, with a yo-yoing weight which just can’t seem to stop. When he joined the show he was a huge 407lbs, but he made it down to 193 when the finale aired. That was an amazing achievement, but sadly, he wasn’t able to keep it up. He went back up to a weight of 368lbs and had a documentary made about his rebound in 2010. Apparently, being on TV again was enough to motivate him to make a change. He started to live a more healthy lifestyle and got his weight back down to 245lbs in the years since. It’s still a large weight, and if he wants to live longer, he needs to keep up the good work and return to his show weight at the very least. It’s a shame that he made so much of a mistake in terms of letting his body go to the extent that he did.
10 Danni Allen – Stayed Fit
As the winner of season 14, Danni Allen hugely improved her appearance by losing 121lbs and getting fit. The change brought out a dramatic shift in her looks, revealing that there had been a hugely attractive woman hidden under the extra layer which had spread across her face. She has kept the weight off well, and she looks healthy and happy. She has become a motivational speaker and fitness guru, helping others who are struggling with obesity to gain the willpower to get the weight off. It seems to be a common trend with past contestants that if they change their lives to centre around health and fitness, instead of just returning to whatever they did before, the change tends to be permanent. Going back to old ways is a really easy opportunity to slip back into old eating and fitness habits as well, so Danni made the right choice.
9 Ali Vincent – Gained It Back
If you’ve been following winners from the show, you might be thinking that Ali Vincent is in the wrong half of this list. She didn’t gain weight, she stayed thin! She lost 112lbs on the show and then maintained it, starting her own fitness website and launching a book about her experiences as well. She had her own show, too, where she got back on the scale after her weight started to creep up again. But that wasn’t enough. "I swore I would never be there again, be here again," she wrote on Facebook in an announcement post in 2016. "I couldn't imagine a day again that I would weigh over 200 pounds. I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like failure." She is focused on losing weight again, but it’s been a real up and down journey, and right now she is heavier than she was when she started.
8 Rachel Frederikson – Stayed Fit
This is a strange case of a past winner putting weight on, but ending up looking even better than how they ended the show. Rachel Frederikson was the winner in 2014, but she caused a bit of controversy when she showed up for the final weigh-in at just 105lbs. Many felt that she had gone way too far, with her frame being just skin and bones by that point. After the show she managed to put a little bit of healthy weight back on to come to her ideal size. She admitted in 2016 that she had been "a little too enthusiastic" when it came to the training, which explains why she lost too much weight during the show. As her example shows, moderation really is key in everything – even in losing weight. There’s always a chance of going too far due to harmful body dysmorphia, which can be common for those determined to get skinny.
7 Danny Cahill – Gained It Back
2009’s winner, Danny Cahill, has had 8 years in which to try to maintain his weight. What has he done with it? Well, after dropping 239lbs of weight during the show, he thankfully didn’t quite put it all back on. However, he has gone up to a huge 295lbs. That’s a lot bigger than he should be, and a lot more than what he finished filming on. He revealed in interviews that the rapid weight loss actually destroyed his metabolism, therefore making it harder for him to lose weight and easier for it to go on. He has to restrict himself to an excruciatingly tight diet of 800 calories a day just to maintain his current shape. It seems that the tactics used by the trainers really can do more harm than good if you want to permanently get fit. Cahill is understandably upset about the whole situation.
6 Jodie Prenger – Stayed Fit
Jodie Prenger was one of the UK’s biggest Losers, and she had a pretty specific career trajectory after the show finished. While she may have first appeared on-screen trying to lose weight, she actually ended up getting better known from a different reality TV show. She appeared on, and won, Any Dream Will Do – a contest to find the UK’s next musical star. That’s as in theatre musicals, not releasing her own songs. She has gone on to forge a very successful theatre career and is still very much in demand for roles. She managed to keep the weight off, and that may well have been a big part of why she managed to win the second show as well as how she has continued to attract work. Sad though it may be, even in an art form like theatre we still want to see attractive and slim people on stage.
5 Jessica Limpert - Gained It Back
Jessica Limpert was a contestant on season 12 of The Biggest Loser, but she wasn’t exactly happy with the experience. She has gone on to speak out about her time while filming, and the results that she saw afterwards. She was actually starting to lose weight on her own before getting cast and turned the offer down a few times before signing up. After filming finished, the weight started to creep back on. She said, “I started to [lose] grasp of my healthy habits and returned to the old ones. I think this was because The Biggest Loser gave us the tools to eat healthy and exercise, but they never got to working on our minds – the core reasons that led to our weight gain in the first place. Three years post-show… I weighed 323 pounds.” She appeared on The Big Fat Truth to discredit the show and the techniques used on it. She’s now slimmer again, but nothing like what she aimed for at the start.
4 Suzy Hoover - Stayed Fit
While Matt Hoover gained weight, his wife has been a little more dedicated. She took home second place on the show, but seems to have won the long game. She lost 95lbs on the show, but has managed to keep it off, which is the real trick. She has even had two children and still kept her figure, so we have to admire her for that. It’s intriguing that she has remained slim while Matt has piled the pounds back on, so it’s clear that there’s no problem with the food in their house! She eats six small meals a day and continues to exercise, which is easy when you have two little boys running around who constantly want to play! The family looks great together, but Suzy is clearly the healthier one and Matt would have done a lot better if he simply followed her example and kept the weight off.
3 Suzanne Mendonca – Gained It Back
Suzanne has a lot of claims to make about The Biggest Loser. She says it ruined her life, forced her to get fat again, and also left her broke. Sources from the show say she’s just complaining because things haven’t gone well for her, and that they have nothing to do with it. She appeared on season 2, and has claimed that the show’s producers withheld water, over-exercised the contestants, and then dumped them after filming was finished. She even talked about putting together a class action lawsuit with other former contestants. The reaction from the producers? They said, "We stand by the integrity of the show. The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and has always been, our #1 priority." Looking at Suzanne, however, it’s clear to see that she has not fared well since the cameras stopped rolling on her then newly-slim frame back in 2005.
2 Kelly Minner – Stayed Fit
One of the contestants who managed to make it work in a big way was Kelly Minner. She managed to lose 79 pounds while starring on the show and lost even more after it finished. She dropped to 163lbs at the finale but recently recorded her weight as 140lbs. While this doesn’t make her Hollywood-thin, it’s still a whole lot slimmer than she was when she started out at 242lbs. She looks fantastic for it – you could see before that there was a beautiful woman inside her, and losing the weight has allowed that woman to come out. She could probably stand to lose a little more given her current look, but so long as she is healthy, we say she looks great. Having the confidence to do her hair and makeup more with her new body probably helps as well. She’s on a great path and we hope she stays on it.
1 Ajay Rochester – Gained It Back
Ajay Rochester is an interesting case, because she wasn’t even a contestant on Australia’s version of The Biggest Loser – she was the host! She has still ended up putting on huge amounts of weight, making her totally unrecognizable from her hosting days. How could someone associated with a weight-loss show end up going so far in the opposite direction? “Seriously, my house looks like somebody else lives in there,” she said. “There are all these beautiful clothes, because I have lots clothes from Biggest Loser. So if you open my cupboard you would go, 'Well she must be the cleaner, that big fat thing, and where is the skinny girl who lives here?' Because I live in sweatpants.” She has written two books, Confessions of a Reformed Dieter and The Lazy Girl's Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Fit. Sadly, she couldn’t take her own advice when her weight started to grow.