During a study of 14 contestants from Season 8 of The Biggest Loser, Dr. Kevin Hall found out why they gained their weight back after the show. The study confirmed things that contestants had been saying for years before.
Dr. Hall found that no matter how long people had dieted for, if it was a crash diet their bodies would try to gain the weight back. This is due to how the body processes calories, according to British newspaper The Daily Mail.
Tracey Yukich and Danny Cahill are previous contestants, and have both explained how their weight crept up again. Yukich says that she has to plan every meal to make sure she does not suddenly feel the need to binge. When that happens, she is tempted to eat everything in the house. After dropping from 250lbs to 132lbs on the show, she now weighs 178lbs.
Cahill is disheartened from his weight gain since The Biggest Loser. He gains a pound in a week if he just eats the normal amount for an average human. He had kept the weight off for a couple of years, but a busy life made it harder to keep going. He has gained 100lb of his 239lb weight loss back.
Dr. Hall says that everyone has a “resting metabolism,” and the participants in his study have lower than average metabolisms. This means that they burn calories at a slower rate than the average person of their age, weight and height. The metabolisms have remained like this years after their crash dieting stopped, showing just how dangerous crash dieting can be on the long term health.
Research has also shown that leptin, the hormone that tells people they have had enough to eat, dropped during the show. This remained like this afterwards, and linked with slower metabolic rates means that the participants were more likely to gain weight.
Another participant Erinn Egbert said that treats are like a drug. By eating one, people will move onto two and then binge on more without realizing or wanting to. The binge can continue for days, she has found.
The Biggest Loser, which is on Season 17, has been the center of controversy on numerous occasions, and participants have regularly said that they have gained the weight back. Dr. Hall helps to show that this is not just due to the individuals’ food choices, but how the crash dieting on the show has affected their metabolism and body.
Crash dieting has also received a bad reputation for many years, but people continue to do it. This study shows that it is dangerous in the long term, as the body never fully recovers.
Alexandria Ingham is a fulltime writer originally from the UK and now living in Canada. She is also a former Weight Watchers leader and has an avid interest in health and fitness because of this. In 2010, she started writing online and broke into journalism in 2013. While entertainment and weight loss news are her favorites, she also enjoys covering some sport and technology news. She is the United Kingdom, Diet and Fitness, Rugby, and Entertainment beat writer for Daily Voice News.