Why can’t ‘Biggest Loser’ contestants maintain their weight loss once the show is done? That’s what winners like Danny Cahill are wondering after putting on nearly half of the pounds he lost on the show. A new study uncovered some shocking details about this — check it out here!
As amazing as it may be to watch everyday people shed major pounds on The Biggest Loser, the weight loss victories aren’t the easiest to maintain. After Season 8 winner, Danny Cahill, regained more than 100 lbs of the 239 he lost on the show in 2009, scientists decided to take a deeper look into why contestants gain back so much weight once the show is over. So what is it that’s causing this frustrating regain?
While there are several factors that can lead to the post-show weight gain, it mainly comes down to metabolism. A National Institutes of Health researcher named Kevin Hall followed Biggest Loser contestants like Danny for six years and found that the resting metabolism — which determines how many calories one burns while at rest — is really what backfires after such a rigorous amount of dieting and exercising on the show.
Unfortunately for Danny, he was one of the most affected by the resting metabolism issue. After losing a ton of weight (one of the biggest losses in the show’s history) so quickly, his metabolism slowed so much that he now has to eat 800 calories a day less than someone his size because otherwise it will turn to fat.
But why does this happen, you ask? Well, when the contestants begin their weight loss journey on The Biggest Loser, they have normal metabolisms for their size despite being severely overweight. This means that they were burning the right number of calories for their weights prior to their intense pound-shedding. So when the show ends, their metabolisms slow extremely, and their bodies aren’t capable of burning enough calories to maintain the thinner sizes they had achieved. It’s almost like the contestant’s bodies are actually trying to get back to their original sizes, despite their attempts to lose weight.
Because of this, Danny isn’t alone in the category of contestants who have gained weight back since their time on The Biggest Loser. The study actually found that all but one of the 14 contestants followed have regained weight in their post-show days, overall proving that the difficulty to keep the weight off is actually a result of biology, not a lack of will power.
While these findings may sound discouraging for anyone who competes on the show, Danny told The New York Times that they actually made him feel better about putting 104 pounds back on after hitting a weight of 191 on his season. “The shame that was on my shoulders went off,” he said.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of this Biggest Loser study? Would you go on the show after hearing about this? Tell us below!