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Everything You Need to Know About The Biggest Loser Controversy – Including ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ Trainer Chris Powell’s Opinion

Written on February 12, 2014 at 7:59 pm , by

Frederickson’s before and after photos (courtesy of NBC).

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’re aware of all the controversy that’s been swirling around The Biggest Loser season 15 finale and its winner, Rachel Frederickson. But if you’re not clued in to all the dirty details, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s been happening:

After competing on the show and being monitored closely for seven-and-a-half months, Frederickson went home (unmonitored and without trainers) for the final stretch before the finale, working to get down to her lowest weight and hopefully claim the $250,000 prize and title of the Biggest Loser. She shocked viewers; the audience; trainers Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Dolvett Quince; and host Alison Sweeney when she strutted a 0-2 sized figure and clocked in at a startling 105 pounds. At the start of the show, Frederickson weighed in at 260 pounds. With a 5’4″ frame, let’s do the math: this girl shed 155 pounds fast, and she brought her BMI (body mass index) down to 18, which places her in the underweight category – a first in the show’s history.

Now, we know by now that BMI is not the end-all, be-all for telling whether or not a person is healthy. There are many other factors at play, like muscle mass. Had she gone too far? Despite the media storm, NBC stands behind their latest champion, and when People magazine asked Frederickson point blank whether or not she had an eating disorder, she told them, “I am very, very healthy.”

That being said, when you’re training for six hours a day and only eating 1,600 calories per day like this contestant was, the cause for concern seems warranted (however, that does not justify mean, negative comments). After all, it was widely reported that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps chowed down a staggering 12,000 calories a day when training for the Beijing Olympics, and we all heard about how track-star-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones consumes 9,000 daily calories to beef up for bobsledding. Even Olympic cyclists take in more than 3,300 calories, on average. Granted, Olympians aren’t trying to drop weight the way Frederickson was, but it’s the closest comparison we get when athletes are logging so many hours of exercise.

But before we all point fingers at the 24-year-old athlete (which she is, no question), let’s face the facts: The Biggest Loser is a competitive reality show, and Frederickson did exactly what she signed on to do: win a weight-loss show and bring home a life-changing amount of money. Whether she stays at the same weight or gains 20 pounds before the end of the week doesn’t matter – and with the amount of challenges she won throughout the season (4 out of 5 once they moved to singles, including the first-ever Loser sprint triathlon), we bet that played a strategic role. After all, we’ve heard time and time again how she’s always been an athlete and Loser helped her find that in herself again.  She knew that as long as she trained hard and got down low enough, she was bringing home the goods. Also, let’s not forget that her 105-pound weight isn’t set in stone – the show’s winners generally gain back a good amount of weight post-finale to settle into their natural healthy weight.

Click through to find out what Extreme Weight Loss trainer Chris Powell has to say!

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Join Jillian Michaels’ First-Ever DietBet Weight Loss Challenge

Written on September 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm , by

Only $30 to get coached by this top trainer? Yes, please! (Photo by Justin Stephens)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Jillian Michaels is at it again. The health and fitness expert, who’s known for her tough coaching on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, her toned body in her workout DVDs and inspiring outlook on life in her books, is taking on a new challenge. Tomorrow, Michaels’ first DietBet game launches, motivating participants all over the world to lose weight with the support of social media.

The Jillian Michaels DietBet will host a motivating community for anyone looking to improve their health. Each participant begins by placing $30 in the pot and submits a photo of themselves on their scales to DietBet’s referees (don’t worry, the pic is totally confidential). On Tuesday, September 24, the four-week countdown begins for each participant to lose 4 percent of their body weight. Everyone who completes the goal splits the pot evenly, pocketing some hard-earned cash. With 5,472+ players currently signed up, and the pot up to $164160, the game ought to be a fun one.

Using social media as a weight loss tool helps users compete with one another, and support and encourage one another’s goals simultaneously. Plus, each participant will receive nutrition advice, workout information and motivational tips from Michaels herself throughout the four weeks to help them succeed. “It’s the first of its kind, so not only is it one of a kind, it’s revolutionary,” says Michaels. “The concept makes weight loss fun, motivating and challenging! What could be cooler?” The financial incentive doesn’t hurt either.

Like with many of her other fitness projects, Michaels approaches this new challenge with loads of enthusiasm and little fear. “I just love being a part of something new. I don’t really have concerns,” says Michaels.” People bet $30 on themselves to succeed. If they lose 4 percent in 4 weeks, they get it all back and way more. The worst-case scenario is you spend 30 bucks to have me coach you to lose weight for a month. The best case is you lose the weight and make money doing it.”

Today is the last day to sign up for the Jillian Michaels’ DietBet. What are you waiting for?

More of Jillian:

Jillian Michaels’ Bodyshred Circuit Workout

Jillian Michaels’ Get-Pumped Workout Playlist

Jillian Michaels’ Top 5 Snack Picks

Need-to-Know Nutrition Advice from The Biggest Loser’s RD

Written on January 28, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Forberg meets with the contestants every week during filming to make sure they are on the right diet track. (Photo courtesy of Subway)

FITNESS staffers are generally pretty active people, but come Monday nights you find us glued to our couch getting our weekly dose of Bob, Jillian, Dolvett and January cover girl Alison Sweeney on The Biggest Loser. So when we got the chance to chat with the show’s nutritionist, Cheryl Forberg, RD, on behalf of Subway, we jumped at the chance to steal her healthy eating tips that she gives to the contestants. Get some of them below, including ways to live healthy all year long, not just during resolution season.

What are some of the top tips you tell The Biggest Loser contestants when they get to the ranch?

For most of the contestants we are pretty drastically increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption (especially the vegetables), so that’s the first order of business. Next is having a budget of calories that is appropriate to what their body needs and getting quality calories, which is where the exercise part comes in as well. Aside from that I focus on eating their calories and ditching the caloric beverages, drinking more water, not skipping any meals and adding snacks to their diet.

What are some guidelines to keep in mind to keep a healthy diet past the resolution craze of January?

It’s all about planning ahead, because we are all so busy. When you’re not prepared you wind up pulling through a drive-thru or going to a vending machine. Exercise should be written in your date book just like a conference call would be. As for your diet, whether you do weekly menu planning, or get into a routine of what you’ll eat on the way to work, it’s all key. If you’re trying to lose weight, keeping a food journal is really important and something that is mandatory on the ranch. You don’t see it on the show every week but the contestants share their food journals with me every single day. This helps me see the number of calories they are getting and that they are getting enough calcium, protein and healthy fats and carbohydrates. The first week is hard, but we’re creatures of habit so we typically eat the same things every day. Once you look up something once, you won’t have to do it again. Read more

Embrace Your Belly! S.E.A.K. Can Help With That

Written on April 19, 2012 at 11:41 am , by

Jenny Gaither, founder of S.E.A.K. and the Sports Bra Challenge. (Photo courtesy of S.E.A.K.)

Are you that girl that wants to rip off your tank during a grueling Tabata class or during an extra hot and sweaty indoor cycling class, or maybe the heat in Bikram yoga just makes you feel so free that you want to…? Are you thinking how great it would be to lose the shirt and sport that pretty Lululemon sports bra, but you’re wondering is everyone else OK with me being OK with this? Wonder no more. Embrace this feeling, love your body, feel the sweat and let it all out!

Sometimes there is one moment that has more of an impact than you even thought it could—that’s what happened when SoulCycle instructor Jenny Gaither expanded a one-time sports bra challenge class into an entire movement. She wanted to empower more than a single classroom to push past their insecurities and really love their lady curves—and show the world they can rock it in a sports bra. So next month on May 17, Jenny’s nonprofit organization, the S.E.A.K. (Strive Embrace Achieve Know) Foundation will host it’s debut event in Union Square Park. This can’t-miss movement called the Sports Bra Challenge will be an outdoor workout, packed with back-to-back turbo-charged 100 seat SoulCycle cycling classes and a group yoga session led by popular yogi Halle Becker. All proceeds raised on this day will go to the S.E.A.K. Foundation, which will initiate and support after-school programs to help young girls face body image issues and promote positive self-esteem when it’s needed most; and the City of Hope, an organization which supports women going through chemotherapy and rehabilitation during medial treatments.

Love yours! (Photo courtesy of S.E.A.K.)

The Sports Bra Challenge asks you to take a look at yourself and be proud of where you are with your body—so pull out that best sports bra and hop on a bike or hit a mat this May during Women’s Health Week. You don’t have to be there on May 17th to participate—ask your favorite gym class to host a sports bra only day and raise money to donate to these charities.

I scored a coveted seat at last week’s kickoff event at SoulCycle Union Square and a sampler of instructors brought out their best tunes and tricks—a little taste of what I know is to come! Registration for seats are open now and although prices aren’t cheap—get your charity sites up (set up your own and create a PayPal account)—you’re sure to feel good about being part of this day.

Bonus: Hosted by the girls who got their groove back, Biggest Loser winner and runner-up Olivia Ward and her sister Hannah Curlee, and a surprise guest (Lady Gaga is that you!?) who will be motivating you to move!

Check out this movement that’s sure to touch anybody who’s ever thought about rocking it in a sports bra! (Need some inspiration? Check out our favorites!)

SPORTS BRA CHALLENGE REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW!

Fit Links: Fitness Gear for Mom and Bad News About Liposuction

Written on May 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm , by

Photo by Karen Pearson

Photo by Karen Pearson

This week’s fit links from around the web: