Former Biggest Loser contestant suing show, ‘They ruined us’

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The Biggest Loser is famous for its dramatic weight loss and miraculous transformations. People all over the country would kill for the opportunity to be part of the show. However, former contestants are now coming forward to reveal the struggles they’ve faced since being a part of the hit reality phenomenon.

Season 2 participant Suzanne Mendonca recently told TMZ that being a part of The Biggest Loser was the worst experience of her life.

Suzanne claims the producers provided an unhealthy and unsafe environment for the contestants. She says they were dehydrated, encouraged to avoid water for 48 hours before a weigh in, and limited to 800 calories a days while exercising for eight hours.

The result of these factors culminated in Suzanne throwing up every day without concern from production. She maintains her sickness was a direct result of the severe exertion on her body.

The former police officer ended up dropping a ton of weight during her season but gained back 150 pounds. She says “there is no question” it’s a result of being on The Biggest Loser.

Suzanne pointed to the recent study that highlighted the negative effects of rapid weight loss on your metabolism.

Researchers knew that just about anyone who deliberately loses weight — even if they start at a normal weight or even underweight — will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends. So they were not surprised to see that “The Biggest Loser” contestants had slow metabolisms when the show ended. What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight.

According to The New York Post, contestants were also offered “Adderall and ‘yellow jackets’ — pills that contain ephedra extract. Ephedra is used to promote weight loss and boost energy, and was banned by the FDA in 2004.”

Suzanne is planning to take legal action against the show saying, “We’re in the process of filing a civil class action against them. They need to be held responsible.”

This isn’t the first time The Biggest Loser has faced criticism.

You may remember when Tara Costa was hired to make gym appearances only to be fired after she gained back too much weight to remain a viable spokesperson. Or the drama that erupted when Rachel Fredericton lost too much weight at the end of her season.

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Bob Harper recently explained that keeping the weight off is harder than losing it in the first place. He says that former contestants need a dramatic lifestyle change once they get home and can’t rely on the show alone.



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  • TA

    Oh, boohoo. You signed a contract to be on an extreme weight loss show. Extreme weight loss only comes from extreme measures.

  • Toni

    “Are you still dieting”
    “Well…..”
    Hm.

  • LaLa84

    I can see how you’d easily gain some weight back upon returning home… but NOT 150 pounds!!! Honey you did that all on your own by throwing back sodas and Big Macs.

    • ren24

      Well if you go by that snipet about the metabolism research, yes, I guess over the years the contestants could very well gain back pounds in the hundreds. But what it fails to mention is whether or not the former contestants were still maintaining healthy diets and exercise regimes…? In this woman’s case, it sounds like probably NOT.

      • L Newman

        Actually if you read the article, they need to work twice as hard as a normal person in order to even maintain their weight their metabolisms were basically gutted.

        The show 1) exploits people who are struggling for entertainment value 2) has no regard for their health, contrary to what they claim (i.e. dangerous practices to encourage drastic weight loss) and 3) leaves the contestants with a warped idea of how to maintain weight loss or even continue with it. It’s a sick show.

        AND if you think about it, say someone comes in extremely obese – obviously they have an issue that got them there. This show leaves them with a crashed metabolism and VOILA – now their problem is even worse.

    • TA

      Exactly! I weigh 130 pounds. To think that someone gained more weight than I even am as an entire person boggles my mind. Healthy weight is maintained by eating well and exercising. She can’t blame a show for her laziness.

  • jeff

    But the Doritos down Bertha. You can’t expect to keep the weight off if you go back to filling your gaping pie hole with food. Being that skinny shouldve inspired these people to continue with the weight loss and TBL does have follow up care.

    Stop blaming other people for your weight issues. One of the only things we humans have complete control over is what we put in our mouths. SO STOP PUTTING S**** IN YOUR MOUTH!

    • Heather

      Do they have after care? Not trying to be a smart a$$ here, I thought I read that once they were done with their season, they were left to their own devices. I used to watch this show religiously, then just gave it up.

      • jeff

        I remember reading that they do, can’t cite any sources though unfortunately it was a while ago. They really should, and if they do just up and leave them like that I definitely would be a bit more sympathetic. I’ll keep a more open mind in the future, it just really bugs me because THEY WERE THERE! They lost the weight, they did it. Even if they didnt get their hand held afterwards the contestants should’ve wanted to seek out their own aftercare, especially when they saw the weight pile back on. You can’t just expect to have your path paved for you. I guess I’m just frustrated all around, both with the contenstants and the people at TBL.

        • Heather

          Yeah, I can only find articles now of how bad they actually had it on the show. Working out for 4 hours at a time, sitting in saunas for 6 hours. Doctors telling them to drink elecrolytes, then the trainers telling them no because it’d cause them to gain weight. Kai Hibbard is very critical of the show, said her health suffered for everything they were put through. I know I read an article recently about how this drastic weight loss affects their metabolism, it’s slowed down. It’s in Scientific American. That doesn’t change the fact that some of them didn’t keep up with diet and exercise, but for those who have, they’re struggling like us real people.

  • Charla

    The show’s tactic are questionable, but at the end of the day, these people had the free will to walk away. They kept going because they knew the serious health consequences that they were facing. They were facing a bad health scenario either way.

  • September24

    Are you going to sue Hostess Twinkies too?! You were miserable fat, fit, and then you chose to be fat again. The show should sue you for your poor decisions and making them look bad.

  • FarrahsCryFace

    I do think the show pushes a little to hard to quick. However as someone who eats healthy and works out on a regular basis ( who didn’t used to) it’s not hard it’d you educate yourself. They are given all the information and tools.

  • Alisson Leech

    Rachel Frederickson, not Fredericton

  • NJJuls

    Holy Moly! She gained back more then I weigh!
    “it’s a result of being on The Biggest Loser. ” No it’s not!! It’s a result of your overeating & being too lazy to diet & exercise. YOU are the only to blame for being fat!

    • SheBang

      You really have no idea what it’s like to have a slow metabolism. You don’t have to eat unhealthily at all to gain weight when your metabolism is slow.

  • ameliaBedelia76

    how about this..quit the show! If you are throwing up & concerned about your safety…quit the show!

  • Martin351

    The reason people put weight back on is because the body is hell bent on protecting itself during times of starvation and extreme caloric expenditure.

    If you did things 1 way drastically for awhile, aka, do the show and lose 150lbs, your body will remember that and store anything and everything you put back in.

    What people fail to realize is that it doesn’t matter what you eat. It doesn’t need to be soda’s and big macs, it can be done with lean protein and veggies as well. The only sure fire way to keep the weight off is to lose it slowly, that way your body wont react violently in the opposing direction.