We’ve crunched every number we could find, and we’re ready to reveal the biggest weight losses in My 600 Lb Life history! As of this writing, the show has featured a total of 92 cast members, almost all of whom have lost at least some weight — and most of whom have lost a considerable, applause-worthy amount of their peak weight. So, for ease of explanation (and article length), we’re limiting our scope to the top ten My 600 Lb Life biggest weight loss success stories.
But before we reveal the ten cast members, a quick word of explanation on our methodology. Since not everyone featured on the show starts at the same weight, it didn’t seem fair to rank participants based on the sheer number of pounds they’d lost. More than a few cast members have lost a whopping 500+ pounds! And, since some of the people who’ve been on My 600 Lb Life actually weighed a little bit *less* than 600 pounds when the cameras began rolling, a 500+ pound weight loss would likely be deadly.
Instead, our My 600 Lb Life biggest weight loss list is organized by percentage of peak weight lost. (Devotées of our coverage already know that we often use the percentage to offer a different perspective on each cast member’s weight loss.) In theory, this method will also level the playing field for more recent cast members, since the longer you’ve been affiliated with My 600 Lb Life, the better the odds that you’ll lose more pounds.
We should also point out that My 600 Lb Life is not a race, and this article isn’t intended to crown weight loss “winners.” The mere act of appearing on the show is commendable enough. And, as we stated above, almost every single person who’s done so has lost at least some weight. That is a wonderful thing, regardless of the amount.
Finally, our countdown will go in descending order. So if you want to know who’s #1, you’ll have to skip to the end 🙂
My 600 Lb Life Biggest Weight Loss: The Top Ten
#10: Benji Bolton (My 600 Lb Life Season 6)
Benji and his brother David represent the My 600 Lb Life biggest weight loss success of the last few seasons. The brothers weighed a combined 1,329 pounds at the start of their Season 6 debut; by episode’s end, they’d lost a combined 725. Benji, who started at 582 pounds, was at 258 by the time his episode ended.
That amount would be impressive enough. But not long after the premiere, we reported that a relative of Benji and David’s revealed the brothers’ most recent weight — and those unofficial figures are even more astonishing. According to the relative, Benji is down to 200 pounds flat. That’s a total loss of 382 pounds, or 65.64% of Benji’s peak weight.
#9: Lupe Donovan (My 600 Lb Life Season 4; Where Are They Now? follow-ups in 2017 and 2018)
Lupe had been unable to walk for a full decade by the time of her 2016 premiere. She’d been in a diabetic coma due to her weight, during which she had to undergo a tracheotomy so she’d be able to breathe. But a lot’s changed since then: Lupe’s gone from a peak weight of 642 pounds to her current weight of 219. Lupe’s 423-pound total weight loss translates to a 65.89% loss of her peak body weight.
#8: Susan Farmer (My 600 Lb Life Season 3; Where Are They Now? follow-ups in 2016 and 2018)
Susan is another of My 600 Lb Life‘s more reserved cast members; we haven’t heard much unofficial word from her on social media over the past few years. Her official episodes, on the other hand, have done plenty of talking. Susan’s gone from a peak weight of 607 pounds all the way to 200 with her latest follow-up. The 407-pound loss means Susan, at 67.05%, is the first My 600 Lb Life cast member on this list to have (technically) lost more than two-thirds of their peak body weight.
#7: James Jones (My 600 Lb Life Season 2)
We were proud to bring an exclusive update on James Jones’ health with our feature on the Season 2 star just a few weeks ago. James revealed to us that his latest weight, taken during a doctor’s visit earlier this year, was 239 pounds. Given that he weighed 750 pounds at his peak, James’ 511-pound loss makes him the third of the show’s cast to have dropped more than 500 pounds in total. Percentage-wise, James has lost 68.13% of that peak, good for the fourth-overall spot on our My 600 Lb Life biggest weight loss list.
#6: Diana Bunch (My 600 Lb Life Season 5; Where Are They Now? follow-up in 2018)
Season 5 star Diana Bunch traveled 1,900 miles from her Seattle home to work with Dr. Nowzaradan, began her weight loss journey at 620 pounds, and lost a whopping 425 of them across two episodes and several years. The relentlessly calm and optimistic Diana has been a font of inspiration for both My 600 Lb Life viewers and her fellow cast members, as evidenced by her long-running “Thankful Tuesday” series of social media posts and scads of accolades from all over the world. Diana’s total weight loss represents 68.5% of her peak weight when filming began — though, as she would be the first to tell you, the scale is not what defines her.
#5: Sarah Neeley (My 600 Lb Life Season 6; Where Are They Now? follow-up in 2019)
Sarah’s weight loss has been steady and ever more impressive ever since her debut. In her first episode, she went from a peak weight of 642 pounds to a total of 393; within months, she was down to around 320. Sarah updated her social media feeds pretty regularly during filming for her first follow-up, teasing her impressive success and revealing she was close to her goal weight — something her Where Are They Now? episode confirmed. Despite suffering an awful tragedy, Sarah has effectively reached that goal: she’s currently at 197 pounds, for a total loss of 445, or 69.3% of her peak.
#4: Paula Jones (My 600 Lb Life Season 2; Where Are They Now? follow-up in 2015)
Paula Jones has been so dedicated to the weight loss cause that she’s actually founded and organized weight loss conferences for people to come together and share their stories. Paula’s own story is a jaw-dropper: She revealed on her 2016 “surgiversary” that she’s down to 142 pounds. That means Paula’s lost an even 400 pounds from her peak weight of 542, or an incredible 73.8% of that weight. We haven’t heard from Paula in awhile — either officially or unofficially — but, with luck, that will change soon.
#3: Melissa Morris (My 600 Lb Life Season 1; Where Are They Now? follow-ups in 2012, 2016, and 2018)
Melissa is the first My 600 Lb Life cast member, as well as the one with the most appearances overall. Her peak weight was 673 pounds upon her debut in the show’s premiere episode, and last year, during a celebratory appearance on Good Morning America, Melissa revealed that she still feels like that “673-pound lady” every day when she looks in the mirror.
In her 2016 Where Are They Now? episode, Melissa struggled with keeping off all of the 500 pounds she’d lost. But, as we’ve seen from her latest episode and more recent media appearances, Melissa has been successful. She’s the fourth My 600 Lb Life cast member with a 500+ pound overall weight loss, and Melissa’s 74.29% loss puts her second among the entire cast.
#2: Christina Phillips (My 600 Lb Life Season 2; Where Are They Now? follow-up in 2015)
Season 2 star Christina Phillips comes in a close second for the My 600 Lb Life biggest weight loss by percentage and by total weight. From the start of her weight loss journey to her 2013 gastric bypass surgery through to today, Christina has lost a total of 536 pounds from her peak weight of 708. (In the “after” photo above, Christina — alongside Melissa Morris! — has just completed her first 5K.)
Since her most recent episode, Christina has revealed on social media that her current weight hovers around 172 pounds, meaning she’s down 75.71% from her peak weight.
#1: Milla Clark (My 600 Lb Life Season 4; Where Are They Now? follow-ups in 2017 and 2019)
We’d been worried about Milla, who’s spent the better part of a year in and out of hospitals, ever since our first update on her at the beginning of 2018. Fortunately, now that Milla’s most recent Where Are They Now? episode has aired, we know exactly why she’s been hospitalized so much: she’s now undergone weight loss surgery, skin removal surgery, and double knee replacement surgery.
But when Milla announced earlier this year that she’d lost the weight of “three or four people” since we last saw her, she wasn’t exaggerating in the slightest. The Season 4 star began her weight loss journey at 751 pounds; Milla is now down to her goal weight of 155 pounds. That’s a loss of a whopping 596 pounds, or 79.36% of her peak weight. And with her standing ovation-worthy weight loss, Milla also became the first My 600 Lb Life cast member to officially lose the weight necessary to qualify for the show in the first place.
If you’re still wondering who the top ten My 600 Lb Life cast members are in terms of overall weight loss, we’ve got that list for you, too. Again in descending order from #10 to #1, that list is Chuck Turner (438 pounds); Sarah Neeley; David Bolton (452 pounds); Henry Foots (475 pounds); Melissa Morris; Charity Pierce; Joe Wexler; James Jones; Christina Phillips — and Milla Clark, still at #1 as we mentioned above.
Again, a huge congratulations to *everyone* who’s participated on the show, regardless of how much weight they’ve lost. It’s not easy to agree to be on any reality TV show, let alone one where the stakes can quite literally be life and death.
New episodes of My 600 Lb Life air Wednesdays at 8 PM on TLC.
(Photo credits: My 600 Lb Life biggest weight loss via TLC, Instagram, Facebook)
John Sharp is Starcasm’s chief editorial correspondent-at-large. Tips: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @john_starcasm.