September 30, 2022

Jillian Michaels Regrets the Biggest Loser Eliminations, but Not Diet

Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels said “The Biggest Loser” shouldn’t have eliminated contestants. She told Today…

  • Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels said “The Biggest Loser” shouldn’t have eliminated contestants.
  • She told Today Health she regrets that producers “gamified” the show’s weight loss. 
  • Michaels still approves of the show’s “eat less, move more” diet approach of 1,200 calories a day.

Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels said she has regrets about NBC’s

weight loss

reality show “The Biggest Loser,” but still thinks 1,200 calorie diets are a good idea. 

Michaels told Today Health that her “number one issue” with the show was that competitors were kicked off if their team didn’t lose enough weight. 

“The producers gamified weight loss. It was weight loss on a ticking clock,” she said. 

But the show’s diet and exercise approach to weight loss is something Michaels still stands by, she told Today Health. Some dietitians say her strategy is too restrictive and potentially unhealthy. 

Experts say Michaels’ advice to “eat less, move more” is oversimplified and unhelpful

One of the original trainers on the show’s debut season in 2004, Michaels said it was an effective strategy for “The Biggest Loser” to restrict people to 1,200 calories a day.

“The diet worked amazing. You eat less, you move more, and there you go,” she said. “The contestants who were unsuccessful when they went home, they had unresolved issues with food.” 

Nutrition experts don’t agree. 

“It’s greatly oversimplifying. That’s just not how human bodies work,” registered dietitian Rachael Hartley previously told Insider. 

Hartley said that many factors influence weight change, and it’s naive to think one approach will lead to similar results for everyone. 

Emerging research also suggests adding more exercise may not always lead to weight loss — it can sometimes backfire, leading people to eat back calories they’ve burned. 

And a 1,200 per day calorie limit is likely to be unrealistic for most people, registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin told Insider.

“That’s extremely low. It’s not really an adult serving size,” she said.

Undereating can lead to symptoms like fatigue, digestive issues, brain fog, and moodiness. Periods of food restriction can also lead to ‘yo yo dieting’ or binges, causing people to regain as much or more weight than they lose — which is exactly what happened to ‘The Biggest Loser’ contestants, research found.