10 Reasons Biggest Loser Contestants Gain the Weight Back

2. Increased Stress Leads to Weight Gain

Stress and weight gain go hand in hand in mouth
Stress and weight gain go hand in hand in mouth

Losing a massive amount of weight while on “The Biggest Loser” can be extremely satisfying and rewarding. However, when the contestant returns home, they face the stress of having to keep the weight off. After all, now that they have been on TV, everyone is watching to see what happens next. Unfortunately, this new source of stress is a serious impacting factor when it comes to the regaining the weight they had lost.

This increased stress causes the body to produce Cortisol. This is a stress hormone that is released in the body when a person is under pressure. It results in the body not being able to metabolize food as quickly. Also, when a person is under a significant amount of stress, it changes the types of foods that are craved. For example, the individual is going to want to eat foods that are more fatty and sugary than if they were not under stress.

This is a diet-derailing combination. In many cases, it plays a huge role in TBL contestants regaining the large amounts of weight they lost while on the show. According to researchers, the combination of new, high-calorie cravings, along with a snail-paced, stress-induced metabolic rate, results in often significant weight gain.

Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to combat this stress. Contestants feel like they are letting people down by regaining the weight, and this feeling continues to become more intense with every pound regained. It is a vicious circle that often leads to the person regaining all the weight they lost.

1. Inability to Sleep Properly

Fitful sleeping leads to weight gain
Fitful sleeping leads to weight gain

During “The Biggest Loser” contestants are exhausted at the end of each day. They have usually put in countless hours at the gym or engaging in some other physical activity, and the minimal calorie intake doesn’t give them much regarding extra energy. As a result, sleeping while on the show is a given. Not only do they sleep, but they sleep well.

However, after the contestants return home, their physical activity level drops and their calorie intake goes up. They now have more energy than ever before, along with stress, which can result in them having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep.

Most people understand that when they are exhausted, because of no sleep, their metabolism slows down. In fact, just losing 30 minutes of sleep can impact their metabolic rate. In a recent study, 500 people kept sleep diaries. It was discovered that when a person lost just 30 minutes of sleep, it increased their risk of becoming obese by 17 percent. Sleep deprivation, due to more energy, more stress or any other cause, results in ghrelin. This is the hunger-stimulating hormone. It will go into overdrive in these situations, making the individual feel hungrier than ever before – even when they were working out and eating less.

If contestants could stick to a regular sleep schedule when they return home, they may be able to combat some of the weight regain.


The fact is, many factors can impact a contestant from “The Biggest Loser” and their ability to keep the weight off. Unfortunately, they simply don’t have the ability to continue the weight loss friendly lifestyle they experienced while on the show when they return home. Also, due to how quickly the weight was dropped, regaining it is almost something that should be expected.

A key factor that was discovered by many researchers who studied TBL contestants was that after the show was completed, the people returned to their normal, day to day lives. They no longer had the support of physicians, exercise specialists, trainers, psychologists or nutritionists. All of these individuals played a huge role in their initial weight loss, and they are just gone.

A shocking reality for some who have lost weight and kept it off is that making an ongoing lifestyle change is difficult and it is something that is never over. It is imperative that contestants focus on their lifestyle, the support they have, and several other factors to help and offset various biological issues.

Losing weight on “The Biggest Loser” is the entire point of the show. However, if contestants are unable to maintain this weight loss when the cameras are turned off, many wonder, what’s the point? It seems like the individuals are being set up for failure from the beginning. The top reasons for contestants regaining weight after “The Biggest Loser” are found here; however, this does not represent a comprehensive list of the factors that may impact a person’s likelihood to regain weight.