Study finds 'The Biggest Loser' really does have a losing approach to weight loss

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'Biggest Loser' Winner's Top Weight Loss Tip

When it comes to weight loss, an intense program of the kind you find on The Biggest Loser is, well, just as unsuccessful as you might expect a glitzy TV show to be. According to a study that analyzed contestants on season 8 of the show, extreme weight loss significantly — and in a key discovery, seemingly permanently — lowers your resting metabolism, making it even harder to keep off weight. In the six years after the competition, 13 of the 14 contestants in the study regained weight. Four are heavier now than before it began. "The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can't get away from a basic biological reality," Michael Schwartz, an obesity and diabetes researcher, told the New York Times. "As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back." Once they leave the show, most contestants also can't afford the help of diet, exercise, and sleep specialists. Researchers are still investigating why these sorts of programs fail, while procedures such as bariatric surgery allow people to keep off weight.

See photos of of dramatic "Biggest Loser" transformations:

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Biggest Loser - teary dramatic makeovers
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Study finds 'The Biggest Loser' really does have a losing approach to weight loss
Photo Credit: NBC
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alison Sweeney, Tim Gunn, Jessie Pavelka -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ken Paves, Lori Harrigan-Mack -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Photo Credit: NBC
Photo Credit: NBC
Photo Credit: NBC
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Toma Dobrosavljevic, Ken Paves -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Toma Dobrosavljevic, Tim Gunn -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Woody Carter, Tim Gunn -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Photo Credit: NBC
Photo Credit: NBC
Photo Credit: NBC
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Rob Guiry, Ken Paves -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Photo Credit: NBC
Photo Credit: NBC
Photo Credit: NBC
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ken Paves, Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tim Gunn, Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tim Gunn, Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tim Gunn, Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1615 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tim Gunn, Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Photo Credit: NBC
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