Biggest Loser Diet

What’s it Really All About? 8 Questions Answered.


Overview: Where did the Biggest Loser Diet come from and what is it exactly?

The Biggest Loser Diet was designed for people who want to eat and exercise like the participants on the popular NBC show, The Biggest Loser. The idea is that by following a similar diet and exercise regimens as the participants on the show, you can achieve the same weight loss results.

You will eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day (totalling about 1,500 calories) in order to keep blood sugar levels stable and to prevent you from getting too hungry despite the smaller portion sizes. All meals will be designed around the Biggest Loser’s 4-3-2-1 Pyramid, which recommends 4 servings of fruits and vegetables, 3 servings of lean protein, 2 servings of whole grains, and 200 calories of “extras,” meaning the occasional treat. Generally, you’ll be selecting foods that are low in calories, but high in fiber to help keep you full. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, soy, low fat dairy, whole grains, beans, and nuts will be the staples of your diet.

In addition to cutting back on calories, you will also be increasing your physical activity. Exercise was a major factor in the success of participants on the show. They would often exercise up to 8 hours a day! So if you are hoping to achieve similar results you will need to increase your physical activity as well.

If you are interested in this diet, you have two options. The first option is a self-guided weight loss journey with support from any one of the Biggest Loser books. The second option is visiting one of the Biggest Loser Resorts.

The most practical and accessible option for most people is the self-guided journey based on a Biggest Loser book. The 2005 edition entitled, “The Biggest Loser: The Weight Loss Program to Transform Your Body, Health, and Life – Adapted from NBC’s Hit Show!” is a quick read that provides you will everything you need to know to start on the program without bombarding you with information. The 2010 version entitled “The Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You” is a bit more comprehensive, followed by the 2009 edition entitled “The Biggest Loser: 30-Day Jump Start,” which provides even more information. All editions highlight the success stories of participants on the show, provide instructions about how to follow the 4-3-2-1 Pyramid, and provide suggestions for establishing a new and more extensive exercise routine. Which option you choose really just depends on how much you want to read and how much information you want about the health benefits associated with weight loss.

If you find that self-guided weight loss programs are challenging for you to follow, and you have the chance to get away for a few weeks, you can choose to go to one of the Biggest Loser Resorts. The resort programs run in 1-week increments (prices range from about $2000 – $3000 a week) and you are welcome to stay for as many weeks as you wish. At the resort, you’ll enjoy a combination of group fitness classes, pre-prepared Biggest Loser approved meals, health education, relaxation, and support from those at the resort with you.



The Biggest Loser Diet is designed for people who want to eat and exercise like the participants on The Biggest Loser. If you are interested in this diet you have two options. The first is a self-guided weight loss journey with support from The Biggest Loser Book. The book guides you through the Express 6-Week Weight Loss Program, which teaches you how to choose high quality foods and follow the 4-3-2-1 Pyramid: four servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of lean protein, two servings of whole grains, and fewer than 200 calories of extras–whatever foods you want. The Biggest Loser Diet provides meal plans with three smaller meals per day as well as snacks. In addition to meal plans and recipes, you’ll receive the same exercise instructions as the contestants on the show. Exercise is heavily prioritized!! The book costs between $10 and $15. The second option is spending a week or more at one of the Biggest Loser Resorts.


Program details:

Exercise:Exercise is a must while on the Biggest Loser Diet! If you are following the guidance of the “6 Weeks to a Healthier You” book, you will start out with body-weight training (ie. lunges, squats, push-ups, etc.) and eventually incorporate aerobics, strength and resistance training, yoga, and pilates. Dieters are encouraged to engage in at least two and a half hours of moderate-intense activity (think brisk walking or jogging) each week in addition to a couple of days of strength training.
Supplements:The Biggest Loser diet books don’t recommend any supplements in particular, however, some Biggest Loser representatives have recommended that, if dieters are fearful about falling short on certain nutrients, they can take a multivitamin, calcium, vitamin D, or an omega-3 supplement.
Support:Unless you are at the Biggest Loser Resort, direct support is fairly limited. If you are considering the self-guided version of the diet and feel you could use a little extra support, you could always team up with friends. Dieting and working out together would provide additional motivation and accountability.

Is there research supporting the Biggest Loser Diet?

Although several studies have been done on the Biggest Loser contestants, there is no research reviewing the Biggest Loser Diet, as it is prescribed in the books or conducted at the resorts. Although all contestants lost significant amounts of weight, they were in an environment very different from the average person’s. They were removed from their everyday responsibilities and had nothing to focus on except for dieting and exercise. It is likely that the Biggest Loser Diet will lead to weight loss since it includes calorie restriction coupled with an increase in physical activity, but research needs to be done that specifically reviews the Biggest Loser Diet and its long-term effectiveness for ordinary people.


Sample Diet Plan :

1/3 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (cooked in 2/3 cup water)
1/2 banana, sliced
1/2 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt mixed with 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coffee or tea
1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1 Tbsp slivered almonds
1 medium pear
Greek Salad:
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
2 Tbsp low-fat feta cheese
5 oz. cooked bay shrimp
2 Tbsp low-fat vinaigrette
2 oz. sliced roast turkey or chicken breast
2” wedge honeydew melon
Italian Flank Steak with Roma Tomatoes:
1/4 cup water or low-sodium beef broth or chicken broth 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds flank steak, trimmed of all visible fat
8 Roma tomatoes, halved crosswise

Praise, Critiques, and Cautions


There are no membership fees or requirements to purchase specific “diet” foods, making the self-directed version of the Biggest Loser Diet super affordable. Additionally, it emphasizes whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein but doesn’t completely restrict all treats. This means that, by following the Biggest Loser Diet, you will learn new healthy food habits while avoiding the sense of being overly restricted in your food options.

The resort program gives you access to an incredibly strong support system. Being completely immersed in a healthy-living program for several days can also be a great way to reset if you fell off track from your health goals.


The Biggest Loser diet and exercise plan is pretty regimented and requires a lot of dedication. Some Biggest Loser Diet reviewers report that meals and workouts, as prescribed by the 6-week plan, cannot be interchanged easily. This can make it difficult to stay on track when unexpected events pop up. The calorie restriction can also be fairly challenging. Some meal plans consist of less than 1200 calories a day, which will most likely leave you feeling pretty hungry, and may lead to some nutrient deficiencies. The resort option is also quite pricey and requires that you step away from life for a good number of days at a time. These two factors might make it unrealistic for some.

Additionally, although research has been conducted on the contestants of The Biggest Loser, there have not been studies that review the effectiveness of the diet on regular people. The popularity of the show may also mislead you into having unrealistic weight loss expectations. The contestants were operating in a very different type of environment from the normal person’s. Because they were only focused on dieting and working out, contestants were able to exercise up to eight hours a day and did not have to deal with the stressors of everyday life. Additionally, they had meals prepared for them, and constant contact with trainers and health coaches.


Summary: Why is this NOT a top diet?

The effectiveness of the diet with ordinary people has not been proven. Additionally, the program is incredibly rigorous and may not be sustainable for some people.


Using MealEnders to support you on the Biggest Loser Diet

On such a significantly calorie-reduced diet you may find yourself getting hungry in between meals. MealEnders, at just 15 calories, can get you over the hump of food cravings, and distract you from snacking between meals. Ending your meal with a MealEnder can also help you feel satisfied and avoid the temptation to take seconds, despite the slightly smaller than usual portions.


How do I learn more about the Biggest Loser Diet?

The best way to get an understanding of the diet is to purchase one of the books. For a glimpse at what a week of eating on this diet will look like, you can also check out this Biggest Loser 1-Week Diet Plan.

*Individual Results May Vary