A former contestant on "The Biggest Loser"Â has come forward,Â Celebitchy.com reports, to reveal that her experience on the hit weight loss show was an unhealthy and dangerous one. And Kai Hibbard, who lost almost 120 pounds while on the show says she's not the only contestant who suffered.
Claiming she left the show with a "poor body image," and eventually "developed an eating disorder" because of the methodology the trainers and producers use, Kai says she knows she's taking a risk by speaking out, but feels an obligation to share her story. "I need to take blame and responsibility for the fact that I helped perpetuate and myth that's dangerous."
Here are some of the most disturbing things Kai revealed about her experience on "The Biggest Loser."
- One "week" isn't a normal calendar week on the show. They add days so that the contestants drop more weight in a "week."
- The contestants are encouraged to dehydrate themselves so that a lower number shows up on the scale, despite the advice of nutritionists.
- Kai gained back 30 pounds in 3 weeks after the show ended. Another contestant, Ryan Benson, claims he gained 32 pounds back in 5 days.
- Kai's family staged an intervention because she wasn't eating, only drinking coffee, once she returned home. She had bruises and her hair was falling out. Her immune system was also struggling.
As someone who lost weight on her own over the course of 2 years, not 12 weeks (I lost 115 pounds in my early twenties through diet and exercise), I can certainly understand why people who walk onto the BL ranch as extremely obese people leave with serious problems after dropping over 100 pounds in 12 weeks. Making huge life changes, like transforming yourself from a heavy person to a fit one, takes TIME. It's not an easy thing to do, and there are challenges. It can't be good for your health you force that kind of transformation to happen faster than is natural.
Being heavy, as they often do point out on "The Biggest Loser" (to their credit), is about more than what you eat, it's about what's going on for you mentally and emotionally.
I'm disappointed to learn that this show pushes its contestants to do things that are causing damage to their bodies in the name of ratings. But I can't say I'm surprised. I've shaken my head year after year watching people on BL post 10, 15, 18, and 23 pound losses in "one week."
I hope the show's producers get their heads of their @sses and stop putting people's health in jeopardy.