Ryan Benson – Biggest Loser Follow up

by Dr Marc on July 10, 2007

ryan-benson.jpgThe Biggest Loser has become a monster hit with over 100,000 applying for the fourth season now in production. The show creates a huge incentive for contestants to lose weight with a $250,000 prize going to the “Biggest Loser.” Season one winner of the Biggest Loser, Ryan Benson, lost an amazing 122 lbs back in 2005. How did he do it?  Was he able to keep the weight off?

On his myspace blog he candidly reveals how he won:

“I wanted to win so bad that the last ten days before the final weigh-in I didn’t eat one piece of solid food! If you’ve heard of “The Master Cleanse” that’s what I did. Its basically drinking lemonade made with water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, pure maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. The rules of the show said we couldn’t use any weight-loss drugs, well I didn’t take any drugs, I just starved myself! Twenty-four hours before the final weigh-in I stopped putting ANYTHING in my body, liquid or solid, then I started using some old high school wrestling tricks. I wore a rubber suit while jogging on the treadmill, and then spent a lot of time in the steam room. In the final 24 hours I probably dropped 10-13 lbs in just pure water weight. By the time of the final weigh-in I was peeing blood.”

It’s no surprise that he won with this crash diet. Now two and half years after winning the Biggest Loser with a weigh in of 208 lbs, it’s equally not surprising that he has regained most of his weight back.

Celebrity Diet Doctor Weigh in
Extreme dieting methods and crash diets do not work in the long term… they will wreak havoc on your metabolism and make you more prone to weight gain later. This will cause a yo-yo dieting pattern with periods of weight loss followed by weight gain. Weight loss TV shows, such as the Biggest Loser, promote drastic weight loss to get great ratings but do not teach participants, such as Ryan, how to lose weight for the long term. Short term loss, long term gain. Now weighing about 300lbs, Ryan Benson tells Time Magazine “No one sees me get an apple pie in the drive-through.”

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kurt Maine July 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm

I really agree with your analysis of extreme dieting. It just never works, and it's mostly water weight being lost. Once the water weight comes back the person gets depressed and a couple weeks later they are in worse condition than they were to begin with. I know because I went through the same thing, I didn't really understand water weight myself so I did some research – maybe it will help some of you guys in the same boat I was in: http://www.marthasvineyarddetoxdiet.net/21-pounds


Dr Marc July 10, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Btw, the Martha's Vineyard Diet is another extreme diet I would not recommend for the very same reason…



michelle July 31, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Finally at the age of 50, I have figured out the secret. There is no secret. You have to work hard, get lots of regular exercise and eat a healthy diet. There is no other way that will last long term.

I also had to deal with why I was using food to deal with life…that helped a lot.


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