The Biggest Loser was one of the most popular fitness shows of all time and it ran for seventeen seasons on NBC before coming to an end in 2016. After a break of four years it has recently returned to TV on the USA Network. However, fans of the original show would have noticed that there are several differences in the new show. Some of these differences are described in more detail below.
1. The Focus Isn’t Just On Weight Loss
Although the contestants are on the show to lose weight, this is no longer the only focus of the show. Instead the focus is on improving the overall health of the contestants, including their mental health. Bob Harper returns to the show as the host, a role he also had in the last season of the show to air on NBC. He spoke to People and told them that it was no longer just a competition to get skinny. Instead they were committed to helping people reduce their blood pressure and come off the medication they were taking for health issues related to their weight.
2. There Are Only Twelve Contestants
There are twelve contestants in the new season, which is the lowest number there has been since the first season of the original show. This gives the trainers to spend more time working individually with each contestant. It is also another way that the new version has reduced the competition aspect of the show. With a smaller group everyone has the chance to get to know each other better. This means they are more likely to be supportive of each other and there are less chances for any drama between the contestants to arise.
3. There Are New Trainers
This season also sees the introduction of two new trainers that have not been featured in the show before. Erica Lugo is a personal trainer that lost a substantial amount of weight herself which helps her connect with the contestants. The approach that she takes with her private clients is to work on them loving themselves as part of their weight loss journey and this is something that really fits with the new version of the show. The second new trainer is former bodybuilder and football player Steve Cook. Distractify reports that he had over two million Instagram followers before he got the role as the new trainer and so there are already a lot of people that listen to the fitness advice that he offers. He has had a difficult relationship with food in the past as well which helps him understand what they contestants are going through. The trainers take on a much more supportive role in the new show, rather than only being there to motivate the contestants during exercise sessions.
4. There Will Be No More Temptation Challenges
In keeping with the new holistic approach that the show is taking, there will be no more temptation challenges. In the old shows, contestants would have faced challenges where they would have to resist food that they would have eaten before they started their diet. There was usually a reward if they did manage to resist and some form of punishment if they ate any of the food. In this season, it was decided that contestants should get support in being able to resist temptation away from the ranch, rather than making it into something that had the potential to set them up to fail.
5. There Is A Far Bigger Focus On Food
Another criticism of the show in the past is that all the focus was on exercise, with food barely being mentioned at all. The contestants were on very restrictive diets that have been linked to slowing down the metabolism, which made it more difficult to keep the weight off. It also meant that viewers who were watching the show to get some motivation did not receive a lot of information about how they could change their diets for the better. In the new version, food plays a much bigger role and nutrition is considered to be just as important as exercise. It is hoped that helping contestants develop a healthy relationship with food will make it easier for them to maintain their weight loss in the long term.
6. The Elimination Process Has Changed
Each week the contestant that has lost the lowest percentage of weight loss will automatically be eliminated. In the previous seasons there would have been two people that were up for elimination, and other contestants would have to vote who they wanted to send home. This meant that in previous seasons contestants were able to vote strategically to send home the people that they thought may have a better chance at the prize money than they did. While this did make for exciting TV on occasion, it also meant that the winner could be someone who was good at playing the game, rather than automatically being the person that had lost the most weight.
7. Contestants Get More Support At Home
When the contestants leave the ranch, they will be given more support at home. This includes free membership to a gym and access to a local support group. They will also continue to get the support of a nutritionist. Every contestant will get this support, regardless of the stage that they leave the competition. In the previous seasons, the aftercare that was provided to the contestants was one of the biggest criticisms of the show. E Online reported that Bob Harper has spoken about the fact that maintaining weight loss can sometimes be harder than losing the weight in the first place. When you are losing weight then you have a specific goal to aim for and this can keep you focused. When you are trying to maintain your weight loss, then this focus can sometimes be lost and it becomes easier to slip back into bad habits. This is something that the show will now try to help the contestants avoid so that they continue to be healthy.