The Biggest Loser contestant speaks out: “We were told to take drugs and throw up”

Former contestants have lashed out at the show, revealing what really goes on behind the scenes

The Biggest Loser

by Jadie Troy-Pryde |
Published on

The Biggest Loser has been around since the reality TV boom of the noughties, and during the show’s 12 year history it has transformed the lives of many overweight people by offering them lessons in diet and fitness to reach their health goals.

For those unfamiliar with the show, it follows the extreme weight loss journeys of a select number of individuals, some of whom have lost a staggering - and very worrying - 150 pounds in just a few months.

Those involved aim to turn their lives around using the experts’ nutritional and fitness support, and each week they are weighed, measured, and forced to face various difficult physical and mental challenges in a bid to encourage them to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Ultimately, the biggest loser becomes the winning contestant, culminating in endless emotional throw back pictures and videos documenting their journey, from start to finish.

However, a former contestant has blasted the show and accused the trainers and producers of forcing them to take various weight-loss inducing drugs.

Speaking to The New York Post, Joelle Gwynn, who has regained 52 pounds since the 2008 ‘couples’ show, said that her trainer, Bob Harper, actively encouraged her to take ‘yellow and black’ drugs, telling her: “It’ll really help you.”

She also claimed that Dr Rob Huizenga, the show’s resident doctor, knew what was happening, and that everyone was told to lie about how much they had eaten to mask the fact that they were consuming 800 calories or less.

Joelle Gywnn
Joelle's astonishing weight loss

But Joelle isn’t the only ex-contestant to speak up about the unethical behind-the-scenes practices of the reality tv show.

Suzanne Mendonca, from the second season, also spoke to the newspaper about the controversial claims.

“People would take amphetamines, water pills, diuretics, and throw up in the bathroom,” she said.

“Bob Harper tells people to throw up … he says: ‘You’ll lose more calories’.”

The 36 year-old went on to say that this unhealthy behavior was so ingrained in them that some people would take their spin bikes into the steam room to burn extra calories.

Suzanne Mendonca
Suzanne Mendonca before and after

The shocking allegations come shortly after a study revealed that many contestants gain back a lot of the weight they’ve lost post-show as a result of malfunctioning metabolisms.

However, Bob Harper has since denied the allegations, emphasising his commitment to the contestants health and safety, and Dr Huizenga has stated that there is a zero tolerance for any contestants using weight-loss drugs.

Do you believe that there is more than we know going on behind the scenes?

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