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The Season 9 Finale of The Biggest Loser
The Season 9 Finale of The Biggest Loser is just a week away, but already we're hard at work preparing for Season 10. Recently I flew to Los Angeles to spend a week with our newest prospective contestants. Each contender goes through a series of medical evaluations over the course of a week or so. In addition to me, the show employs physicians, a psychologist and other health professionals. Would-be contestants meet with each in the course of their evaluations.
As an RD - Registered Dietitian - I've completed a bachelor's degree nutrition program at UC Berkeley, followed by an internship in a clinical setting, and I've taken a national board exam to receive my credentials, which I renew every year with continuing education. My understanding of the science of nutrition makes it easy for me to work side by side with The Biggest Loser's physicians. Because I'm also a professional chef, I help contestants with their food choices in the kitchen as well as in the exam room.
During the pre-season sessions we've just finished, I met with the prospective contestants one-on-one for a comprehensive nutrition consultation. We discuss:
These questions aren't meant to lay blame; they help me devise strategies to help contestants succeed, along with recipes that will be satisfying as well as supportive of their weight-loss goals.
To see video excerpts from consultations from past seasons, click these links:
In the course of conducting these evaluations, I've discovered that many would-be contestants share a few key challenges in common:
These initial evaluations, like most of my work on The Biggest Loser, take place off-camera. I have received hundreds of letters asking why nutrition isn't featured more on the show - feedback I've shared with the show's producers - and over time, more segments have focused on healthy eating. Through this blog, I've been sharing what goes on behind the scenes, and I'll continue to do so throughout the coming season - starting with the next Biggest Loser post about establishing calorie budgets for contestants. Look for it soon!
To read Cheryl's latest blog entry, click here.