It's rare to hear about a researcher from the National Institute of Health collaborating with a reality TV show. But that's exactly what Dr. Kevin Hall
, a clinical researcher at the NIH, did after watching episodes of The Biggest Loser.
Kevin's lab investigates how metabolism and the brain adapt in response to a variety of interventions to diet and physical activity. After watching the cast lose dramatic amounts of weight over the show's season, he wondered how that affected their long-term health.
Kevin actually visited the set of The Biggest Loser to monitor the contestants' health and six years later, he brought the former contestants to the NIH to research how their body adjusted since the competition. He found they surprisingly maintained a very low metabolic rate even though they regained most of their lost weight. So even if you have the incredible willpower to shed those pounds, it's ultimately really difficult to maintain that weight loss. What we can do is be more forgiving of ourselves and relieve some of the pressure to diet.