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How Many Calories Do the Biggest Losers Eat a Day?

author image Claire Lunardoni
Claire Lunardoni has written for LIVESTRONG.COM and eHow since 2009. She is an American College of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and a fitness instructor who trains endurance athletes for IntEnd: Integrated Endurance in San Francisco. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in language studies from University of California in Santa Cruz.
How Many Calories Do the Biggest Losers Eat a Day?
A large plate of healthy dip and vegetables on a wooden table. Photo Credit: Yulia_Davidovich/iStock/Getty Images

NBC’s "Biggest Loser" is a reality show where contestants play for a quarter of a million dollars by achieving the greatest percentage of weight loss over the season. They do this through a rigorous diet and exercise program.

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Expert Insight

In a 2009 New York Times interview, "Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper told readers that each contestant’s daily calorie allowance depends on their height, weight, age, gender and metabolic complications. He also urges the contestants to eat every four hours to prevent binge eating.


Season Three winner Kai Hibbard spoke out against the "Biggest Loser" program in an interview with Body Love Wellness, estimating that contestants were only eating between 1000 and 1200 calories a day. Hibbard claims she developed an eating disorder while on the show.


The contestants often refer on camera to exercising six hours per day. Harper confirms that the majority of contestants work out four to six hours per day, including two hours of intense cardiovascular training.

Other Factors

Some of the "Biggest Loser" weight loss may be from dehydration. According to a 2007 interview with "Time" magazine, season one winner Ryan Benson gained 32 pounds within five days of the final weigh-in just by drinking water.

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