Then + Now: ‘The Biggest Loser’ Winners
For 14 seasons, ‘The Biggest Loser’ has inspired millions of people to begin a journey of weight loss, healthy living and hope. Contestants have worked hard to beat the odds and lose hundreds of pounds, re-gaining a life they never knew they could have. As we cheered and rooted for each ‘Loser’ to reach their goal, they showed us that with relentless effort, courage, and dedication they can accomplish anything. Read on to see where all 14 ‘Biggest Loser’ winners are now.
Ryan Benson (Season 1, 2004)
Then: Actor Ryan Benson lost 122 pounds from his 330-pound frame, becoming the first ‘Biggest Loser’ and the recipient of a quarter of a million dollars.
Now: Post-’Loser,’ Benson admitted to starving himself during the show and relying on unhealthy “cleanses” to lose more weight in the lead-up to the finale. As of 2009, Benson put on all of the weight he had lost (and supposedly gained 30 pounds right after the show ended, merely by re-hydrating himself). Though he has not been in the public eye as much, in 2008, he starred in a movie about body image called ‘Disfigured,’ and does tweet occasionally.
Matt Hoover (Season 2, 2005)
Then: Matt Hoover was the show’s second winner, losing a total of 157 pounds — a whopping 46% of his body weight. In addition to losing the weight and gaining the top prize, Hoover also found love on the show, marrying fellow contestant Suzy Preston in 2006.
Now: Hoover and Preston are still happily married with two young sons. While Hoover has gained some of the weight back, he leads an active lifestyle, training and running marathons, and blogs about helpful weight loss tips and training regimes. He even authored a book, called ‘Matt Hoover’s Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight,’ which was published in 2008.
Erik Chopin (Season 3, 2006)
Then: During Season 3, Erik Chopin lost an incredible 214 pounds, going from 407 pounds to 193 in eight months — clinching the title of ‘Biggest Loser.’
Now: After the show, Chopin gained back most of the weight — a difficult journey that was later portrayed in a one-hour Discovery Health documentary special called ‘Confessions of a Reality Show Loser.’ Part of the reason he re-gained the weight, Chopin believed, was because he didn’t feel he had a purpose in life. Now, as a certified spin instructor and counselor for The Greater You, he has found his passion in life through helping and motivating others. As of 2011, he weighs 245 pounds and maintains a healthy lifestyle by training and competing in marathons.
Bill Germanakos (Season 4, 2007)
Then: Bill Germanakos appeared on Season 4 of ‘The Biggest Loser’ with his twin brother, Jim. Originally starting at 334 pounds, Germanakos ultimately lost a total of 164 pounds and was declared the winner of the season, winning $250,000. (Jim was declared the “at-home” winner and received $100,000.)
Now: Since winning the champion title, Germanakos has gone on to become a full-time motivational speaker. Also a group fitness instructor, he has gained a tiny portion of the weight back, but still is focused on living a healthy, active and inspirational lifestyle. He and his brother run their own website, Weight Loss Twins.
Ali Vincent (Season 5, 2008)
Then: Ali Vincent became the first-ever female winner when she clinched the title in Season 5, losing an impressive 112 pounds.
Now: Vincent has become one of the most prominent ‘Biggest Loser’ winners. She has maintained her weight loss and now hosts her own lifestyle show, ‘Live Big with Ali Vincent,’ on the Live Well Network. And, like her predecessors, she has become a motivational speaker. Vincent also wrote a book about her weight loss journey, called ‘Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life.’
Michelle Aguilar (Season 6, 2008)
Then: Michelle Aguilar was declared the winner of Season 6 after she lost 110 pounds, which was 45% of her body weight. To make her victory even sweeter, boyfriend Micah Whitehead proposed just nine days later.
Now: Using some of her quarter-mil earnings to help pay for her wedding, Aguilar tied the knot in June 2009. Since then, the religious Aguilar has kept the weight off, become a ‘Drink Well’ spokeswoman, published a book, ‘Fearless,’ and is dedicated to her organization, ‘I Am Second,’ which strives to inspire people to “live for God and others.”
Helen Phillips (Season 7, 2009)
Then: When Michigan housewife Helen Phillips won Season 7 of ‘The Biggest Loser,’ she not only gained her life back and won the grand prize of $250,000 — she also became the oldest person in the competition to do so.
Now: Phillips has maintained her 140-pound weight loss through exercise and a healthy diet, and revels in her public speaking engagements, motivating others to live a healthy lifestyle and also fighting against and educating others about childhood obesity.
Danny Cahill (Season 8, 2009)
Then: Danny Cahill holds ‘The Biggest Loser’ record for highest percentage of body fat lost — 55% — when he dropped an incredible 235 pounds from his 400+ pound frame and became Season 8′s big winner.
Now: Cahill has worked hard to keep most of the weight off, and is dedicated to helping others live a healthy, meaningful life. He hosts a virtual bootcamp through his website, The Danny Cahill, where he also dispenses inspirational tips through his program ‘Lose Your Quit.’ Cahill is also an accomplished musician and has recorded several songs about his weight loss journey.
Michael Ventrella (Season 9, 2010)
Then: Michael Ventrella entered ‘The Biggest Loser’ at a staggering 526 pounds, the biggest of any contestant to date. He went on to win the season, losing an unbelievable 264 pounds — again, more than any contestant.
Now: After his incredible win, 31-year-old Ventrella spoke to Chicago Magazine about struggling after achieving success on ‘The Biggest Loser.’ At the time, Ventrella had spent most of the $250,000 on taxes and paying back loans, and he was living with his parents. Now, however, Ventrella has become a personal trainer and public speaker, moved out of his house, and is active in inspiring people through his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Patrick House (Season 10, 2011)
Then: Patrick House became the 10th ‘Biggest Loser’ victor after losing 181 pounds, going from a starting weight of 400 to 219 pounds.
Now: House has kept up the hard work, staying active by running marathon after marathon, and working with overweight teens. In 2012, House published ‘As Big as a House,’ his memoir detailing his inspirational story and his ‘Biggest Loser’ journey.
Olivia Ward (Season 11, 2011)
Then: Opera singer Olivia Ward lost 129 pounds from her starting weight of 261, earning her the title of ‘Biggest Loser’ for the show’s eleventh season. (Ward’s sister Hannah Curlee placed second.)
Now: Post-’Loser,’ both Ward and Hurlee have maintained their weight loss through diet and exercise. In 2011, the two sisters were featured as “lifestyle gurus” on ‘Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers,’ a CW talk show with Dr. Drew Pinsky. Ward has since traveled the country as a motivational speaker, become a SoulCycle instructor, and is active on MyFitspiration.com, the sisters’ website.
John Rhode (Season 12, 2012)
Then: Teacher John Rhode shed 220 pounds from his 445-pound frame to win the title of ‘Biggest Loser’ in Season 12.
Now: Rhode has stayed active in maintaining his weight loss by doing Crossfit regularly and running marathons. He has also appeared on various talk shows to educate and inspire others about healthy living.
Jeremy Britt (Season 13, 2012)
Then: Jeremy Britt was crowned the champion of Season 13, losing an incredible 199 pounds from his starting weight of 389 pounds. He also became the show’s youngest winner ever, at age 23.
Now: After being crowned the winner, Britt told Us Weekly that he planned to go back to his “normal life” (while incorporating the many techniques and lessons he learned on the show). Though he has gained some of the weight back, he has become a public speaker to inspire others and keep himself accountable for his weight.
Danni Allen (Season 14, 2013)
Then: 27-year-old Danni Allen is the latest ‘Biggest Loser’ winner, scoring the coveted title after transforming from 258 pounds to 137.
Now: In her short time since being crowned the winner of Season 13, Allen has hit the ground running (literally)! She has since competed in multiple marathons, partnered with a yoga studio, and is constantly inspiring and motivating others through her Twitter and Facebook accounts.