The NBC reality TV show, The Biggest Loser, has showcased 16 seasons of contestants that have successfully shed the weight and turned their lives around. Typically contestants are exceptionally overweight, but it can be an inspiring show for people of any size as it focuses on living a healthy and happy lifestyle, not just on losing weight. Since the show’s success, they’ve published several books to help you lose the weight at home, as well as started an online program you can join for a fee to help guide you and keep you on track.

How does it work?
The books vary by type, but most people feel there’s much of the same information in them. The big three are “30-Day Jump Start,” “6 Weeks to a Healthier You” and “The Biggest Loser: The Weight Loss Program to Transform Your Body Health and Life.” But, there are also supplemental books like “The Biggest Loser Bootcamp: The 8-Week Get-Real, Get-Results Weight Loss Program” and “The Biggest Loser Fitness Program,” as well as a handful of recipe books and a food journal. All of them are on Amazon for affordable prices, all under $20 new or ridiculously cheap used. The big three offer a mixture of recipes and exercises to get you either on a 30-day road track or 6-weeks, whichever the book specifies. So picking your book depends on what type of track you want to take, but ultimately they all provide success stories from contestants, recipes and exercise plans.

In addition to the books, the Biggest Loser has a club online that you can join for $39.99 per month (right now there’s a $0 free trial for 15 days), which offers a six-week weight loss program, food tracker, meal plans, workout videos with the trainers and community forums. There’s also the Bootcamp On Demand, which seems to offer the same type of deal with recipes, meal plans, shopping lists and work out videos, for $39.95 per month (right now they’re offering a free 15-day trial). So if you need visual motivation and you use the computer or TV a lot, this might be a more useful option, or you could use it to supplement your reading. You may also benefit from community forums if you’re new to dieting, working out, or you’re looking to discuss your struggles with others.

What are the principles?
The Biggest Loser diet follows its 4-3-2-1 pyramid that you should eat at least 4 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, at least 3 daily servings of protein foods, at least 2 daily servings of whole grains, and 1 daily serving (200 calories) of “the extras.” The diet also recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day. And, exercise is a must, but it provides aid in giving you a program for your exercise.

Will I lose weight?
Losing weight is often a matter of counting calories – burning more calories than you consume – but your body needs more than numbers to work efficiently. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle while losing weight, what you eat and making sure you exercise really matters. The Biggest Loser frequently shows on their website and during the TV show, everyday people who’ve lost the weight on their own. It is very likely that if you follow its rules, you also succeed in losing weight.

How much effort is this going to take?
It’s definitely going to require more commitment than any trendy diet or merely counting calories. If you’ve ever seen the show, they often emphasize how people gain weight for personal reasons and the first step to losing that weight is realizing, accepting and moving on. The diet will require you to check the nutritional information of all the foods you consume, but you can still live life, as consuming alcohol and eating out is still allowed and all food groups are still allowed – it’s just a matter of being smart about it. And, of course, if you aren’t used to exercising, that’s a new level of commitment you’ll have to endure. But overall, this diet encompasses more than a trend and shedding weight, it tries to get you in a routine for a long-term solution to a healthier and happier lifestyle!