Explainer: 'Biggest Loser': Where are they now?
TODAY.com caught up with contestants and the big winners from the first 11 seasons and found out how their lives have changed since leaving the "Biggest Loser" campus.
So where are the former contestants now, and how do they look?
Starting weight: 330
Finale weight: 208
Current weight: 300
Since winning season one, Ryan has had three children, and also gotten more roles as an actor. He recently appeared in a film about weight and body issues called "Disfigured."
While at the ranch, Ryan said that he'd learned that with hard work he can do anything he puts his mind to, but said that the outward effects of the show only lasted for the next month.
"Unfortunately, keeping the weight off has been tough for me," Ryan said. "So the biggest way it's changed my life is I feel really guilty for gaining the weight back. I know the show inspires a lot of people, so I don't like being the guy to disappoint."
Starting weight: 215
Finale weight: 156
Current weight: 155
Season one contestant Andrea now hosts a Boston-based weekly variety show, "Wake Up Live With Corey and Drea." She also founded The Lotus Foundation, which promotes health and wellness to families in need, particularly in black and Latino communities.
"My best tip to keep the weight off would be to invest in yourself," said Andrea. "My journey on 'The Biggest Loser' allowed me to find that inner me, the lioness, who can now take care of herself better than ever."
Starting weight: 242
Finale weight: 163
As a motivational speaker, Kelly thinks you should go by how you look and feel, rather than a number on the scale.
Season one runner-up Kelly feels like she's kept up the healthy lifestyle she started on the show five years ago.
"I want to keep the weight off for life," Kelly said. "I never want to go back to the lifestyle I had before."
The biggest lesson she learned on the show? "I cannot lose weight for others, I cannot get healthy for others, I can only do it for me," Kelly said. "Weight loss is so much more than eating healthy and working out. It is about believing in yourself and putting yourself first."
Matt and Suzy Hoover
His starting weight: 339
Finale weight: 182
Current weight: 237
Her starting weight: 227
Finale weight: 132
After meeting on season two of "The Biggest Loser," Matt proposed to Suzy live on the TODAY show. The couple now have two kids.
Both have gained some of their old weight back. "If you've struggled at all with weight loss at any time in your life, you know you have to work at it, and we're no different," Matt said. "Our goal now as a family is to change our legacy."
To stay in shape, Matt challenges himself by setting fitness goals. His most recent was the daunting Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. It includes a 2.4-mile swim in the ocean, a 112-mile bike ride followed by a full 26.2-mile marathon.
"Sometimes you need to see a chubby guy taking off to do something he's not supposed to do," Matt said.
Starting weight: 370
Finale weight: 217
Current weight: 240
Dr. Levine continues his practice as a family physician and a medical school professor. He now works with the American Heart Association, Dairy Council and the American Academy of Family Physicians by giving talks to doctors and the public about dealing with the country's obesity epidemic. He's received awards for his emphatic and compassionate patient care.
Dr. Levine tells others that it is not selfish to put yourself first when it comes to health. "You will be a far more effective parent, spouse or friend motivating someone else to change their behavior if you practice what you teach," he said.
He recently went on a family vacation to Cancun, and was surprised at how many people still recognized him from the show.
"I played water polo, volleyball, went jet skiing and snorkeling, and danced the night away with my wife, all things I could have never done prior to losing weight and regaining my health on 'The Biggest Loser,' " he said.
Weight-loss tip: Plan a menu for the week together with your family. To save time, prepare some meals in advance.
His starting weight: 407
Finale weight: 193
Current weight: 368
Erik Chopin's transformation was one of the most dramatic in the history of "The Biggest Loser," going from 407 pounds to 193. But when trainer Bob Harper heard that Erik, whom he had grown especially close to, had gained all the weight back, he dropped in for a surprise visit.
"I put some weight on obviously. A few months ago I was at 368, which was very close to where I was at the start of 'The Biggest Loser,' " Erik said. "I felt uncomfortable telling him (Bob) where I was at. I felt like I was going to disappoint him. I can't let him know because he's going to be pissed off at me."
Bob told him that he wasn't mad — and understood how hard it was to keep the weight off. "You know how to take it off and you know how to put it on, what you don't know is how to live your everyday life," Bob said.
Bob challenged Erik to weigh in at the end of season nine, and Erik accepted.
"It's a matter of getting past my own demons. Getting a handle on that is probably the last thing that's left," Erik said. "I was waiting for something like this."
Amy and Marty Wolff
Her starting weight: 260
Finale weight: 154
Current weight: Working toward a healthy weight after having a baby
His starting weight: 365
Finale weight: 219
Amy married fellow contestant Marty, and the two have started their own wellness company. She recently gave birth to a baby boy named Blaine.
"I now have a partner in life that knows exactly what it means to struggle with their weight," she said. "We help each other with our goals."
After "The Biggest Loser," Marty founded his own company, Reality Wellness, which offers services like fitness boot camps and life-management coaching. He also married fellow contestant Amy Hildreth, a contestant he met on the show.
Marty decided to put on more muscle mass, and played arena football for the Iowa Blackhawks.
A former high-school teacher, Marty knows that he influenced many of his students, but perhaps the biggest impact he made was on his brother. After finishing filming, he lived with him.
"Through my training for the show, he was able to pick up some of my healthy habits," Marty said. "As a result, he's 100 pounds lighter today."
Starting weight: 307
Finale weight: 178
Current weight: 225
Mark has incorporated "The Biggest Loser" into his work at Best Buddies, which pairs people with intellectual disabilities with high-school and college students. He developed a workout for people with mental disabilities, and is planning on shooting a workout DVD. He also has a children's book in the works.
Mark said it was hard to see himself on TV.
"To this day I have not seen the finale of my season. The hardest part was seeing the sad, lost look in my eyes," Mark said. "Now I'm more confident and self-aware."
Workout tip: Have one day a week where you have a "cheat meal" to reduce cravings on other days.
Starting weight: 334
Finale weight: 170
Current weight: 207
Season four champ Bill took on a new role at his company, Quest Diagnostics, since being on the show. He's now their Wellness Ambassador and Director of Employee Wellness Initiatives, giving him a chance to share what he's learned with others.
He's also become a Spinning instructor, and is leading classes locally, as well as around the country.
One lesson: Temptations are at home right where you left them.
"Every day is a struggle," he said. "I need to continue to make good choices at every turn."
Bill said he's become more active with his family, and still has the long-term goal of walking his daughters down the aisle.
Starting weight: 361
Finale weight: 175
Current weight: 198
During season four, Jim won the $100,000 consolation prize for being the sent-home player who lost the most weight — 186 pounds, equaling an astounding 51 percent of his body weight. He started a company with his brother Bill (who brought home the grand prize) called Weight Loss Twins. They make appearances at health and fitness expos and are motivational speakers. Their motto is "NO MORE EXCUSES!"
Jim has continued to work as a full-time police officer, and plans to earn his certification as a personal trainer. He's inspired his brother Spiro, who has never been into exercising, to get in shape. Jim and Bill helped Spiro get some exercise equipment, "Biggest Loser" books and videos and join a gym. Spiro has lost more than 65 pounds.
After leaving the show, Jim has accomplished some major goals, such as running in the New York City Marathon and learning how to snowboard. Next up? Surfing.
Starting weight: 297, but has weighed over 300
In August 2008, Jerry achieved a lifelong goal of biking cross-country with his wife of 43 years. Along the way, he hoped to inspire others to lose weight by telling them that they can do it even if they aren't on "The Biggest Loser." (He was eliminated in episode three and lost the majority of his weight at home.)
Jerry stays in shape by exercising four to five days a week, playing golf and tennis. He also competes in triathlons.
The biggest surprise about seeing himself on national TV? "I can't believe I let all that fat hang out," he said. "For years I wouldn't take my shirt off to go swimming at the YMCA, located just beyond my back yard."
Weight loss tip: Eliminate carbonated beverages and alcohol.
Starting weight: 279
Finale weight: 174
Current weight: 178
Currently working as a receptionist and radio DJ in Philadelphia, Nicole said that being on "The Biggest Loser" gave her a voice.
"I want to shout on the roof tops that 'You can have the life that you want!' " Nicole said. "It's so important to treat yourself well."
Nicole said that the most important thing she learned on "The Biggest Loser" was that there are no secret tricks to slimming down. She works out at least five days a week and watches everything she eats.
She recently had surgery to remove excess skin after losing so much weight both on the show and afterward at home.
"The show really changed my life and I'm so grateful for the experience and to show people that it is possible to really keep the weight off and change your life," she said.
Starting weight: 298
Finale weight: 185
Current weight: 220
Third-runner-up Isabeau now works as a life coach and personal trainer, as well as in real estate. Her company, Rock Hard Body and Soul started a "take home coach" program, which allows her to travel across the country and train people. She's also marrying her fiance, Jon, who many viewers got to "meet" during Isabeau's family visits in October 2009.
Isabeau now eats a diet of whole, natural, organic and unprocessed foods and goes to the gym five to six hours a week.
She's been able to maintain her weight loss, but instead of getting on a scale, she measure by how her jeans fit, which she says allows her to focus on why she went on "The Biggest Loser" in the first place — to be healthy and happy.
"It's more than a diet you do to fit into a pair of jeans," she said. "It's a lifestyle you commit to in order to live the longest, healthiest, most rewarding life possible."
Any lifelong goals she's met since leaving "The Biggest Loser"? Being able to run in road races, shop in regular stores and fly in an airplane without worrying about fitting in the seat.
"They may not seem like much to most people," Isabeau said. "But I longed for the normalcy that comes with being at a healthy weight."
Starting weight: 255
Season four finalist Hollie became interested in TV production while being in front of the cameras. She moved to L.A., and ended up getting a job in production with "The Biggest Loser."
"I never imagined that I'd be building my resume on the actual show that changed my life," she said.
Before the show, Hollie said that even though she didn't realize it, she was very unhappy. "I never really believed that I could lose the weight, and in a larger sense, I never really believed that I could live the life I really wanted," she said. "After those eight months, I felt on top of the world."
Weight-loss tip: Keep healthy snacks close. Hollie says that she keeps proportioned snacks in her car so if she gets caught in L.A. traffic, she won't overeat later.
Starting weight: 234
Finale weight: 122
Current weight: 125
The first-ever female "Biggest Loser" winner is now a spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness and loves being outside in her home state of Arizona.
She has a book out: "Believe It, Be It: How the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life."
Ali said the most difficult thing about coming home after being on the ranch was "figuring out how where and how I fit me and my new lifestyle into the life I created when I was afraid of me."
When Ali feels down or frustrated, she sits down and watches the finale of season five.
"I remember I can do anything," she said.
Weight-loss tip: "Remember that every moment is a choice."
Ali watches her calorie intake and continues to wear the BodyBugg on her arm to measure her calorie burn. "I don't want to leave anything to guesswork when I have the tools not to," she said.
Starting weight: 310
Finale weight: 174
Current weight: 180
After finishing "The Biggest Loser," Dan recorded his first album, "Goin' All Out," which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top Country album charts. He said that before going on the "Biggest Loser" he thought he was putting enough effort into weight loss — but that being at the ranch taught him what hard work really was, and he's putting that same sort of dedication into his music career.
"I am pursuing my lifelong dream," Dan said. "My weight was the barrier between me and my dream of music. The weight is gone and the pursuit of my dream is on."
Dan knows he's inspired others, too. He held a contest to take a guest to the Country Music Awards, and chose a man who had lost 150 pounds and ran the New York City Marathon after watching him on "The Biggest Loser."
Starting weight: 271
Finale weight: 162
Current weight: 190
Kelly, who was partnered with her ex-husband Paul on the show, has a new man in her life — who she met at the gym.
Since the show, they have gotten married.
"He is wonderful, and the love and respect he has for me is amazing," Kelly said.
Kelly and her husband decided to try and start a family of their own, but shortly after, Kelly needed emergency surgery and then learned that she could not have children.
"This just happened a month ago, I don't know how to deal with this or grieve the loss," Kelly said. "I hope this helps some people — I will triumph from this. It will make me stronger."
Kelly said that through good or bad events in her life, she will be open with her fans from "The Biggest Loser."
"I am where I am from opportunities from the show, so I will continue to share and be an open book," she said.
Starting weight: 285
Finale weight: 156
Current weight: 189
On "The Biggest Loser," Mark learned that it was OK to show his emotions.
"It helped me deal with my food issues in my normal life," he said. "I no longer hide my feelings and cover them up with food."
He also learned the importance of good health and physical condition.
"I worked very hard to get this way and never want to go back," Mark said.
Mark is about to run his first marathon in Lowell, Mass., and hopes to earn a qualifying time good enough to enter the Boston Marathon. He still works out 2 1/2 hours every day and said he is in the best shape of his life.
Weight-loss tip: Keep a food journal. "This helps you realize what you are eating on a daily basis and where you need to make changes," Mark said.
Starting weight: 436
Finale weight: 301
Current weight: 324
Former football player Trent is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and primarily trains athletes. He and his wife have two children: Lincoln, 2, and Mackensie, who is 6 months old.
"Being an athlete, I was always accustomed to training for something," Trent said. "When my playing days were over I felt as though I had nothing to train for. As a way to stay motivated, I decided to train for a long life."
Trent would like to see the focus of weight loss switch from "getting skinny" and focus more on health, because "skinny doesn't look good on every body." He hasn't reached his goal weight of 270, but is confident he will because he is "training for life."
Starting weight: 283
Finale weight: 153
Current weight: 165
Since winning $100,000 as the eliminated player who lost the most weight, Bernie has gone on to earn his master's degree in education and run his first full marathon. He also travels the country as a motivational speaker and is writing his first children's book.
"I am relearning who I am given my new body and view on life," Bernie said. "I no longer take things for granted."
Even though Bernie was the only one on "The Biggest Loser: Couples" who was paired with a stranger, he and Brittany Aberle still stay in touch. After hearing that Bernie finished a marathon, she asked him to run her first half marathon with her this winter.
Starting weight: 364
Finale weight: 199
Current weight: 235
Roger lost his job after being on "The Biggest Loser," but has a new gig as the official coach for "Scale Back Alabama," a statewide campaign to help Alabamians slim down. He also is a motivational speaker, radio talk show host and heads up a nonprofit to fight childhood obesity.
Being on "The Biggest Loser" helped Roger develop a new set of goals. After meeting his lifelong goal of playing football for the University of Alabama, "I was just wandering and letting myself go."
One thing that keeps him going?
"All my friends think I will put the weight back on," he said. "So that motivates me."
Starting weight: 242
Finale weight: 132
Current weight: N/A
Michelle said that her life has changed a great deal since winning season six of "The Biggest Loser," but the most notable change is that she married.
"I live a more full life," she said. "One that is not always easy, but it's a life that I am in control of."
She said that she meets many people who tell her she inspired them.
"Their stories are so wonderful that they in turn inspire me to keep going and helping others. So it is neat that it works both ways."
Ed Brantley and Heba Salama
His starting weight: 335
Finale weight: 197
Current weight: 230
Her starting weight: 294
Finale weight: 156
Being on "The Biggest Loser" brought Heba and Ed even closer together.
"We find ourselves taking 5-mile runs together instead of going out to eat, and we can't believe it's something we enjoy," Heba said. "We have really made permanent changes together, and feel so lucky to have each other on a daily basis to keep ourselves in line. It has made our marriage unbelievably strong."
Always train for something in the future, like a triathlon or have marathon, to keep a goal in mind and avoid getting bored with your workouts.
Starting weight: 239
Finale weight: 135
Current weight: 160
Amy said that losing weight on "The Biggest Loser" was the easy part — and keeping it off has been the hard part.
"It's so hard to come back to the real world full of temptations and problems," Amy said. "You have changed when you come home, but everything else around you has stayed the same and you have to learn to deal with it and figure out if it can fit into your new life."
Amy now keeps a food journal of everything she eats to keep her on track, has become a pescatarian (a vegetarian who also eats fish) and makes sure she goes to the gym or makes time to be active.
Starting weight: 216
Finale weight: 142
Current weight: 165
Shellay said that the hardest part of leaving "The Biggest Loser" campus was the feeling like she could never go back there again.
"But I also realized that I left a part of me there — a part I never want to see again," she said.
Shellay said she knows she's inspired people to lose weight — but one in particular is the godfather of her sons. When she left for "The Biggest Loser" he decided he'd also get healthy, and has lost 75 pounds.
Amy and Phil Parham
Her starting weight: 229
Finale weight: 124
Current weight: 137
His starting weight: 331
Finale weight: 185
Since finishing "The Biggest Loser," Amy and Phil have traveled around the country to conduct 90-day fitness challenges. They created a book and companion DVD, "Dream Again: Phil and Amy's 90 Day Fitness Challenge."
"Life has changed because we now have the ability to help others learn what we learned," Amy said. "We can pay it forward. That's the real prize."
Starting weight: 218
Finale weight: 154
Current weight: 179
Coleen said that the most important thing she learned on "The Biggest Loser" was to chase her dreams.
"I'd rather live my life knowing that I tried rather than asking,'What if?' "Coleen said. "I learned at 'Biggest Loser' that you can honestly do anything you set your mind to."
One of those things included completing the 2009 San Francisco Olympic Distance Triathlon. And although she can't talk about specifics, Coleen said she's pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
"I love that people are able to relate to me and use my successes as inspiration to live the best life possible," she said. "On a daily basis I get e-mails, Facebook messages and tweets on Twitter about how I've inspired someone in their life."
Starting weight: 380
Finale weight: 265
Current weight: 261
When Jerry started "The Biggest Loser," he the most unhealthy contestant the show had seen yet: He had trouble walking three minutes on a treadmill. But by the end of the season, he was running in 5ks.
"I've always thought of myself as a pretty athletic guy," Jerry said. "When I loaded up with 130 pounds of fat, I pretty much fooled myself by telling myself that it is OK, I'll lose it."
Since coming home, Jerry said he's been able to stay in shape by going to the gym six days a week.
"I realized from the start that the Jerry who was almost 400 pounds will never return," said Jerry, a police officer. "To see my officers that work with me in the gym knocking themselves out to be bigger and badder than the old Sarge tickles me pink!"
Starting weight: 246
Finale weight: 145
Current weight: 150
Vicky was portrayed as a busy working mom trying to find a balance in her life — and time to work out. But she also came across as a bit of a villain, controlling the game.
"It was very frustrating to see my journey aired through someone else's eyes. I never saw it like the producers did," Vicky said. "I always felt like the underdog who had to struggle through an injury and work harder than everyone else."
But since being on the show, she's learned to trust herself.
"I don't need other people's opinions to know what's right," she said. "I am much more confident in everything I do."
Keeping the weight off
"I wear my finale jeans at least once a week," Vicky said. "If they get too tight, then I cut back on calories and exercise more the next week."
Starting weight: 257
Finale weight: 117
Current weight: 135
After leaving "The Biggest Loser," Helen started working with obese families, encouraging them as a family unit to lose weight.
"I am able to take what I've learned from the ranch and share it with the people who reach out to me for inspiration," Helen said. "They look at me with hope in their eyes, and I am able to give that to them. I feel honored to be able to work on the battle against childhood obesity and be a part of helping them make the change."
Keeping the weight off:
"Remember how the old you felt, and then ask yourself how the new you feels," Helen said. "I promise you'll look in the mirror and smile. I keep telling myself I want health and happiness more than cake!"
Starting weight: 294
Finale weight: 139
Current weight: 161
Tara said that it has been difficult to meet people's expectations after being on "The Biggest Loser."
"Sometimes, since you gain some weight back, you feel like you failed them, meaning America," Tara said. "I just have to keep realizing that I went on the show for me, to get my life back, and by me being open with my struggles helps others realize that they too can overcome struggles in their life."
Tara said the biggest way her life has changed since the show is that she has a life.
"Pre 'Biggest Loser,' I wouldn't do things because I was embarrassed of what I looked like," she said. "Now I realize that everyone will always have an opinion, but the only ones that matter are the people who are closest to me."
"I use Post-its all over my room, car, fridge, everywhere to remind me what I really want out of life," Tara said. "This does help keep me focused, but my home looks a little funny with Post-its everywhere."
Starting weight: 372
Finale weight: 226
Current weight: 239
Since leaving the show, Sione has started taking what he learned on "The Biggest Loser" and sharing it with others through public speaking.
"It was fun watching myself on the show," Sione said. "Better yet, it was fun watching my kids watch me on the show — every time I would come on they would scream, 'Daddy!' and when I took my shirt off my daughter would say, 'Ewwwww.' "
After the show, Sione set the goal of running a marathon.
Damien Gurganious and Nicole Brewer
His starting weight: 381
Finale weight: 245
Current weight: 260
Her starting weight: 269
Finale weight: 146
Engaged couple Damien and Nicole got married this past summer — and felt great while doing it.
"I walked down the aisle without feeling self-conscious about my weight," Nicole said. "I felt absolutely amazing on my big day!"
In addition to her job as a wardrobe stylist, Nicole now teaches group fitness classes at 24 Hour Fitness.
Weight loss tip:
Minimize diet sodas and increase your water intake. "Staying hydrated maximizes your ability to burn fat, and most people don't know this," Damien said.
Jerry and Estella Hayes
His starting weight: 369
Finale weight: 192
Current weight: 198
Her starting weight: 242
Finale weight: 159
Jerry shocked everyone on Season 7 of "The Biggest Loser" with his dramatic transformation — he went from being so sick that he collapsed during the first episode to the at-home winner who lost the greatest percentage of weight.
Jerry and Estella said that they plan on watching the first episode every three months as a reminder of how far they have come.
The hardest part? Coming home, cleaning out the cupboards and filling them with healthy food, and spending hours at the supermarket, reading all the labels to make good food choices.
Starting weight: 430
Finale weight: 238
Current weight: 251
Ron is still on his local city council, but has a new project in the works — a camp for overweight teens.
He said the person who he has inspired the most is his son Max, who lost 100 pounds.
"Keep a picture of yourself at your heaviest and look at it often. You will never want to go back."
Starting weight: 430
Finale weight: 191
Current weight: 215
Since winning "Biggest Loser," Danny travels across the country to speaks and teaches groups and corporations how to "lose your quit," as he says. "I try to inspire them and motivate them by telling them that they do not need a reality show to change their lives, but just to 'change their mind,' " he explained to us. "That’s what the 'Biggest Loser' taught me, that I have the power within me to do anything I set my mind to. That is the message I am spreading to America."
To stay in shape, he runs, and has so far participated in two marathons, with a third coming up in 2011. He also lifts weights.
Weight loss tip: "The trick is not only diet, not only exercise, but to change your thinking," Danny said. "It is a complete change."
Starting weight: 444
Finale weight: 289
Current weight: 240
Sean said that the lessons he learned on "The Biggest Loser" are invaluble. "I have used what I learned there to become a more strong and confident husband, father and contributing member of society," he told us. "I employ everything I learned on the ranch at home. I've changed how I eat, how I view food. I reversed type-2 diabetes on the ranch and have continued to stay away from that, I am much more active. ... I am a new man because of what I learned."
He stays in shape now by running a lot, which he doesn't really like. Sean ran the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon in 2009, the Nashville Half Marathon in 2010 and is currently training for another one in 2011. He also works with trainers three times a week and plays basketball.
Weight loss tip: "Keep a food journal or log!" he advised. "It's important to know what you're eating, most Americans have no clue how many actual calories they are ingesting in a 24-hour period." He also makes a point of talking about mental health. "It's important that we aren't victims of our past, even thought bad things might've happened, we still have the choice to move forward. "
Starting weight: 247
Finale weight: 147
Current weight: 150
Abby said that the lessons she learned on the show have changed the way she lives. "Clean eating and exercise play an integral part of my life now," she told us. "I also speak professionally to various groups around the country promoting living your best life regardless of circumstances." Since leaving the show, she has also written a book titled "Working It Out, A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope." It is due out in May 2011.
Abby stays in shape by working with a trainer twice a week, walking and joking, and participating in a body combat class. She works out about four to six hours a week.
Weight loss tips: "Educate yourself on proper nutrition and figure out what works for you and your lifestyle," and "be a slave to good health rather than the scale."
Starting weight: 526
Finale weight: 262
Current weight: 289
Since winning season nine, Michael has been very proactive in his attempts to pay it forward. He reaches out to as many folks as he can to educate and to give them hope that anything they put their minds to is achievable.
Today, he stays in shape by sticking to a well-built training exercise and diet plan that will help him "gain lean body mass and shed body fat percentage in the healthiest way possible."
Weight loss tip: Working out is not a way of life, it is only part of it. It should always be fun, so look forward to it.
Starting weight: 264
Finale weight: 165
Current weight: 170
Since leaving "Biggest Loser," Stephanie said that she is really living now. "Sounds totally cheesy but what I have learned about nutrition, exercise, others, and myself are lifelong lessons I use in one way or another every day," she told us. "I went from faking happiness to really being happy. I love it!"
She noted that staying in shape is a work in a progress, since her days tend to fluctuate due to work stress, food, workout routines and more. She works out at least 30 minutes a day, but often up to four to five hours on the weekends. "I love delicious food (high quality and healthy) but still calories add up so I have to stay active to keep the weight off," she said.
Weight loss tip: "Find something you just love to do — running, spinning, boxing," Stephanie suggested. "An activity you enjoy will keep you motivated and get a friend or family member involved with you! Keeping things fun and staying accountable to your partner will help both parties reach their goals."
Starting weight: 389
Finale weight: 230
Current weight: 225
O'Neal is now the owner of a live-in fitness resort in Tofte, Minn., that helps people jump-start their weight loss. In addition, he's started a nonprofit and does motivational speaking around the country.
To stay fit, O'Neal works out five to six days a week for at least two hours a day. Plus, he works out along with the participants at his fitness resort.
Weight loss tip: "It is never to late to start your own journey. Never give up. Your tomorrow starts today!"
Starting weight: 372
Finale weight: 230
Current weight: 242
Sam is now working at the Biggest Loser Fitness Ridge in Malibu, and is getting certified for personal and group training. He stays in shape by working out twice a day.
Weight loss tip: "Get up. Get out. Get movin'. You don't necessarily need a gym to burn calories. Most, if not all of us, can get active outdoors in our own local parks and environments."
Starting weight: 400 lbs.
Finale weight: 219 lbs.
Current weight: 235 lbs.
Since winning season 10, Patrick has been hitting the gym to regain some muscle. He also participated in the Boston Marathon on April 18 and beat his "Biggest Loser" marathon time by 33 minutes. He's currently working at Mindstream Academy in Bluffton, S.C., a boarding school program that helps overweight teens get healthy and get back to nature.
Weight loss tip: Patrick said the No. 1 question he gets is what diet he's on. "The truth is that I am not on a diet. I have made a lifestyle change," he said. "People ask me all the time whether or not I eat foods like pizza. Of course I eat pizza! I love pizza! What I don't do is eat an entire stuffed crust and was it down with a six pack like I used to. It's all about portion control and moderation."
Starting weight: 421 lbs.
Finale weight: 208 lbs.
Current weight: 250 lbs.
Since becoming season 10's at-home winner, Mark has been doing a lot of charity work to go with the show's theme of "pay it forward." He has also been doing motivational speaking and is looking into opening a gym.
Weight loss tip: "Just keep your body moving," Mark said. "As long as you are doing anything, even walking, it will help you lose weight. Stay active!"
Alfredo 'Frado' Dinten
Starting weight: 367 lbs.
Finale weight: 205 lbs.
Current weight: 247 lbs.
The season 10 runner-up is involved in a weight-loss initiative in his community, speaks to children in public schools about the importance of a healthy diet and excercise, motivating obese people to join him at the gym and much more.
Weight loss tip: "The days that you don't want to go to the gym or feel like doing anything are the days you need to get your butt there!" Frado said. "Once you get there you realize that your life has truly changed for the better! But the most important tip for weight loss is to keep moving. Walk, walk, walk!"
Starting weight: 258 lbs.
Finale weight: 159 lbs.
Current weight: 165 lbs.
Since finishing in third place, Ada has run two marathons back to back (with plans to participate in more) and worked with schools and companies to develop wellness programs.
Weight loss tip: "I know it sounds basic, but the first thing you need to do is commit," Ada said. "Most people aren't successful with weight loss because they don't commit. It's going to be difficult and a long process."
Starting weight: 261 lbs.
Finale weight: 132 lbs.
Current weight: 142 lbs.
Since the season 11 finale, Olivia, right, has traveled all over the country with her sister Hannah Curlee, left, encouraging others to get healthy. The sisters have also become the official weight-loss gurus for Dr. Drew's new daytime show on The CW, "Lifechangers."
Weight loss tip: "If you can realize that weight loss happens in the mind first, the body will soon follow," Olivia said. "Deciding mentally first to overcome the scale is key to success!"
Starting weight: 248 lbs.
Finale weight: 128 lbs.
Current weight: 138 lbs.
Hannah, pictured on the left, has been busy traveling around the country with her sister Olivia Ward (the season 11 champ, right) to talk about health. The sisters have also appeared on the cover of Fitness magazine.
Weight loss tip: "Always be prepared," Hannah advised. "I carry healthy snacks with me all day. Letting yourself get to hungry leads to bad choices and the dreaded drive-through!"
Starting weight: 440 lbs.
Finale weight: 287 lbs.
Current weight: 315 lbs.
Since the show, Moses has gone back to work as a garge-door installer, but has also done marathons and triathlons to help promote health and fitness in and around his community. He's also doing speaking engagements as a way to give back by sharing what he he learned from his experiences and from being on "The Biggest Loser." "I have truly enjoyed meeting so many people who are so anxious to work together to take control of their lives," Moses said.
Weight loss tip: Moses stresses that while on their weight-loss journey, people shouldn't forget that being healthy and doing what is healthy is more important than losing weight. "Don't do something that is harmful to your health and wellness just to lose weight," he said. "There are so many things out there that are only for a temporary weight loss, and eventually you gain it all back." He suggests making a lifestyle change that you can stick with.
Denise 'Deni' Hill
Starting weight: 256 lbs.
Finale weight: 131 lbs.
Current weight: 140 lbs.
Since the show, Deni has been doing a lot of motivational speaking. "I love to talk to people my age who have given up because they think they're too old! No one is ever to old get healthy!" she said. Deni is also working on a project called Sponsor Me Slim. "We help people lose weight, they get sponsors who donate for every pound they lose, and the proceeds are sent to an organization called Nourish the Children. Nourish the Children feeds millions of starving children throughout the world," she explained.
Weight loss tip: "Use a smaller plate. It really works!" she said.
© 2012 MSNBC Interactive. Reprints
On the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Jeff Rossen investigates just how secure schools are.
- Experts: Wrong fixes used in school shootings
- Read more about prevention of school shootings