Biggest Loser Winners: Where Are They Now?

Thanks to The Biggest Loser, we've been kicking some major gym booty since 2005. Watching the reality show's contestants lose incredible amounts of weight with help from their OG trainers gets us motivated too. Plus, we learn great tips and tricks for leading a healthier lifestyle. While the participants' physical and emotional transformations are impressive and inspiring, one thing the show doesn't tell you is how hard it is to keep the weight off. Some winners have maintained their results, but others slid right back down that hill they worked so hard to climb. Let's check in with the former champions.

Ryan Benson (season 1)

The first ever winner of The Biggest Loser, Ryan Benson, earned his title in 2005 with a massive total weight loss of 122 pounds, dropping him from an introductory weight of 330 pounds to 208 pounds, which was a healthy number for a man of his stature.

In a 2015 interview with AOL, Benson said he has struggled to maintain his success and to contend with the pressure of his weight-loss fame. "I've been up and down the scale," he said. "One thing I didn't expect when the show ended was that for the next year or so, every time I'd go out to eat, or was in the grocery store, I'd feel like people were watching everything I ate, or watching what I put in my shopping cart." He said his weight crept back up to nearly 300 pounds, but he's been chipping away at the scale. Hollywood Life reported in 2015 that Benson was training for a triathlon. We believe in you, Benson. Keep it up!

Matt Hoover (Season 2)

Often hailed as the "Happiest Loser," Matt Hoover shed 157 pounds, snagged the winner's purse of $250,000, and also found true love with runner-up Suzy Preston (now Suzy Hoover!) in 2005. The lovebirds wed in 2006 and had two sons, Rex and Jax.

The power couple told CBN they stay fit by eating six small meals a day. Matt also runs marathons and triathlons and even competed in the grueling 2009 Ironman in Kona, Hawaii. That race changed him. He told NBC, "It made me realize that it's not about how much you weigh, and it's not about what you've done in your past. It's about what you're doing...There's something about pushing yourself beyond your limits," he said, "...and once you do it, you're never the same."

Erik Chopin (Season 3)

Erik Chopin shed a stunning 214 pounds during Season 3, but when the cameras stopped rolling, the weight quickly returned. The deli owner from New York soon gained back half the weight he'd lost, yet he continued to use older photos on social media to try to hide his backslide. He even turned down an invitation to join other Biggest Loser contestants on The Oprah Show, but he later linked up with the talk show host for a heart-to-heart. "I inspired so many people; so many people reach out to me," he said. "I feel like I let them down."

In 2010, Chopin renewed his commitment to himself and got back on track. He reportedly became a motivational speaker, life coach, and spin instructor visiting organizations and gyms. He may never recapture his results from Biggest Loser, but he will always be a winner in our book.

Bill Germanakos (Season 4)

Since shedding 164 pounds in 2007, Bill Germanakos has reportedly maintained a healthier weight. Bill's twin brother, Jim, won the Season 4 "at home" biggest loser division, and after the show, they teamed up to launch a motivational speaking venture. In a post-show interview with People, Germanakos said he'd held fast to the lessons he learned on the series, such as writing in a food journal and cutting out temptations.

Ali Vincent (Season 5)

After becoming the first female winner of The Biggest Loser, Ali Vincent's fame skyrocketed. She launched a lifestyle company, providing weight loss tips and tricks on her blog, toured the country giving motivational speeches, and even wrote a book titled, Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life. But as time passed, the weight returned and, like other contestants, she felt pressured to hide her appearance.

In 2016, Vincent came clean to her fans, joined Weight Watchers, and began blogging about her renewed quest to live a healthier, happier life. "If I had had the courage to openly talk about it, and not have the fear of negative judgment about my struggles, I don't think I would have slipped so far." she told People. "I don't think ANYONE—Biggest Loser alumni or you at home—should have to hear or feel anything but support as we navigate this journey."

Michelle Aguilar (Season 6)

Michelle Aguilar lost 110 pounds on Season 6 in 2008. Two weeks after the finale, her boyfriend proposed. With her cash prize and a ring on her finger, Aguilar launched a new life. She got married, started a family, and published a weight loss memoir, Becoming Fearless, in 2011. She has reportedly maintained her goal weight. #girlpower.

Helen Phillips (Season 7)

At age 48, Helen Phillips was the oldest contestant to take home The Biggest Loser title in 2009, and she has continued to redefine the numbers game. She promotes healthy eating, campaigns to end childhood obesity, and has become an advocate for cosmetic surgery to further assist men and women who've lost extreme amounts of weight. She even filmed an infomercial to promote her plastic surgeon. "I never thought I'd be a candidate for plastic surgery but I am so for it," she told the Midland Daily News. "I worked so hard...and I want to feel and look the best that I ever did."

Danny Cahill (Season 8)

When Danny Cahill lost an astounding 239 pounds during Season 8, he became the show's biggest loser to date. At his final weigh in, Cahill was only 191 pounds, down from 430 just seven months prior. When the credits rolled, he set out to pursue music and to motivate others. As the years passed, despite his best efforts, Cahill gradually regained 100 pounds. "In fact, most of that season's 16 contestants have regained much if not all the weight they lost so arduously. Some are even heavier now," reported The New York Times in May 2016.

The silver lining: Cahill and other Season 8 contestants became part of a six-year study to measure what happens to people after losing large amounts of weight through intense diet and exercising. "The results, the researchers said, were stunning. They showed just how hard the body fights back against weight loss, often through drastic changes in metabolism," said The New York Times. Cahill told the paper he will not give up. "I won't be victim to this," he said. "It's the hand I've been dealt."

Michael Ventrella (Season 9)

Michael Ventrella shed nearly half of his starting 526 pounds to win Season 9 at 262 pounds, but he has struggled to segway his weight loss win into lasting success. The pounds are stubbornly returning, and the $250,000 prize money has disappeared.

"I have no money coming in and a lot of money going out. That scares me to death," Ventrella told Chicago magazine in 2010. At the time, he was broke, living with his parents, and had no health insurance. "Ventrella isn't on NBC's payroll, although he is spending much of his time promoting the show. It's part of the contract he signed as a contestant; he receives only a modest per diem rate, plus expenses. Sometimes the network argues over paying his parking," the magazine reported.

Though post-show life wasn't what he expected, Ventrella said the overall experience was positive, helping him put his life into perspective. "I started paying more attention to my needs rather than my wants," he told Chicago. "I want a convertible, but what I need is a car that works. I want a relationship with a girlfriend, but I need to keep relationships with family and friends strong. I want a cheeseburger with grilled onions. I need a salad with chicken or shrimp."

Patrick House (Season 10)

Patrick House was a morbidly obese 400 pounds when he embarked on his weight loss journey in 2010, but when the credits rolled, this grand prize winner had shed 181 pounds. In the years since his victory, House has run four Boston marathons, two Rock 'n' Roll half marathons, and even a 30-mile ultra marathon on his 30th birthday.

The Times Picayune caught up with the House family in 2015, and it seems everyone has transformed. House's wife, Bradley, lost 50 pounds while her husband was at the Biggest Loser ranch, and their two kids, Colten and Caden, are practicing healthier eating and activity habits too. "Both boys were suffering from the eating habits I'd established and were leading them toward the road I was going down," House said. "My transformation has been great for them too because it's given them a much brighter outlook—they're healthy and active kids, running around and playing sports."

House published a book in 2012 titled, As Big as a House: How One Biggest Loser Winner Took a Look at Himself and Made the Change of a Lifetime. He has traveled extensively giving motivational speeches and was offered a job at a South Carolina school working with overweight students.

Olivia Ward (Season 11)

Olivia Ward lost 129 pounds and bested her sister, runner-up Hannah Curlee, to win Season 11. The sisterhood traveled in the footsteps of other winners and started a lifestyle blog called #myfitspiration. If you're ever in New York City, you can head to the Upper East Side SoulCycle to take a fitness class taught by Ward. Do you think she channels Jillian or Bob?

John Rhode (Season 12)

John Rhode shed an incredible 220 pounds to emerge victorious on Season 12 of The Biggest Loser. The Today show caught up with him in 2014. He'd regained 50 pounds but was staying healthy and active as a CrossFit coach and owner of a gym called Trust CrossFit in Mesa, Ariz. He told the show is life is "action-packed and non-stop."

At the time of this writing, it appears that Rhode's gym has since closed, and his public profile has diminished. We hope to hear more from this champ soon.

Dannielle Allen (Season 14)

The margin between the Season 14 winner and the runner-up came down to one pound. One pound! After the nail biting finale (seriously, nail length may have made the difference), Allen became a motivational speaker and ran the Chicago marathon. According to the Chicago Tribune, she opened a yoga studio in 2013 called One2One. The name is a play on the 121 pounds Allen lost on the show. We can't help but wonder if the runner-up opened a pilates joint named One2Two.

Rachel Frederickson (Season 15)

Rachel Frederickson became the show's most controversial winner when she lost 155 pounds, weighing in at only 105 pounds by the end of Season 15. During the big reveal, even the show's trainers couldn't seem to conceal their shock and discomfort for the cameras. Many speculated that Frederickson's extreme weight loss factored into trainer Jillian Michael's subsequent departure from the show. Frederickson insisted she dieted and exercised in a healthy manner.

In an essay published via Today in 2014, Frederickson addressed the backlash that followed her success on The Biggest Loser. "There will always be other voices in life. The trouble comes when you stop listening to your own. I am committed to trusting my decisions and standing strong behind them. I found strength in this struggle and I am listening to my own voice again!"

Toma Dobrosavljevic (Season 16)

Toma Dobrosavljevic, a project manager from Addison, Ill, weighed in at a svelte 165 pounds at the Season 16 finale in 2014. Since the show, he's been traveling extensively making public appearances and using social media to help him stay motivated.

"Well, I need some help getting back on track," he posted on Instagram in January 2016. "I'm still trying to get over a calf injury I sustained a few months ago and realize my weight is starting to creep up on me...and I promised myself I'd never go back to where I was!" Dobrosavljevic has received plenty of encouragement from his followers and organized a #teamtoma accountability group.

Roberto Hernandez (Season 17)

Twin brothers Roberto and Luis Hernandez made Biggest Loser history when they took home the show's top prizes in 2016. Roberto lost 160 pounds to nab the champion's purse of $250,000; Luis took home $100,000 for losing the largest percentage of his body weight. Roberto, a physical education teacher from Chicago, told Us Weekly that their experience was never about the money. "I was here to get healthy," he said. "I was here to live long and have a great life with my wife and kids—and that's what I intend to do."

It's too soon to tell where the brothers post-show journey will lead them, but Roberto said they are committed to inspiring others by "keeping our promise to our kids, to America, #GetOffTheCouchAmerica."

Jeremy Britt (Season 13)

At age 22, Jeremy Britt became the youngest Biggest Loser, dropping 199 pounds by the season finale in 2011. His sister, 24-year-old Conda Britt, finished third after losing 115 pounds during the show. In post-show interviews, the Michigan natives have said they're determined to stay the course off camera.

"I have the tips and the things that I need to know truly what it means to live healthy, and now it's truly something that is just a part of my life and something I enjoy," he told WOOD TV8 in his native West Michigan. "There's definitely going to be obstacles that come my way from this," he said. "It's just how I address them and how I work around them, and I'll tackle them head on and I'll be successful at this."