People eat junk food while watching Biggest Loser but contestants cook for themselves

The Biggest Loser repeatedly emphasizes careful, thoughtful eating along with exercise, although we don’t always see the contestants struggling to make their own food on television. But what do viewers do while watching the NBC reality series on TV? They eat fattening, calorie-filled shit.

Last September, Ernie Hsiung blogged that Twitter posts revealed hysterical eating habits during the broadcast. He found people eating ice cream, chocolate cream pie, and “a lot of Taco Bell.”

Twitter’s brief posts are, on a weekly basis, an endless source of fascinating tweets about what people are eating while watching. A Twitter search for “Biggest Loser watching eating” reveals that on Tuesday, people ate Oreos, Arby’s, “Lindor chocolate balls,” and “Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream straight out of the carton.”

There was a lot of ice cream, and also a lot of guilt: “I’m a hypocrite”, “feels like an a-hole,” and Eating tacos while watching The Biggest Loser – not making me feel good. Stop eating and go read, Fatty!

Meanwhile, the actual contestants have to essentially fend for themselves in the show’s kitchens, at least when Rocco DiSpirito isn’t around to show them how to cook and promote himself. The New York Times reports that contestants “have to do all their own cooking” and “learn fundamental cooking skills that they — like many Americans — have lost, or never had.”

They receive “a calorie budget, recipes and a list of forbidden foods: no white flour, white sugar, butter, or anything that contains them. From there, they have to learn to feed themselves.” Season six bully Heba Salama told the paper that “The kitchen was full of weird ingredients like quinoa and kale. It was the blind leading the blind.”

The paper also notes that the show’s two cookbooks, The Biggest Loser Cookbook and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook have collectively “sold more than two million copies.” And if Twitter is any indication, right now they’re being used as coasters for ice cream containers.

Things People Eat While Watching “The Biggest Loser,” According to Twitter [Littlest, Yellowest, Differentest]
In Kitchen, ‘Losers’ Start From Scratch [New York Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.