‘The Biggest Loser’s’ Bob Harper Says the Reboot Is Going to be ‘So Different’

The weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser ran for 17 seasons on NBC. The program came under fire at times for allegedly using extreme methods and reports of contestants gaining back the weight they lost on the show, leaving fans to wonder if the competition show may have been poorly executed.

Now with a revamped format, The Biggest Loser is hitting the screens again in January 2020, this time on USA Network with trainer Bob Harper returning to take over as host.

“The Biggest Loser’s” Bob Harper | John Lamparski/WireImage

Priority is not on the scale

Formerly serving in the trainer role on the show, Harper is now hosting the program and tells People “the whole look of the show is going to be so different.” The television personality revealed that the reboot places an emphasis on health over dress size, focusing on physical issues that may be a result of poor diet and weight gain.

“It’s not about getting skinny, it’s about getting healthy. You see people getting off medication, reversing their type 2 diabetes, lowering their blood pressure… We’re looking at changing the way that they eat, the way that they think and how they move their body,” Harper said. “Telling them the importance of managing their stress and how important sleep is when it comes to weight loss. We really want to get that whole-body approach.”

New trainers

Fans of the show most likely remember Harper and fellow trainer Jillian Michaels as the tough-as-nails coaches for the red and blue teams. Now, Erica Lugo and Steve Cook are taking over that vital aspect of the show, along with a panel of doctors and nutritionists.

Lugo knows the drill first-hand, successfully dropping 160 pounds after discovering her weight had hit 322 pounds. She feels she already has a personal connection with the 12 contestants entering the challenge. “They just trust me because I was there,” she said. “I know when they’re crying during a burpee, I’ve been there. I’ve cried the same tears.”

Both Lugo and Cook want to ensure that each participant can successfully use the tools required to sustain their lifestyle changes when the cameras stop rolling. “I just try to simplify it for them because they’re eventually going to be away from us and we want to make sure they can implement these workouts on their own,” Lugo explained.

Cook plans on instilling self-sufficiency in each contestant. “Ultimately, you want to leave them with the tools so that they can go do it themselves,” he said. “Four days a week we’re in the gym doing some kind of weight training, but there’s only so much high impact stuff you can do with people, especially if they’re coming from a de-conditioned state. So sometimes we just go out and walk for two hours. That’s already better than what they were doing at home.”

Learning from past mistakes

With reports of contestants from the original show gaining their weight back and having their metabolism damaged by the program’s practices, Harper maintains that priority is placed on continued success for those partaking in the competition, long after they leave the set.

“The hardest part is keeping it off,” Harper said. “This is going to be something that they have to work on for the rest of their life, and I wanted to make sure that they have the aftercare and the support.”

Cook is confident in the multi-pronged strategy being implemented this time around. “There has been such an emphasis placed on the holistic,” he said. “It’s really this 360-degree approach — mentally and physically. We make sure were doing this in a healthy way first and foremost.”

The Biggest Loser premieres on USA on January 28, 2020!