Originally Posted by kaplods
Several of the contestants have admitted that while the show management officially endorses 1200/1500 well-balanced calories, the real behavior of the contestants is much different. Fasting, eating and then vomitting, spending hours in the sauna to dehydrate before a weigh-in.... all of the obsessive, compulsive, destructive behaviors they're officially against. But with all of the money that's at stake, and the stigma of failing in front of the whole country, it's no surprise that people are willing to do anything to get there.
I'm not sure its fair to say "several" contestants have admitted to the things you list. Unless you've seen different reports, I've only seen the one from Ryan Benson and Kai Hibbard. Benson's sounded pretty extreme but Kai Hibbard from Season 3 simply said her and others would dehydrate before the weigh-in. That is dumb of course because it doesn't equate to actual fat loss but I think it is pretty moot anyway since if you do it once you would have to keep dehydrating before every weigh-in from that point on otherwise it would just show up as a gain the next week. It's not like you can lose 5 pounds of water one week and then and ADDITIONAL 5 pounds of water the next week. You're just losing that same 5 pounds of water over and over if you dehydrate.
And there are 2 things that you can point to as evidence against the claim they dehydrate themselves. In Week 1 they all lose tremendous amounts of weight, usually their highest numbers of the season. But that happens to most people during their first week when they diet/exercise even off the show. And the show has what they call the dreaded Week 2 Curse, where in week 2 they usually show their smallest lost numbers. They still probably lose a lot of fat Week 2 but they just gain back some of that water weight. Also, on dietsinreview.com Amanda from Season 8 has several videos where she answers viewers questions about the show. On a recent one where Danny from Season 8 "guest-hosted" he answered a viewer question about dehydrating. He agreed it was pointless for the reason I mentioned (you'd have to keep doing it) and he also said they test you for dehydration. If they find you're dehydrated they make you drink water. Maybe he's lying, but maybe not. Ryan and Kai were on the earliest seasons, maybe they didn't test back then but because the issue has come up they've been testing for it now.
Anyway, to get back to the original post. I would love to see more about their diets as well. I just started watching the show this year and have now finished a few different seasons. I think the trainers and maybe even the producers do genuinely try to get the contestants to eat according to the plan. I saw how in Season 7 when Ron and Mike were not losing much weight Bob actually told them to start eating MORE. He said they were falling victim to the idea of eating super low cal to lose weight and instead slowed down their metabolisms. It was refreshing to see Bob tell them that.
I think a good idea would be for them to actually have a separate half hour show or something on the Food Network dedicated to their diets and healthy recipes. They've shown a few recipes on the show with celebrity chefs and they've always been interesting. I'd also like to see them show MORE of the actual training, I know they show a decent amount of it but its just so many quick cuts. My favorite scenes are usually the ones in the gym, especially last chance workouts, they're pretty motivating and I'd like to see more. The weigh-ins take almost half the show, that's just ridiculous, they can cut the time for the weigh-ins by a ton.