Where did all the FAT go?

Dr. Huizenga’s new book, “Where did all the FAT go?,” came out a couple weeks ago and I just finally got my copy!  I love it!  For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Huizenga is the doctor behind every season of The Biggest Loser.  He’s usually on camera a few times each season, but most of what he does is behind the scenes.  However, it’s his vision for what morbidly obese people are actually capable of that is the basis of the show and what has shocked America season after season.  During season three, he was excited to have the 36 of us at home contestants because through us he was able to show America that those “Ranch” results are possible at home with no trainer, no home gym, and no luxury ranch!   And what shocked people, was that many of us did as well or better than the fourteen who were on the ranch.  This book chronicles his plans, lays it out in detail, and shows how we were able to lose the same amount of weight with a fraction of the time spent in the gym, at home, on our own.  Personally, I might be a little biased because he mentions me from time to time and there are some photos of me in the book, which is just absolutely a blast for me, but the reality is, this book describes exactely how I lost the weight and how others can do it as well!  Great writing, fun to read, and a very practical weight loss plan.  You can buy a copy here.  You won’t regret it!

44 thoughts on “Where did all the FAT go?

  1. Len … it's actually the only one I've read! lol I'm not much of a diet book reader – most of them are too boring, but I do like how he weaves our weight loss stories in and out of the science and practical knowledge in the book.

    Ben – I checked it out! Good site – I'm looking forward to reading the book (I love to read, and I actually do book reviews for the Journal of Student Ministries and Youth Worker Journal).


  2. Hey…I just got my own copy of this book today and am looking forward to reading it. I must confess that I showed your picture on page 299 to my dentist and his assistant this morning when I was in for an appointment!


  3. so I'm through chapter 6 on the book. Just got done reading about what to eat. He says 6 servings of vegatables.

    Dude, how do you get this? I don't eat any vegatables at breakfast. I don't know what I'd eat at lunch. And dinner, I'm good to get one serving of vegatables.

    So where do you sneak them in?


  4. Oh, I easily eat 5-8 servings of vegetables a day! If I'm having an omelet or scrambled eggs at breakfast, I'll sneak a servings worth of veggies into the eggs (onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc.). At lunch, I'll pack my sandwich with lettuce, onions, peppers, olives, onions, whatever is handy to bulk it up and fill me up. And at dinner, I probably have at least four servings of vegetables. Keep in mind, a serving is whatever that measurement is that is listed on the side of the package; so for example, the other night I had a pile of peas. It was about a 160 calories worth, which was four servings total according to the label. I ate it like it was one serving, but in reality it was four. On top of that, I had some of the mixed veggies that my kids were having as well (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower), so I had five servings of veggies at dinner.


  5. Well, I definitely have a lot of work to do then! My sandwich is packed as it is just trying to get six ounces of turkey breast on there. I can't imagine throwing anything else on there.

    I'm not into omelette's.

    but I can definitely do better at dinner. I'd rather eat more meat though!

    thanks for your thoughts bro!


  6. Hey Matt, thanks for the thorough review on Amazon.com — I went out and bought the book last night and finished it this afternoon. It makes sense. I'm going to start pulling together the resources I need to make me successful — its definitely helpful to know there are others out there who have done the same thing.

    One question I kept running into, however… was… I get the whole physical and emotional changes that happen when we lose weight… and I see the need to have a team of folks working with you to address those… but how did you work the spiritual side of things? Did you take to extra study time in scripture or did you stay the course through the whole experience?


  7. MCNUTT!

    I had my DEXA scan done! I blogged about it at http://wichitasbiggestloser.blogspot.com and of course dropped your name and this post.

    I can't find anywhere to contact Dr. H, so you are gonna have to field this question: I have 175 lbs of muscle. Right now my goal end weight is 199-213 lbs. As I lose this next 40 lbs of fat, I'm going to lose some muscle which will change my goal weight. How much will it change? any idea?


  8. Hi Matt.

    Thanks for opening up this discussion. I bought the book and am almost done reading it. There is a lot of information to soak up, but I'm starting tomorrow. I'm excited to start and looking forward to the changes. I do have some questions for Dr. H, and you.

    #1–would Dr. H be interested in using subjects that have no connection with The Biggest Loser (other than we really wanted to be on the show)? I'm thinking that he mentions in the book numerous times how the 36 at home contestants didn't really have the same reasons for losing the weight as the contestants on the ranch. I think you guys did have similar reasons, motivations, etc. But with NOOOOOO possibility of being on the ranch at all it might make some more scientific data possible.

    I was thinking that you could get some people together to participate in a true, at-home study (I'd be willing to participate, and I'm sure there are others from the "casting tips" page that would be as well).

    #2–how does Dr. H. feel about prepared meals (lean cuisine, smart ones, etc). I know they have the new Biggest Loser meals that you can have mailed to you, but how about using the stuff already in the store for those days that you don't have time to prepare the salad to take with you?

    #3–can you do your 2 – 2.5 hours of workout at one time? Maybe I missed the part where the two hours should be separated for some reason, but I was thinking that it would be the easiest for me to get the 2 hours in before my husband leaves for work. I have 3 small children and my husband usually works late, soooo can I do it all in the morning?

    Thanks again Matt. I think you're awesome and I'm glad you continue to help others in their journey.


  9. Hi Matt,
    I've been a fan of the show since season one and I'm glad to have found your website. Your at home journey was inspiring, and I was so happy to be able to cheer on brother in Christ!

    I've been reading Dr. H's book and have started my two sessions/day workouts today. I've found that I am a bit hungrier than usual.

    Do you know of a website or blog by Dr. H that might answer some questions that come up as one reads through his book?

    To comment on Molly's question, Dr. H did mention in the book that 2 one hour sessions are better than completing the 2 hours at one time. He commented that 3, 40 minute sessions MIGHT be better, but not as practical. I too thought that 2 hour long sessions was a bit much, but Dr. H. makes a lot of good arguments in the book that support this idea. Best of luck to you!

    Thanks again, Matt!


  10. Thanks Peg.

    I actually did find that brief paragraph a bit later (I knew I had read something, but couldn't find it when I went to tell my sister why it was better).

    Thanks for helping out. I'm still curious about the prepared meal question though….any thoughts on that? I know that fresh, natural is best, but in a pinch I was wondering if it would be okay.


  11. Oh…and I did think of another question.

    I've called 5 different stores in my area (within 50 miles actually), health food and non-health food alike, and I cannot find NON-fat Ricotta cheese. Everybody seems to have LOW-fat, but any suggestions on finding the non-fat for the anabolic shakes?

    Right now I'm just using a 100% Whey protein powder, it has 4 carbs, 22 protein, and 1.5 fat with 120 calories. Is that an okay substitute?


  12. Hi Molly – As for frozen meals – it is just my opinion that food prepared fresh is healthier, but in a pinch I'll eat a Smart Ones or other low cal frozen meal with a big salad (Making the salad the main meal and the frozen entre a side). The problem I have with the frozen meals is the amount of sodium and preservatives in them. Again, this is just my opinion and not based on anything I read in Dr. H's book.
    Sorry I can't offer any advice re: non fat ricotta. I am able to find it in my regular grocery. (I have to review the section regarding the anabolic shakes post work out again myself.)

    Matt – Now that you have reached and have been maintaining your goal weight, do you still journal your food and count calories?



  13. Some of these questions are ones that we had asked Dr. H, so I'll pass on what he told us …

    Regarding splitting the workouts up into two times instead of one; if we couldn't do it in two sessions, then he was okay with doing the two hours all at once. However, by splitting it up and having a period of time between them to rebuild energy, you are able to exercise at a higher intentsity for the two hours then if you did it all at once, and as a result the calorie burn is higher. So at the end of the day, you lose more weight because you are able to work out harder and burn more calories in the same amount of time.

    As far as prepared meals go (Lean Cuisine, Kashi, etc.), he's not thrilled with them, but as long as the food is within the alloted calories you will still lose weight. His whole point was that it was okay, but you could have better food and more of it if you prepare it yourselves – but he was okay with us having frozen meals occasionally as long as we stayed within our calorie allotment.

    As far as the shakes go, I'm not sure. I'll add that to the list of questions I ask him when I get around to trying to do an interview with him for this blog! That's a good one since that's definitely something he researched out and developed himself.

    With maintaining I don't food journal any more. However, I do count calories. As a 6'5" man, I should eat around 2500 calories a day so I keep track most of the time. When I have a day where I have too many, then I cut back the next day or increase my workout to balance it out. I'll have to be conscience about this the rest of my life, but it's worth it!


  14. Thanks Matt.

    I've literally called every store within a 50 mile radius (Albertsons, Maceys, Harmons, Wal-Mart, Super Target, Wild Oats Health Food, Good Earth Health Food) and nobody carries it. I'm thinking there has to be a substitute or I'm just going to have to do my best.

    If I think of more questions I'll be sure to post.

    So far (the past two days), I've run both mornings 4-5 miles, done weight training/elliptical for an hour and tonight I went for an hour long swim. I'm feeling great and actually not as hungry as I normally am. I think I'm just too exhausted from working out 🙂


  15. That's amazing! You're not as hungry because exercise actually does release hormones that help control your appetite – in other words, it helps your cravings tone down. Keep it up!


  16. I think doing the two workouts a day is what is helping me as well. Typically when I've exercised before it's all been in the morning and by about 2 o'clock I'm famished. I think knowing that I have another workout coming keeps me in control because I don't know of anybody that wants to work out on a full stomach.

    I've got an appointment to do a bod-pod testing next week. It's only $15 at the university close by. I did a google search and was so happy to find it.


  17. I do have a questions Matt.

    I've been doing 2 workouts a day, and enjoying it. I've also been eating between 1250-1500 calories each day which seems appropriate for my 205 pounds (I'm 5'8").

    I know you aren't supposed to weigh yourself everyday because of the influx of water/etc. But I have been (oops). The problem is coming that I haven't seen a change in my weight AT ALL. It's still registering at 205 every morning. It's been 5 days….don't you think that is odd? I'll still use my Monday morning weigh in as my guideline, but I thought it was odd that there is no change at all.

    What do you think?


  18. any update as to when you're going to have the interview with the doctor? Just wondering because there are some questions that I've asked that I'm anxious to have answered.

    (by the way, I'm down 14 pounds in 4 weeks and still going strong!)


  19. Matt,

    I have started w/ a trainner/nutritionist at a health club (I go about 10x a week, although only meet w/ him 1x a week). Anyway, I have told him about the book and asked him if he's be willing to read it, it may revolutionize his practice. I then went on to say if he was willing to achieve these results, I'd be willing to be his spokes person (I let him know I'm educated, articulate, and pretty). He, even before my pitch, said he would read it! I'm looking forward to working as a team w/ someone who already understands this stuff. Maybe through this book he'll even go on to help more people. Could be a good thing!


  20. Oh my gosh two hours a day!!??? I am a one time a week for 45 min. person. How do you guys go from none to 2 hours a week? And a huge question is HOW do you do the eliptical for more than five minutes. I tried it and was dying after five minutes. My thighs burnt so bad and were shaking so much I felt like I was going to fall off it on my face.


  21. I didn't do the two hours at the same time; I did an hour in the morning and an hour at night. And you start with what you can do; for me that meant walking. It was a while before I started using the eliptical. At first I could only do 5-10 minutes, then I would go finish the hour on the treadmill walking. I slowly added time to the eliptical until I could finally do an hour, but it took some time.


  22. Matt I asked a question on another area of your site and cannot find it now. It was about what you eat for favorite little snacks and stuff. You're site is so awesome but huge that I cannot find it now. Know where it's at?


  23. Yikes … I have no idea … there are a lot of comments so it would be hard to sift through them all. My favorite snacks are fiber one and kashi brand granola bars, Dannon light and fit yogurt, fruit (apples & bananas), and light cheese sticks. : )


  24. Ok thanks. I got the book in the mail today. It is SO interesting I can hardly put it down. But I have to sleep tonight lol. I wish I knew which contestant you were in the book. It would be cool reading about YOU directly!


  25. Today I only got to 1300 calories (I'm supposed to get at least 1453 in) but I couldn't eat more with out doing it when I wasn't hungry. I hope that's okay! I don't want to go into starvation mode or anything but all day I have felt "skinny"… it's the wierdest thing.


  26. Matt,
    A friend told me about this book and website. I am the type of person that wants weight to be gone yesterday without me doing any of the work. I don't workout but have a gym membership if that gets me points. I have dieted since the womb I think and I seem to think I know what I should do to lose this weight. What about this plan/book is going to click with me? I know being on TV and not wanthing to fail in front of millions is a great motivator but what made you do it this time? I have had a lot of "this is my time" moments but none stick..
    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.


  27. Matt, I have a question about maintaining. Do you find that it is necessary to continue to do 2 hours a day exercise or have you found that 1 hour 5-6 days a week or 1 1/2 hours 3-4 days a week is fine as long as you continue with healthy eating habits you gain doing the program?


  28. I'd die if I still had to do a couple hours a day! That's only for weight loss mode … in maintainance mode I try to get around 4-6 hours a week which is perfect as long I stay healthy in my eating. : )


  29. Hi Matt – quick question if I can. I didn't even KNOW about Dr. Huizenga's book until about 10 days ago (Gasp!) – I ordered it immediately, got it about 3 days ago and I'm at the start of the workouts info.

    My question is, on pg 123, it shows the PPT training, and the execise, the resistance charts.

    My question – Are we supposed to add ankle weights to the workout at the same time?? Or only if its for a leg move? Just wasn't sure, if we're supposed to use:

    – the ankle weights
    – the wrist weights
    – AND the barbells (according to the exercises that use it)

    at the same time?

    Btw – I LOVE this book! I've read so much about WL that I should be an expert, but it's been his book that has motivated me and EXPLAINED why I stalemated after 30 pounds lost, which I've been holding at since Feb. (And unfortunately, in the past 2 months, gained 7 back even though I was "working out" 😦 OR SO I THOUGHT!

    I wish he had a place we could go and thank him for it 🙂
    I'm finishing the book and starting officially November 3rd as my start date (so I have time to finish it and prep).


  30. Oops – forgot to ask…

    do we "HAVE" to do that shake thing with ricotta cheese? RC and I have a bad relationship. (It literally makes me sick to my stomach). Can I do something different?


  31. Hi, will Walmart be carry whey shakes? Ihave a jack lane juicer is that good to do> how about carrot juice with apples?
    The diet Im doing now is Eat to live. and I started taking Alli.
    Go to curves 3-5 days aweek.Can you use light soy milk in shakes too.? what taste better ?{water/
    what about diet pop made with splenda?


  32. Hi Matt,

    Absolutely LOVE your site! I ordered the book last week and can't wait to get it! No Guarantee on who will make it to the ranch so I want to start NOW! Can you give me any advise on what to be doing and shopping for so I have here? I don't know how long this book is but once I start reading I don't plan on putting it down until finished.

    Thanks again for such a wonderful site!


  33. I've put all of my ideas, recommendations and how I lost the weight on this website; follow the links across the top of the page to get my weight loss plan, articles I've written, and audio from weight loss classes I've led. It's all free! 🙂


  34. Hi 🙂

    I am having problem locating one of the piece of equipment we are supposed to buy. Where did you guys find the thick rubber instability mat? I can not find it anywhere, even online… Is there another name for it? Please let me know!


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