Ask Dr. Huizenga your questions about his book!

In about a week or so, Dr. Huizenga, author of “Where did all the fat go?” and I are going to have a phone interview!  He is the doctor behind The Biggest Loser; the rapid weight loss is achieved ultimately through a plan he developed – and is the only to document (his book)!  In addition he was a doctor for the Raiders football team, the president of the NFL physicians, and currently is also involved with the Bravo weight loss show, “Work Out.”

Many of my blog readers have been asking questions about his book, his weight loss plan and the exercise/eating regimine he writes about.  When he heard that you guys are reading his book and applying it to your lives – he was more than happy to take some time to answer your questions!  So here’s the plan; post as many questions as you want in this thread.  When I call him, I’ll start off with the ones I definitely can’t answer and we’ll try to get through as many as time permits (it won’t be a super long call).  Afterwards, I’ll upload it and you all can listen to it!

As an added incentive, I’ll give a Biggest Loser Cookbook to the person with the best question(s) (yes, I know, it’s purely subjective!)!  It’s full of great recipes that are low calorie AND easy to make!  We make meals from it all the time!

Also, if you want to revisit it, my review of his book that triggered all the discussion on the blog is here.

16 thoughts on “Ask Dr. Huizenga your questions about his book!

  1. Hi Matthew ~ I'd like to ask the doctor about the safety of running when you're very obese. Is there a level of obesity at which it's not safe to run? How do you know if it's OK for you to try?

    I'm worried about seeing the latest Biggest Loser finale, and hearing that Kelly had herniated a disk, which is pretty serious.

    Thanks for your blog!


  2. Matthew! bro, thanks so much for doing this dude! Here are my two questions in order of priority:

    According to my DEXA scan that I had done, I have 175 lbs of muscle. According to those results, my goal end weight should be 199-213 lbs. I don't know if it's important but I am 5'10".

    The tech who did the scan told me that when I reach my WOW! weight, that I will have lost muscle. I was really surprised to hear this. I don't remember that in the book. My first reaction is that if I'm doing the muscle building exercise, I should maintain or even build more muscle?

    sidebar: I have only done cardio since my scans. I have not done any weight lifting.

    for my question: when I reach my WOW! weight, do I need to have a scan again to determine my true WOW! weight since my muscle mass will have changed? (at $100 a scan, I'm very hesitant too).

    sidebar #2: Matthew, I haven't forgotten the answer you gave me of kind of playing it by ear when I reach my goal weight. I'm a little worried that I have lost muscle since I've only done cardio.

    Second question: Allegedly you are supposed to change your running shoes every 3 months. at $100+ I'm used to just wearing them out. After doing cardio for an hour+ on equipment for 3 months+ I got enough courage up to go for my one hour run. I did my dynamic stretching and then ran jogged and walked 5 1/2 miles in an hour.

    I had never done anything like that ever, and afterwards, my legged reminded me of that! My right foot hurt so bad and my right hamstring too. Was it because my running shoes were bad? How often should they be replaced?

    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?


  3. I have a few questions:

    1–I cannot find non-fat ricotta cheese. I've checked over 7 different grocery chains/health food chains and the only availability is LOW-fat. Is is okay to substitute a 100% whey protein drink as a muscle replacement after working out (120 calories, 22 protein, 4 carbs, 1.5 fat).

    2–I've been on the WOW Rx for the past week and have not lost any weight. I've been ranging between 1200 and 1500 calories a day (I'm 205 pounds 5'8" female). I've been working out 2x/day for the past week not missing a single day. Any advice?



  4. The last time I began to workout I had the beginnings of stress fractures (diagnosed by an osteopathic surgeon). I saw Mark (from Season 5) wearing some tight socks while he was working out. Do those socks help prevent stress fractures, or are they only used once you get them? I've been jogging/walking 4.5 miles 4x a week and noticing that my shin bones (not muscles) are getting a little sore.

    If the socks are indeed preventative, where can you buy them?



  5. Hi Matt!

    I have just begun the Wow! Program and love what Dr. H has to say about weight loss. He has done an amazing job answering the majority of questions and really providing a complete program. I do however have a few questions that I have thought about since beginning.

    1. While the exercise goal is to complete 4 miles in an hour to reach the appropriate vigorous intensity – if I am pushing myself to what I feel is my max yet I still can’t complete the 4 miles and keep the time to 1 hour, is the calorie benefit the same, close or is it really a moderate level exercise?
    2. Where does my heart rate need to be to get the full benefits of a vigorous workout without raising it to much (if that is even possible)?
    3. Unfortunately I am not able to get a DEXA scan or BOD POD reading at this time. The RDEE scale that the book provides has a range taken from the past Biggest Loser contestants. I selected a middle range – does that seem like an accurate method if the body composition tools aren’t available?

    Thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions and to facilitate communication with Dr. H. While it is really hard and a lot of work (sometimes I think I am crazy for getting up at 4:45 am to fit in the exercise and can’t imagine keeping on!), it’s worth the effort and is the difference between winning or loosing this fight with fat. Thank you for sharing this program that has actually worked for “real life people” and taking an interest in people that you don’t even know.


  6. Hello again!

    I have another question that has come up day 2 into the Wow! Program.

    1. It has become apparent that working out at a high intensity 2 hours a day, 6 days a week is going to create very sore muscles and achy bodies. I have always been told that you need to skip a day of exercise if you have sore muscles to allow the muscle to repair. Clearly this program – as clearly seen on the Biggest Loser – encourages you to push through the pain and keep working out. Is this really the healthy thing to do and do you significantly increase your chance for injury this way?
    2. I have noticed that my friend (aka: workout buddy) and I have been experiences sporadic chills throughout the day since starting the program. Is this normal?

    Thank you again for taking the time out to answer these questions! It is invaluable.


  7. 2 questions from me (I haven't read the whole book yet, I just got it a couple days ago but so far I'm really understanding the program, I think). I hope I'm not too late.

    1. For the anabolic shakes, is there a substitute for honey? I'd like to try the different shakes but I have issues with honey. I'm not allergic but the smell and taste gross me out. Is there something else I can use? Is it okay to make the shake without honey?

    2. For those of us who can't workout in the morning (I get up at 5am as it is. I don't think I could handle 4am workouts), when we do our 2 hours in the afternoon/evening should we workout all at once or still split it up (say 1 hour from 4-5 & then from 7-8)?

    Thanks! I really hope this works for me because I need it. And thank you Matt for all of the info. I wouldn't know about the book without this blog.


  8. First let me say that I feel like I am a contestant on the Biggest Loser right now. I just got up this morning and weighed myself……EIGHT POUNDS LOST!!! The first week I didn't lose anything and was pretty surprised (see my questions above), but this week (after my husband hid the scale from me so I couldn't weigh myself all week) I was SOO excited to see the change. I could feel it in my clothing (which Dr. H. says to go by more than the #s), but it was great to see that much weight drop off.

    My bizillionth questions is:

    My calorie floor (as Dr. H. calls it) is 1240 calories… RDEE is about 1520. Should I be trying to stay closer to 1240, or just stay somewhere inbetween the two numbers?

    Thanks Matt. I'm seriously feeling like I just pulled a 8 pound week and am still in the game….no voting me out!



  9. This is the first weight loss book I have ever purchased and I am so excited about the absolute truth and candor of it. I have just started this week and have two important questions!

    1. What is Dr. Huizenga's personal opinion on the minimum amount of sleep one can get? I seem to be OK on 7 hours, but I know the old standard is 8.

    2. I was in a car accident w/ an 18 wheeler 10 years ago and can totally walk, but jogging is really difficult (not recommended) for me. Can the Dr. please tell me exactly what I could do on an elliptical trainer to equal jogging? I know it is touched lightly in the book, but I was hoping for specifics because that may be my only real chance and getting in a tough workout. Incline? Resistance? How long? Is there ANY way to get the same benefits of jogging?

    Thanks SO much and if I can only have one question answered, I would really love to hear about my second one because I Hate being unable to do the jogging and am up for any challenge!


  10. Another question about the anabolic shakes:

    If you forget to take the shake within the first 1/2 hour should you skip taking it, or just take it when you remember?

    When does it stop being a muscle replacement and just start being calories? (knowing full well that it's always calories, but when does it lose it's beneficial state of helping your muscles?)

    Thanks Matt. I can't wait to get the answers to all the questions….and I can't wait until Monday for my next "weigh in". I'm going to be doing the bod-pod testing at the end of each month as my true indicator of progress!



  11. Hey there,

    I had just finished the book and was planning to get started on the plan, when I fractured both bones in my calf and fractured/dislocated my ankle. I had surgery to repair it two weeks ago.

    It seemed that the book emphasized weight bearing exercise, such as running, however at 5'4 & 326 lbs and recovering from ankle surgery, I don't see running in my immediate future.

    What other types of exercise would the doctor recommend?


  12. Another question for Dr. H. Has he ever thought of putting together an online forum for people who are using his program? I know as I've been on this journey for the past 3 1/2 weeks it sure would be great to talk to others who are on the same path. One of my friends has started, and it's been great to have someone to chat with, but I feel like I'm missing out on a bigger population of people who are taking this plan seriously and I'd like to be able to talk to them as well.

    I just wonder if he's thought about it. It would be great to have a place to go to chat.

    Thanks Matt.


  13. Thank you for doing this Matt! I followed your journey and just finished the book! I am looking forward to starting this plan! Great answers to great questions!


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