On my Advanced Mediterranean Diet, 300-pounders get 2,300 calories (men) or 1,900 calories (women).
Although not stressed by Dr. Sears, my impression is that contestants exercise a huge amount.
Go to the Sears link above and you’ll learn that all contestants are paid to participate. In researching my Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes book, I learned that the actual Biggest Loser wins $250,000 (USD). Also, “The Biggest Loser” is an international phenomenon with multiple countries hosting their own versions, with different pay-off amounts. A former winner, Ali Vincent, lives in my part of the world and still has some celebrity status.
This TV show demonstrates that the calories in/calories out theory of body weight still applies, including the fact that massive exercise can help significantly with weight loss. In real-world situations, exercise contributes only a small degree to loss of excess weight.
The major take-home point of the show, for me, is that you can indeed make food and physical activity choices that determine your weight.
I know losing 50 to 10o pounds of fat (25–45 kg) and keeping it off for a couple years is hard; most folks can’t do it. Do you think you’d be more successful if I gave you $250,ooo for your success?