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Shedding the drama: The Biggest Loser gets a major makeover

The Biggest Loser: Transformed trainers Libby Babet and Shannan Ponton pictured with host Fiona Falkiner, centre.
The Biggest Loser: Transformed trainers Libby Babet and Shannan Ponton pictured with host Fiona Falkiner, centre. Channel 10

THE Biggest Loser is a show known for its jaw-dropping transformations.

But it's the weight-loss show itself that's getting a makeover for its 11th season.

Producers are taking a more well-rounded approach to fitness; temptation challenges are out, and mind health sessions with psychologist Glenn Mackintosh are in.

Guest chefs bust food myths and share recipes for healthy, nutritious meals.

This year's 16 contestants still sweat it out in the gym with trainers Shannan Ponton and newcomer Libby Babet, but they're working towards lifelong change rather than just the numbers on the scales.

The 16 contestants in the new series of The Biggest Loser: Transformed.
The 16 contestants in the new series of The Biggest Loser: Transformed. Channel 10

"There was an understanding that the past few series we've done just didn't reflect the changes in weight loss, nutrition and health that have occurred in the last decade," executive producer Paul Leadon told The Guide during a visit to the show's new Sydney set - an old naval yard in Kirribilli.

"The folks this year are far more relatable. They're 20 to 40kg overweight.

"They admit they've let themselves go... we all know somebody who's been there."

This is a full reboot intended to shed the show's 'trainers yelling at people' image. Leadon admits some of the series' previous aspects were just plain wrong.

"There was that whole counter intuitive thing of temptation where you'd put a chocolate eclair in front of someone and say this is so many calories, if you ate it," he says.

"The trainers used to hate it; that was us creating moments (for television) but we were working outside the brief of weight loss. It was wrong."

And producers of international versions of The Biggest Loser, including in the US, will be eagerly watching to see if the new Transformed format is a success.

"We're proudly leading the way," Leadon says. "Everyone is looking at how we're going to go, and if it works then they'll all do it.

"There will be many eyes on the numbers."

Trainers Shannan Ponton and Libby Babet in a scene from the TV series The Biggest Loser: Transformed.
Trainers Shannan Ponton and Libby Babet in a scene from the TV series The Biggest Loser: Transformed. Channel 10

Ponton, who has been on The Biggest Loser since day one, says this is the show he's always wanted to make.

"It's about the entire person and the whole package," he says.

"We are not just teaching them how to exercise, we are teaching them to be the best versions of themselves they can be."

He's also full of praise for his new counterpart, Sunshine Coast-raised journalist turned personal trainer Libby Babet.

"Libby is one the best trainers in Australia," he says. "We have very different approaches to how we get results and I think that's what will be a good change for this year. But I'm not going to take it easy on her."

The Biggest Loser: Transformed premieres on Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

Topics:  channel 10 television the biggest loser the biggest loser: transformed


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