The Biggest Loser Season 10 Winner Patrick House Says Claims of Drug Use and Metabolism Damage Caused by the Show Are False
It’s been six years since Patrick House headed to The Biggest Loser ranch, and despite the recent controversies that have befallen the reality weight loss competition, he continues to credit the show with saving his life.
“I was 424 lbs., and I was showing no signs of slowing down. Food addiction was a full-blown problem for me, and I was gaining weight every year,” the season 10 winner, 33, tells PEOPLE. “Had it not been for Biggest Loser, I could be 500 lbs. I could be dead, I could have had a heart attack.”
That’s why House is speaking out against a study that came out earlier this month indicating that being on The Biggest Loser causes damage to the contestants’ metabolism, explaining why many of them ultimately end up gaining the weight back. According to the study, the contestants begin the competition with an average resting metabolism, but as they diet and exercise at a rapid speed to lose enough weight to win, their metabolism significantly slows down, and never recovers.
“To use that study as a way to turn it around and say, ‘It’s Biggest Loser‘s fault I gained the weight back’ – you wouldn’t have the weight to gain back to begin with if it hadn’t been for Biggest Loser,” he says. “I just don’t buy into the whole theory of pointing a finger at a production company, a TV show, when it really comes down to the person.”
House, who is 6’2″, lost 205 lbs. on the show, getting down to his winning weight of 219 lbs. While he is now 265 lbs., he does not blame the show for his weight gain.
“The weight I have gained back is directly proportional to my time focused on diet and gym time,” he says. “The only place to point the finger is at the man in the mirror. Maintenance is tough, but it’s not impossible.”
“If you’re eating good, clean, healthy food and not overeating, you can’t gain weight,” he continues. “Your body doesn’t manufacture calories – you have to be putting them in.”
“From the very beginning, NBC, The Biggest Loser, all the executive producers were very up front that certain things had a zero tolerance policy – weight loss pills, diet pills, diuretics,” he says. “I find it hard to believe that there would be rules involved in not using them from the same people that would encourage and hand them out to other contestants.”
House worked with Harper during his time on the show, and finds it particularly hard to believe that he would have anything to do with the distribution of weight loss drugs.
“When I first saw that I literally laughed out loud,” says House. “Bob is a guy that I’ve had in my home in Mississippi, playing with my children, around my family. He is a stand-up guy that would not jeopardize his career or the show that has led him to rise in popularity. There are so many ways that that could go terribly wrong for him, that there’s no way he would risk that.”
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Harper previously denied the allegations.
“These allegations are absolutely false and are in direct conflict with my lifelong devotion to health and fitness,” he told PEOPLE earlier this month. “Safety is paramount in my training regimen and, while demanding, my approach has always focused on the overall well-being of contestants as they lose significant weight and educate themselves, for the first time, on living a healthy lifestyle.”
Producers of the show also refuted the claims, telling PEOPLE in a statement, “Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight loss drugs. We prohibit the use of any illegal substances.”