By People Staff
October 07, 2009 12:00 AM

When Allison Sweeney started off week 4 by locking the refrigerator doors, I could NOT believe it! I was horrified for all the contestants. Watching your caloric intake and writing everything down that you put into your body is a must do (non-negotiable) on the Ranch. I can only imagine the fear they had when they found out they had to order out every day for the entire week.

I can personally say that I special-order everything. At first, I was shy about making requests because I didn’t want to be a hassle, nor did I want my friends and other dinner companions (i.e. dates) to think I was being high maintenance. After time I realized that it’s not high maintenance because my fellow diners want me to stay in control. They’re all so proud of what I have accomplished.

More importantly, because I’m PAYING (well, most of the time), I should get a meal I’ll enjoy, just like Shay said this episode. I am so happy she has already learned this! (Also, two tips when eating at a Mexican restaurant: when the chips do come and your friends want to dig in, ask the waiter for a side order of corn tortillas to nibble on. And always substitute flour tortillas for corn tortillas.)

On Tracey: I have to be candid — I have no idea how she is losing weight like she is! This woman hasn’t been able to work out or cook for herself the whole week. It is quite impressive, actually, and I think she was even surprised at her weight loss. But it’s also obvious everyone wants her gone, and now I do feel a little bad for her. After all, she goes on a reality show to lose weight and/or win $250k but because of medical reasons, she hasn’t been able to do anything for 4 weeks — that’s insane! Who I feel even more horrible for is Coach Mo. He has been working his tail off trying to save a partner who doesn’t even consult with him before making hasty decisions.

One thing that stuck out to me this episode was when Bob and Jillian told the group they shouldn’t fall on the sword for anyone. At times during this journey, you become so close with everyone you let your emotions overcome you. I can tell you that yes, on most occasions the who fall on the sword for others do regret it. Your days on the Ranch are limited, so you need to make sure that every day counts.

Now let me answer some of your questions!

LYNE asked if Bob and Jillian train us on a daily basis. The contestants normally see a trainer at least 5 times a week — it could be Bob or Jillian or both. It really does depend upon their schedule as they also have other obligations besides the show. On days you don’t see them, you still get homework to complete in order to hit your caloric burn. Lyne also asked what I do now for exercise. I have been trying all different forms. On a normal basis, I run 6 times a week (I am training for the NYC Marathon), take spinning classes at least 2 times week, and do one cardio aerobic class, one yoga class, and one “300” workout (modified for women).

JIM and LINDSEY both asked about what the caloric burn for contestants. The burn for each contestant can vary but on average a woman would be burning anywhere from 6,000-4,500 and the guys would be burning 8,000-6,500. I know that sounds insane, but when you are bigger you do burn calories. In the beginning, I was easily able to hit a 6,000 burn, but as time progressed and my weight dropped, it was difficult for me to get to 4,000.

Finally, I think it’s awesome that so many of you shared with me how BL has inspired you to take a positive step in your life. The truth is, anyone can do it — it’s a matter of believing in oneself, patience and perseverance. I am a firm believer in doing things just for today. If you promise to do something just for today it is a feasible goal — by the end, those days add up! –Tara Costa

Tell me: Were you surprised Allen lost to Daniel in the challenge? How many of you got the correct answer during the pop challenge?

Read Tara’s previous Biggest Loser Blog.Trae Patton/NBC