Our speaker today appeared on NBC’s hit reality show, The Biggest Loser. At his largest, he weighed over 416 lbs, and when he showed up to the Biggest Loser Ranch in March, 2005, he weighed in at 401 pounds. He was voted off the show 62 days later, after having lost 83 pounds.
With his background as a successful entrepreneur Pete is a full time motivational speaker, and corporate wellness consultant—encouraging people around the country to overcome obstacles and pursue excellence. He also helps people lose massive amounts of weight with his personally developed, intensive weight loss program called “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever™.”
Pete Thomas is the Season 2 at-home winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” He is a full-time motivational speaker, teacher, author, weight-loss coach and wellness consultant.
1. What inspired you to write “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever”, and can you tell us why you chose this title?
I decided to write “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” because of what I saw as a gap in the marketplace. There were plenty of weight loss books out there. But not many talk about how to lose weight and how to keep it off permanently. So that’s the focus of this book. About two-thirds of the book really deals with losing the weight and losing it forever. I see this as an answer to what is simply nonexistent in the other weight loss and diet books out there.
I chose the title for two reasons. One, I believe that losing it fast allows a person to maintain motivation. However, if you’re going to keep the weight off long-term, you have to have a focus on losing it forever. So those two things in the title actually capture exactly what I want people to do.
2. Your book discusses a phenomenal four-step process available to everyone that helps in lowering weight, what are they?
There are really four phenomenal steps required to lose weight permanently and to lose it fast as well. The first one starts with Your Power. Your Power is really all about your mind. If you’re going to make a life-long change, you’re going to have to engage the mind in the process, because the mind determines your focus. If you don’t have focus, you cannot achieve great things. And losing weight permanently is a great thing. So Your Power is all about setting great goals, gathering a team, and coming to terms with why you gained weight in the first place.
The next section deals with Your Plan. Your Plan is actually how you’re going to achieve permanent weight loss. In this section we deal with nutrition and exercise. In this step you will create a Perfect Personalized Weight Loss Meal Plan, as well as a Perfect Personalized Weight Loss Workout. Basically you will learn about the science of weight loss and how to apply it to the world you live in.
The next step is called Your Pursuit. This is really the 12-week weight loss program that will allow you to lose it fast. And if you follow the program that’s in the book, you will lose the weight in a hurry. However, it’s important that you build each of these steps upon each other. Follow Your Power, then follow Your Plan, then move to Your Pursuit.
After Your Pursuit, the next thing you want to do is look at Your Purpose. In this step, I ask you to define your ultimate purpose for losing the weight. Why are you doing this in the first place? Your Purpose should really be related to moving on toward your lifelong goals, doing things that you really want to do, but have been hindered because of your weight. However, it’s really important that you go through steps one, two, and three before you move on to four.
3. What are the main factors you saw resulting in the obesity epidemic in the modern world?
There are many factors that have resulted in the obesity epidemic. One is that we moved from an agrarian society where we were much more active to an industrial culture, where machines began to do a lot of the work for us. But at its root, the real reason there’s an obesity epidemic in the modern world is that there’s simply too much information. That information is not distilled and codified in such a way that people can understand it. We hear all of these different pieces of information. For instance, we’ll hear, “Oh, there’s too much fast food,” or “There’s too much of this or that.” But no one ever breaks it down into a simplistic way to tell us how we’re supposed to eat. We hear things like, “Push away from the table.” But okay, I used to push away from the table when I weighed 416 pounds, then I would get up and go to the buffet line to get my seconds. So how many times am I supposed to push away from the table?
You simply have too much information and there’s no education for application. In other words, people don’t understand what they’re supposed to do in their everyday lives. That’s because whoever happens to be teaching typically teaches at too high of a level. So my goal in “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” is to teach the basics of nutrition and weight loss, and I believe we’ve accomplished that in a unique way.
4. What kind of success have you seen with your dietary recommendations and what scientific support do you have for them?
My students who follow my dietary recommendations are guaranteed to be successful. The reason is that I actually engage my students in coming up with their menu. We call it a Perfect Personalized Weight Loss Meal Plan. There are two key things there. One is, it’s Personalized because it’s designed by the student – or in this case, by the reader of the book. And it’s Perfect because it works in any situation the reader may find herself in. In other words, I’m not giving you special food to eat – you’re learning to eat properly on your own, in any given situation.
I don’t have any scientific support except that my students are successful at losing weight and keeping it off. The neat thing about having a personalized meal plan is that whenever you get off track you go back to what you designed. There are two types of diet plans: there are set plans and diet plans. A set plan is when someone tells you exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A counting plan is one where you are counting carbohydrates, points, or something similar. I believe the best type of plan is really a combination of both, and it’s even better if the user designs their own within certain guidelines. That’s what we try and structure here in the book “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever”. That’s found in Step Two: Your Plan section of the book.
5. What makes “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” different from the common weight loss books?
I think the uniqueness of “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” is two-fold. The first is that I myself have been successful at losing the weight quickly and keeping it off. Most authors who write weight loss books are either fitness trainers who’ve never really struggled with their weight, or they are professionals. By professionals I mean that they are from the dietary world: doctors, nutritionists, etc., who’ve never known what it’s been like to live as a morbidly obese adult. And that’s exactly what I was. And so here you have the perspective of a morbidly obese adult who lived the majority of his life overweight, who learns about weight loss and he applies the principles to his life. Then he goes out to teach it to others to see if the methods are applicable in every environment and body type. And sure enough, they are.
The second unique aspect of “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” is that I address all three major areas of weight loss. My program will teach you to Master Your Mind, Manage Your Mouth, and Multiply Your Muscles. Most other programs address only one, or at the most two, of those areas. But if you are to lose weight permanently, you need to pay attention to all three areas, and that’s what you will learn to do.
6. Could you share with us on average how much weight do your clients usually lose while following the strategies and eating plans in ““Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever””? And what is the ONE thing that helps them to lose weight?
When you talk about averages of weight loss, it really depends. Because you typically have people who drop out of the program, or some people who apply the program only for a week or two, so it’s not easy to assess how much weight the clients usually lose. I have clients who lose anywhere from 8 pounds all the way up to 115 pounds. And even more important than how many pounds they lost, it’s better to look at percentages. So I’ve had clients lose anywhere from 5 percent up to 25 percent of their body weight by taking my course. That’s while they were taking my course. Some have lost even more in the long term after that, because they had learned HOW to lose weight on their own.
When people ask what is the one thing that helps people lose weight, I challenge them to go to their English professor and ask what is the one thing they need to do to write the Great American Novel. Your English professor will tell you there is no one thing: you need a great plot, characters, setting, and so on. And it’s the same thing with weight loss. There is no one thing. If you’re going to do one thing, pick up the book and apply ALL the strategies in the book and you will lose weight. However there is no ONE thing. Is there one thing you would tell a pilot to learn how to fly a plane? I hope not! When it comes to weight loss, weight loss is about education – you need to be educated about the subjects of nutrition and exercise and behavioral change, then apply that information. And all those things are covered in detail in “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever.”
7. How much weight can a person expect to lose by following the “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” diet?
You have to remember that my program is more than a diet. It is a lifestyle program. It is a framework for losing all the weight that you need to lose, and lose it permanently. So you can easily lose anywhere from 10 to 250 pounds, depending on how much you have to lose. Now, how fast you lose it depends on your application of the principles. Whether or not you lose it forever depends on whether you immediately go to Step Three or whether you work through Steps One and Two first. So there’s really no limit to the weight you can lose. And I know many people talk about this, but because this is a lifestyle framework, it’s a way to eat for the rest of your life. So there’s really no limit to the amount of weight you can lose.
8. Besides losing weight, what other benefits should a person expect to derive from “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever”? Is it suitable for a woman as well?
It is absolutely suitable for a woman. In fact, the majority of people I’ve taught in my classes have been women. About 80% of my students happen to be women. Besides losing weight, there are a lot of benefits. There is a definite self-esteem boost as you learn to set goals and see them accomplished. You will also learn to eat properly and exercise in a way that makes you fit for life. But in my opinion, the main purpose of losing the weight is not just to lose the weight for its own sake, so you can fit into that cute little red dress. The goal of losing the weight should be so that you can focus on your ultimate purpose in life. You should use losing weight as a catalyst to catapult you to the Next Thing in your life. What is the Next Thing you’re going to be successful at? When you learn that you can overcome challenges and accomplish great things with your health, you will have the confidence to go on and take advantage of other missed opportunities you may have had in your life, whether it’s in your career, your spiritual life, your relationships, or other areas of life.
9. As you were one of the contestants on NBC’s hit reality show “The Biggest Loser” and won it, what did you do that was different from other contestants that help you to win it?
A: I was the at-home winner of Season 2 of The Biggest Loser. So I was voted off the show. And that was something that was out of my control. But it turned out to be the turning point in my life. While I was at home, I made it my goal that I was not going to return fat. I was not going to lose weight, then put it back on, or go back to the show looking big. I was going to do my absolute best. I believed I had one opportunity to apply myself and learn what I needed to learn on a daily basis to lose the weight. So I researched anything and everything that had to do with the science of weight loss. And I was blessed to be able to go back and win the show. But more importantly than winning the show in 2005, I’ve been able to keep the weight off ever since. That has been key to maintaining a healthy life. And I’ve done that by educating myself on the principles of behavioral change and nutrition and exercise. Once I had learned those things and applied them in my own life, now I’m able to teach those to the broader world, and Biggest Loser fans as well.
Q10: Do you have any specific advice for readers who are struggling to lose weight to help them shed the fat?
A: I think the focus on weight loss has been wrong. There has been a focus on losing weight for a particular event. I call it Event Based Weight Loss: “I’m going to lose weight for my class reunion,” “I want to lose weight for the upcoming holiday party,” “I want to lose weight for my wedding.” The focus should have been, and should always be on losing weight forever. And losing weight forever requires you to have a different focus. If you change your focus, you’re going to change your habits. And in changing your habits, what I want you to do is focus on “What do I need to do today that will help me to make a lifestyle change?” So it’s not just about losing the weight, it’s about, “How do I attain a healthy weight and maintain that weight for the rest of my life?” And that’s what I provide in “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever”.
“Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” (from Avery, a member of Penguin Group) is available now for preorder at Amazon.com, BN.com, Booksamillion.com, Indiebound.org, and iTunes. Visit Pete on-line at www.PeteThomas.com