When Damien Gurganious and his fiancée Nicole stepped on to the Biggest Loser ranch, they had their sights set on slimming down and getting sexy before their upcoming wedding. But a first-week twist sent Nicole packing, leaving Damien to fight for the prize and a chance to bring her back to compete. Week 3 saw his shocking elimination after being in the bottom two with Joelle, who most thought would be the one to go. TVGuide.com caught up with Damien to see what life is like back home with Nicole, how he plans to reach his goal weight ("my goal is 180, a sexy 180"), and what he learned from his time on the ranch. The Biggest Loser: Couples airs Tuesdays at 8pm/ET on NBC.
TVGuide.com: Whose idea was it to apply for the show?
Damien Gurganious: Nicole actually set me up. One day I [was working at] home and she kept talking to me. The Amazing Race was on, and she turns to me and goes, "Would you be up to doing a reality show?" Just so she'd shut up, I said yes, and went back to work. Would you believe the next frickin' day, we saw a commercial for Biggest Loser auditions in Rockefeller Center? She looks at me, like, you said yes! We ended up going down at 5 in the morning, waiting in line for two hours, and the rest is history.
TVGuide.com: Do you have a pre-wedding diet plan that you're trying to follow?
Gurganious: Right now, there are only three things that we actually follow: our calorie intake, working out, and water. That's the basic premise. It's minimum 90 minutes in the morning, 90 at night. Eat your calories and drink lots of water so that you can get rid of the salt, the sodium that comes with your food. That's what we do six days a week. One day we just relax and sleep.
TVGuide.com: And which day is that?
Gurganious: It's today [Wednesday].
TVGuide.com: Do you have a favorite healthy recipe?
Gurganious: I make this low-sodium chicken soup. Let's be honest, vegetables aren't the greatest unless they're salted down, almost fried. But I've figured out a way to make a chicken soup where you get the flavor in a nice dense soup. The soup is so hearty and filling that it fixes that snack tooth.
TVGuide.com: What's the biggest lesson you took away from being at the ranch?
Gurganious: The biggest lesson is honestly the simplest thing: You don't need the show to do it. You just need to want to do it for yourself. If you're unhappy, only you can change it. After being eliminated, you go through this cleansing process where you write down everything you learned on the show and what you're taking away from it. For me, it was three things: I've got to believe in myself, I've got to want it for me and I've got to be committed. That was all I wrote down. I didn't write down exercising, I didn't write down food, I didn't write down who I respected. It was just those three things. It's all about setting that goal. There's nobody else involved. The thing is, you know how much weight you have to lose, you know where your weak points are, and you just work around those. Once I had that figured out, I came home and lost nine pounds that week.