The Battle of the Bulge will become a Battle of the Sexes on The Biggest Loser 2.When NBC's hit weight-loss competition returns on August 9, chubby contestants will be divided into two seven-member teams with fitness guru Bob Harper training the women and Jillian Michaels working with the men. The male-vs.-female gimmick fit The Apprentice, but on this reality show, it's a twist that some fear will give the guys an unfair advantage. "There's this myth out there that men lose weight faster and better than women," says executive producer Dave Broome. "We're going to test that myth." Actually, it's not a myth. It's a fact. Thanks to years of research, weight-loss experts know that most male bodies burn more calories than female bodies because men have more lean muscle mass. "Lean muscle tissue is the driving force for metabolism," explains Dr. James M. Rippe, author of Weight Watchers Weight Loss That Lasts. "So men do start with a certain advantage." In an attempt to level the playing field during the three months contestants work out on Biggest Loser's fitness farm, producers will compare percentages rather than pounds. "Let's say the men's team starts at 2000 lbs. collectively and the women start at 1500," Broome says. "For the men to lose 10 percent of their body weight, they'd have to lose 200 lbs. For the women to lose the same 10 percent, they only have to lose 150." That sounds like a good plan to Kelly Minner, the only woman among last season's four finalists. But, she cautions, because women tend to retain water around the time of their menstrual cycle, the ladies of Season 2 will still need to be in top form. "Be strict 100 percent of the time with the diet and exercise," advises Minner, who has lost 82 lbs. "You can't be lax if you want to compete in this game."
Biggest Loser 2's Big Gender War
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