Two Small Changes Helped 'Biggest Loser' Trainer Erica Lugo Lose 160 Pounds

The Biggest Loser is back on a new network, airing on USA this year, with two new trainers: Steve Cook and Erica Lugo.

Lugo relates to the contestants because she experienced her own weight loss journey. The now 33-year-old mother from Dayton, Ohio, tells Men’s Health she always struggled with her weight.

“Being overweight was just something that I knew,” she says.

It wasn’t until she became a mother that Lugo decided to make a lifestyle change. In 2013, she weighed 322 pounds and lacked energy to play with her then three-year-old son when he asked.

“My heart sunk that I told him no,” she says. “I’d rather have sat on the couch and eat snacks.”

Within days, Lugo signed up for a Planet Fitness membership. Every morning, she drove to the gym at 4:30 a.m. and walked on the treadmill for an hour.

Instead of changing her diet, Lugo initially decreased portions because she didn’t understand nutrition.

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A post shared by Erica Lugo ⬇️ 150 Lbs (@ericafitlove) on

“I grew up in a generation where diet pills were a huge thing,” she explains. I never knew what a healthy diet was.”

On pizza night, Lugo began eating one slice instead of a large pizza. If pasta was served, the mom would eat one serving rather than three. Eventually, Lugo began cooking and incorporating more vegetables into her diet.

“I just started with the basics,” she says.

Within a month, Lugo lost 45 pounds, according to Women’s Health.

Eventually Lugo learned to lift weights by asking more experienced gym goers for advice.

“I would learn better habits by watching people’s form or understanding why they do what they do,” she says. “I’m not scared to ask questions.”

Within a year, Lugo lost 122 pounds, she explained to Shape.

Several years later, Lugo was constantly fatigued and struggled to maintain her healthy lifestyle. She was diagnosed with chronic Epstein Barr Virus and Addison’s Disease in 2017, both of which required further tweaking of her diet and exercise plan.

“I got so sick that what I was doing with my workouts and nutrition was no longer working for me,” she says. “I fell on my face 50 million times,” she says. “You have to keep going and tweak things and figure it out.”

In 2018, Lugo developed thyroid cancer and underwent surgery and radiation, which further changed her mindset about fitness.

“It [working out] was no longer about how awesome can I look? It was about, ‘Let me show you that cancer doesn’t define you and doesn’t have to stop you,'” she told Women’s Health.
Now, Lugo hopes to inspire The Biggest Loser fans and change people’s views on fitness.

“Fitness is not just [having] a six pack and being a size zero or two,” she says. “Fitness is not just a look. I want people to throw that all or nothing mentality out the window.”

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