By Shanna Potash
"I never thought I could lose this much weight!" exclaims Bill Germanakos, who lost 164 pounds to win season four of NBC's popular television show, The Biggest Loser.
Germanakos, 41 and 5'8" tall, went from 334 pounds to 170 pounds in eight months. "It's a testament to the education I received about the right way to diet and exercise," he says.
His identical twin, Jim, was the weight-loss winner among Biggest Loser contestants who were eliminated but continued to train at home. He dropped 186 pounds, going from 361 to 175 pounds.
The Twins on Losing Weight
Bill: "The only way to get something done is to
get it started."
Jim: "If it doesn't go in, it doesn't go on. It's physics. Calories in versus calories out. That's how you lose weight."
Bill and Jim: "It's great to see that we are connecting with people, because we are just regular people."
Biggest Loser Fans Chime In
"The more we learn and have positive role
models, I think it gives you hope."
—Trudy White, Fairfax, VA
"If they can do it, I can too. They are very inspirational. I've lost 26 pounds and joined Curves." —Nadine Joyner, Cheverly, MD
"They were inspiring. I got information from them to help me with my own weight loss plan." —Joan Saunders, Washington, DC
"One of the things I took from their presentation is setting goals and getting started." —Shaihi Mwalimu, Upper Marlboro, MD
NIH MedlinePlus Magazine caught up with the twins at a recent NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo in Washington, D.C., where they were signing autographs and inspiring their fans to slim down, too.
"Remember," they urged, "nothing tastes as good as looking good feels."
Their advice is to "stay dedicated, make healthy food choices, and exercise hard enough to get your heart rate up." Jim also suggests keeping a food journal and wearing a monitor to track calories burned. Blueberries and grapes are their new candy.
The twins exercise five to six days a week. Bill's routine includes spinning classes. Jim likes to run and is set on entering a marathon. They remind people exercise can be done at home, "If you're going to watch television, do it on a treadmill."
Their father died of obesity-related illnesses at age 57. When they turned 40, Bill and Jim were obese, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and knew they had to do something. Now they are in shape and off their blood pressure medications.
"My main focus was to get healthy," Bill says. "Now, every time I look in the mirror, all I can think is 'I'm going to be here for my wife and kids and have the opportunity to walk my two daughters down the aisle when the time comes.'"