One of the most important people behind the scenes at Biggest Loser left at the end of season 12. Changing directions at the show and within her own life lead Cheryl Forberg, RD away from the ranch for the first time since the show’s inception. But when NBC called her out of the blue last month and asked her to return, Cheryl says, “I said yes in about three minutes.”
“Yes, Cheryl is back and we’re looking forward to a great season,” said an NBC spokesperson, confirming the dietitian’s return.
It’s obvious that Biggest Loser is a place this renowned dietitian and chef can call home. When she announced her departure last November there was a lot of shock. She told us then that the seven-plus years she’d worked on the show, helping to co-author the contestants’ nutrition program, was the longest working relationship she’d ever had. Apparently, the “enriching” and “unique” experience she had couldn’t keep her away. The contestants are likely better off for it.
“She’s a very warm lady who is always there to help us even to this day,” said Mark Pinhasovich, the season 10 at-home winner, upon learning of Cheryl’s return.
Cheryl has already been out to the ranch to meet the newest batch of contestants, who will debut in season 14 this upcoming January. With a week or two of filming and training already under their shrinking belts, they’ve no doubt already gotten a heavy dose of Cheryl’s medicine. Early impressions are good from her viewpoint.
“I just spent a few days with the new cast and I love them all,” she told us. “Their positive energy and enthusiasm is contagious and I’m certain you’ll feel it when you watch the first episode.”
We’ll of course be tuning in with millions of others in early January to meet these new contestants. Not only are we excited to know that Cheryl will be working hard behind the cameras (she notes no plans to appear on the show next season), but Jillian Michaels returns to Biggest Loser for the second time in the show’s history.
“Again we will have a new combination of trainers – the first time with Jillian, Bob and Dolvett together – so I think the dynamic will be incredible,” said Cheryl. She’s also glad to be a part of the new focus the show is taking, bringing teens on to open the discussion about childhood and teen obesity.
“I am definitely excited that we’ll be raising awareness and helping to fight teen obesity. I worked on a teen obesity show several years ago and it’s really a tough topic but I’m thrilled we’re going to focus on this for our viewers,” she said.
While Cheryl is already busy working on the nutrition and diet plans for the Biggest Losers, with a weight loss plan deemed The Best Diet of 2012 by US News and World Report, she won’t be working directly with the teen contestants. She teased that there’s another big announcement on the way. “I will continue working with the adults and another health professional (TBA!!!) will be working with the teens.” It sounds like a win for anyone who has the opportunity to be counseled by Cheryl, especially if you ask season 11 favorite Courtney Crozier.
She told us, “Cheryl was such an important part of my Biggest Loser experience! She is so knowledgeable and kind and I am so glad to hear she is back to spread her knowledge and love to all of the new contestants.”
Cheryl wasn’t exactly bored and out looking for a new opportunity. Before she left the show last year she had purchased a farm in Napa Valley where she took on the roll of urban farmer, a full-time job tending to her many gardens, egg-laying hens, and massive studio kitchen project where she plans to start shooting cooking videos soon for her Flavor First brand. “Having a year under my belt as an urban farmer has really put a lot of balance in my life across the board. My creative juices are overflowing and I have tons of new cooking, shopping and eating tips to share.”
We’ll reap many of those tips through the contestants’ actions on the show. But we’ll also be able to learn a lot of them through an all-quinoa, gluten-free cookbook she’ll be releasing at the end of the year.
Biggest Loser alumni is excited to have Cheryl back, and saying she is happy to return would be putting it mildly. “I am absolutely thrilled. I love the cast and the people I work with – life is very, very good,” Cheryl told us.