Lost 101.4 kilos
Mario (39) is the lucky winner of “The Biggest Loser” 2019. At the decisive weighing of the 10th anniversary relay he even set a new record with a starting weight of 196.1 kilos: With 101.4 kilos lost, the Saxon is the candidate who lost the most pounds in the Sat.1 show in all squadrons. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, he reveals how last year’s winner Saki (weight loss: 94.5 kilos) helped him to victory, why he thought of stopping at camp in the meantime and whether he is satisfied with his body now.
Congratulations on winning the tightest “Biggest Loser” final ever! How was the last weighing for you?
Mario: Nerve-wracking. Because I had already seen the other finalists, it was questionable whether what I gave would be enough. Between Julian and me there was only about 0.85 percent. That was really a tight box and everyone looked great.
In retrospect, how did you manage to lose so much weight?
Mario: For me, nutrition was 70 percent decisive. I really reduced my calories, so my body had to burn more calories than I absorbed. I was running a lot. Having studied Saki, I knew he was a jogger and thought it could help me win. In any case, he was a role model and my motivation.
Lose 100 kilos in such a short time: What would you say to critics who describe such rapid weight loss as unhealthy?
Mario: Living on with 100 kilos and losing weight over a longer period of time – I don’t know if I would have experienced that yet. I’m pretty sure that by losing weight quickly, I can live healthier than losing it for years.
How satisfied are you with your body today?
Mario: Excess skin is definitely an issue, but I’m amazed that it’s relatively little. In some places I have to do something sooner or later, especially when I’m lying down or doing sports, the overlapping skin on my back can be painful. I will try sport first, otherwise I would seek medical help.
How great is the fear of gaining?
Mario: I will certainly not relapse. I fought so hard to get a normal weight, I won’t put that at risk. I’m satisfied now, holding the weight is the big goal now. The weight I weighed in the final was my fighting weight. If six or seven kilos can be put back on it now, it’s not that bad. The magic limit I don’t want to exceed with my height and build is 110 kg.
Why is the title “The Biggest Loser” important at the end, as the actual success already shows itself on the scales?
Mario: I promised my family that if I made it to the semi-finals, I’d win it. The title itself is nice, but keeping the promise was really important to me. And I wanted to show it to my son, who is overweight even at the age of 13: If I can do it, then you can do it.
Has your family life changed?
Mario: I like cooking passionately and show my family that you can also cook very tasty and healthy food. Luckily my wife goes with me when it comes to nutrition. With her it has already clicked a lot earlier. With my children you have to be more sensitive and outsmart them a bit. It helps if you switch to poultry for meat and save oil and butter in the pan.
Can you give any other weight loss tips or does everyone have to find their own formula for success?
Mario: There are some basic things. One is that you really burn more calories than you eat. On the other hand, it’s the willpower that you can and must learn if you don’t already have it. It was relatively easy for us candidates, because we were isolated from any temptation in the camp and it became flesh and blood. Alone it’s definitely more difficult, the show was a great opportunity for us.
Was there a situation at camp when you thought about quitting?
Mario: After week three and the poor weight loss value of 1.3 kilos, I was already thinking what all this was still about. I was about to run into the kitchen and eat everything I could get. That was a mental break-in, you’re three weeks away from your family, you have a crazy longing for home. But then I thought to myself that I would never get such a chance again and went through with it.
You were a competitor, but you fought side by side. How is your relationship with the other candidates today?
Mario: We have had great friendships. I still have a lot of contact with Julian, Ercan, Jens Patric, Jenny and Melanie, and I also know that this is a constant thing. Nobody can take the shared experience away from us – and we will motivate each other to stay on top of it.
What are you gonna do with the profits?
Mario: At first I wanted to buy a motorhome, but now I’m going to invest in a property: I will take over a vacant house from my wife’s family.
And what would you like to say to your old self?
Mario: My old self had had a nice life before the new self came. It didn’t worry about anything, especially about its own future. I recognized the problem late, but I recognized it. The old me can now stay in the past.