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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

ABC's 'My Diet is Better Than Yours' has five metro Atlantans debuting January 7

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, January 6, 2016

While the signature weight-loss show over the years has been "The Biggest Loser" on NBC, ABC has dabbled in the genre as well. It's aired "Extreme Weight Loss" the past five years in the summer and is now trying out something called "My Diet is Better Than Yours" debuting Thursday.

The reality program was shot in Atlanta over 14 weeks last year and features five metro Atlantans, including a radio producer and a TV reporter. The contestants get to try out a particular diet/exercise program but they can switch out if they aren't happy with it. The person who loses the most weight pockets $50,000, $20,000 in free groceries from Earthfare and a feature in People magazine.

"It was a great place to shoot," said Susan House, the show runner who has produced on "The Bachelor" and "Hell's Kitchen." "And that's an area of the country people can relate to."

Unlike "The Biggest Loser," the contestants will remain in their homes and their daily lives. There is no sequestering on a ranch. And contestants are not eliminated. All five will remain until the end. There is a host - Shaun T- and challenges.

The five diet/exercise regimens range from a no-carb diet focused on "wild" foods to a "super swap" where you swap out your favorite foods with healthier versions.

The first season appears to be a test run of sorts. It's eight episodes, which will air in just four weeks, with two-hour chunks every Thursday.

LA'TASHA GIVENS, JEFF BENEDICT

Below are official show descriptions of the contestants and the exercise/diet plans. What city each contestant lives was not revealed but based on social media, I was able to figure that out in a few cases. I also was able to ascertain Benedict and Givens as both in Atlanta media, although one works for CBS Radio and another for an NBC affiliate. (Go figure!)

Jasmin Queen

Jasmin Queen 

An Atlanta  stay-at-home mom, Jasmin hopes to be able to run a half-marathon, work with her husband, and fit her wedding ring after this competition. Teamed up with expert, Dawn Jackson Blatner, if all goes well, she’ll be swapping out her current diet for a much healthier lifestyle when it’s all said and done.

Blatner presents “The Superfood Swap Dietthat promotes the practice of swapping out your favorite foods for healthier versions. No refined sugar and no snacking, but you’re allowed sweets and alcohol when with a group and you only exercise for fun!

UPDATE: No wonder she was so excited about promoting this show on social media. She won!

Kurt Morgan with his trainer Abel James. CREDIT: ABC

Kurt Morgan

Kurt has one ultimate goal— to be “the cool Grandpa”. Fighting to win a more active role in his grandchildren’s lives, he joins Abel James on a “wild ride” to a healthier version of himself.

James  is going into the game with “The Wild Diet Plan” which focuses on plant-based foods and absolutely bans carbs, but allows meats, cheeses, butter and even chocolate!

UPDATE: He ultimately came in second and lost 87 pounds in 14 weeks. Impressive!

Jeff Benedict

Jeff Benedict 

Jeff, a producer at 92.9/The Game, has never taken a family photo because of his weight. After pairing up with Jay Cardiello, he hopes to cross that goal off his to-do list along with the completion of his first mud run and a highly anticipated trip to an amusement park. Only time will tell if he’ll be able to rise to the challenge.

Cardiello gets his contestant off the scale with  “The No Diet Plan,teaching how to count carbs with the “Plate Method”— filling half your plate with veggies and the other half with equal parts carbs and protein.

11Alive reporter LaTasha Givens will appear on ABC's "My Diet Is Better Than Yours." CREDIT: Twitter profile photo

Latasha Givens 

Latasha, an 11 Alive reporter from Atlanta, hopes to be one “clean momma” after competing alongside Carolyn Barnes in “My Diet is Better than Your Diet.” With the goal of fitting into her wedding gown, we’ll see if her journey to wellness leads to her saying “Yes to the dress!”

Barnes' philosophy with “The Clean Momma Plan” is that you can turn any part of your daily life into an opportunity to burn calories.

Taj Robinson with her trainer Jovanka Ciares. CREDIT: ABC

Taj Robinson 

Taj hopes to put the “smackdown” on 67 pounds while expert, Jovanka Ciares, introduces her to a series of detoxification methods and the art of maintaining a balanced diet. We’ll see her try to fight her way to the top spot to strengthen her relationship and bring bragging rights to her community.

Ciares comes into the competition swinging with  “The Wellness Smackdown Plan,"  an anti-inflammatory vegan diet that uses herbs to detoxify the body.

UPDATE: She dropped that diet partway through and tried another one but ultimately just quit before the end. She did not have a good attitude and was going through a major personal breakup in her life at the same time.

TV PREVIEW

"My Diets is Better Than Yours," 9 p.m. Thursdays for four weeks starting January 7, ABC

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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