'Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition' Chris Powell reveals the 'magic ingredient' to transformation

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Zap2it: "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" is a show is all about transforming. What do people need to do to make that happen?

Chris Powell: They need to believe. Without a doubt that is the magic ingredient. I cannot provide it. It comes from within and happens over time.

Zap2it: Besides weight, what qualities do you seek in candidates?

Chris Powell: They truly desire it and [say], "I am willing to be authentic and let my guard down." Another thing I look for, and this makes my job easy, is when people have those pivotal moments -- they begin to believe in themselves. And if I come across someone who believes in themselves, I donʼt have to coach anymore. Here is your exercise program and your nutrition program.

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Zap2it : How big do people need to be for you to work with them; what would their BMI (body mass index) number be?

Chris Powell: Thirty and above is obese, 25 to 30 is overweight, over 40 is morbidly obese, and over 50 is super-obese. We typically look for individuals with a BMI of over 50. Most often that translates to 150 to 300 pounds overweight.

Zap2it : Do you still have your own gym and coach people?

Chris Powell: We donʼt even have a physical location anymore in Arizona. The show is so time-consuming because we film for a whole year the last couple of years. On the road, a lot of the folks we coach outside of the show. We get some cooperation with a local gym for prescribed cardio.
Photo/Video credit: ABC