In an effort to help others across America shed excess pounds without going under the knife, several of the biggest success stories from the third season of NBC's The Biggest Loser recently shared their weight-loss tips with TV Guide.

Erik Chopin, a married Long Island deli owner and father of two, began the competition weighing 407 pounds and was named the season's $250,000 overall winner when he shed a total of 214 pounds.  He said the most difficult part of appearing on the show was conquering the "quitting syndrome," and told those currently dieting to never give-up the fight.

"During the first two to three weeks, I would have loved for someone to have voted me out of the ranch," Chopin told TV Guide.  "But everyday I would tell myself, 'Don't let your family down again.'  Then I started to lose enough to notice, and my clothes got looser."

Brian Starkey, a 33-year-old stay-at-home dad from Valley Village, California, won the weigh-in of the season's twelve previously eliminated contestants. After beginning the competition at 308 pounds, Starkey took home a prize of $100,000 as well as a body that was 156 pounds lighter.  Starkey recommended doing cardiovascular exercises before breakfast and then packing your lunch with calories from a healthy meal, not fast food.

"On an empty stomach, I burn calories that are in my body already rather than putting calories in my stomach to burn," Starkey explained to TV Guide.  "It makes a huge difference."

As the show's third season runner-up, Kai Hibbard, a 27-year-old from Eagle River, Alaska, received $50,000. She started the competition at 262 pounds and while at the ranch lost 77 pounds, an all-time female The Biggest Loser contestant record. She lost another 41 pounds after returning home, giving her a total weight loss of 118 pounds (another all-time female The Biggest Loser contestant record) and a finale weigh-in weight of 144 pounds.  She said to shed the weight you have to be mentally tough and not give into temptations.

"Just because you slipped and ate two cookies, you don't have to blow the rest of the day and have pizza and cake," Hibbard told TV Guide.  "You had a cookie?  So what?  Now have chicken, broccoli and a salad for dinner."

Poppi Kramer, a 34-year-old from River Edge, New Jersey, defeated Matthew McNutt, a 31-year-old from Boothbay, Maine, in a weigh-in faceoff between the two "at home" semi-finalists who had achieved the greatest percentage of weight loss. Kramer, who had weighed 232 pounds when she visited The Biggest Loser ranch for the finalists selection process, weighed in at 115 pounds during the finale, awarding her a $50,000 prize.  Her suggestion was simple:  keep the diet quiet.

"Everybody always talks about dieting but they never do it.  That was my problem.  I'd declare, 'I'm on a diet!' then go and sneak-eat," Kramer told TV Guide.  "Instead of talking so much about what you're doing, just freaking do it!"