Has always wondered, in Lost series, the "big" guy by name Hugo did not seem to be losing any weight while on the island. This seems rather impossible considering the drastic change in the amount of labour, walking and his new nutrition plan. Just to remind, he used to be very passive back home and ate a lot of junk food.

So why did he end up not losing any weight (at least visually)?

  • 22
    Because in Lost nothing made sense.... SCNR Feb 26, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    He still ate on the movieset. :) FYI: Eating junkfood doesn't always make you fat, some people just can't help it.
    – Decypher
    Feb 26, 2016 at 13:44
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    I can't cite this or exactly remember it (hence just a comment), but wasn't there a scene in one of the later seasons where we learn he has be hoarding ranch dressing recovered from the Dharma stores and secretly eating it or putting it on food? Feb 26, 2016 at 16:42
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    I must agree with thumbtackthief: "That's the part of Lost that raises the most questions for you?" Feb 28, 2016 at 6:05
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    He's a big guy, its gonna be a while before you wanna give him a piggy back.
    – sanpaco
    Jan 20, 2017 at 3:36

7 Answers 7


For a while, he had access to the Dharma stores of food. The timeline on the show was slower than our real-life timeline, so it seemed like they were on the island for much longer than they actually were.

Also, he did lose weight:

"I'm down a notch in my belt. I'm a big guy. It's gonna be a while before you want to give me a piggy back ride". (Episode "Confidence Man")

Out of Universe: That's the part of Lost that raises the most questions for you? :)


@Johnny Bones is totally correct and provides the correct in-universe answer.

I just wanted to add a rather boring out of universe answer to say that the obvious reason is that Jorge Garcia, the actor who played Hurley, simply didn't lose much weight.

So whilst we can search for plenty of realistic in-universe reasons to justify this, the fact is he's a big guy with a serious obesity problem.

There are plenty of claims online that he was asked not to lose weight by the producers, as his character was so popular "as is" (and it gave joke-content on screen e.g. Sawyer mocking Hurley) - but I can't find any evidence this was the case.

Note: He does lose some weight after Season 1, just not much:

"I can afford to not live on rum and burritos and take better care of myself...Besides, there were enough people who were waiting for my character to lose weight as a result of being stranded on a desert island."


Weight loss (or gain) is not always due to diet. If it were, every diet would work. Sometimes it's due to Hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid gland. If you have this, it's nearly impossible to combat weight gain without medical help.

Of course, Hugo wasn't jogging an hour a day, and there's no telling how many Dharma Cookies he was eating off-screen, so it's possible that once food stores were found he could actually gain weight if he had this condition.

  • 8
    Weight gain IS always a combination of diet and exercise, although some conditions may influence the results. Hyperthyriodism actually creates weght loss, at least according to wikipedia, although 10% experience weight gain, but that is due to an hyperactive, not underactive thyroid gland. It is possible to lose weight no matter what you eat, if the body cannot absorb nutrition. But it is physically impossible to gain or maintain weight without eating enough, and a drastic change in diet and exercise would almost always, and definitely in this case, result in weight loss. LOST did it wrong.
    – jumps4fun
    Feb 26, 2016 at 15:57
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    Hypo, underactive, not hyper, overactive
    – cde
    Feb 26, 2016 at 16:02
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    If you calories in are less than your calories out, you always lose weight (except short-term if you are retaining water or something) as dictated by the first law of thermodynamics. Every diet that mandates this does work -- if it's adhered to. Medical conditions definitely make it harder, via decreased metabolism/activity levels or psychological effects, but they don't change the fundamental fact that body mass comes from other matter. A fact-based guess like him having extra food makes sense, but the first part is pure speculation. Feb 27, 2016 at 19:28
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    "Massive weight gain is rarely associated with hypothyroidism. In general, 5-10 pounds of body weight may be attributable to the thyroid, depending on the severity of the hypothyroidism. Finally, if weight gain is the only symptom of hypothyroidism that is present, it is less likely that the weight gain is solely due to the thyroid." - thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/… Feb 27, 2016 at 22:12

I think any medical condition speculation is pointless to even mention. While hypothyroidism may make it easier to gain weight, your body still obeys the laws of thermodynamics. Simply put, Hurley was not eating at a large enough deficit to show noticeable weight loss.

It's been years since I watched Lost, but I can't remember any of the characters showing noticeable changes in weight. From that it's easy to conclude that there was sufficient food supply for all of the characters to roughly maintain their weight since the start of the show.



There are a few scenes specifically in the show where we see Hugo overindulging on-island.

He was also in charge of food distribution whenever it came up in the show and from his flashbacks we know he has issues with food consumption. From this we could deduce that he might get the bigger cut of food for distributing it to everyone or he might take a secret cut because he has the opportunity to (the latter which is brought up on the show with his food cache). [http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Hugo_%22Hurley%22_Reyes (CTRL+F food)]

The total amount of on-island time is very deceiving with the flashbacks and whatnot interleaved with the story. The total amount of time spent on the island after the crash was only ~108 consecutive days. 3 months is not a lot of time for drastic weight change when you factor in Hurley's overindulging and food caches, plus he was already from a hot climate before crashing on the island so sweating off the weight doesn't seem plausible. [http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline ]

Finally there is the healing/spiritual aspect of the island. It was never outright stated that healing means to return to the optimal human form. But rather is feels more like physical healing combined with spiritual healing. Part of Hurley's spirit was his overweight jolly lovable nature so the island wouldn't want to take that from him but rather embrace it. Adding to that is how Hurley was a candidate for and later became Jacob's successor - food was a minor character flaw compared to the other obstacles he had to overcome to become this.

My favorite website: http://lostpedia.wikia.com/


The most obvious answer is that Hugo and the other LOST crash victims were dead the whole time, so naturally he wouldn't have lost any weight. By the way, I have watched every episode of LOST.


Considering the ending of Lost implied that:

They were in purgatory.

This would mean they have no physical body in which he could lose weight. Consider that Locke and Rose were miraculously healed, and Richard couldn't die

other things that can't happen to a normal living body, but a soul.

  • 3
    This is a terrible spoiler!
    – eYe
    Feb 26, 2016 at 16:38
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    @eYe its been 5 years and publicized on every newspaper, website, and nightly news since then...
    – cde
    Feb 26, 2016 at 16:39
  • The show ended six years ago. At this point I think anyone browsing a website about Lost is asking for it.
    – user11418
    Feb 26, 2016 at 16:40
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    Not only is it a terrible spoiler, it's also WRONG. None of the first five seasons took place in Purgatory. Only the flash-sideways (which was only in the last season) was.
    – Plutor
    Feb 26, 2016 at 17:20
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    @Plutor You're absolutely right. I have no idea why it has been upvoted. Feb 26, 2016 at 18:18

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