The Biggest Loser Show Review
May 14 2011
Since I work in a fitness center, I hear a lot of people talking about how the Biggest Loser contestants can lose so much weight and how they wish they could lose the same or if they had a celebrity trainer. Let us take a closer look at the Biggest Loser show.
What is the biggest loser show?
TV Show: Biggest Loser is a weight-loss contest aired on NBC which has become extremely popular. It is broadcast in different countries with each having their own versions. But the central theme in every show is all about who can lose the most weight in 12 weeks for a cash prize. Contestants lose 100-220 lbs in 12 weeks.
What are the pros of the Biggest Loser show?
Entertaining: The show is entertaining to say the least. The ratings of the show are proof that they got something right about the show.
Inspirational: It is inspirational to see people making an effort and achieving their goals. The message of “If they can do it, I should be able to do it too” is clearly infectious.
What are the cons of the Biggest Loser show?
Unrealistic: The show is completely unrealistic. Most people cannot achieve that sort of weight loss in such a short span of a time (and shouldn’t). You can though if you have the following going for you:
- Be in that obese category where you are 100-200 lbs heavier. The heavier you are, the greater the weight loss
- You are ready to quit your job, leave your family and move to a ranch with only one goal in mind.
- You have enough money to hire a trainer to train you everyday and keep you accountable.
- You know millions of people all over the world are watching you on television and judging you on how well you do. How is that for accountability?
- You have thousands of dollars to look forward for achieving your goal.
Weight Maintenance: I have written in the past that losing weight is easy, maintaining it is the hardest. You have to do everything (and more) that you did to lose weight for the rest of your life to maintain the new weight.
The faster you lose and the more you lose, the harder it will be to maintain that weight loss. The Biggest Loser contestants lose around 50-60% of their weight in 12 weeks which is 10-15 lbs per week. The recommended guidelines suggest 5-10% of your body weight at 1-2 lb weight loss per week! How is that for ‘following’ guidelines?
And this is one major reason why most of the contestants gain most of their weight right back after the show. They are now their back to real life where they have jobs, a family to take care, responsibilities, and so forth. And worse yet, for some -along with the weight gain- comes the psychological problems of defeat and failure which triggers a vicious cycle of overeating, depression and guilt.
On the other hand, most contestants who are maintaining most of their weight have turned their life completely upside down. These people have become fitness experts for a career and they advise and coach people in losing weight and staying healthy. This sort of drastic life change is unrealistic for most of us.
Extreme Workouts: People who weigh 300-400lbs who even have trouble walking and are at high risk for cardiovascular problems are made to run for miles which is outright dangerous and ridiculous.
Some of the technique they use in the weight room are just good examples of how NOT to do those exercises. Contestants are made to do cardio for hours a day which is above and beyond over-training and is a great way to have long lasting knee and ankle problems. The concept of intelligent workout programming is missing; it is all about throwing as much stress as you can to the body.
Extreme Water Loss: Some of the contestants in the show have dropped 20-35 lbs in days by dehydrating themselves using extreme measures like working out in rubber suit and not drinking water for 24 hours and such. This isn’t actual weight loss and can mislead people who are unaware of these extremes measures
- Lose 5-10% of your weight and try to maintain for 6 months. If you can maintain it, go for more.
- Even losing 10 percent of your total body weight can have significant improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.
- When you think of making dramatic changes to exercise and diet, ask yourself if it is healthy and if you can maintain it for the rest of your life.
- The Biggest Loser show is inspiring, but clearly has nothing to teach you about healthy weight loss and weight maintenance.