Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Biggest Loser Couples Quick Weight Loss Tactics

New Weight Loss Strategy

Yes, I do watch "The Biggest Loser" reality TV show. First of all I do have a thing for reality shows, but I also watch for it is the show that drives the most questions women have when it comes to quick weight loss.

The reality show does have it's good points and I do watch in hopes to find an interesting way the show encourages and inspires women to lose weight. However last nights show was a bit extreme.

Before I share what seems to be a rather harsh way of motivating the couples contestants (and the viewers) to lose weight, I do want to share what I thought was very helpful.

Sugar Consumption - what a reality check when you have before you 50 pounds of pure sugar which is just an average found in the amount of soda "we" drink each year. The most jaw dropping thought is the fact that This is only from Soda....not all the other sugary foods "we" eat! Really makes you stop and think. What a great way to send a message to all the viewers about the foods we are putting into our body.

Now on to the "Weigh In" segment of the show. First off, weighing in every week sends the wrong message. When it comes to changing your body composition, the scale is not the most reliable source of feedback when your goal is fat loss - but it is a reality TV show and they need it to feed that competitive edge.

How painfully humiliating is it for the Black Team that not had just one couples contestant not lose weight...but a couple more who actually gained weight. Could you imagine standing there having millions of people watching as you are made to feel as if you failed - not just failed yourself, but your entire team.

Sure - it adds to the drama of the show. But if the purpose of this particular reality show is to help educate and inspire "weight loss" this seems to be a bit of a stretch for a weight loss strategy.

Yes, the contestants are there to learn to take responsibility for their actions. What I find interesting is the fact that each of them have on their arm a Body Bug. This cool contraption not only tracks how many calories you burn in a day, but also has the feature to log the foods that you eat - so you are completely aware of and have control over whether or not you are in a caloric deficit - creating a deficit = burning more calories than what you take in - the formula for successful "weight loss".

If you have this tool and the point is to teach you responsibility why wouldn't daily evaluation of the Body Bug reveal if calories in are too high to result in a loss. As Jillian stood there and watched in horror that her couples contestants had gained weight - her response was simply, "It is a Food Thing" - meaning the contestant have been overeating.

Why would this be a surprise if the entire week food intake was being tracked and the coaches guided them on a daily basis helping them to see when they were over, under or on track. This would save a ton of heart ache and disappointment. The goal should be to set the contestants up to be successful. Not break them down to initiate change.

I am sure next week's episode will be a completely different story and those who were humiliated will have turned a new leaf returning with a new desire to do what it takes to get back on the weight loss train.

To end on a positive note - this is the perfect example for the fact that it does not matter how hard or how long you work out....if your food intake or your nutrition plan is off, you will not see results.

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Mark said...

I got the impression that "the food thing" might have been that they were not eating enough. One contestant mentioned that he was cutting extra calories beyond what was recommended for him in the hopes that he would accelerate his weight loss. Turns out he was the one who gained the weight. Another lesson in demonstrating that too little food is also counterproductive.

Missy Adamson said...

I never watch that show- but because of the discussions I've heard ltaely I flipped it on for a few minutes last night. It just so happened to be the weigh in part. I thought I was going to cry for these people. It was humiliating and they were wrong! It hurt to see them hurt so bad. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows how this can feel.