I’ve got a problem with The Biggest LoserJan 07, 2009
Though I don't watch much t.v., I don't live in a cave either. I am stunned to learn that some of the contestants on last night's Biggest Loser premier lost 20+ and 30+ pounds in one week. One. Week. Where do I begin...
How many people now think it's not only possible for them to lose 30 pounds in one week, but now expect to lose 30 pounds in one week? This is just what our instant gratification society needs. In order to lose that much weight in such a short period of time, you need to be doing some very extreme things when it comes to both diet and exercise. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, so in order to lose 30 pounds, one would have to create a deficit (by eating less and exercising more) of 105,000 calories! That's equivalent to 1,050 bananas. To 1,312 slices of bread. To 875 bottles of light beer. In one week. I can't stop saying it: In one week.
They don't show how contestants are eating. They don't say how much time they are spending in the gym each day. Viewers tune in, watch contestants in some edited exercise sessions, step on the scale and see double digit weight loss. It's that easy! Oh yeah, and if you feel hungry, just chew some Wrigley Extra gum. Are you serious?
I've heard that many of the contestants who have been on in past seasons have gained the weight back. Surprising? Not really. Who could keep up the crazy amount of exercise when you are back in the real world, working and/or raising a family? How do they function in the real environment vs. being sequestered for weeks on end when all you have to do is exercise?
You may be squirming in your seat or jumping up and down, wildly waving your hand to be called upon to give your differing opinion, or possibly screaming obscenities at your screen meant for me to hear. Does The Biggest Loser have any redeeming qualities? Of course. It inspires many people to take charge of their health, make better eating decisions, lose weight and to exercise more. It's quite possibly even saved lives.
With that being said, the recommendation for healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. This is the recommendation by almost every legitimate national health organization -- The American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, and The American Diabetic Association to name a few. But how titilating is that? Who would watch a show where weigh-in features people losing an astonishing 1.5 pounds? Would trying to get in 10,000 steps a day make gripping television footage? Too boring. But how else does an average person do it? And keep it off?
I'm getting myself worked up in to a tizzy. The show has it's positive and negative elements, but overall I think it may be skewing people's sense of reality when it comes to weight loss.
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