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Have you ever watched the reality weight-loss show "The Biggest Loser"? If you haven't, here it is in a nutshell. Contestants are put on an extremely restricted diet and exacting exercise regimen to see who can lose the most weight over the course of three months. They have ongoing personal support from celebrity personal trainers, such as Jillian Michaels, and dietitians. Contestants live in a controlled environment where TV cameras and staff watch their every move. The winner each week is the one who lost the most body weight by percentage. The ultimate winner, who receives $250,000 (and a new look) is the one who got through the entire competition without being eliminated.
This week, another season of “The Biggest Loser" ended with contestant Rachel Frederickson dropping from 260 pounds to 105! That means she lost 60 percent of her body weight. This extreme, rapid weight loss has sparked a lot of debate. Many have expressed concern that she lost too much too fast. Social media sites, such as Twitter, are rampant with criticism regarding Frederickson’s weight loss, and the image she has projected to women and young girls.
Is “The Biggest Loser” realistic?
Let's look at the reality behind this reality TV show. The participants are kept in a controlled environment where they are dieting and exercising non-stop. They don't have access to outside food until they are eliminated. They are not subjected to the normal temptations and stresses of life. That is not realistic for people living outside the reality show bubble. Worse yet, many medical professionals say that kind of rapid, extreme weight loss is not healthy.
- Dropping 155 pounds in three months? Not realistic.
- Dropping 3-5 pounds a month? Realistic (with diet and exercise changes).
- Exercising non-stop, every hour for several hours a day, for three months? Not realistic.
- Exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day, three to five times a week? Realistic for most people.
- Eating an extremely restricted diet for three months? Not realistic.
- Eating a healthy diet that helps you lose weight? Realistic for most everyone.
The biggest positive that you can take away from “The Biggest Loser" is the fact that contestants created a supportive environment and not a competitive one. They work as a group, a team. While they are competing in a reality show for prize money, ultimately all are working toward a common goal: getting to a healthy weight. That is an environment you should look for and take part in.
What is a realistic way to lose weight and get fit?
If you want to lose weight in a healthy, realistic way, one option is to work with a certified personal trainer, such as me, Ralph Roberts. A professional trainer can help you set achievable goals and start you on the path toward a healthy diet plan and exercise routine. I strive to show my clients the difference between realistic and unrealistic, and healthy and unhealthy goals and weight loss strategies. I genuinely care about my clients and I want to see them healthy, fit and happy. If you are interested in working out with me, schedule a free initial training session!