Are you familiar with the TV show The Biggest Loser?
The idea is that they take two teams of overweight people and have a ‘weight’ loss contest. The members of each team weigh in at the beginning of the week and again at the end of the week. The team that has lost the most total weight at the end of the week are declared the winners… or ‘losers’
Here we see one of the contestants exposing some of the truths to how they were able to achieve such unrealistic results.
The Biggest Loser tv show is entertaining, but is very unrealistic for people with a life. Allow me to explain…
How Many Hours Each Day Did They Workout?
They worked out 4 hours per day, 6 days per week! That is a total of 24 hours each week. To put this in perspective, I workout 4-5 days per week for 75-90 minutes…about 6-7 total hours per week. They do as much in a week as I do in 3-4 weeks.
You would have to be unemployed to workout this much. Seriously…this is a very unbalanced approach to getting in shape. Also…they were basically on lock-down and everything was monitored throughout the entire day.
The Goal Was to Lose 450 grams that’s One Pound Each Day!
The contestants were told that they were expected to lose half a kilo each day! Really!
I believe a more realistic approach for very overweight people is approximately 1-1.5kg ( 2.2-3.3 pounds) per week…which is about 1/3 of what the contestants were aiming for. As a side note: It is easier to lose more weight each week when you have 25-70 kilos to lose. Most clients I have need to lose a lot less than that (approximately 250g per week/ 1/4kg)
Many of you are within 4-10 kilos of your ideal weight…you will probably do best losing 1/2 a kilo a week if this is the case.
Note: This is the ideal amount of weightloss for people who are close to their target weight and want to sustain this weightloss forever. Oh and one more thing that the show never mentions…many times they filmed for 14 days in between weigh ins. So it looked like it was just a week as far as TV was concerned, but it was really 14 days. This is deceiving.
The Other Deception About The Biggest Loser
I found out that 3 out of the 4 hours each day were dedicated to cardio. I think cardio is great for overall health and Cardio Vascular fitness and extra calorie burning BUT this seems to be a scary trend with these obesity weightloss programs. The people lose masses amounts of weight on the scales which is often attributed to muscle and waterloss! The figure on the scale may be significant but the percentage of fat loss is a different story. This is done to get a ‘number’ solely for the shock factor of the competition. A real accurate test to see which team lost the most would be fat percentage but this does not make good viewing, as the numbers are smaller and slower to change. In most cases of rapid weightloss, this leaves the obese person with half the body weight they had (a plus for decreasing heart disease etc) but twice the saggy skin which becomes more of a psychological barrier and embarrassment than the weight they had on before. Building muscle keeps the skin tight and losing weight slowly gives the skin a chance to adjust. I’m a HUGE believer in HIIT (High-intensity interval training) combined with moderate Steady State Cardio, but I see too many extremely overweight people in the gym spending too little time building muscle for fear of getting bigger! It is a myth that you need to ‘lose weight first before building muscle’ Muscle Burns Fat as Fuel. End of story!