Hey Coach Laura here! I just wanted to interrupt your regularly scheduled Angela blog posts with one about Biggest Loser. Have you watched that show? I have! When I lost my weight in 2009 it was so inspirational to me, and I have continued to watch it since. To see the workouts, challenges and stress of those contestants each week, balanced by the payout of Beep, Beep, Beep of the scale, I love it. Each week I am cheering along and clapping in my living room while I watch and see players lose their fat forever (we hope).
But as a trainer I also see some of the fundamental flaws of the show; things I know now, that I didn’t know while I was sitting at home watching before. I would like to tell you about a couple of them, so that you don’t take an inspiring show and allow it to start bringing you down, or hindering your weight loss efforts.
Have you ever watch the show and following the beep beep beep the number on the scale comes up and it is a 9, and you say along with the player, “Awww, to bad it is sooo low.” WHAT? I don’t know about you, but if I ever lost 9 pounds in a week, I would be extactic. On the show 5 to 9 pounds a week can be considered low. On the show, however, they work out 6-9 hours a DAY; they have a team of physical therapist (similar to a professional athlete) to treat their injuries caused by working out 6-9 hours a day, they have trainers with them everyday (ya the show makes it seem like just a couple days, but they have trainers everyday, just Bob and Jillian a couple days a week), and they are on EXTREME low calorie diet. For people who are losing weight in the real world we don’t have the time or the therapists to help, perhaps you don’t even yet have a trainer, and going on a low calorie diet will hinder not help your weight loss. Let me say that again, going on a very low calorie (as in under 1200 a day) diet will hinder, NOT help your weight loss. (If you don’t understand, send me a message or give me a call and I can explain it to you).
Sooo, what is realistic weight loss to expect in the real world. You have heard it before and I will say it again, 1 to 2 pounds a week. If you weigh yourself every 2 – 4 weeks and find you are losing 1 to 2 pounds a week that is a great amount. Seem slow to you? Look at in a long term perspective. It is February when I am writing this, so imagine by mid summer (6 months) lets say the end of July, you have lost 40-60 pounds of fat (that you never put back on!); how would you feel about that? GREAT! So I don’t want to hear anymore, “I have been losing weight for 5 weeks and ONLY lost 9 pounds!” anymore. 9 pounds in 5 weeks is great. Why would someone not like that? Perhaps they have dieted so strictly and felt deprived for 5 weeks; to only see 9 pounds doesn’t make the sacrifice worth it. But then maybe the diet is flawed!?!
Ok, next flaw; losing weight is the goal of the show. “Hold on!” you say, “I want to lose weight!” For them losing pounds on the scale is the goal, but that doesn’t take into consideration what kind of pounds they are losing. In your body you have muscle, bone, water, waste and fat. You can lose any of these and lose pounds on the scale. That is why the first week on Biggest Loser they drop so much, because those pounds come from water, waste and fat. Do you want to lose water and muscle, or do YOU want to lose fat? I can hear all of you say fat, so now I will say again, stop the low calorie diets. When you do not feed your body enough, your body will lose muscle first, fat last. That is called your metabolism, your bodies starvation protection. The only reason it works on the show is because they work out 6-8 hours a day and their body is forced to burn the fat. The best way to lose weight is on a low-glycemic diet with 3-6 hours of exercise (not a day) a week, including cardio, strength training and flexibility training. That is what we do at Fit Wit Me, and that is why my clients are losing FAT each month. Be more concerned of how your clothes fit, than what the scale says. Lose clothes mean fat loss.
Last flaw; product placement. You do know when Bob says, “Chew this great gum!” he and the show are making money doing it. “The best way to start your day is with Multi Grain Cheerios.” This one bothers me the most, because of the rising population that is grain sensitive and will gain weight by smelling a box of cereal. Plus eating grains, fruit and milk for breakfast, although fast, is high glycemic and will trigger your body to start storing fat for the rest of the day. If I said, “Eat this great Feta Cheese and Spinach Frittata (egg dish like a quiche) and burn fat all day, or each this cereal and store fat today.” which would you choose? But the spinach companies have less marking budget and don’t get product placement. Trust me those trainers are not waking up every morning and eating a bowl of cereal. Pick of a muscle magazine and check out the breakfast ideas if you don’t believe me.
I want to end this on a great positive note and I invite you to help me with your comments. What I love the most about biggest loser is watching people make the mental changes necessary to lose the weight. So much of our fat loss does not take place in the gym or kitchen, but in our heads. On the ranch they learn mental toughness, to trust themselves and others, to ask for help, and the biggest lesson, “You are Worthy of being thin. You are worthy of achiving your goals; just for you!” If I could help you all learn just that one lesson, you would be well on your way to having the body that matches the greatness that is inside you already.
Please tell me what your favorite part of the Biggest Loser is in the comments below.
Questions? Feel free to ask or call me on my private line 608-477-2686