Some of you friends out there are not going to agree with me on this.
There was a point in my life I wanted to be a contestant on the Biggest Loser. (No I have never been large enough to actually be considered....but I sent in a tape once) I thought about how great it would be to lose large amounts of weight in a short time. To have a trainer telling me what to do, and what to eat. To be able to only concentrate on losing weight, and nothing else. How great does that sound? Actually I should ask...How delusional does that sound?
I know some of you out there are so in love with the Biggest Loser...feeling that it is so inspirational. But when I have dissected the Biggest Losers philosophy...it is nothing but UNHEALTHY!
As someone who is currently healing and going through the recovery process of an active eating disorder (ED) I would love to point out...why this show drives many to unhealthy weight loss expectations, eating disorder behaviors and even eating disorders.
*Extreme Weight Loss in an Extremely Short Time Span!
When I first started treatment for my Ed I was told this by my therapist "A quick fix is bound for a quick failure". This is how I look at this show. These contestants are expected to lose an ridiculous amount in a short time. From my understanding most of the contestants gain back half and sometimes all of the weight they have lost after leaving the final show.
I can not remember who it was, there was a gentleman who broke a one week record of 31 pounds lost in one week (I might be off the figure a little). Though this is extraordinary, you have to consider that some of the weight loss is not body fat. There are 3,500 calories per pound of fat. That means he would have had to use more than 108,500 calories in that one week. This kind of fat loss would practically be science fiction, kind of like what you saw in the movie Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy. Why is this? It goes back to "A quick fix is bound for a quick failure." (in addition to some other factors, which I will state.) That weight is bound to come back. Unrealistic!
Bringing me to the next point...UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS!
Is this kind weight loss is achievable? I must say that it appears that it can be. I remember when I lost an extreme amount of weight when I first aggressively started losing weight a few years back. I was literally eating nothing, less then 1200 calories, and burning an excess of 3000+ calories a day. I was working out at least 4 hours a day. Though it was possible to lose a lot of weight in one week as body fat, it felt like I was exercising from morning to night. I was also limited to a particular diet deplete of any junk-food. This is also the case for the Biggest Loser contestants. In the real world, you have your time filled with work, family, and only Heaven knows what else. They eat minimal calories and purge all of their calories through exercise. Some of you may say..."but you have to burn more calories then you eat to lose weight." But they way they are exercising is unhealthy. Many people think that "purging" is only done by self induced vomiting, however it is not. It is also done by laxative use, and EXCESSIVE EXERCISE! They work out for a minimum of 4 hours a day...that is considered excessive exercise. (sorry to break it to you.) That is not Healthy..I don't care who you are.
FYI...your body needs AT LEAST 1200 Calories a day to even run for a female and 1500 calories for a male (that is just to function) On the biggest loser ranch it is reported that most contestants eat less then 1100 calories a day (you do the math)
Exercising while on such low diet
You are losing tons of muscle, which is what burns the most calories for you. When the calories is too low, then the body is put in a semi-starvation state. As once body’s blood sugar supplies are used up, the body breaks down protein stores–muscle mass and enzymes to help create more blood sugar that the brain and blood cells needs to survive.
Not mentioning extreme exercise or over-exercising, just trying to exercise while on such low calories diet will worsen the situation, as the body’s starvation state is exacerbated because the exercise calls for even more energy.
Massive gain after massive loss
A millions of people shed massive of weight quickly, but they gained it back when they return to normal eating or normal life, because most of the weight loss is due to the muscle and fluid loss. And no one can sustain on 500-1000 calories for the rest of their life, and you cannot get all of the nutrients and vitamins your body needs with only 1000 calories.
In conclusion, stop dieting on such low calories and over-exercising, which is very unhealthy and very dangerous, and stop losing weight so quickly and make changes that you will actually be able to sustain for the long run, that’s how you will be able to maintain your weight and achieve long-term weight loss or fat loss.
Since I have been in treatment for Ed..and before I had Ava I gained 50% of my weight back...why? because I was eating such low calories, purging, and over-exercising. Believe me.....this is why most of the Biggest Loser Contestants gain their weight back. (or parts of it)
When a contestant on the Biggest Loser only loses 1,2,3,4 even 7 pounds they are devastated. Heck....you just lost 4 pounds in a week AWESOME. Instead they are completely torn up about it...their teammates give them so much guff because of it...then you "fall below the yellow line"... Talk about a downer. This isn't good for their mental health, which can lead to eating disorder lies such as "the more weight you lose the more beautiful you are." or "you didn't lose enough weight you are a loser...next week you must eat less and burn more." UNHEALTHY!
Then there is the Humiliation Factor. It is completely degrading to put those people in those outfits to weigh in. As they are not already humiliated enough (yes I know they are the ones that applied for the show) to stand on the scale and let the whole world know they weigh 400 pounds, but they make them weigh no shirt, or sports bra, and tight shorts. Then when they are working out they are constantly yelled at by their skinny trainer who supposedly loves them, and told who pathetic they are. Some say it is tough love, but I don't see an ounce of love.
So now you know how this ED victim feels about the Biggest Loser...I think if you are looking to lose weight, that is wonderful and lovely....but trying it out biggest loser style isn't the way. We are way to quick to jump on the next biggest fad diet. Weight loss should be a lifestyle change and the road isn't fast to get there. "A quick fix is a quick failure."