The Biggest Loser - Winning by Losing - Apparently those losses are NOT weekly results?

09-19-2007, 05:10 PM
What do you all think of this link? According to this, even though we see the teams weigh every week on the TV show, they are not weighing weekly in real time.


09-19-2007, 05:15 PM
Wow. This is news to me. Honestly, I'm happy to read this. It makes me feel much better about my very slow and gradual weight loss.

09-19-2007, 05:26 PM
that link was already in another post. The show is pretaped (I thought everyone knew that). The only thing that is live is the Finale. They can't make an 8 month show - so they have to do fancy editing and be a little "decietful" to fit everything into a 12 week show..... no biggee... at least they aren't secretly giving people gastric bypass surgeries and then making America think that the weight loss is all natural...... it doesn't bother me one bit that what they call "one week" on the show is really 10 or 12 days.
At least it's just a TV show and not a Political Office

stranger n my mirror
09-19-2007, 05:38 PM
I never once thought that Erik lost 214 lbs in just 3 months. I always knew that they were at the ranch for just a few months and then sent home to work on their own for about 5 months.

I remember there was one contestant who didn't weigh in on the results show because she was about 5 months pregnant.

09-19-2007, 05:41 PM
So good to know for sure! I knew there was something fishy, but it's great to hear they are normal like the rest of us. Even with 6 hours of exercise a day ;).

09-19-2007, 07:38 PM
I just assumed it was filmed over a longer period of time. If he lost 200+ lbs in 3 months, I'd be troubled.

09-19-2007, 08:05 PM
I think the point of the article is that it is more than 3 months at the ranch, and possibly more than 5 months at home, or that the "math" at the ranch is hinky.

I haven't yet been able to confirm the actual timeline from a secondary source (only that this site is cited by quite a few sites, and apparently NBC has made no comment refuting, as of yet)

So far, from NBC directly, I've only read that the scale shown is just a prop, not a real scale. The contestants have already been weighed (but they haven't yet seen their weight), so all the show of taking off t-shirts and shoes is just for effect. There's absolutely no need to show all the flesh.

Also a Time/CNN website article describes unhealthy ways that the contestants were able to lose weight, including severe dehydration,9171,1627013,00.html

so I guess there are two choices

timeline is more or less accurate and the weight loss methods are extremely dangerous to the contestants and anyone trying to dupicate them


the timeline is inaccurate, and the contestants are safe, but viewers who buy the hype and try to duplicate it at home, may not be

09-19-2007, 08:50 PM
I don't think ANYONE believes Erik lost over 200 pounds in 3 months, as the article implies (if they do believe this, then weight loss should not be their primary concern :o ). Also, of COURSE the average weight loss per week from start to finish is less than just the average weight loss per week on the show--once contestants go home and retunr to real life for months on end, their weight loss will slow because they're no longer exercising for hours on end each day.

I don't think this article has shed any light on anything. They did not give an actual number of days from one weigh-in to the next on the show, so it hasn't told me anything new. I actually don't have a problem believing that the weigh-in's ARE 1 week apart (with the exception of the finale, of course, which is months later). I mean, in last night's episode, for example, most of the people lost 5 pounds or less. Sure, some lost more, but they also have ways of making sure their first few weeks have big losses (such as bulking up on water by increasing sodium intake before the first weigh-in).

09-20-2007, 12:49 AM
Of course they're not. TV time is different than real time.

They say on the show when the people return home it is for a couple of months. I'm not sure if they state exactly how long. So I think its clear these people don't lose this amount of weight in 3 months.

09-20-2007, 12:58 AM
The other big give away is how overly excited the contestants get over getting mail from home. This season the very first week they were all excited - not to be crass but after a week from home I'd hardly being crying at not getting to read my family's letters.

09-20-2007, 01:34 AM
I thought the same thing when I saw the mom of toddlers losing it before the end of week 2. Shortly after I graduated high school (my sisters were two and four, I think the same ages as this woman's children), my parents went on vacation and I stayed home with my sisters. Mom and dad checked in a couple times during their vacation to make sure we were all still alive, but beyond that, they very much enjoyed the break.

09-20-2007, 08:05 AM
I sent an email to the lawyer who runs that NWS website to ask him where he got his information. He replied, and this is what he said:

I searched for two days on the Internet and could not find these dates, or the exact number of days it took each season for the contestants to lose their weight, which was amazing to me. I assumed it would be on the NBC web site. I knew instantly from looking at the data that it must have taken several times longer than 11 or 12 weekly episodes to lose this amount of weight.

I got the dates directly from a high-level official with NBC who works on this show. It is a long story about the particulars about how I got them, but I am an attorney and have no problem using my legal skills when necessary to get information.

When I made the comment to the person from NBC, who called me back with the information, that this must be one of the best-kept secrets in America the person stated, "Yeah, it is pretty hard to find" and kind of laughed when they said it. Now you see why.

If you have any more questions please feel free to contact me. I hope this helps.

Any suggestions about how I can explain this material better, or anything else on the web site, are welcome. I want people to know and understand the truth, not just about the Biggest Loser, but also about all of the weight-loss scams and deceptions, and 99.9% are.

Thank you for your interest.


09-20-2007, 10:38 AM
my feeling is...who cares, its a tv show, its there for entertainment. I LOVE TBL! And no I dont think someone can lose over 200 lbs in 3 months...thats just common sense. those people ARE losing the weight so that is where I draw my inspiration, thats the excitement for me. How long it takes really doesnt matter to me, you can see the transformations every week. Plus I just love watching bob!

09-20-2007, 11:39 AM
The show directly tells you how many months it has been since leaving the ranch. However, I'll be honest, I never put any thought into how long the weeks were prior to leaving the ranch. My boyfriend made the comment, too, about how he was surprised they were already getting letters from home after just the first week. It never dawned on me that one week reality tv could be something like 3 weeks at the ranch. Maybe I'm just naive, but it never dawned on me. Color me stupid - haha.

So, I for one am happy to have seen that article.

09-20-2007, 11:48 AM

I don't understand why this has turned into such an issue on here.......

*GASP* this lawyer said this and he got this from an NBC official, it must be the God-given truth.....

*GASP* I can never ever watch TBL again - they have lied to me and people might try to do what they do on TV and if they don't get the same results, they might kill themselves.........

I've seen that same silly link to that same big, scary lawyer/ fen-phen litigator / fitness guru website on about 4 different threads people have made this big huge discovery that NBC producers have hoped you'd never ever see! I'm sure that NBC is aware of that website, if they were THAT secretive, I think that they would fight to get it off of there.... if the info. is true...... so what? It's people losing weight.... if TBL was doing it in an unnatural, unhealthy way, I don't think they'd be on there for 4 seasons... I think there would be enough media attention about it, I think NBC would get in trouble for it... etc etc etc. It's not as huge of a deal as people are making it out to be!

As for what he said in his email "I knew instantly from looking at the data that it must have taken several times longer than 11 or 12 weekly episodes to lose this amount of weight. " Well.... he understands it..... If anyone lost 150 pounds in 3 weeks (even with Gastric Bypass surgery) I would be really scared as to what diesease is raviging their body!

It is TV people.... supposed to entertain..... if people can't see the "do not try this at home" part.... and "before beginning any exercise regime of ANY kind, talk to your doctor"........... then - well...... if they get hurt it's their fault. I think on any and every exercise tape you buy, and any diet that you go on, that same statement is on there "talk to your doctor" and how many of YOU have really talked to your doctor before doing the "Sweatin' to the Oldies" video with Richard Simmons or before joining WW??? I didn't. My doctor would tell me I'm obese and if I don't do something I'm going to die.... so if I die while trying to do something about my weight..... at least I was trying.

Like the PP said about Survivor - I see people losing 30+ pounds by being in the wilderness eating bugs..... so if I really want to lose weight - I'm going to go sit in the woods for 3 months and eat bugs (I wonder how many WW points are in those??)........ common sense tells me that that is RIDICULOUS!!!! Common sense also tells me I don't have 6 hours a day to workout - I also have kids to feed, so I can't just eat rice cakes and water for 8 months.....

These people do lose weight the right way. I found a site last night that said that they have to keep food diaries and if producers see that anything is going on that is unhealthy - the contestant will be kicked off the show..... the people who dehydrate themselves or don't eat before weigh-ins are doing it on their own accord and not at the insisting of the trainers or of the show.... I also saw an interview with Jillian that she says that ALL contestants are heavily screened before the show, they do all sorts of health tests, stress tests, etc........ to make sure that they aren't going to have a corinary on the show. AND, she also said that they show is extreme because it's REALITY TV.... they exercise 5 hours a day whereas in "REAL LIFE" she recommends working out like that 5 hours a week! (if you'd like the link to THAT interview, I'll gladly put it on here or mail it to you). I would take Jillians word over the lawyer dude any day on this subject matter. Though it would be funny (since he's a fitness dude) if he was a trainer on TBL next season..... I would laugh..... probably hysterically!

Maybe this whole thread will get closed because it's getting really nutso here. What's the point? If you have teenage daughters, tell them that TBL isn't really done in 12 weeks..... that weight loss like that should be done over a longer period of time. Tell them to tell their friends...... wash, rinse, repeat.... ta-da Also tell them that "America's Next Top Model" isn't really consistant with how girls these days should look.... and that on "American Idol" they let the bad singers in to sing for the judges in the beginning because it makes for good TV (can you imagine what it does to those kids self esteems though - to think that they are so good that they get to see the judges only to be told in so many words that they suck on National TV??? Where's the link to the lawyer who is looking into the mental torture that that causes?)

Okay....I am so glad, however, that we have a place like 3FC where we can voice our opinions but still be reaching for the common goal of losing weight, yes? I really do love all you ladies (and men), we are all on the weight loss journey together - and share that common bond.... :grouphug:

09-20-2007, 11:54 AM
Julz, are you sure you're not a lawyer?:rofl: You make me smile!

09-20-2007, 11:58 AM
lol GirlyGirl - nope, not a lawyer - but I've had to be around a few in my lifetime - and seen some pretty scuzzy ones at work too... enough to know that not every lawyer is a good lawyer.

09-20-2007, 12:00 PM
Well said Julz. People who think reality TV has anything to do with reality are also likely to think Pro Wrestling is real. :lol:

09-20-2007, 12:00 PM

so if I really want to lose weight - I'm going to go sit in the woods for 3 months and eat bugs (I wonder how many WW points are in those??)........

HA!!! OMG! That just made my day LOL...thank you!

09-20-2007, 12:42 PM
The fact is that some people (and we get comments in Weight Loss Support about it) do believe that the contestants lose that much in 1 week, e.g., 30+ pounds for the older, Blue Team captain in "week 1." Call them stupid or naive, but there really is no clear way to tell from the information the show presents that the timeline is distorted.

It's a good show in that the weight loss is real, but there's a danger of people thinking that a loss like that is possible if only they worked hard enough. So I think it's important to clarify that it's entertainment, not a documentary.

I did think that they were showing 1 week = 1 week losses, and I'm old enough to know better.

LondonJulz, seems to me that the only one who is ranting here is you! :) Not sure why... it's just information. I don't think anyone said "I can never watch TBL again, they have lied to me, etc." It's just a word to the not-so-wise I guess. ;)


09-20-2007, 01:06 PM
Jay - I never said anyone was "ranting" - just seems like the same thing keeps getting repeated over and over and over again (read: run into the ground)..... but, I think that everyone here is now aware that TBL is not really done in 12 weeks time.... and I think we can all agree to disagree that some people think that others are being misled....

I am, however longwinded (just ask my DH) and it takes me a few lines or more to get everything out of my head and onto paper (or screen....) :D Plus, I had my Wheaties today, so I'm feelin' GOOD! :carrot:

I think everyone should just agree that we've been made aware of the "goings on" of TBL.... and take from it what we want...

OH, and congrats on reaching your goal weight, I just noticed your ticker!

09-20-2007, 01:58 PM
Maybe the topic seems you to have already been "beaten to death," but I would disagree. Have you ever counted the threads, and the arguments regarding how much water we should drink, what should count for water, whether coffee and other caffeinated drinks count as water, whether artificially sweetened beverages count as water.....

If not, do a search. Now do the same search two weeks later. This is a topic you would think had been beaten to death, and it keeps coming up - over and over and over again, proving that that topic STILL isn't common knowledge. If you're not convinced do the same searches on low carb dieting, artificial sweeteners, calorie counting, orlistat or alli and even Paris Hilton....

So the argument that "now everybody knows" about TBL, so it doesn't need to be discussed anymore is no better and no more accurate than saying "now everybody knows" the existing information and positions on all of these other subjects. If we're going to be redundant, and beat a subject to death, that's ok, and our right, you definitely can choose not to read the posts and move on yourself (on any of the other subjects as well).

I for one, would rather be beating this subject to death and beyond, than to spend one second thinking about Paris Hilton.

09-20-2007, 02:01 PM
Paris Hilton? Did you hear she went to jail?

09-20-2007, 02:22 PM
Have you ever counted the threads, and the arguments regarding how much water we should drink, what should count for water, whether coffee and other caffeinated drinks count as water, whether artificially sweetened beverages count as water.....

If not, do a search. Now do the same search two weeks later. This is a topic you would think had been beaten to death, and it keeps coming up - over and over and over again, proving that that topic STILL isn't common knowledge. If you're not convinced do the same searches on low carb dieting, artificial sweeteners, calorie counting, orlistat or alli and even Paris Hilton....

Wow - I believe that humans need water to survive, I don't know a single person that has died from not watching The Biggest Loser. Watching the show is a choice.... and option.... getting enough liquid (rather it be sweet water, coffee, tea, etc......) not so much an option for survival.

09-20-2007, 02:29 PM
LondonJulz--See we are GATOR fans and we agree on many things. I started a long response yesterday and lost it and gave up. Its inspirational bottom line. 2 weeks, 3 months, whatever...they are saving their own lives. If you don't like it, don't watch it. People believing everything they see on tv...that's a scary thought. Common sense people!!! Something is really missing here....

Kaplods--If everyone has a right to voice their own opinions, why call LondonJulz out for voicing hers?

09-20-2007, 02:32 PM
Oh yes...just a reminder--don't believe everything you read on the internet either. Just because LondonJulz asked us to stop beating this to death means it has to happen. We are individuals and we can do as we chose. Oh what a revelation!

09-20-2007, 02:45 PM
Getting back to the topic rather than discussing why or if we should still be discussing the topic....I guess I am a bit naive because I did actually think that the weigh-ins were 1 week apart. I didn't really think over the long term because honestly I can believe that someone who is 300 lbs or more can probably drop large amounts of weight when they are severely restricting their diet and exercising 4-5 hours a day. I know I have run across something that talked about how many calories you have to eat every day to maintain your weight. If a person weighs 300 lbs how many calories a day do you think they have to be eating in order to maintain that weight and then suddenly they are eating 1200 calories a day and exercising 5 hours a day and drinking lots of water, well I think it is entirely possible to lose 10 lbs in one week. I suppose when you look at tv you know what is really and what is fake. Obviously I can watch a tv show Friends and know that it is fiction. Reality shows even I know are scripted and manufactured. I guess for TBL I felt it was more 'real' because I can identify with the people more because of them being overweight. It will change the way that I enjoy the show and maybe has taken away some of the wow factor and drama of the show but I will still watch it and still enjoy it.

09-20-2007, 06:12 PM
putting WAY too much stock into a SCRIPTED tv show! I said it like 5 times now but common sense tells you its not possible to lose 31 lbs in 7 days. Maybe its just me. Why take something that supposed to be fun and entertaining and "beat it to death" if you cant enjoy it then dont watch it.

The whole conversation feels to me like "well I cant do that so something must be wrong with you" Stop trying to live up to something that isnt achievable and let the show be what it is....a TV SHOW!

09-20-2007, 06:16 PM
I never said that LondonJulz had no right to her opinion or her right to voice it. I was disagreeing with her. Um, that's what's so great about having the right to voice our opinions. What would be the point of voicing opinions, if we all agreed we had the right to voice them, but not the right to disagree, argue or persuade? In fact, that was my point. Arguing about the issue is legitimate, and if you don't want to argue about the issue, that's great too. I was offering a solution where everyone can be happy. If you don't want to argue, or hear arguments, then you have the option of not following this thread. And as likenoother points out, just because LondonJules has asked us to stop beating the subject to death (and has the right to do that - ask that is), doesn't mean we have to or cannot (as I did) attempt explain or justify why we have the right to beat it to death and beyond.

And I would disagree about the water issue. I don't believe that anyone here believes they can exist without moisture. Not only that, if they tried to (voluntarily), they would get VERY, VERY, VERY thirsty and probably give it up before their health were in extreme jeopardy. There is however, much disagreement over how much water, and in what form (read the posts, if you do not believe me). My mother nearly died a year ago by believing the dieting myths she was told in WW meetings (coffee didn't count as water, and even should be compensated for by extra water). A low dose of an extremely common blood pressure medicine made her more susceptible to water poisoning (low sodium levels due to dilution of the blood from too much water) at only about 1 gallon of water a day (more than is often recommended in these water discussions I mention). Mom was hospitalized for a week and now has permanent kidney damage (about 50% functioning) from the water poisoning. So yeah, water misinformation can be dangerous, even deadly, but that wasn't my point. I wasn't "calling out" LondonJules for anything. I was just disagreeing and backing up my opinion, much as I did regarding your criticism.

As to my problems with the show. I think what spoils it for me to a degree is the deception. If the show were more upfront, or if there were big news headlines or stories on the nightly news "exposing" the truth, I think I would watch completely guilt free, especially now knowing that the safety of the contestants is probably minimal.

It does seem wrong though to watch the show and just keep quiet, knowing the dangerous myths it perpetuates. I wonder if one of the biggest reasons weight loss attempts have such a dismal long-term success rate is that people who are actually being wonderfully successful give up because they believe they are failing, because their losses are inconsistent or slow (even if weight loss is as low as 1 lb a month - you're so far ahead of the game in terms of statistics if you don't give up).

I desperately would like THAT news to get out, as I know it would have made a difference in my life. I didn't just give up so many times in the past because I thought I was failing (when I was actually succeeding), but because important people in my life (parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, school nurse...) were telling me that I was failing when I only lost 1 or 2 lbs a month. If I had known better, and had been told how amazingly successful I was actually being, maybe I wouldn't have ended up in a cycle of weight loss and gain for the last 36 years.

09-20-2007, 06:21 PM
Again....if the show is ruined for you, then simply stop watching it. If it makes you feel guilty...then dont watch it. I still love it just as much as before. Does it solve anything to bash something you dont like? Is it really that shocking that a tv show wasnt completely up front about something? Do you realize how much of what happens is set up? All you are doing is bringing alot of negative energy to yourself. Focus on positive like likenoother said...people are saving their lives! You cannot fake shrinking like they are, no matter what the time frame is.

09-20-2007, 06:35 PM
See in the USA we have another option. To discuss in public (gasp) things we dislike and disagree with. It's not just for politics. "Like it or leave it," is not a democratic ideal, it's a dictatorial one. Criticise and hope for change, is a much more positive response.

Criticizing and critiqueing does bring positive energy. Without it misinformation, bigotry, injustice, racism, sexism, and intolerance of any kind is perpetuated, not solved. If the duplicity, deception and misinformation doesn't bother you, well ok. You still have the right to watch the show or not. Just as those who wish to criticize and critique also have the right to talk about it (or not) and to choose to watch it (or not) as we see fit.

But just as you would suggest that only the gullible believe that the show is real, I (my opinion) think it's just as gullible to assume the show is "saving lives." Maybe, maybe not. How would we know if we're not told the truth about what the results were, how they were attained, or if they were long-lasting.

I'm not saying the show should be cancelled or that no one should watch the show. I'm saying that knowledge is power, and only through discussion and yes, even debate and criticism can true knowledge be attained.

09-20-2007, 06:45 PM
All I can say is WOW...we went from talking about a tv show to this. and I might add not very constructively.

TV for me is nothing more than mindless entertainment, fighting social ills isnt gonna happen over a tv show, that happens with public involvement, actually getting up off the couch and getting out there and doing something about it. You can talk something all you want but until actions are taken nothing will change.

Finally, It is saving a life...mine! Because I'm inspired to do what I can to take off the extra pounds, so yes, I do think it saves lives. Cant wait for the next episode!

09-20-2007, 07:07 PM
Words are verbal or written actions. I believe that actions and words are not mutually excusive, or even separable. Words must be formed AND exchanged before action can be decided upon and taken.

Even to say this is "just" entertainment, or even that it is helpful to some people (who are savvy enough to understand the flaws without them being explained, and self-confident, aware and educated enough to be well-informed) is a legitimate, but perhaps limited and short-sighted view.
Our entertainment is as much a reflection of who we are as a person and as a people, as our politics, religion, and contribution to social services.

As a person active in my church and social and civic causes, I believe that small issues often pave the way to larger ones. The small issue here is this one flawed, but entertaining television show. A larger issue is getting information out there (even if it's on this small dieting forum) regarding realistic expectations and finding ways to meet them regarding weight loss. If we aren't supportive of debate and discussion on a small issue, how can there ever be hope of making a difference in larger ones.

09-20-2007, 07:17 PM
All right--we're done with this thread. What started out as possibly useful information has turned into an argument, and it's not going anywhere.