Exercise! - Extreme Weight loss--The Biggest Loser--are they doing more damage than good?




Kscott
10-11-2013, 11:01 PM
I have exercised since I was in my 30's--primarily because I wanted to be fit. I am now 60 years old and still exercise. Albeit--I gained a few pounds when I stopped exercising a few years ago--but got back on track 2 years ago and have no intentions of quitting ever again.

The Extreme Weight loss T.V. show where we watch someone who is morbidly obese--actually lose 1/2 of their body weight in one year is a little too much for me to take. So someone who weights 450 pounds can somehow lose 225 pounds within a year is almost unbelievable to me. Of course they state that this person is working out hard 4 to 6 hours a day--and is on a diet that most rabbits couldn't survive on.

The Biggest loser--is another show on T.V.--that is really competition between some heavy weights--(normally where I see the men win)--because women simply do not have the muscle mass as men do--so typically men lose weight faster than women-and some man (usually the biggest man--9 times out of 10) comes out the winner on the show--sending the women into the backroom with bags over their heads--no matter how hard they have worked or how much weight they have lost.

Now let's be honest here. Julian really didn't get in the shape she's in--in one year. She's been working out for years--probably decades if the truth be told--but somehow we're to believe that this all happens within one year--and or the time the yearly premier starts until the end--and the biggest loser wins.

It's like it's some kind of impossible race--which in fact--is really not the way to lose weight or become fit. We have to look at fitness and our eating habits as a lifetime commitment. Atrophy of muscles sets in 15 times quicker than we gain muscle--spelling--if you stop working out after you won the Biggest Loser--or Extreme Weight loss--you're going to be back to even worse shape you were before you started--if you don't continue this schedule of working out 4 to 6 hours daily.

Furthermore--it's a fact--that people like me--who used to exercise--then stopped for a couple of years--have to come back just as hard when exercising--as we did when we were fit and exercising--to have any benefit.

Everyone knows that weight taken off in a rational way--more slowly--tends to stay off--rather than rapid weight loss. Simply because it indicates that someone has done a real life style change--and not been on some yo yo diet to take off a few pounds because they are getting married and or are going to a wedding or other event in the next couple of months.

It's been my experience that eating right--and exercising hard for 3 to 4 times a week for one hour actually works--for sustained weight loss and physical fitness. But again, I am talking about a lifetime committment of that--not one year--and or the season premier until the end.

So I would like your opinions on these T.V. programs. Do you really believe that they would work for the average person? Does anyone really believe that the average person can sustain a 4 to 6 hour workout a day and LIVE, and more importantly maintain a life of work, kids, husbands, wives, etc.--as they do on Extreme Weight loss. So do these programs give false illusions as what to expect for sustained weight loss and physical fitness?

I guess the point I am trying to make is: No matter how much you weigh--set realistic goals for yourself and do not base them on these T.V programs. I certainly wouldn't want anyone to get discouraged because they didn't lose half their body weight in one year, and or didn't beat the biggest loser in weight loss. Just keep going-and you'll get there.

Your Thoughts?


Wannabeskinny
10-13-2013, 08:24 AM
You have to take these shows for what they are, commercials for whatever product they push. In the case of extreme makeover you have to remember that it's a commercial for ***mart (I would never shop there so I won't even spell out their name).

It's not hard to believe that someone loses that much weight in a year if they make it their full time job (which they do) especially since they have surgery to go along with it. Is it realistic? No. Is it sustainable? That remains to be seen. But what you say here "f you stop working out after you won the Biggest Loser--or Extreme Weight loss--you're going to be back to even worse shape you were before you started--if you don't continue this schedule of working out 4 to 6 hours daily." that's kind of false if you ask me.

Muscles have memory. I've worked myself into shape and then fallen out of shape a few times and it may take me the same amount of time to get back to where I was or it may take me less time. The knowledge I have about fitness never goes away and my technique for lifting weights and working out never goes away. I don't know where you get this information that you get into WORSE shape than before you started? That doesn't make sense to me. Even a little bit of exercise helps anyone.

Sometimes I watch these shows, not that it's applicable to me but I agree that putting women against men is futile. I think there should be separate competitions for men and women.

pnkrckpixikat
10-13-2013, 12:43 PM
I agree that they are likely doing more damage than good. Studies are starting to be done on them and are actually finding that they PROMOTE anti-fat prejudices in people that have not struggled with their weight.

The study I read found that anti fat prejudices were higher after veiwing these types of shows because it strengthened the belief that A. it is 'easy' to lose weight, you just had to watch what you eat and exercise a bit which leads to B. Obese and Overweight people have control over their weight so they must not WANT to lose it or must be (lazy, pigs, etc)

The study showed that participants that were currently obese did not show changes in prejudices, but indicated that the shows may affect their self perception i.e. "if they can do it why can't I" making them fell more negatively towards their bodies, themselves etc.


Kscott
10-14-2013, 02:01 AM
You have to take these shows for what they are, commercials for whatever product they push. In the case of extreme makeover you have to remember that it's a commercial for ***mart (I would never shop there so I won't even spell out their name).

It's not hard to believe that someone loses that much weight in a year if they make it their full time job (which they do) especially since they have surgery to go along with it. Is it realistic? No. Is it sustainable? That remains to be seen. But what you say here "f you stop working out after you won the Biggest Loser--or Extreme Weight loss--you're going to be back to even worse shape you were before you started--if you don't continue this schedule of working out 4 to 6 hours daily." that's kind of false if you ask me.

Muscles have memory. I've worked myself into shape and then fallen out of shape a few times and it may take me the same amount of time to get back to where I was or it may take me less time. The knowledge I have about fitness never goes away and my technique for lifting weights and working out never goes away. I don't know where you get this information that you get into WORSE shape than before you started? That doesn't make sense to me. Even a little bit of exercise helps anyone.

Sometimes I watch these shows, not that it's applicable to me but I agree that putting women against men is futile. I think there should be separate competitions for men and women.

I don't know if you watched a show called "Weight of the Nation"--a more educational show regarding obesity in this country and they went into the discussion of what you questioned--working out 4 to 6 hours a day.

They basically stated if you worked out consistently at one point in your life--you will have to work out just as hard or at the same intensity to really get back in shape.

And it makes sense that if someone is accustomed to working out 4 to 6 hours daily--that if they cut back to one hour daily something has got to give, and I would imagine it's the scale.

While I know that these shows encourage people to start working out and watching what they eat--I would appreciate them a lot more if they would get a little more realistic on the time it takes for the average person --who has a job and family to take care of, to actually lose 100 pounds or more--something they haven't addressed as yet. As an example on extreme weight loss--who really can lose 80 to 110 pounds in a period of 3 months? Then we should ask ourselves how many people get discouraged and quit exercising altogether--because they did not meet that goal?

At any rate it is an interesting topic.

Kscott
10-14-2013, 02:08 AM
I agree that they are likely doing more damage than good. Studies are starting to be done on them and are actually finding that they PROMOTE anti-fat prejudices in people that have not struggled with their weight.

The study I read found that anti fat prejudices were higher after veiwing these types of shows because it strengthened the belief that A. it is 'easy' to lose weight, you just had to watch what you eat and exercise a bit which leads to B. Obese and Overweight people have control over their weight so they must not WANT to lose it or must be (lazy, pigs, etc)

The study showed that participants that were currently obese did not show changes in prejudices, but indicated that the shows may affect their self perception i.e. "if they can do it why can't I" making them fell more negatively towards their bodies, themselves etc.

Exactly that's what worries me about these shows too. The mindset that "It's easy to take off weight" --so I'll go ahead and eat that extra donut--and or I won't worry about those 20 or so extra pounds now--I'll start worrying next year about losing a few pounds and getting fit. "If whomever can lose 100 pounds on "The biggest loser"--so can I--and or even worse "I can lose 1/2 of my body weight within a year." And if that doesn't happen--I imagine it can crush self esteem, in many who already have a low opinion of themselves.

I would just like these shows to get realistic with the time it takes for the average person to lose weight and get into shape. When I watched "you need to lose 110 pounds within the next 3 months" on Extreme weight loss--I thought you've got to be joking--right? The sad thing is they weren't.

Wannabeskinny
10-14-2013, 09:41 AM
I don't know if you watched a show called "Weight of the Nation"--a more educational show regarding obesity in this country and they went into the discussion of what you questioned--working out 4 to 6 hours a day.

They basically stated if you worked out consistently at one point in your life--you will have to work out just as hard or at the same intensity to really get back in shape.

And it makes sense that if someone is accustomed to working out 4 to 6 hours daily--that if they cut back to one hour daily something has got to give, and I would imagine it's the scale.

While I know that these shows encourage people to start working out and watching what they eat--I would appreciate them a lot more if they would get a little more realistic on the time it takes for the average person --who has a job and family to take care of, to actually lose 100 pounds or more--something they haven't addressed as yet. As an example on extreme weight loss--who really can lose 80 to 110 pounds in a period of 3 months? Then we should ask ourselves how many people get discouraged and quit exercising altogether--because they did not meet that goal?

At any rate it is an interesting topic.

Any olympic athlete could tell you after they retire that in order to get back into the shape they were in during the olympics they'd have to train the same way they did back then. But what does that have to do with weight loss? You don't even have to exercise to maintain weightloss, lots of people don't exercise in a formal way and are thin.

Is anyone dumb enough to think they can achieve the same things that these contestants do? No, especially not overweight people. And who on earth would want to watch a show about the real work it takes to take weight off and keep it off? That is so boring. It's like watching someone brush their teeth, the war on plaque is not really interesting to watch. If it's not sensational its not going on tv.

diamondgeog
10-14-2013, 02:32 PM
I think having reasonable goals is very important to weight loss. And my reasonable I don't mean necessarily not losing as much weight as a contestant but rate of weight loss.

I am very happy with a 1 pound per week goal. 2 at the most. It will be 6 months for me on December 1. I have a shot at 50lbs but I am not pushing. I want to be in the 220s, 229 by the end of the year.

But that was not my original goal. If someone had said you will be 233 May 1, 2014 I would have taken it in a heartbeat. So my weight loss is very satisfying to me BECAUSE I had a reasonable expectation of averaging a 1lb a week weight loss. It is actually pretty awesome when you get to revise your goals downward. I would much rather do it that way.

I really focus on 10lb weight goals. These people are in an environment virtually impossible for someone to match including them. Also with the rapid weight loss they have a lot of excess skin. I am 48 but not experiencing any of that.

These shows are, sadly, not geared toward helping anyone, but ratings. That being said some people on the shows do get better for life. And I applaud them and even the show. But there are many, many things wrong with Biggest Loser on so many levels.

Kscott
10-14-2013, 04:49 PM
Any olympic athlete could tell you after they retire that in order to get back into the shape they were in during the olympics they'd have to train the same way they did back then. But what does that have to do with weight loss? You don't even have to exercise to maintain weightloss, lots of people don't exercise in a formal way and are thin.

Is anyone dumb enough to think they can achieve the same things that these contestants do? No, especially not overweight people. And who on earth would want to watch a show about the real work it takes to take weight off and keep it off? That is so boring. It's like watching someone brush their teeth, the war on plaque is not really interesting to watch. If it's not sensational its not going on tv.

It's true that 99% of weight loss is derived from eating less. However--when extreme weight loss starts out with eating less plus 4 to 6 hours of exercise a day--at a burn rate, of I would assume, at least 300 calories per hour. So if a person is burning an additional 1200 to 1800 calories a day through exercise--where does that leave them when they cut back to one hour a day?

The Biggest Loser--is way out there, simply because they have men competing with women on that show--which the winner will always be heavily weighted to men--whom always lose weight faster than women because of their muscle mass regardless of how overweight they are. The same thing on Extreme weight loss--it appears that most of the men meet their yearly goals--while most of the women fall short of theirs.

Personally I don't get bored with watching a more educational program of eating habits to lose weight and exercise to stay fit. As far as your comment who would really believe that someone could lose 1/2 of their body weight in one year--they're showing us how they do it--so yes it is believable--but it's not so believable to those of us who exercise regularly when you see how they're doing it. How many people believe that they can do it--is anyone's guess?

I know this is called reality T.V--but is it really reality? I don't think so.

breakonthrough
10-23-2013, 01:54 PM
-if you stop working out after you won the Biggest Loser--or Extreme Weight loss--you're going to be back to even worse shape you were before you started--if you don't continue this schedule of working out 4 to 6 hours daily.


You could never work out again and still stay at the same weight, as long as the person does not have a calorie surplus, meaning, they do not take in more calories than their body needs for energy.

kaplods
10-23-2013, 03:30 PM
Is anyone dumb enough to think they can achieve the same things that these contestants do? No, especially not overweight people. And who on earth would want to watch a show about the real work it takes to take weight off and keep it off? That is so boring. It's like watching someone brush their teeth, the war on plaque is not really interesting to watch. If it's not sensational its not going on tv.


Is anyone gullible enough to believe and attempt what they see on tv?

Definitely!

Even overweight people?

Especially overweight people!


It isn't stupidity. It's desperation. It's grasping at a straw of hope.


Desperate people believe in the impossible. Even when they "know better" unrealistic beliefs creep in. Most people will SAY and even THINK that the show is unrealistic, but many will copy what they see anyway, and will become even more discouraged when it doesn't work like it does on tv.

That's because human beings can hold opposing and beliefs and can believe in things they know to be untrue. What feels true on a gut level often trumps what the conscious and rational mind knows to be true.

Ultimately humans aren't all that different from the other great apes. We copy what we see, especially when we see someone being rewarded in some way. And if the reward is one we value and covet, such as money, weight loss, and sex appeal) we're even more likely to copy the behavior EVEN when we know the behavior to be foolish, reckless, and even dangerous.

Advertising and marketing relies on this human instinct. No one believes in "love potions." Everyone "knows" that there are no colognes that can make us completely rresistable to whomever we fancy. We know that Axe body spray doesn't really cause herds of blonde, toned, scantily clad hotties to chase after and sexually accost any male (no matter how young, old, fat, thin, odd, nerdy, unappealing....) who wears it.

Even though we supposedly know better, and advertisers know we know better (but really don't), they still use these fantasy-based ads.

Why? Because they work. We all SAY we don't believe, but the actions of the majority PROVE otherwise. If only the minority of idiots - the dumbest of the dumb - were susceptible to advertisements like these, adverisers wouldn't use them.

Over and over, in hospital emergency rooms and in newspaper headlines across the country, we see evidence of the human capacity for mindless imitation (even among highly intelligent people who should know better).

When I was teaching (straight out of college with a psychology BA) in a hospital in-patient substance abuse program, on the topic of peer pressure I told the group about a study in which experimenters had single and small groups of people face the "wrong" way in an elevator and watched how it effected the behavior of people unaware of the experiment.

In virtually ALL cases, new passengers faced whichever direction the person or people already on the elevator were facing. And even if they seemed uncomfortable, almost noone asked "why" the aberation.

The next day, the group of guys were excited to report that they had done their own version of this experiment on their way to the cafeteria and that even the doctors and nurses behaved exactly as expected.

Awesome illustration, but it landed me in hot water when the doctors and nurses got wind of me being the source of this little experiment because they thought it undermined the authority and professional image of staff (I didn't tell the patients to run their own experiment, or make the staff copy the patients).





I'm not suggesting that advertising or reality shows should be banned, but I do think we all need to be more aware of just how infuential what we see, read, hear, and watch truly can be.


Thinking that we "know better" may even make us MORE susceptible, because then we're often lulled into a false sense of immunity.