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healthyme05 11-28-2005 10:21 PM

So That's How the Biggest Losers Lose Their Weight...
 
This is an article that might interest those of you that watch the Biggest Loser.

And yet another one...

(The First Article)

Q: How did the curly haired guy on "The Biggest Loser,"lose 26 pounds in 1 week. I don't care what diet you are on that just doesn't sound like it could happen. Are the men and women on the same diet? —S.J., Texas

On "The Biggest Loser", do the contestants really drop 5, 8, or even 10 lbs per week? This seems very unhealthy. What sort of medical supervision is provided? —Kirsten, Wisconsin

How do the contestants on "The Biggest Loser" lose that much weight in one week? It just doesn't seem humanly possible to lose 17-25 lbs. in a week and then do the same thing a few weeks later! —Kristi, Atlanta


A: We get a lot of questions like these. Even viewers who enjoy watching contestants drop pound after pound on "The Biggest Loser" are sometimes skeptical about how that's actually possible.

I talked to Dr. Michael Dansinger, a consultant on "The Biggest Loser 2" and a physician at Tufts New England Medical Center, who explained that the "people in the show are in a fantasy, unrealistic environment where everything is optimized for weight loss." He notes that everything from working with a trainer to having absolutely nothing else to do makes it possible for contestants to completely reconfigure their diet and exercise routine.

Dansinger says that "50 to 60 percent of [contestants’] weight-loss success comes from dietary change." They're used to consuming around 3000 calories a day, but on the show consume about 1500 calories a day. As he says, "few people are really in a position to cut their calories by 1500 a day, but that's what these people are able to do." He says there's "nothing controversial" about the diet, nor are the contestants given pills or other shortcuts.

The other 40 to 50 percent of weight loss comes from the three hours of exercise the contestants do every day: an hour of strength training and two hours of cardio. That helps them burn an additional 1200 to 1500 calories, Dansinger says. "It's hard to do by yourself, but on the show it's easy to do," he said. "When people allow themselves to be put in that kind of environment ... when you pull out all the barriers to weight loss, that's when the weight loss can come very quickly."

While Dansinger consulted daily with the producers over the phone and via e.mail during production about diets, fitness, and other issues, there was another physician on set with the show who was responsible for patient care and monitoring contestants' physical fitness. That doctor also had the ability to veto challenges or pull a contestant from a challenge if he felt that it was unsafe. —A.D.

LockItUp 11-28-2005 10:48 PM

I get so jealous every week. I mean, ok they do 3 hours of exercise and never eat over 1500 cals, I eat less than that and maybe do half the exercise but I don't lose even close to that. I would love to lose 4 or 3 or 2 consistantly. Sheesh, I love the show, but sometimes it makes me feel like I don't do enough.

healthyme05 11-28-2005 11:21 PM

I never watch the show. I mean I got so discouraged when I used to watch it. After they lose 5 pounds it shows. If I lose 5 pounds it doesn't really show at all. So it was frustrating.
Since their regimen is unrealistic in the real world, I'm wondering how many of them will put the weight back on.

stacylambert 11-29-2005 01:45 AM

healthyme: I think the reason you could see a difference in only 5 or 10 pounds is because one show they are 220 and the next they are 210. Whereas yourself you see yourself all day everyday so there's no moment where *bam* 5 pounds are gone.
I watch thow show. Their loss is a little discouraging but I think seeing the change in how they look is a real motivator. One of my best motivators are "before and after" photos so the show works good for that.

mocha74 11-29-2005 01:58 AM

I watched the Biggest Loser last season and this season. It is amazing what you can learn from having personal trainers, nutritionists and every thing you can think of to lose weight. That is all they do 24 hours a day. They think about losing weight. I'm sure if that is all they think about a lot of it will sink in and go with them into the real world. I think everyone from last season kept losing after they left the ranch and are still in good shape. If we ate, drank and slept losing weight and had nothing else to worry about we could probably dream away the pounds :) Don't get discouraged. It actually inspires me no matter how unrealistic it is. I think I'm just a sucker for success stories :)


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