The Biggest Loser - Winning by Losing For discussion of the NBC tv show The Biggest Loser and the book Winning by Losing, by Jillian Michaels

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Old 02-07-2008, 02:12 PM   #1  
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Default Is it just me or is the amount of weight loss in a short time 'insane'

I still can not wrap myself around any show that promotes at least by example a 50lb weight loss in a month.

That amount of weight loss so quickly is 'insane' or at best extremely unhealthy. AND not in any way shape or form anything any one in the real world could do or should do.

Granted, obviously, extreme excess weight is not healthy. But just a simple numbers calculation a person would have to maintain over a 5,800 calorie defecit day after day for 30 days to lose 50lbs.

The show does have some good tips. And some of the cooking advice last Tuesday was not bad at all. I do also think everyone watching knows the whole 'ranch' thing is not replicable and really their job becomes losing weight.

But I guess people can lose 50lbs in a month.

Now the question becomes what is it doing to these people? I can not believe it is healthy to lose that much weight that quickly. When I lose weight I do it much more slowly but also maintain very good skin tone. No lose skin whatsoever. Beyond the appearence questions though internal health wise it would seem to me that such rapid loss would produce all kinds of problems.

Lastly, obviously, no one can keep up 50lbs a month. But will it make people who start committing and working hard on changes who lose 'only' say 5 to 10lbs the first month (a nice healthy weight loss) feel bad? I guess the only silver lining is that people on the show do say they keep weight off after and usually lose more.

Bottomline, I know 50lbs in a month is not doable in the real world. I am also pretty sure it would be pretty unhealthy as well. I just hope most viewers realize how insane a weight loss clip it is.
Old 02-07-2008, 02:16 PM   #2  
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Hey there...and welcome back, by the way.

We had a great thread/discussion on this a month or so ago.

I'm torn on whether the show ultimately does more good or more bad for weight loss among viewers. On the one hand, I know that it absolutely inspires people to make efforts toward losing weight, and the emphasis on exercise and even the nutritional stuff they put in is great for that. On the other, I've seen so many people get discouraged when they only put up 2 lbs a week, since on TBL they lose soo much more.

Double-edged for sure.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:27 PM   #3  
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Thanks. Great thread and great info. I appreciate it. Too bad they do not take muscle gain into account. The show could be so much more helpful to people but I guess it is what it is.
Old 02-07-2008, 03:16 PM   #4  
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I'd love to know the contestants percentage of body fat, before and after.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:48 PM   #5  
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Thumbs down I don't think it is real or realistic

I have watched it in the past. I watched two full seasons 2005 and 2006. I was psyched to watch it every week too. I checked the website out. I was "into it". The aspect of the show that I didn't like was the competitiveness it seemed to hook into. I didn't like how the trainer would yell at the "losers" while they were working out. I am sure that was for the benefit of the camera but I could tell some of the contestants were not happy about it. I am also sure that keeping the ratings up was also behind it too. I think those contestants are under a lot more pressure than you or I would ever be to lose weight.

If someone kept harping at you to keep at it so the show could look good, how would you feel? I also don't like the pitting of one "loser" against another either. I could tell that some people loved to "diss" on their team mate but IMO none of that was "team work". NONE! As long as you watch it with the idea that it is a GAME and COMPETITION like World Wide Sports, only for "fatties" then I think you can (and probably will) overlook some of the more visceral aspects of that program.

Did you ever see where one of the past "winners" came back on? It was the couple who met on that show. They were engaged. The woman had still maintained her weight lose after 16 + months but the guy admitted that he was struggling. He seemed less confident about whether he would be able to keep it off.

I would love to see some of the other "losers' now after a few years. I am sure that they have them sign contracts and "gag orders" so they can't talk about how they really did this but I bet there is some behind the scene stuff going on that would cause some of the viewers to stop watching. Maybe, they are all taking some supplements like body builders to get the results they are. I don't have a problem with that but be up front about how you get those kinds of results. There is nothing I hate worse than saying one thing and doing another. Gee, I think that is called being "hypocritical".
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:51 AM   #6  
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Remember that all TV shows offer entertainment in exchange for being able to show you advertising. Even reality shows are scripted with this in mind.

Kai, the second-place winner from Alaska a couple seasons ago, is writing a book. Here's a link to her blog:

Scroll down past the article until you get to her entry for January 8. She answers a lot of questions.

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:07 AM   #7  
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JayEll thanks for that post. I think I have watched my last biggest loser forever. I do not want to be part of what goes on in that show. I am not a 'reality show' watcher to begin with. While there is some good information on that show all of that is available in many places including here.

But I do not like how the contestants are treated. Why hold contact with family over their heads as some kind of 'reward'? Why have yelling screaming trainers? Why for all intents and purposes encourage the water loss practices? Why take advantage of people who mostly are there to get healtier? And why when you are making millions in profits are you not paying these poor people who make you those millions something halfway decent for all their time and sacrifice?

Granted they know most of what will happen to them before they sign up. But they are also in a vulnerable state of wanting to lose weight. So treating them like other reality show contestants is not cool. I wonder if the producers, trainers, production staff, and host of the show, rich as they are, get some extra perverse pleasure when they are cashing their checks that the people who are actually suffering and making them all that money are treated so badly?

In any case, Biggest Loser is a BAD EGG, and I am done with it. Nothing at all new in the good things they are saying and a lot of bad in how the people are losing the weight and how they are treated. I do not need the show and I am no longer going to be a part of it by watching in any way.

Thanks for all the info.
Old 02-11-2008, 12:42 PM   #8  
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I've had misgivings with the show from the beginning, but reading more and more of Kai's blog, I'm seeing that the shows are actually worse behind the scenes than I imagined. I never thought sci fi stories like Running Man would ever become reality, but I'm not so sure anymore.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:45 PM   #9  
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Interesting that I came across this thread today, I was always wondering why on the show they never really focus on what they are eating. It's more a workout and challenge focus. I mean in reality you can't eat whatever you want and just workout. I posted a question to the dietitian from TBL on here regarding the contestants diets on the ranch and it appears that my question was "skipped" over.

It is a weightloss show right? So why wouldn't they focus a little bit more on what they are eating other then Extra sugarless gum
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:05 PM   #10  
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They are all frazzled because they never expected to run out of Sugar Free Jello, lol.
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:29 PM   #11  
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its b c its extrely low cal/low fat and low carb. one of the contestants in a prior season said they mostly get let turkey chicken fish and veggies.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:21 PM   #12  
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I do agree that in a way it's insane how much weight they lose in a month, or even a week (20lbs+ in a WEEK is insane). But then again, most of these contestants are starting off very heavy, and I assume being locked up on a ranch with no outside pressures (work, kids, bills, etc.), it can be quite easy to drop the lbs. They have a personal trainer with them everyday to help them along the way and while they have temptations, they also seem to eat healthy low fat/carb/calories (like said) meals everyday. Considering someone who is obese or very overweight would need a lot of calories to MAINTAIN their weight, cutting out 500-1000 calories isn't as bad as someone who was slighty overweight doing that.

Overall, I don't think the show is promoting unhealthy weight loss, but at the same time I don't think it's realistic in the real world either. For me, it's just a show to learn some tips about diet and exercise and get motivated to lose the weight. I don't get discouraged when I lose only a pound a week because to me, that's incredible.

Last edited by scorpio88; 03-07-2008 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:26 PM   #13  
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i watch every week, and I actually added some of the former contestants to my myspace page. They have all said they felt hungry and very dehydrated on their weigh in days, and that before the finale, some of the players were so woozy from lack of water and substance they didn't know if they could go on...I think TBL is inspiring to watch a before and after photo happen before your eyes, but I also think they take it a bit far. Of course my fiance has also worked on the photo shoots for last season , and he said that they actually don't work out EVERYDAY all day.. they have A LOT of PR stuff to do as well.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:05 PM   #14  
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The only reason they withold family interraction is for the integrity of the show. They don't want spoilers to be leaked. It's why on Survivor after the first season they decided to do the winner live so that way no one knew who the winner was before the show aired.

Still I agree that it shouldn't be held over their heads like a "reward". I believe they should get weekly call allowances to family. Even prisoners get phone calls!

As for the weight loss, it is possible and I believe they do it in a fairly "healthy" manner. Right foods and exercise. What they don't tell you is the diet menu. Those first couple of weeks when they lose the most is because they went through a detox stage so the body loses the most at that point. Imagine cutting all candy, sugar, pop, non-essential carbs, and junk food out. It really does jump start a body into weight loss mode. I started my diet last Monday and am already down 12lbs, simply by cutting those things out. Plus doing a low carb induction phase diet. It works well.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:45 PM   #15  
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I think there's absolutely no way to know whether, and to what degree the contestants are risking their health. It would be interesting to see the releases they signed, as I'm sure the show is protected against every possible consequence except a producer murdering a contestant in cold blood.
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