Why people need to Lose the Biggest Loser mentality...
This video has been doing the rounds for the last few days if you have not seen it then please give it a watch.
For those of you who are somehow unaware of the show The Biggest Loser here is the basic premise.
Take a group of dangerously overweight people and isolate them in a camp for 3 months, make them train for 4 hours per day and only feed them foods that whatever this seasons sponsor provides, judge their success only on the scales and try to make them cry as much as possible – I do hope that I am not coming across as a fan of the show!
This false environment see’s “contestants’’ (there is a cash prize involved of course) dropping some ludicrous weight each week, anything up to 30lbs is not uncommon.
This sets some crazy milestones for the people at home to think are achievable and also both physically and mentally battered contestants.
This number on the scales mentality is everything that is wrong with the weight loss world, instead of celebrating swapping out bad habits for good ones or making positive lifestyle changes people are only focused on what a scale says.
The scale is not an accurate measure of success, weight will constantly fluctuate due to all manner of things.
If you are a serial binge eater, normally miss breakfast, snack on biscuits, chocolate & crisps all day then eat a takeaway each night but then for 4 weeks you eat 3 square balanced meals per day containing protein, fats & veg should that not be celebrated more so than then a drop on the scale????
The kind of extreme approach to weight loss that shows like the Biggest Loser glamorise, are obviously not SUSTAINABLE (I was going to put it in there somewhere now wasn’t I)
By drastically cutting calories and at the same time burning more calories by adding exercise for 4 hours will wreak havoc on your body, yes you are in a calorie deficit which is needed for weight loss but there is no longevity to the kind of program.
The body will begin to shut as much energy expenditure down as possible, making burning calories even harder.
Metabolism & thyroid will slow to match the energy (calories) coming in, if you are only ingesting 1200cal per day then don’t expect your metabolism to be firing like it is burning 3000kcal. or at least not for very long.
The body is a survival machine, it will do everything it can to last for one more day, if it is not getting adequate nutrition then it will try to produce its own, It has 2 choices muscles or fats, muscle is easier to burn and this will again slow the bodies metabolic rate.
All this means is that when the metabolism and thyroid are moving at a snails pace and you dump a boat load of calories into the body it thinks ‘’well I can’t burn them, better store them!’’
These are obviously extreme cases but also in the same way a prime example of what some people will do, drastically cut calories way below what they are used to, say 1200cal, to illicit as much and as quick weight loss as possible, eventually the body slows to match this energy input, the weight loss stalls then any surplus calories now the body cannot process and a rebound of weight gain begins.
A more sensible approach would be to find out how many calories you are currently consuming then slowly and incrementally reduce them by around 200cal whenever weight loss stalls, you could also create the deficit through added exercise, so instead of having the hardship of only eating 1200cal per day you could eat 2000cal, burn 800 and be in the same position only fuller, happier and healthier!
Massively restricting calories just makes getting all the essential macronutrients into your diet so hard as this will cause you to spill over your ‘calorie budget’
People looking for weight loss need to thing long term over short term.
‘’I go on holiday in 12 weeks, best start tightening up on the treats’’
‘’I go on holiday in 2 weeks, best go on a crash diet’’
Lifestyle changes will add up to life long results which are surely much more attractive than restricting your entire life for a short period, feeling like crap, looking like an extra from the walking dead only to gain the weight back faster then Buddy Love did in the Nutty Professor?