The Biggest Loser is one of American reality shows which I happened to watch couple of episodes last year. With the offer of $250,000 grand prize and dramatic weight loss stories, the show is quite popular in US. I believe that the show is actually in the fourth or fifth season now with more than 100,000 applicants wanting to be part of the show.
I do not deny that the show is inspiring, but to lose 10 to 25 pounds within a week may not be safe. This figure is definitely much different from the 3-pound a week recommended by many health professionals.
In the first season, the winner, Ryan Benson has lost by 122 pounds from 330 pounds to 208 pounds over a period of 10-week. No joke, he lost 37% of his original weight and 18% of his body fat.
When I found out what Ryan Benson said, I almost fell down from my chair learning the way he has used just to win the competition.
“I wanted to win so bad that the last ten days before the final weigh-in I didn’t eat one piece of solid food! If you’ve heard of “The Master Cleanse” that’s what I did. It is basically drinking lemonade made with water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, pure maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. The rules of the show said we couldn’t use any weight-loss drugs, well I didn’t take any drugs, I just starved myself!
Twenty-four hours before the final weigh-in I stopped putting ANYTHING in my body, liquid or solid, then I started using some old high school wrestling tricks. I wore a rubber suit while jogging on the treadmill, and then spent a lot of time in the steam room. In the final 24 hours I probably dropped 10-13 lbs in just pure water weight. By the time of the final weigh-in I was peeing blood.”
Yeah, you read it right. Peeing in blood. The show supposed to impose penalties on anyone for being dehydrated “intentionally”, but the producer has yet to issue any violations.
After the show has ended, Ryan admitted about his depression he felt after falling back into his old eating habits. Also, he mentioned that as soon as the show was over, he regained 32 pounds in 5 days simply by drinking water.
What I am trying to highlight is that weight can be affected by hydration, rather than actual body fat loss. The other issue worth mentioning is overexercising. The participants of the show were exercising with trainers between 4 to 5 hours a day. Before they joined the show, they hardly did any exercise. By exercising so many hours right after participating the show is actually not safe at all. I just worry about the high risk for injuries that could make these participants stopping exercise altogether after the show.
In short, losing 10 to 25 pounds a week is unrealistic and impossible to maintain in normal life. A gradual approach with sustainable lifestyle changes will definitely be a better choice.
So, don’t get me wrong. The Biggest Loser is still a good reality show. In fact, I have written another article – Why You Should Also Watch The Biggest Loser Reality TV Show. Must read.
By the way, the trainers, both Jillian Michael and Bob Harper are very fit in the show!
For those who wish to find out more about the workout in the reality show – The Biggest Loser, check out the DVD from Amazon.
Category: Weight Loss
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