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Biggest Loser Syndrome or It wasn't good enough

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Most of us have seen some weight loss program or another or have been bombarded by all those commercials coming out now about how you can "Lose up to 20 pounds a week!" We watch the contestants on the shows exercise until they throw up, eat very little or don't actually see the food part of the program, then comes weigh in day where they lose 10 pounds and it 'still isn't enough'.

So you think you need to get into a workout routine that you run 'till you drop, while eating the minimal calories for the day, then you only drop a pound.

You think, it was only a pound, why should I kill myself over this? It should have been more, I feel like a failure.

Tv has warped our sense of reality. It's rare that one can consistently lose 10 pounds a week, even the morbidly obese that tend to be on these shows. They have nothing to do all day but work out.

Let's come back to reality. We have lives, we don't have the time to workout 8+ hours a day. If we were to workout that much in a day, we would certainly have to eat more than 1200 calories in a day or our bodies would shut down.

We know that one pound a week is not only feasible, it is one of the better ways to be losing the weight. You may think you did everything right to lose more than a pound in that week, but to think you 'only' lost a pound should not come as a failure. Every pound lost should be celebrated and a success when you're trying to lose excess weight. Never think "it was only a pound".

The next thing is the working out. Seeing the shows, they make it look like you need to work out so hard that you pass out/puke/break something. In reality, you just need to move. You need to move more than you did when you started. Doing arm/leg lifts is better than sitting there completely still. Taking a walk is perfectly acceptable, no matter how fast you're going. It is helpful to push yourself, but don't feel the need to injure yourself. Find something enjoyable and you'll stick to it for life.

Eating should be something enjoyable too. Yes, you need to eat less than you were when you hit your heaviest, you may even have to avoid certain things the majority of the time, but don't think the less is more thought. Your body still needs calories to exist. If you don't eat enough, your body will eat away at more than just the fat reserves. You'll start to become tired all the time and it will become harder to think.

The more you workout, the more energy your body will need. If you're working out that 8+ hours a day, you can get away with 2500 or more calories a day and still lose a lot of weight. I find having a device that accurately measures your full day movement is the most accurate, but if you're tracking your movement here, you can still estimate the amount of calories you need. Your fitness tracker will let you know in red type that you need to eat more for the amount of fitness you're doing. It works better when you stay in the ranges given. You'll be amazed at a better weight loss when you give your body the nutrition and calories it needs in a day. So if you're 'only' losing a pound, you may not be feeding it enough. There are so many factors in losing weight.

When all is said and done, we need to celebrate moving toward a healthy weight, one pound at a time. Even a half pound in a week is a step in the right direction. Some weeks you may not lose anything while you're gaining muscle. Celebrate the fact that you are healthier and better able to move every week than you were at your heaviest. You are getting better every day that you try. You are incredible! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    TV like the Biggest Loser as well as articles and ads distort reality for us. You are absolutely right.
    1793 days ago
    Love reading your blogs!!!!
    This is sooo true!!!
    1794 days ago
  • AMYD726
    What a well thought-out, positive, and sane post! I definitely look at TBL as what it is, reality TV. Some of it is staged, some is unrealistic, and all of it is put together to generate ratings. Still, I love it, and do find inspiration in it. :)
    1795 days ago
  • CC3833
    Thanks for the reminder I was just about to write a blog on my own personal BLS.
    1795 days ago
    I'd love to be able to watch that "supersized vs superskinny" but dang it, I don't seem to be able to watch it online. Where did you see that? It looks interesting.
    1796 days ago
    I actually really, really dislike The Biggest Loser. So many people love it, but it's so warped. :(
    1796 days ago
  • MOXIE26
    You know, after reading this blog and the comments, I am taking BLC off my DVR recording list. I have been thinking these same thoughts myself. The results on the show warp our real-life expectations. Like KAREN608, I think the show "Supersized and superskinny" does a much better job of representing most folks weight loss by focusing on healthy eating.
    1796 days ago
  • ZENXB!
    I used to be a BL fan because it was inspirational to see people loose the weight. But now it is so dramatic. They try and get the biggest people ever, to try and loose the largest amounts ever... and so on. What about people like me. I want to loose 50 pounds. The reality (my reality) is that is a lot, but I would not even come CLOSE to be a contestant on that show. Glad I do not have the same view on this. Thank you for verbalizing our thoughts!!!
    1796 days ago
  • KAREN608
    I have watched a British show, supersized & super skinny, which pairs opposites to eat the others diet for a week, then they are sent home to eat properly and it is more sensible than biggest loser which is all show and no reality. I am with you a little each week is easier to maintain in the long run.
    1797 days ago
  • TANYA602
    I've on seen the BLC once and was shocked at how much they were losing in a week. I'm a lucky person if I lose 1 lb a week. We are all different, truly, I have really come to be proud of the fact that the weigh has come off slowly and that I am keeping it off. This is a fabulous reminder of what we are learning here!
    1797 days ago
    A-freakin'-men! Thank you for posting this.
    1797 days ago
    Awesome post! Lots of things it's very easy to forget, that I need to sit and consider.

    Have a great Saturday!

    1797 days ago
  • ANDY_54
    Amen to this. I saw the beginning of the current season of BL and seeing those men and women run until they puke is just not something I'm interested in, either in TV or real-life, LOL. Thanks for stating it in your blog so eloquently!
    1797 days ago
  • DIANN111
    I agree with you "TV has warped our sense of reality". Shows like the BL can get someone motivated to start, but their approach is unrealistic and sets a terrible example in the end. IMHO. But would anyone watch a show where people went about their weight loss and fitness in a healthy, slow, methodical 1#/ week? lol Wouldn't that be great though, to actually follow a group of people doing it the healthy, realistic way! Oh wait...we are doing that right here on SP!
    emoticon emoticon
    1797 days ago
    Amen emoticon
    1797 days ago
    I agree about those shows. Oprah had some of the biggest losers on after a time off the show and alot of them gain around 1/2 their weight back because they couldn't keep up the exercise regimine they had on the show. Slow but sure keeps it off longer.
    1797 days ago
    dont watch it. well once or 2x/ but do not like being yelled at.

    that is so grammar school. high school even.

    i joined the challenge at the Y. so plan on that at least 2x a week.

    really busy this month. but i did my marching at the Y.
    1797 days ago
  • LYNNA1968
    I agree & I love the show but the truth is a t.v. show 1st. I watch & exercise while it's on. Some people I guess need to be screamed at in order to be motivated. Lol, This year I think will be the best smart idea having children on it.
    1797 days ago
    Thanks so much for writing this blog. It is so true! emoticon

    I do watch the Biggest Loser -- but it is extreme and not realistic. Most of us Sparkers have FAR more success with slow steady losses that can be sustained and kept up. And if you look at last week -- the young man who had lost 29 pounds the first weigh in was ousted because he didn't lose weight at the second weigh in.
    1797 days ago
    WOnderfully written, and a great reminder to so many of us on here (definitely myself included).
    1797 days ago
    I have to admit to being a Biggest looser fan and it was that show that motivated me to start this journey.
    What a come down when I only lost 2lbs in the first week. It was only then that I started to read into the show that no normal person works out for 8 hours a day and lives on 1200 cals.

    It is a steady reduction of weight loss not 5 to 10 lbs a week.

    You have hit the nail on the head but it is still a good show to watch

    1797 days ago
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