Eating Habits of ''The Biggest Loser'': Inspirational or Bad Example?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
"The Biggest Loser" is a television show that's gained increasing popularity over the last few years. Contestants lose astounding amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time, inspiring others who watch the show to try and follow in their footsteps. The contestants are forced to dramatically overhaul their eating habits. But are the methods they use healthy? Do they help them establish habits they can maintain long term?

I have to say up front that I've watched the show, but I'm not a regular viewer. It's too frustrating for me to see what these people go through, giving the impression that exercise has to be painful, you can never eat the foods you enjoy, and you're a failure if you lose less than 10 pounds a week. But I did assume that contestants get a lot of help with their diet, learning how to make proper food choices and also learning that healthy food can taste good. I was disappointed to learn a little more about how this process actually works.

Contestants do all of their own cooking. In the four months of taping, contestants are given a calorie budget, recipes and a list of forbidden foods: no white flour, white sugar, butter, or anything that contains them. From there, they have to learn to create their own meals. The kitchen contains a wide variety of healthy but uncommon ingredients, such as quinoa and kale. The contestants are on their own to learn about and create their own meals. Is that a good thing, or do you think they'd benefit more from having a chef teach them how to prepare these kinds of foods in healthy yet appetizing ways?

Each person is required to eat a minimum number of calories per day and is supposed to keep a daily food journal to prove it. But many actually eat less. During scheduled “temptations,” contestants are bribed to eat junk food with prizes like cash and calls home, sometimes while locked in a dark room with mountains of candy. Is this for real? Are these "temptations" just cruel, or do you think they actually mimic the temptations of real life and are a valid part of the show?

If you watch the show, you know about the "last chance" workout where contestants have a final opportunity to shed pounds before the weigh-in. But many also resort to fasting, asparagus binges (asparagus, a mild diuretic, temporarily reduces weight) and all-coffee strategies to help them achieve a lower number on the scale. Is this just a normal part of competition, or a dangerous and unhealthy way to establish weight loss habits?

Many of the contestants have said they didn't expect to maintain their entire weight loss once at home and some have gained back significant amounts of weight. I guess I'm not surprised, given everything they went through to lose it.

What do you think? Is it more important that people are inspired by the contestants' dramatic results, or should the show be setting a better example of how to lose weight in a healthy way?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


I have saw the show once or twice. They do not seem to focus much on the psychosocial or emotional problems to overeating. It takes much more than throwing new foods and exercising to the point of turning blue and dehydrating. Report
I have no tv, so I have never seen the show, but that's crazy! Why don't they have a mentor teaching them the basics of good nutrition and how to make food taste great with lower calories. I agree that it would be far better to teach the lifestyle change than having people fast and those crazy mean temptations-wow?!? Report
What we all have to remember is everyone is different and we will lose weight differently. The show should give its contestants all the proper tools needed. As everyone is doing, keep your head up and know you are doing great. Report
I have to admit to only watching a few episodes. I found the workout scenes to be awful. I was also uncomfortable about the way they spoke to contestants, feeling that it gave permission for other people to talk to someone who is overweight in the same manner.

I am so happy that the show brings to light the problems associated living and unhealthy lifestyle, but then ruins it by replacing it with an equally unhealthy expectation.

This type of programming gets viewers, and I think that is unfortunate. It is just one more "quick fix" that does not work. Report
I watch TBL as a kind of therapy, not as a model of how to get healthy, but a reminder of why to stick to the path I'm on. It is extreme; it is meant to be entertaining (though I often find what's supposed to be entertaining in it merely tedious). I agree with all the criticisms here. I really enjoyed a Canadian production "Village on a Diet". The whole town gets help in their ordinary lives in a challenge to collectively loose a ton. Trainer, chef, doctor, psychologist brought in to help, but since it wasn't a competition against each other, people supported each other and friendships grew. People faced realistic challenges, not the stupid games on TBL. Bottom line, on the follow-up visit, people had lost more weight. Report
I absolutely LOVE the Biggest Loser. I think that you get what you want out of it. If you want to feel bad about yourself, you can use the show as another excuse to do that. If you want to feel better about yourself and use the show as motivation, then you will do that. I personally choose to use the show as motivation. I am also realistic enough to know that I won't be able to lose 10 pounds in a week, unless I want to quit my job, never see my family, scrutinize everything that goes into my mouth and chain myself to a treadmill...and then still probably couldn't do it at my current weight.

The show doesn't teach bad eating behaviors or tell you that you should go on green veggie only diets, etc. They never show anything like that. They give a lot of good advice on eating right and healthy meal ideas. The expedited weight loss on the show serves as a means for motivation and to show people that healthy living works. People have to be realistic though, and use common sense! Report
I used to watch this show quite a bit, but have since slacked off a little. I used it to motivate me to exercise. I've never taken the weight loss at face value. I know that it is under extreme measures they lose that weight. I'm a little surprised at how extreme and at the lack of some assistance though. I've always thought they needed counselors on the show to help resolve some underlying issues that caused some of the people to turn to food. Trainers are good but not always equipped to deal with the range of problems.

It surprises me and it shouldn't, that people forget that some of us live in rural areas. Kale and quino ARE hard to find for us out here. However I have seen it. I have a passion for broccolini and that is even worse to try to find. I now live in a pretty urban area, and don't have nearly the trouble. Once upon a time though I the choice between iceberg lettuce, spinach, and cabbage for leafy greens. I don't think most weight loss diet plans take this into consideration. They throw in odd (for us) ingredients and we have to figure out what to replace them with that would still be low cal. That is not always easy. Report
I watch this show and I like it better now that Jillian is off of it. She really seemed sadistic and cruel. Personally I would not like being abused by someone swearing at me (it seems like military boot camp). But I do like to see the physical changes of everyone each week, especially when they've gone home and are doing their thing in a more reasonable way. Report
I watch the show, have for all of the seasons. But admit that the rapid weight loss, the killer (keep going til you puke, faint or die) last chance workouts and the dissatisfaction they exhibit when they do lose "but 10lbs a week is not enough" mentality bugs the crap out of me. Thier transformations are awe inspiring but at what cost? I am like most I worry that the show will kill someone either on air, or off air as others aspire to have the same rapid losses. Report
I watched this show regularly for a few seasons. But after awhile it really began to bother me. I was seriously worried that they were going to kill one of the contestants! Report
I have been watching this show now, for the last 4 seasons I believe. What I get from it, is IF THEY CAN DO IT, I can! It only looks like it takes a short time, but everything is cut down to fit the time frame. The current season is going on while they are actually taping the next. When you consider the finale' comes only a week after the last show, when you know it is MONTHS in actuality, that is a teller.

A LOT of these people remain successful in their post BL lives, why? Because this contest gave them something they didn't have before....a "club" of others with the same problems....exercise....which many had NEVER done before, and a way to eat correctly. Granted there are problem deals , but for the most part, this show has been an inspiration to so many..... Report
I love the show for the people's stories but totally disagree with how they have to lose this weight and how they are pitted against each other to lose the most weight. I get very annoyed when someone gets kicked off that really needs the help 'just because of the game'. Report
My friend and I used to watch this show. I was trying to lose weight at that time, like I am again now. I would always get depressed after the show. I was exercising hard, I was eating well and restricting my calories and only losing 2 - 4 pounds a month!! They were losing 10 pounds a week. It made me sad. Now, I just think the show is sickening, unrealistic, and perpetuates bad dieting behaviors. Report
As a person who started my weight loss journey at over 320 pounds (currently at 266! : ) I LOVE watching The Biggest Loser! I am not stupid enough to think that their weight loss is something I can do at home with my sensible and slow dietary changes and exercise routines, but I get a lot of encouragement by watching them lose weight. I see where their weight loss takes them and the ways that they are able to push their bodies to do amazing things and it makes me want to try a little bit harder. Even at 266, a lot of people would understand if I just sat around all day, but they get nervous if I go out to walk a 5k. So it blesses me to see people my size on TV DOING IT! They tout a healthy diet on the show and they give healthy dieting tips (although sometimes skewed a bit by their sponsors...). All the stuff they do to win the game is part of their full-time "job" while they are there and it is obvious to me that isn't good for real life. And not all the contestants gain it back. "Test everything; hold on to the good." 1 Thess 5:21 Report
I enjoy the show but I too wonder if the dietary idea it passes along is healthy. I think it's best to take a hybrid; cut out those bad things and then learn on your own. I don't have a chef at home teaching me how to make things; I have a cookbook and myself. At the same time I think that losing SO MUCH weight as quickly as they do is unhealthy. Obviously you'll lose more quickly if you are severely overweight like many of these people, but the rapid weight loss should die down more quickly than it does on the show. Report
i admit, i love the show. i'm catching up on season 8 right now (no tv for a LONG time over here in south korea, and no watching hulu) so when we started a "biggest loser" competition where i live, i was STOKED. then depressed! some of the women here say they've already lost between 4 and 15 lbs! and we've only been at this a week!! so between that and the show i was beating myself up b/c i couldn't do what they do!!

then my hubby pointed out, the people here at home, who are working out ALL THE TIME and crash dieting (ie... only meat, only veggies, etc...) have no kids, or kids that are in school all day long. i have a 3 year old. anyone who knows what its like to have a 3 year old knows... u don't get time to yourself (thank god for bathroom locks...) LOL

We have cut back our eating a bit, since we don't eat "unhealthy" but we eat more than we should, which, even healthy food can be bad if you eat too much, and instead of beating myself up for only doing ONLY 1/2 an hour, i am learning to feel good about my 1/2 hour... and if, by some miracle i do win the local competition, and the 1000 that comes with it... i can be proud to know that i did it with spark, and not the biggest loser standards...

also, the biggest loser tv show has helped me a little bit, but not with food, and not with the workout, but with some of the emotional struggles that the contestants face, from before they even got on the show. Thats what helps me on the show Report
My husband watches the biggest loser and I have to leave the room. The show is awful and teaches people to fast to lose weight and do drastic things rather than eat a healthy way and to exercise in a moderate safe way. There is nothing real life about the way they are doing it on that show. Its not even entertaining to me to see 400 pound peolle being forced to work out so hard and be disappointed when they lose 10 pounds. Gees 10 pounds is awesome. Report
I watched a few minutes of the show once, and that was enough for me. Seems the producers want to capitalize on the sensationalism so many viewers seek. I've enjoyed "Heavy"...even though the routine is strict, it does focus on training and lifestyle changes that are needed, and encompasses a six-month time frame, to give said changes a chance to become more firmly-ingrained. Report
I enjoy the show, but I don't believe it is a good way to lose weight. Yes, they lose it fast, but as the article says, very few keep it off for long. So I believe that most of these people are there just for the money. I believe the show Heavy, even though is not as entertaining, is more helpful for the people that actually want to lose weight. Report
I love the show, but I think that it's dangerous for people who watch at home who might expect those kinds of results and think they are normal. Those kinds of results without the monitoring of doctors and nutritionists can be dangerous, as well as the extreme workouts. I always take the show with a grain of salt, more as entertainment and a bit of motivation. What I really appreciate are the at-home contestants who lose weight at a slower pace and closer to a healthier way. Report
I have long had a "troubled" relationship with this show. I recognize that it is inspirational to many people, and it draws attention to the obesity problem in our country, but at some point I think that the rapid weight loss and extreme methods can be more harmful than helpful. I'm not talking about the contestants- I'm talking about the people who watch the show. People who, like me, have 100-200 or more pounds to loose didn't get that way because they understand intimately the way health and nutrition function. I have seen with my own eyes that the show CAN cause individuals to have unrealistic expectations or to do other things like overextend themselves at the gym without the benefit of the attending doctors and trainers that the contestants have at all times.

But, on the other hand, I think the majority of people, even those watching it for weight loss inspiration, know enough to take it with a grain of salt. It's a game show, after all.

Also, incidentally, there have in the past been segments dealing with nutrition. I remember an episode where a chef came on and gave a demonstration of chicken kabobs made with whole rosemary skewers. I tried it after I saw the show and it WAS awesome. I agree there could TOTALLY be more of that in the show! Report
I think that the show can be motivational for people and it brings to our attention the problem of obesity in our country. However, the show does not set a good example of how to lose weight and keep it off. People are under extreme conditions on the show, and when they return home they are highly likely to gain the weight back. I think the show sets up false expectations--it's not really realistic or healthy for most people to be losing 10+ pounds a week. I wish that Sparkpeople was better known. No great mystery--eat within your calorie budget and exercise. How simple and freeing! And it's free! Report
I find the show absolutely inspiring. Any one who has followed a whole season will know that many of these people are at risk to die soon if they don't lose drastic amounts of weight. The contestants who make it to week 4 and so on already are able to start getting off meds for all sorts of obese related illnesses. There are always those who gain weight back but they aren't gaining weight back because they are following what they learned. The show has given me many ideas for successful weight loss like using non fat yogurt in place of sour cream, ideas for exercise, and just knowing it will take some pain both emotionally and physically to be successful. Thank you BL! Report
I like to watch this program I must say that I get inpiration from it. But I have tried eating my calories and workingout at a Shapes Ladies Gym for 105mins 3x/week and walk +-6-7km x2/week 1x/week only workout for 45mins as gym closes early on Fridays try to rest on Weekends sometimes will walk or cycle or swim. I have found that in real life you can never loose the big numbers they do on the show but I am happy with 0.8kg to1.5kg/week have done it slowly and am continuing to do so. Got to enjoy the exercise miss it if I am sick. The show is very inspiring. Last week here in SA they had to add sacks of sand the weight they lost each week and do a hike and at the end they had all the weight they had lost on their backs so that they could see how much it felt wow that must have been a challenge it made me think. Thanks to the producers for a good show. Report
I dont watch the show but I do go online to follow contestants. I actually rather watch shows like "heavy" on a&e, and another one called "I used to be fat" on mtv. I especially like the mtv show. It shows different ppl in each episode and these ppl actually take things at a real life approach, like exercising, and eating right. Report
I love this show. It's absolutely a weight loss game show, not a weight loss show, so it's almost expected that the contestants will go to extreme lengths to stay in the running. And anyone who's going on the show is probably aware of that going in - this kind of story about BL has been going around for years. Maybe it's not ideal, but I think the good outweighs the bad. There's a higher percentage of success rate for people on BL than the general population. It's not 100%, not even close, but it's still relatively successful. Report
Kale and quinoa are hardly rare. Maybe if you live on the moon but I see it everywhere! In fact my family regulary has it in our meals. Also, this is a TV show. They want the entertainment value. Anyone who thinks that this is something they can obtain in the real world needs a reality check. I think this show is incredibly inspiring and really can kick start somone's weight loss efforts. However, if you are not commited it won't work. These people have nutritionists and the like but we have Sparkpeople. Also, nothing is mentioned about the fact that these people usually maintain their weight loss on their own. People judge this show so harshly but most don't actually watch it for what it is: ENTERTAINMENT. It's better than most "reality" shows out there. take it's lessons with a grain of salt and just enjoy seeing that it can be done. And while we're on the subject about weight loss what about "Ruby"? People love her and her show but no one is pointing out that she has tools most people in the real world don't. It's just entertainment. Report
I like KARENSUEBURTON'S game show idea. I'd watch THAT Report
I have seen the show about season 2, but I don't really watch it now. I think that with most reality shows, they add to the show because if they didn't, people wouldn't watch. I think that the reason for the quick weight loss is also for financial reasons. They want to show big results quickly to maintain viewers and interest.
Overall I think the show is fine if viewed in perspective. Report
I absolutely think this post was a little one sided. First of all, kale and quinoa are not rare. Many healthy ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. And I think it's best they learn to cook these things for themselves. How is it fair to expect them to have more help maintaining when they get home if you can't even expect them to cook for themselves? Report
I like and watch the show each week. If they can do it, what in the world is my problem? It shows that there are some emotional issues that need to be faced. I would enjoy watching more of what and how they prepare foods. Many times, it seems that the people don't maintain the weight after they go home. Perhaps more monitoring of people after they go home would be helpful. It would be interesting to see how all the people that have been on the show are doing today rather than a select few. Report
At least two of the trainers, Brett and Jillian, have been overweight before. Jillian weighed 175 pounds at 5' 2" according to interviews. Brett said on the show that he was overweight as a child, but I don't know his measurements. I don't think the trainers look down on the contestants at all. From what I've seen, they only get angry at people for gaining weight when they haven't been trying their hardest. Report
The show doesn't endorse unhealthy caloric restriction or diuretics. These people are adults making choices for themselves and if they wanted to they could use unhealthy methods like that at home too. I like TBL. I think many of the people really need the jump start they get from the show. Slow weight loss is all very well but it will lead many people to get discouraged and quit. And yes they do things that are hard for them, which they often don't enjoy at the time, but they are almost always glad they did it later. Accomplishing something you thought you could not do is one of the most rewarding experiences.

And to the person who called the trainers stick people, you need a reality check. The trainers are at healthy weights and in good physical condition and if you think otherwise your perspective has been warped by being overweight. Also, as for people who have never been obese not knowing what they're talking about, would you refuse to follow the advice of a doctor just because they had never been overweight? You don't have to have been a drug addict to try to help people come out of it.... Report
I admit it, I love this show and for me it is "must see TV". For me, it is inspirational to see the contestants not only loose weight, but to see them exercising. When I think I have had enough, I always think about what Bob & Jillian would say to me, and if those contestants (that are much larger than I am) can push through then so can I.

However, I do wish that they would focus more on the eating habits and cooking, and less on the temptation challenges. I think it is a challenge to resist those foods even if they are not laid out in front of you! Over the past few seasons, we have seen more and more contestants "throw" weigh-ins and that is very discouraging. I don't like that game-play facet of the show and it makes me even madder when someone gains 9 pounds in a week (is that even humanly possible?) and doesn't fess up that it was game play. Disgusting...and the trainers have every right to be mad.

I do realize that these people work on the notion of burning more calories than they take in, and I know that is not healthy for me, so I take the show in stride and just enjoy it for what it is. Report
The Biggest Loser is just that...a loser of a program!!! Just look at those stupid skinny people who have probably NEVER been obese and they think they know everything about people??? I have dieted off and on since I was 15 years old (I'm 55 now). I am proud to have lost 30 lbs in 3 months with Spark People. It's a daily struggle and anyone who has to carry extra weight cannot easily do those horrible exercises!!! Add 200 lbs or more to your body and try and do what they expect these people to do. Then have the nerve to belittle them if they can't do it while they stand around and watch these people struggle!!! It's a lifestyle change not a lose-it-quick and then try and keep it off. Been there, done that!!! I'm surprised that someone hasn't had a stroke or heart attack. Don't they realize that muscle weighs more than fat and maybe because of all the exercise they're doing that building up muscle may be the reason why some of them gain weight ??? I watched this show only once because it really ticked me off at the snotty so called trainers. It's hard enough to loose weight and try and keep it off. Who needs know-it-all stick-people to talk down to you and make you feel depressed about yourself?? I get tons of motivation from the great people at Spark People...even when I "fall off the wagon", so to speak. It's not reality, it's show business out to make a buck out of exploiting obese people. Very cruel IMHO. Report
I do not think the rapid weight loss on Biggest Loser is very healthy. At the same time it is extremely unhealthy to be as large as most of the people on the show are. However, the bottom line is that I think the show is set up to provide shock and drama because the producers of the show think that will sell most. I think in real life it is much, much healthier to establish a healthy lifestyle one piece at a time and lose weight over time instead of extremely quickly. I think the percentage of people who gain all or even more weight back is much higher for people who take drastic and brutal measures to lose weight quickly. Most of them will not be able to maintain it when they go back to real life. Reality shows are NOT real life, plain and simple. Although I think some aspects of the Biggest Loser's has merritt, I don't like the overall message it sends to people. Most people cannot concentrate totally on losing weight for months at a time. They have to work full time and live life with all its challenges. It is not realistic to expect that you can duplicate what people do on the show in real life besides it not being very healthy or sustainable way to lose weight. Report
I think if you like to watch people at their absolute lowest than you'll enjoy the show. Sure there are little moments of happy victory, I lost 10 pounds! But most of the show is watching obese people being exploited (yes I know they volunteer, but it is still exploitation of their desperation) then have at it. It is not a realistic approach to weightloss, and frankly many of them exercise through injuries and follow unsafe methods for a chance to win money. I'm proud of them for having the mental and physical strength to endure, but I think it is a disgusting profit motivated empire.
Just look at Gillian Michaels, she now endorses weightloss pills, detox scams and the like. I doubt she would put that crap in her body, but she will gladly tell you to do it and earn a royalty check. I'd rather read a book or go outside and workout than watch this awful show. Report
The show inspires me. I watch it while I'm on the elliptical and it helps me to work out harder. I love the trainers, and I have purchased some of their workout dvds. You just have to remember that it is a tv show and a reality show, so it is going to have some outrageous parts. There are many things on the show that can be motivating and just the fact that they focus on health and they are bringing attention to eating right and exercise to many Americans who would never think about getting heatlhier, is valuable. Report
I stopped watching the show, I thought the trainers could be abusive to the contestants. You don't have to be rude to someone to motivate them to lose weight! Also I agree with the comments made previous about realistic weight loss. Unless an individual is willing to work out 6-8 hours a day, 6-7 times a week for the rest of their life, the inital weight loss is not sustainable. Most contestants have gained some of their weigh back after leaving the show, I believe that some are excellent role models of adapting what they've learned to their lifestyles. Good for them!!! Report
It's all about using your common sense while watching the show. I love it, I never miss a season. Not because I think I am going to lose that much weight right a long with them, but because I see what these people are able to do, that i never thought I was able to do... if they can, I can!!
I don't watch the show, but I've heard a lot about it. I don't think that the whole thing is realistic and does not translate to those of us who walk and work and strive to change our lifestyles in a real world. Report
I am a huge fan of the show. If someone 500lbs can walk on a treadmill and loose over 100 lbs before getting there, I can definately get my 200lb butt up and do something and lose 50lbs. Those people have access to the best medical care that otherwise some of them could not afford. After workouts they can get a message or whatever. It's a reality show and a game, so I look mat it for what it is but, I wish I had a portion of the bennefits they have. Report
Ironically enough, I watched the show for the first time last night! I am just not a fan of reality shows in general, but I kept hearing about it on this site and was curious to watch it. Honnestly I was disturbed. To see contestants disappointed by their weight loss when the had lost 6 lbs or more seemed unrealistic...
I was also frightened by the last chance workout... Some contestants are really obese and I was afraid some would pass out from pushing so hard. Now to hear that some "cheat" at the final weigh-in by consuming foods or beverages that are diuretics or by fasting disturbs me even more...
This being said, I don't think the show would be so popular if contestants went though all this only to lose one or 2 lbs during the week! It has to be sensational in order to be popular! Report
I have watched this show for a couple of seasons. While I have assumed that they did not all lose weight in a healthy manner, to see people put themselves out there and do whatever they can to get healthy (most of them do look seem much healthier afterwards) is somewhat motivating. IF someone that weighs 400 pounds can work out, make changes, and in many cases keep it off, I have no excuses.
Let's face facts. TBL is a television show. They are not in it for the wellbeing of anyone. They do offer people an opportunity to focus on losing weight and gives them tools to be successful if they choose to do it. I don't see many other opportunities for some of these people.
Of course Spark People is a better way to do it, but not everyone knows about it. I have been battling my weight for years. If I hadn't stumbled across the site, the show would be a source of motivation. If these people can do all this, I CAN stick to a healthy plan and lose my 2 pounds per week. Report
I have to agree with the person that posted about not speaking ill of the show when you don't watch it regularly. I watch it all the time. I find it very positive and realistic. They are constantly reminding us that the situation at the ranch is not replicable outside. As for not showing the contestants how to prepare foods, not true. Just last night, they had Curtis Stone (a famous chef who appears often) show the contestants how to make healthy dishes with some ingredients (including Quinoa). And they are most definitely not told to starve themselves. They are in fact frequently talking about how important it is to fuel your body. As for not having white flour, sugar, etc. in your diet and calling it not possible. I highly disagree. The fact is it's becoming more and more acceptable to exclude these items because of what we are learning. Eating in moderation is good. But that doesn't mean you have to eat lard in moderation. How many of us have that sitting around to cook with in moderation anymore? Report
I'm finding reading many of these comments entertaining. I watch the show regularly. The contestants do get tips and information on healthy eating. They are not being told to eat 1000 or 1200 calories a day. They are being monitored for that as well as their calorie burn and there have been numerous episodes where the trainer sits down with someone and tells them "you have to eat more calories to lose weight and be healthy". They frequently openly acknowledge that this is not reality and that you can't work out like they do I normal life. The time at the ranch is an opportunity to work out and focus on one's self without outside distractions. I understand if you don't watch the show because it's just not your thing but don't spout off about something you're not familiar with or don't see regularly. The show has been inspirational for many people who are intelligent enough to know they can't work out for 6-8 hours a day. But it's helps them realize that they can get 30-60 minutes in especially as it benefits physical and mental health and wellbeing. By the way, if you weigh 400 or 500 pounds and you start eating healthy, cut out the sodas and salt, and actually move your body with any intensity, it is highly possible to drop large amounts of weight.

As a side note to one of the more recent posts, the new show on A&E called Heavy essentially does that -the individuals are followed for 6 months with doctor visits at beginning and end, they're given a personal trainer to help them, etc. It was pretty interesting. Report
The show has been so inspirational to so many, including me, but at what price? I hate it when I see the contestants cry on the scale because they ONLY lost 5 pounds that week.

I want to see a show where the contestants live normal lives (they go to work, church, school, volunteer, take care of the kids, go to the grocery store, etc.) and incorporate healthy lifestyle changes into those daily lives that any of us could do. They exercise 1 hour/day and make other small lifestyle changes that anyone can do.

Follow those people for 1 year and show us the doctor visit before & after 1 year of healthy living. Have a monthly challenge that you bring them all together in one place for a weekend of instruction and competition. The show would be a mix of the instruction and challenges that took place on the monthly weekend event plus little scenes and interviews from the daily lives of the people who are changing their lifestyles.

No one gets voted off, and no one wins a big prize at the end. The monthly challenge winner takes home a trophy and a nice game-show-type of prize.

It would be the ultimate "feel good" type of show that would give people motivation and tools to do the same. Unlike Biggest Loser, where the audience cannot reproduce the environment of the ranch and do what the contestants are doing, this show would be one where the audience is in a position to do exactly what the contestants are doing.

Mix that with an interactive web forum, like Spark, and you've got a show that would be more popular than Biggest Loser and would help more people.

Does Sparky Guy know anyone in Hollywood? Report
I think it's frighteningly irresponsible. How none of these people have had a cardiac arrest I don't know. If people at home are following their example it's both pathetic and dangerous, and gives a totally unhealthy rate of weight loss. Report
I've been watching the biggest loser faithfully since it started. I think it is wonderful to see people that are extremely overweight - can and do lose it. I am astounded how difficult they make the beginning workouts - but equally surprised that they can actually do them. I have wondered about excess skin tho - and have never heard them address that issue. I especially love the makeover weeks and the happiness that is so clearly evident on the contestants faces. I do wish there was more coverage on what is normal and how far you should push yourself for the viewers at home who don't have the trainer, the nutritionist, the doctor ect.
I could go on forever... I am a fan .... but I wish I could glean more useful information that I could use ..... the show does the same thing over and over and forgive me - but I sincerely don't like Jillian - can't stand anyone yelling at anyone.... Report
I personally like the show and find it inspiring. I understand it's not for everyone.. and I know that with a full-time job and life, I can't attain that nor do i try... but if I could go somewhere and concentrate ONLY on me and weight loss for 8 weeks or any length of time.. I would do it in a heartbeat!

Sure maybe they have exotic foods that they've never been exposed to before, but hey it's NOT fast food. It's a learning process .. just like we go thru with SP -- I have to figure out how to eat healthy. I like having the list of forbidden foods -- will consider that!

I think we all have to find our own path and not only are the people on the show losing weight and getting healthy, many people at home are participating and succeeding... Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.