I could not eat such a limited number of calories for very long.
First of all, I think DH would kill me, LOL. Seriously, I get extremely cranky when my calories go under about 1900. And much, much more likely to eat something I shouldn't because I am hungry. Because I am just a bit above 5', I exercise a lot, and will exercise more as my weight goes down so my calories don't.
I have been loosing steadily almost every week, so it's working for me. but..yikes!!!
I think that because they are supervised and under extreme, temporary conditions that it isn't terrible that they eat 1200 calories(or whatever they eat). However it can definitely create some misinformation for the rest of us normal dieters. Here I was thinking that I needed to eat 1300 calories a day because I'm five foot and I couldn't figure out why I wasn't losing weight. I also thought something was wrong with me because I was hungry all the time even though I was eating filling foods. I have stopped counting calories for a while and I hope I start losing weight again soon, and that I haven't screwed up my metabolism too much!
I think it's important to assess your lifestyle as well. Spark people assumes most people are very sedentary, however I try to stay active and exercise a lot. Because of this it calculate my BMR and maintenace range lower than it really is.
Hopefully most people recognize that, while the biggest loser can be very motivating, it's not really typical or achievable.
Fitness Minutes: (2,570)
739 9/30/09 7:24 P
I think that their caloric intake may be set personally for them when they get to the ranch. Last season I specifically remember Jillian getting after one of the female contestants, I don't remember which one, to make sure that they were eating a full "1600" calories each day because if they didn't, their metabolism would slow down and their weight would start to stall. She was real adamant that she eat! Here's a February 2009 article from the New York Times that has some more back ground information from former contestants. www.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/dining/04loser. html?_r=1&fta=y
I am telling you they don't eat that few of calories. I have heard Bob get on to them before for not eating enough calories and one of the contestants was set at 1700 and I am sure they are all different. If I was still a member on the biggest loser club I would get on there and ask, but I have what the book says if you want to know.
Fitness Minutes: (34,902)
2,050 1/22/09 12:15 P
On a recent episode, I heard a contestant say that their goal was to burn 3500 calories that day. 3500!!! On 1200 calories of fuel!!! No wonder they drop so much weight - but that is insane!
That's a huge reason I don't like the show. I saw an episode where they were all working out in the gym and a contestant was working so hard she threw up on the treadmill! I know that's not healthy! From what I've heard, you're supposed to keep your heart rate within a certain range while working out. If you work so hard that you vomit, you're working way past your target heart rate and that's not good.
When I feel like I got a good workout in the morning, I eat 2000 calories (from healthy foods of course) and still get hungry. This doesn't sound appealing to me at all, and I'd rather lose weight slowly than be perpetually hungry.
A friend of mine who used to do personal training put it best. She said "If I had trainers on hand all day and healthy food supplied to me for free daily, I'd be Ms. Olympia by now!"
The good thing about the contestants getting constant input about healthy foods and working out is that they're more likely to carry the lessons over in real life. It's a training camp for better living, and if they're smart, they'll continue seeing a nutritionist after they leave the show.
The way I look at it is that they are under constant care to watch for problems. It may not be the healthiest way in the world to lose weight, but it was not healthy living their old lives either. At least they have a fighting chance now.
I like watching the show but could never figure out how they lost so much in a week, now I know. I'd love to go on the show but I don't think I would survive that.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
3,210 12/4/08 3:37 A
It's not healthy. That show is just exploiting overweight people for ratings ($$$$). They aren't losing weight in a way that they can keep up with for the rest of their life. I am willing to bet most, if not all will gain their weight back; quicker and easier than before. They're wasting away valuable lean body mass (muscle) and not thinking about their metabolism or health in the future, even though they believe losing weight is healthy.
Under-eating can be just as unhealthy as overeating.
12/4/08 2:56 A
You can still eat 5-6 meals a day and go below 1200 calories if the meals are small enough. I eat 5-8 meals a day, and when I was eating 1300 calories, if I skipped 2 meals that put me under 1000 calories.
The show is quite extreme. If they only lost 1-2 pounds a week on the show not too many people would watch it. Most of us here know better that it's not a healthy way to lose weight but it sends the wrong message to the general population, that you can lose 10-15 lbs a week if you go to the extreme and that's a good thing.
While I enjoy the show, it is an unrealistic way for most of us to lose weight. Healthy goals or no, the show is ultimately about drama and seeing rapid weight loss such as that definitely ups the drama.
IMO 1200 should be the minimum a person eats a day. I think in weight loss culture there is way too much emphasis on "calorie in and calorie out" without emphasis on what vitamins you're getting, how much fiber, how much protein etc.
One thing that no one has touched on; or possibly knows is that they have a cheat day.
You read that right...a cheat day.
After meeting Bill Germanakos, winner of season 4, I understand the show a bit better.
He explained that the men are on 1800 calories per day, but on Saturday they increase to around 4000 calories. He told me that he would eat a large pizza and 2 large gatorades that day. It would very difficult to stick with any program that you are only eating 1000 calories. If you're only eating 1000 calories every day your body should put itself into starvation mode and burn muscle instead of fat for energy.
Thats television entertainment for you, theres no way you can sustain like that in real life, and for those of you are eating under 1000 calories are you still losing weight? I would think my body would hold on because it would think it was starving.
Every nutritionist out there who is credible will tell you not to eat less than 1200 calories a day. Going under that is simply not healthy, regardless of if you are "full" or not. As for the BL folks, they are dieting superstars...at least for a little while. I saw on Oprah where many of them had difficulty maintaining the weight loss because they had learned the speedy results approach, not the slow and steady, one day after another approach.
I love the show as well, i've been watching it for a while now. I knew they were working out for hours a day, I just didnt have any idea they were eating so little, i'm surprised they are able to sustain that past a month...
I mean, I work out 6 days a week, for a little over an hour, and I'd feel like absolute crap if I didnt fuel my workouts. and 1200 definitely isnt enough to do that..
The thing is, the girl in the article is saying how she is still sticking to the 1200 calories a day and working out for 2-4 hours...absolutely not realistic for long term weight loss and maintenance!
I love The Biggest Loser (I love the book series..I have both cookbooks and the Success Secrets) but I don't think it's realistic for the contestants to maintain their weight loss as they can't work out for as much as they do on the ranch in real life. Even though it's my favorite show, it has a lot of flaws.
Fitness Minutes: (5,725)
358 12/3/08 4:05 P
I can't imagine someone eating 1200 calories and being so active.I do not think it can be sustained for a long time.
Fitness Minutes: (73,076)
11,620 12/3/08 3:43 P
I think very low calorie diets are somewhat safer for people with a lot of weight to lose. Also, this is a relatively short time period for the contest, not something they will do long term. It is for extreme weight loss, not a healthy lifestyle.
Even when you're eating a balanced diet, it's pretty much impossible to get all the nutrients your body needs on less than 1200 calories each day. Eating less than that is not recommended and is not healthy.
12/3/08 2:08 P
Well, eating that little of calories isnt bad for you if your diet is balanced... protein, fat and carbs. I tap out at maybe 1000 calories per day but the zone program that I am on is very balanced and doesnt leave me hungry. I also work out for at least an hour every day. :] I have been eating the "zone"way for about 3 weeks and I have never felt better!
Fitness Minutes: (27,669)
12/3/08 1:59 P
I usually eat between 1200 and 1350 a day but I only work out for 30 to 50 mins. I can't imagine going hours and hours on that few calories.
Fitness Minutes: (55,384)
2,533 12/3/08 1:54 P
I have never really watched BL because it goes against all the right ways to lose weight.
I have difficulty eating more than 1000 calories, and I burn about 600-900 a day.
Fitness Minutes: (85)
310 12/3/08 11:27 A
I guess that's why they lose so much weight in one week....it's hard to keep up with that once you go back to your regular life. I saw an interview with Jillian Michaels and she said last years winner had to workout 10 hrs a day at one point....!!!!
I just had to share..i was reading an article on the Womens Health website about one of the recently eliminated contestants from this season (Amy)..and basically they are working out 4-6 hours a day and eating 1200 calories?
That just seems insane to me. I would pass out if I ate that little while being that active. How is that even remotely healthy?