I have been successfully working with overweight clients for over 30 years. When I see the ads for The Biggest Loser TV show, I just don't get it. Why would anyone want to subject themselves (except for the money and attention maybe) to such denigration and humiliation just to lose weight?
My experience has shown that people with a significant amount of weight to lose already have low self-esteem and a poor body image. To go on that show and exercise for three hours a day, live in a controlled eating environment and subject yourself to mental torture is unrealistic.
Not surprisingly, several studies have shown that many of The Biggest Loser contestants regain the weight they have lost on the show. How are you going to sustain a program like that? The answer is you can't, won't and don't.
In my mind, the two most important questions that need answering are "is there anything positive to take away from The Biggest Loser show?" and "how does healthy weight loss differ from what you see on a so called 'reality' show?"
The first question is easy to answer: Not really. Healthy weight loss differs from the show because it involves first learning to accept who and where you are right now. Overweight, normal weight, underweight... it is all the same. Healthy weight loss is NOT about beating yourself up mentally and/or physically because of weight or any issue.
Healthy weight loss is all about physical and mental changes that are sustainable for a lifetime. Healthy weight loss is NOT about following an unsustainable, made for TV theater approach to improve how you look and feel. An approach that can only lead to frustration and failure.
You probably did not gain your extra weight in six or eight weeks. Why would you believe that it is possible to lose it all in a short period of time? Most weight gain is slow and over many years. Interestingly, so is most sustainable weight loss.
A healthy approach to weight loss does include reasonable changes in eating and exercise habits. These changes are not extreme but small, incremental modifications made over weeks and months. Healthy weight loss also includes lowering your stress levels and finding out what compels you to eat more food than your body needs for nutrition.
Healthy weight loss is not rocket science but it does take a compassionate, reflective, and patient approach if you truly want to succeed. It is also about real changes that help you like yourself more, increase your activity to healthy levels and make reasonable changes in the amount of food you eat.
So for your own health, happiness and sanity please do not look at The Biggest Loser show and see anything but "made for TV drama." I can tell you from personal and professional experience that if you follow that program you will be the only one who loses in the end.