Sunday, February 8, 2009

Biggest Loser - Bitter Sweet from a Personal Trainer's Perspective

Okay, I have to admit, I definitely get sucked into the drama of The Biggest Loser. And it's true, the weight loss plight of our countrymen & women across the nation is publicised in a very big way. So as a personal trainer, you do get more enquiries than you normally would when the Biggest Loser is screening on tv. But what I hate about it though is how unrealistic, unrepeatable, unsafe and physiologically unsound this kind of weightloss is in the real world. It totally makes my blood boil to watch the disapointment on their faces when they realise they've "only " lost 1 - 4 kilos in a week. I know these people needed a serious kick up the bum to get their butts into gear - but what about the effect it has on the rest of Australia. I am left workign with people who are achieivng amazing results - losing 3% of Body Fat ( fill up a 1.5l water bottle of margarine - that's how much fat you're losing ) and they're disapointed because they've only gone down 1 - 2 kilos on the scale.

In my own business I hardly ever use weight on the scales, it's much more indicative of someone's progress to look at their girths , their skin folds of body fat and how they look and feel in the mirror. As a body builder I HATE it when the numbers go down by more than 1 kilo a week on the scale, because that means a portion of that weight I have lost was actually MUSCLE ! In my ideal world my weight stays the same but my body fat goes down - because then i'm achieving the ULTIMATE - lean muscle gain whilst losing body fat !

In the Real World
1. You don't have to flog yourself to get permanent and realistic weight loss
2. When you're that heavy walking for fat burning is more than effective,
3. Running before you are strong enough can lead to serious long term injuries such as shin splints and stress fractures and is totally unneccessary
4. It is physiologically impossible for your body to process more than a half a kilo to a whole kilo of fat loss per week to be able to sustain it and keep it off for the long term
5. Weight loss of 6 - 10 kilos a week, is muscle, fat loss, loss of colon contents, fluid loss, and muscle glycogen (* stored energy ) loss.
6. People who are on their own weight loss journeys think they are failures if they lose less than 4 kilos a week
7. You don't need sadistic trainers screaming at you their own version of "Tough Love" for you to lose weight
8. Half the people who lose weight on the Biggest Loser have to either turn to another celebrity plan to lose weight to keep it off or they put up to 30 kilos back on.

I could keep on going about this but they're not going to make a tv show about losing a half a kilo to one kilo a week . Unfortunately you have to tilt reality a lot more than usual to make it interesting enough for a reality tv show.

Like they say - Don't let a permanent safe and effective weight loss solution get in the way of a good reality tv story !