The truth behind The Biggest Loser. Weight loss if not done correctly can be a massive struggle. And seeing someone trying to lose weight such as on a show like The Biggest Loser, is something that many can relate too.
The show goes through the ups and downs of losing weight. The struggles and the wins. It is quite inspirational to see someone losing 10 to 20 pounds a week. The contestants of The Biggest Loser look better and better each week and must be getting healthier too right? Many viewers of the show get a boost of motivation, if they can do it, maybe I can too. They can’t. Because it is not a natural thing to do. More on that later on.
The Biggest Loser has been on air now for 16 seasons. In that time they have helped many people lose a lot of weight. They have also sent many to hospital and caused many injuries with their over the top workout programs.
But things aren’t what they seem on The Biggest Loser. So what is the truth behind The Biggest Loser?
The Truth Behind The Biggest Loser: Processed Foods
The truth behind The Biggest Loser. One would assume that if you had a TV show helping people lose weight, the first thing they would do is to improve the contestants diets. Feed them nothing but fresh fruit, vegetables, protein, and water to detox their bodies. Unfortunately this is not the case with The Biggest Loser. Much of the food that contestants eat is food given by sponsors. And unfortunately fresh food farmers don’t sponsor The Biggest Loser.
According to a previous Biggest Loser contestant Kai Hibbard, the food was less than nutritious. So goes on to say “My season had a lot of Franken-foods: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray, Kraft fat-free cheese, Rockstar Energy Drinks, Jell-O.”
You don’t need to be a nutritionist to know that this is not a good way to lose weight.
Calorie Intake Is Cut To Unsustainable Levels
The truth behind The Biggest Loser, colorie intake is cut! The amount of calories that we need depends on if we are male or female, our level of activity, and our age. But as an average for a 30 year old woman who is moderately active, she should be consuming around 2,000 calories. Give or take. And as far as a moderately active male around 30 years old should be consuming around 2,800 calories.
So how many calories do The Biggest Loser candidates consume on the show? It’s more like 1,000 calories a day. And in a couple of extreme examples, as low as 400 calories a day. This is simply not enough. Why? Because our metabolism slows down fast and comes to almost a complete holt when we drop our calories in for that long and put our bodies under that much pressure. This combined with exercising for around 8 hours a day can cause some serious damage to the body.
Workouts – Too Much Too Soon!
When you get on the show The Biggest Loser, you don’t start with walking for a couple of hours a day to ease you into exercising. Nope. You get a 5 hour intensive workout which includes the following on your very first day on The Biggest Loser.
- Body-weight work
- Interval training
- Kettle bells
- Cool-down on treadmill
- Outside work with tires
After all, putting contestants under extreme pressure from day 1 provides for very entertaining TV right? You see the struggles and the small wins they get when working out. But in reality being thorn into the deep end like this has actually caused many health issues for contestants such as severe knee issues, back issues, thyroid issues, losses of period (due to extreme stress on the body), plus more. We were never meant to lose weight this rapidly, and there are consequences on our bodies when we do.
Story Edits To Create More Drama
You are made to like or dislike contestants based on how the shows producers are feeling on a particular day. A contestant has an injury, then they are made to look lazy. Watching this show is nothing like what these contestants are going through. They are being yelled at, abused, and guilted. But on the show it looks like the personal trainers are trying to encourage the contestants.
An example of editing the story. One contestant had a torn calf muscle and his doctor advised against running among other things. One of the trainers tried to make them run but the contestant advised them of what his doctor said. So the producers edited the film to make it look like the contestant was lazy and argumentative. There are countless examples of stories like this. Stories twisted to get more viewers.
Limited Contact From The Outside World
Contestants are not allowed to contact family and friends during the whole filming process. This is due to the fear that contestants will reveal what’s going on during filming. They are allowed a very short 5 minute phone call every few weeks which is supervised. Pretty tough considering this is the time that the contestants would need the support from their families the most.
There is also very limited contact with other contestants. So the whole experience can be very isolating.
The Good News Is That The Contestants Lost Weight. Right?
The truth behind The Biggest Loser, final truth. Ok, so all the contestants on the show lost weight. May of them a lot of weight. But where are they now? Well many of the previous contestants have gained much of the weight back. Some have put on more weight than before. And there are few examples of contestants which are the same weight or less. Why is this? Is it the contestants fault? Do they suddenly go back to their old eating habits?
Some of them do yes. But the main issue is that their bodies are put through so much stress and they consume so few calories that they do major damage to their metabolisms. This is one of the biggest secrets of the truth behind The Biggest Loser.
Dr. Kevin Hall is an expert on metabolism at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He has followed contestants from The Biggest Loser for six years after they completed the show and have measured their metabolism rates. And what he has found is a large drop in the resting metabolism of previous Biggest Loser contestants.
What does this mean?
It means that when the contestants are sitting and resting after being on the show, their body is burning less calories than they should be. And Dr. Hall believes that this is a direct result of being on The Biggest Loser. These contestants now cannot eat as much as others as their metabolism has been badly damaged. This means that it is very difficult for them to maintain their weight or lose any more. Not a good situation to be in.
Why Don’t More Biggest Loser Contestants Speak Out?
This is a difficult one to answer. We do know that all contestants on The Biggest Loser are made to sign a confidentiality agreement and they are not allowed to speak badly about the show. That’s why some of the previous contestants have spoken out anomalously.
Another reason could be because they are ashamed that they put the weight back on. They blame themselves for not keeping their weight. But in actual fact, they were set up to fail in the long term.
The very best way to lose weight for the long term is to make lifestyle changes. Start by walking 30 minutes a day if you don’t walk now. Or more depending on how much you already walk. The heavier you are be sure to target low impact activities. Just as importantly, you are what you eat. Eating real and fresh foods will change your life for the better. Eat more and more healthy foods while crowding out the unhealthy foods. And of course avoid soda (including diet soda), fruit juices, and alcohol.
Don’t feel comfortable with these changes? You may first want to speak to your doctor or health professional for advice.
So there you have it. The truth behind The Biggest Loser. If you have tried the Biggest Loser weight loss plan, we would love to hear from you. We assume you lost some weight, but did you gain it all back or only most of it? Also, what are your thoughts on the truth behind The Biggest Loser? Post your comments below.