“7”

Written by amy on July 25th, 2011

On NBC’s popular reality show, “The Biggest Loser,” contestants compete to lose the most amount of weight.  Each episode ends with a climatic weigh-in where contestants reveal the amount of weight they have lost since last week’s episode.  In these reveals, it is not unusual to see weight losses in the teens and even as high as twenty-odd pounds.   Hmmmm.  Are there any reality shows on television that are actually close to reality?

The reality is that in 7 days, the most amount of weight that should be lost is 1-2 pounds.  Any more than that is not only unhealthy, but it is also not “true” body mass but mainly fluid losses.  Furthermore, that degree of loss is usually achieved through extreme actions and changes in routine.  For example, exercising for 4+ hours a day or dropping caloric intake from 2200 to 1000 calories per day.  These changes are more often than not hard to sustain.  Thus, the actions or changes do not last and the weight is regained.

As this show climbs in popularity, I have noticed a trend in my clients to expecting similar results in their weight loss efforts.  They feel frustration and disappointment time and time again if they don’t lose more than ten pounds in a week.   I encourage these clients to do two things.  First, focus on the positive changes you feel as a result of the healthy changes made.  For example, are your pants more comfortable?  Are you sleeping better or feeling less short of breath?  Are you feeling more energy?  The second thing that I encourage my clients to do is change the station.   Television shows, such as The Biggest Loser, are not based in reality and create false expectations that lead to eventual disappointment in people trying to lose weight.

 

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