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What Are Your Thoughts on The Biggest Loser?

Jenn and I haven’t exactly made it a secret that we’re fans of the TV show The Biggest Loser (and trainer Bob Harper).But we’re not blind to the controversy that surrounds it or to the fact that not everyone is on board with The BL. There are numerous reasons as to why the show is unrealistic. Double-digit weight loss in one week is difficult for most people to achieve. Working out eight hours a day isn’t likely to happen for those of us who have day jobs. And I’m sorry, but I’d take off heads if I was working out that much and not eating like Michael Phelps. But I hope most people who are on weight-loss journeys themselves see that the contestants are in extreme conditions. I hope they realize these contestants are monitored by doctors and trainers, and in the real world, taking off 20 pounds in a week is only likely if you’re having a massive tumor or entire limb removed.

Beyond all of the negatives, Jenn and I still love how these people take control and turn their lives in another direction. Plus, the show is full of creative workout ideas. How about you?

 

Your opinion not an option? Tell us your thoughts in the comments! —Erin

Got more to say? Tell us whether you set yearly resolutions or if you’re into fitness fusion.

Photo grabbed from slushpup at Flickr.

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Comments

15 Comments
  1. Laura says:

    I agree that the show doesn’t set a very realistic standard for viewers. But overall, I think the show has been very positive. Most of the contestants seem to continue living a healthier lifestyle after they leave the ranch, even if they may gain a few pounds back. Also, viewers must be motivated by the show because offices and other organizations have their own competitions. I’m all for anything that encourages people to improve their health.

  2. Michelle says:

    What I love about the show is that it shows that serious weight loss can be achienved without gastric bypass surgery. So many people think that they can’t lose weight through diet and exercise and resort to surgery that has lifelong health risks in order to drop the pounds.

    I totally agree with Laura that the weekely expectations are not realistic, but as your post suggests these contestants are working out several hours per day and eating a very restricted diet while being medically supervised. Perhaps the health care providers should consider adding boot camp style weight loss services to their outpatient clinics…wonder if insurance would cover that?

  3. imadedinner says:

    I’m with both Laura and Michelle… its motivating in a way that its people doing things they thought they couldn’t do, but its TOTALLY not realistic for “regular” people

  4. Erin says:

    I agree that the show is unrealstic, that’s why I think the new season’s “twist” with sending half of them home is a great medium for those of us in the real world.

  5. Becca says:

    I love the show in no small part because Bob is my TV boyfriend. Watching BL has been very motivating for me as I’ve lots 70 lbs. in the last 2 years. Of course, it took me 2 years, not 4 months. I do prefer the earlier seasons, the ones that were individual and not couples.

    My biggest problem with the show is that they don’t address how many of the past seasons contestants have regained some or all of the weight back. Maintenance is harder than weight loss, (as evidenced by the 10-15 lbs. that I fight with regaining now and then) and that shown be given the spotlight for at least one show, if not a whole season.

    In some ways, I’m glad to see the biggest contestants ever on the show this season. There are many people I know in my everyday life who are 300+ lbs. and they just aren’t represented on TV in a positive way.

    It’s not realistic for the average home viewer, but I don’t find it disheartening. The basic methods of learning to eat well and making exercise a priority are still true. And I think BL shows that yes, it’s HARD! You’ll want to cry and puke sometimes, even at home.

    I did quit watching last season just because some of the contestants were so hateful. I don’t like seeing contestants I like go home while the evil ones remain. And I’m glad Trainer Kim is gone, blech!

  6. Marissa says:

    I haven’t really seen the show so I can’t say either way

  7. Merry says:

    It doesn’t inspire me, but there are a lot of people who say it helps them. What surprised me was how passionate people were on both sides of this issue.

    Sorry — can’t think of a more profound comment than that. I’m too dazzled by those socks!

    chnest – someone with the most chin. Jay Leno is the chnest person I can think of.

  8. Every Gym's Nightmare says:

    I dont think the point of the biggest loser is to teach people how to do it on their own. I think the point of it is to A) save the lives of the people on the show (which is another point of controversy because they send people home) and to B) show people that it is possible- it will take you longer because you arent on the range, but its doable all the same.

    I think people look at it as a program; when i think its just to serve as motivation.

    Kelly Turner
    http://www.everygymsnightmare.com

  9. basicallybaked says:

    Having only watched one episode the one where the young woman won, I can’t say that I love it or hate it. I don’t like the idea that it’s so unrealistic and I’m afraid that most overweight people watching it may end up feeling like big losers because there is no way that they can achieve those kinds of results on their own without the benefit of doctors, nutrionists, trainers, and the other support staff from the show. For me it’s a thumbs down, but not necessarily a love/hate thing.

  10. Dara Chadwick says:

    I’m with Becca in that I’d love to see some follow-up with previous contestants. Maintaining the healthy habits and weight loss at home is the real story to me. I can speak to this a bit personally — I was Shape magazine’s 2007 Weight-Loss Diary columnist (though I was only attempting to lose 25 pounds and ended up losing 26). With the help of my expert team, I lost the weight slowly (it took a year) and healthfully. I’ve been completely on my own for well over a year now and this is where I’m forced to put all that I’ve learned into practice on a daily basis — or not. The reality is it’s up to me.

    I think shows like BL can really inspire people who are ready to make changes. I’d love it if each show include a short follow-up segment with previous contestants talking about the challenges they face at home and what they do to overcome those challenges.

  11. Jess says:

    I started watching the show in the first season because my high school teacher was one of the contestants. She made it to the finals and has kept off much of the weight today. She looks really awesome.

    I’ve been watching on and off since then. Sometimes the drama annoys the hell out of me, but I can usually get past it. Not a huge fan of the two-hour episodes though, sometimes that’s just too much for me to handle.

  12. Lindz says:

    I like the Biggest Loser and I don’t mind that it’s not realistic to do exactly the same thing. Even if viewers don’t have 8 hours to exercise, they can still take fitness and nutrition tips from the show. What bothers me is the “game” aspect of the show. Once people start “playing the game” then it’s more about winning than it is being healthy — or at least, it appears that way. The drama and the taking sides… I don’t think it’s like Survivor, where people watch and root for some people and hope that others get voted off. You want to see these people succeed. I’d rather see one person win a weekend trip or a new car or something each week than have them go home.

  13. Laura says:

    I LOVE the show and find it really inspiring. My favorite workouts are Tuesday nights, when I get on the elliptical for the entire two hour show – it flies by!

    I wish there was more focus on the workouts they do and the food they eat rather than constant promos and drama, which don’t interest me as much. But even as-is, I still love the show!

  14. farmwife says:

    The yellow team this season grew up here in our little town!

    I love the show. I think it is really motivating. Sure, it is unrealistic for anyone at home to be able to work out for 8 hours a day, but it shows you what can happen if you DO!

    The best friend of one of the yellow girls told me that the change in her whole attitude is just amazing. She is determined and focused, and just completely changed from when she first went to the ranch.

    It seems like the folks who really *get it* are the ones who are keeping it off. Others have fallen off the wagon, but at least they do have the tools and knowledge now on how to do it again.

  15. Susan says:

    I like this season because they are showing exactly what happens when these contestants go home–some were successful and some weren’t. But the ones that weren’t knew exactly why. Also, last night Jillian and Bob addressed some of the confusion regarding how the contestants lose so much weight. They are starting to say more (on camera anyway) about how the ranch is not a “plan”–it’s a unique experience and not realistic. Anyway, I’m a fan!!

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