Maintaining Weight LossThe mirage of “The Biggest Loser” is the time spent on the show as a lifestyle that just can’t be maintained back in the real world. We raise children, work nine-to-five (sometimes two), and leave little time for ourselves to manage health and fitness. The boot camp-style that trainers Bob and Jillian put the contestants through is a full-time job for their tenure on the ranch.According to NBC News, a majority of the contestants from the show are unable to keep the weight off after the season ends. Some actually gain so much to the point of their original weight before joining the show.
Negative Self-ImageAnother unfortunate statistic of “The Biggest Loser” is that viewers battling obesity are likely to have a negative image of themselves when watching the show, according to Science Daily. The depictions of exercise on the show are intense and often grueling. Contestants are crying, passing out and throwing up as their trainers push them to the limits. Those with similar body types watching the show could be discouraged from participating in similar physical activity, if any at all.
The Science Daily study found that the negative effect was stronger than watching shows with good looking people enjoying themselves, like “American Idol.” This suggests that instead of being envious of someone for good looks or figure, a person is more likely to empathize with someone’s negative emotions who is more like them.
A Healthy BalanceExtremism makes for great television, but it can be a risky model for weight loss. For starters, an entire team of doctors and EMT’s are on standby during the making of “The Biggest Loser” in case any injuries or health conditions occur during the show — a convenience most won’t have when exercising. Many who battle weight loss aren’t in the proper condition just to jump into a boot camp environment, as well as an extreme change to a diet which could cause malnourishment or dehydration.
“The Biggest Loser” is a great show — it’s entertaining, intense, emotional and many other qualities that make for great television. If you enjoy the show and pull inspiration from it — to eat better or get more exercise — fantastic. But if the show motivates you to jump into a more intense regimen, consult your doctor before making any extreme changes.