Whenever weight loss is your primary motivation, you are apt to go “too far” to reach your goals. Weight loss motivation focuses on pounds lost instead of body fat burned and inches lost.
And, if your motivation is to lose huge amounts of weight quickly, you could damage your health. Losing huge amounts of weight quickly will probably be regained quickly because you haven’t built muscle mass. You will usually regain more weight than you previously lost. Your health will also worsen with each yo-yo weight loss and regain.
No credible personal trainer will ever encourage you to focus on weight loss. Health improvement should always be the main goal of your fitness program.
Here are some facts surrounding the hit television show, “The Biggest Loser.” I’m not here to bash the show. It will continue to do well regardless of what I say. But, I feel an obligation to tell people the truth about quick weight loss and how it affects your health.
Here are some facts:
1. Ryan Benson, the 2005 season winner lost 112 pounds. He originally weighed in at 330 pounds. He confessed to urinating blood after fasting and dehydrating himself. His weight returned to over 300 pounds (he was absent from The Biggest Loser season finale).
2. Kai Hibbard was the season 3 runner up. She wrote on her blog that she and others would dehydrate before weigh-ins and stack on clothing during workouts (when the cameras were off). She regained 31 pounds in the two weeks after the show. She also detailed her experience on a CBS morning news show.
3. Contestants are able to lose 20 pounds or more a week because they work out up to six hours a day. This practice is unsafe and not reasonable in real life circumstances.
4. The “New York Times” reported contestants must have permission from NBC before chatting with a reporter. So, contestants are speaking out themselves. I have mentioned just two examples. There are many others.
Common sense tells you that its not wise to lose weight in this manner. And, although it is “only a television show,” some people will believe and follow what they see.
When you have rapid weight loss, much of that weight loss will be water weight and some muscle mass. So, you find yourself regaining this weight quickly when you begin to eat the carbohydrates, proteins and fats that your body needs. Why? Because you will also replenish water stores in your body's cells.
Health experts agree that it is safe to lose an average of about 2 pounds a week. At the beginning of a new exercise program, you could lose 6-8 pounds the first week. The weight loss will even out over time.
Health experts also agree that the best method for obtaining optimal health and fitness is to be patient. Eat right, exercise regularly, build muscle, burn fat and lose weight. This process takes longer but will keep the weight off and you will maintain a lean, healthy body!
If “The Biggest Loser” program has motivated you to start exercising, that is great! I hope you have continued your exercise program to better your long-term health. That is a realistic and safe approach. “The Biggest Loser” approach to weight loss is not realistic or safe.
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and My Nutrition Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:
Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com