10 things I learnt from The Biggest Loser

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 05 May 2009.
Tagged: healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, portion size, weight loss

10 things I learnt from The Biggest Loser

Now that the 2009 series of The Biggest Loser has finished in Australia, here's my take on the third season ...

1. It's hard - very hard - to lose weight. It takes time and persistence, two things in short supply in our modern world. The contestants had nothing else to focus on except their weight - they had the time to exercise for 3 or 4 hours a day, count calories, plan their meals, think about why they turn to food for comfort.

2. The contestants didn't have to cope with the ‘real world' - they didn't have to go to work, look after a family, shop for groceries, cook for others who can eat what they like without putting on weight, deal with the stress of traffic, queues, delays, road rage, screaming kids and demanding bosses.

3. Losing 50kg (110 pounds) when you're a huge 120kg (250 pounds) takes a lot of effort and sheer will. You need a LOT of support and understanding.

4. By Week 2, all had lost around 7kg (14 pounds), which is way too fast for long-term weight maintenance. Ideal is 1kg (2 pounds) a week. How many will have put that back on again once out in the ‘real world'?

5. Forget the fads and the magic bullets. Forget the bars, shakes, fat-blocker pills, detox diets, anti-cellulite wraps, herbal teas and fibre powders. Stick to exercise and a healthy balanced diet as the contestants did.

6. Think long-term. More than a week. Try weeks or months. The contestants were locked away for 12 weeks but even this won't be long enough for many as they lost weight at too rapid a rate.

7. To get as big as they were, they have all overeaten heaps in the past. All the wrong food in super-sized quantities. Usually in the lounge room in front of a DVD. They all admitted during the show that this was their downfall.

8. Buy a pocket Calorie Counter and learn what foods have the most kilojoules/calories [Hint: it's often the junk food].

9. You don't have to be humiliated by a snarling trainer to exercise at the right level. Just get out and walk or swim at the start - it's kindest to your joints. Then find some activity you like that gets your heart rate up and is outdoors away from the kitchen.

10. Think only one day at a time. Don't dwell on being ‘on the diet' for weeks ahead. Just get through the next 24 hours. 

Did you watch the Biggest Loser?

  • Do you think they live in an unrealistic bubble?
  • Are they over-exercised - too much for unfit overweight slobs?
  • Do you agree with my thoughts - or not?

10 secrets of highly-successful 'losers'

 [ Image of two rounded pears]

Read my Top 10 secrets of highly-successful losers
The secret of successful weight loss is the creation of habits that help - not hinder - you achieve your weight loss goals. Motivation may get you started, but it's habits that keeps you going.  Read on ...