Monday, March 22, 2010

Question of the Day

Do you think the show The Biggest Loser is helpful or harmful?

Meaning, do you think the format of the show, contestants losing massive amounts of weight in a short time is healthy for them?

I ask, because I've been watching the season where Helen won and I have to admit, when I looked at pictures of her after she lost the weight I thought she looked kind of sickly. Then I questioned even further when I read an interview with her, where she said before the finale she was going to the gym three times a day for two hours at a time.



Granted I'm all about exercise and eating healthy, but six hours a day at the gym? I personally think that is overdoing it.

*I'm no personal trainer...just my two cents!*

Your thoughts?


27 comments:

Via said...

I definitely agree. Very unhealthy. Plus, it's so unrealistic. It doesn't really teach anyone how to be healthy in their day-to-day normal lives. The average person doesn't have time to go to the gym three times a day--the average person barely has time to go once a day. So as soon as the contestants leave, they are thrown back into the real world where no one is forcing them to do anything or helping them along while also having to add their family responsibilities and work back into their lives. It just doesn't scream "long term success" to me!

HellcatBetty said...

I totally agree, and by the end they usually look like overly-tanned, sickly versions of themselves... but that doesn't stop me from watching it. I'd like to say it gives me inspiration, but really the thought of doing those last chance work outs makes me wanna reach for a tub of ice cream.

Abbie said...

What I don't undersatnd is how these people find 6 hours a day to spend at the gym. Not trying to make excuses but doesn't life get in the way? I don't watch the show but do they ever check back on the contestants after they leave the show??

Jessica Lynn said...

I find it extremely unhealthy to a point where exercising can actually be an addiction. My cousin was addicted to exercise and as a personal trainer, she had to physically make herself stop working out so much. Your body can only handle so much.

Sara said...

My feeling is that if a person is morbidly obese, losing the weight is necessary and will help them in the long run. Getting the weight off is more important for their future health.

That being said, these people had no idea how to live their lives with food in it before the show. They turned food into an addiction. And the argument that it doesn't teach real lift exercise and health management is true. But if any of you guys have watched the post-show interviews or the time at home, most of the contestants and trainers say time and time again that it's not a reasonable workout schedule. That they aren't trying to immitate real life. That isn't the trainers objective. Period. There's fault in that, but they do at least admit it.

Many times when they do the "where are they now" shows, the contestants are at healthy weights and leading very fulfilling lives. Many of them just look like normal healthy people not overly skinny.

Things I have taken huge issue with in the show are the contestants getting 4 weeks to train for a marathon when they aren't conditioned for it. Also, I saw an interview later on with one of the contestants who detailed her meals... come to find out she was supplementing real meals with protein shakes several times each day.

But to say it would be better for these folks to have never lost the weight? Hell no. I'd never say that.

Mira said...

I havent't seen the show but from I read here that is very unhealthy. Who has time to go to the gyn three times a day for 2 hours a time?! That's sick.

Carissa said...

I agree about Helen, she did look pretty gross at the finale, but I think for her it was all about winning the money!

Natalie said...

I think the show sets up unrealistic expectations. No one really has time to work out 2 hours a day!

GUAMtastic said...

Whatever... I totally love the show :)

Suzanne said...

The show is great for those that really need to drop the pounds, but it is in no way practical. Real life doesn't allow for a 6 hour day at the gym and real life doesn't come with a personal chef. Good on those for doing the show and dropping the weight for their health, but no, it's not realistic:) Just my 2 cents!

Tania said...

Being very injury-prone myself, I don't understand how they avoid so many injuries when they work out so hard when they are at their heaviest. The rate that they lose weight seems unhealthy to me, but I'm not going to claim anything because I'm not an expert by any means. It just seems very unnatural.

It's also a very unrealistic workout schedule, but they know that. I'm watching this season and a couple weeks ago the contestants had to work an 8-hr day (plus commute time). They were still able to work out a couple hours, but they were just working, working out, eating, then going to sleep!

Marine and Beauty Queen said...

From what I know about physical fitness, your body actually doesn't need six hours at the gym. At some point, that is excessive and your body won't actually use the workout. It's just unnecessary and a waste of time. Who has that kind of time anyway?

Patience said...

I think it is very unhealthy and gives people the wrong perception. No one can work out for 6 hours straight every single day and sure these people are losing a ton of weight, but it is not healthy to lose any more than 1-2 pounds a week. I just think it gives people a false reality.

JG said...

I admit, I don't really watch the show. I would only catch episodes when it was on at our gym (irony) but I see a net positive effect, not on the contestants, but on the viewers, because while the show itself does take "health and fitness" to an extreme, I think probably good principles are taught - like, it's never too late to start taking care of yourself. And I agree with Sara, the "Where are they now" segments seem to show a normal, productive lifestyle most of the time. But like I say, I'm not a regular watcher.

Jessie said...

Over all, I think the Biggest Loser is great. However, {by the way, I hated Helen anyways..} I do think they can go to far. I usually think the show does a decent job showing them how to continue being healthy but having a real life.. but of course in some cases, it doesn't take. It's all about the win.

Jenny said...

I think it is overdoing it too.

On a side note, are you watching it online? If so, where?

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I think it's great that their working out and losing weight but I think they do it in an unhealthy way. Working out like that and in that short amount of time frame has to be not good on their hearts.

Katlyn said...

I agree I have also said since the start of that show that they need to do a version where people need to lose the last 10-20lbs. It's harder for people like that (me!) to lose weight! When you are that big it is so easy to lose weight by just moving.

Katlyn said...

I agree I have also said since the start of that show that they need to do a version where people need to lose the last 10-20lbs. It's harder for people like that (me!) to lose weight! When you are that big it is so easy to lose weight by just moving.

Heather said...

I think that it's overall a good idea in theory. The hardest part about losing weight is STARTING a program otherwise it's always "I'll just eat this, not work out, and start tomorrow". However with the loss of pounds I can see some people becoming obsessed with working out to try and make their bodies better and better. In any situation there will be people who take things too far but maybe the competition puts too much pressure to loose drastic amounts of weight fast. I personally don't watch the show, I'm just basing this off your post.

Young Mom/Wife said...

I do love the show, but I feel like it ha become to focused on "winning" and not on changing their unhealthy lifestyles. I do think that Jillian and Bob have been trying REALLY hard this season to reiterate the realities of weight loss.

People have to realize that they are working out like professional athletes do: 2-4 times a day for AT LEAST 2 hours at a time. Everyone is starting to hit their peak weight loss, and will no longer be losing giant numbers every week. And no, it is not healthy for the average person to lose 15+ pounds a week. I have a feeling these people are probably only eating 1300 calories a day, MAX. You have to eat at least 1200 calories in order for your body to maintain proper function. These people are with trainers, doctors, EMT's, and are constantly monitored. A real human doesn't have that luxury.

Also, let's look at how hard it has been for all the past contestants to actually stick to this regiment when they get home. It is hard! When you are stressed you retain water, when you don't sleep well your body lets you know, etc.

I have stopped watching it because it is becoming to unrealistic.

Emily said...

I'm actually in the middle on this one. I have a friend who is a huge fan of the show as well, and after years of trying to lose finally got the courage not just from friends, but from the show. He lost over 150 pounds in less than a year. He did it the healthy way with just changing his food and working out 2 hours a day 5 days a week. The only downside his body took a hit after a few months because it was trying to catch up to the weight loss. I think they should focus more on what losing all that weight does to your health. More than just a few times during the season. But all in all I think it is a good show to get people motivated :)

beka said...

Personally, too, I think it gets crazy. Seriously. Like Ali, a few seasons ago, she was almost anorexic looking.

It gets freaky-crazy.
Really? You don't have to look like a model to be healthy. The smallest bit of flab on your arms isn't going to kill you.
And look what happened to that guy last time...he bounced back.
6 hours is insane. Obsessive.

kd said...

Well, I LOVE the show, but I hate how they try to teach proper "nutrition" with all of those product placements. Hello, you can eat Subway and still be fat!

Anyway, I was reading an article that interviewed Kai from several seasons back and she says they encouraged them to dehydrate and lose water weight. She even described doing a 4 hour + cardio session and no one drank water. If they felt thirsty, they would swish it around in their mouths and spit it out. Can you imagine?!

Mrs. G.I Joe said...

Okay first off...I know of this show but I've never followed it! But six hours of gym time in one day does sound a tad excessive!!! But to answer your question. The hubs says we'll find out around October time frame where we're headed next...He's putting in for warrent officer around that time as well, so if that goes through and he gets accepted, we'll be going to Ft Rucker, AL for about 2 years...Not so crazy about living in Alabama, but it would be a great move in his career:)Where in Europe do you live currently and how much longer do you have?

headoverfeet said...

I guess i too agree that it is a negative thing. being someone who has an eating disorder, i know that is super unhealthy and all the damage it can do. it can become obsessive and just lead to all kinds of negative consequences...

that being said...

i do enjoy the entertainment value of the show. hypocritical?? maybe...

SS said...

Realistic for the average person, no? Unhealthy to get out from under deathly amounts of weight, I wouldn't call that unhealthy. I can't imagine the average obese person would go to those extremes on their own anyway, but they do have a ish load of supervision and medical attention when they are on the show. For all purposes and with the supervision they have, I have to say I think what they are doing on the show is way healthier than how they were living their lives before hand.