It's funny how one subject just keeps coming up time after time - what do I think about the show The Biggest Loser? That for me is a loaded question! I quite honestly am surprised that no on has died yet from Jillians 'training techinques'. I find it criminal what they do to those people who are on the show. This is not just my opinionit goes against everything I learned while pursuing my fitness degree for safely and effectively training a client. The key word in that sentence is SAFELY. The health professionals colleagues that I know and trust all feel the same as I do including the registered dieticians who may feel even more strongly than I do!
Let's take a look at the different aspects of the show.
Training Techniques: Does it really make sense to make a sedentary, de-conditioned person weighing 300+ pounds to run up hills carrying their trainer? Or asking these same people to workout for 8 hours a day everyday of the week? How about running 4+ miles when they haven't been walked more than a block in years?
Food Challenges: Does it really make sense to make a person eat through a plate of doughnuts to get a 'prize'? The types of food challenges that they come up with are a great way to create eating disorders.
Emotional Abuse: These people are subjected to extreme emotional abuse to shame them into performing. The treatment that they receive is sickening to me after all they didn't put the weight on that they carry because they like themselves and the last thing they need is someone making them feel worse about themselves.
Environment: The contestants live in a cocoon for the entire time that they are on the show. They do none of their menu planning, none of their cooking or shopping, they have no outside influences or stresses, no cleaning, no child care, no work - this is not a 'real world' situation. Most of the people on the show end up gaining back all the weight they lost because it was a quick fix.
The Professionals: Did you know that Jillian doesn't even have a certification as a personal trainer? She had one at one time but let it lapse. Jillian seems to believe that the way she treats the contestants is okay because her mom is a psychologist. Huh - just because my Dad is a real estate broker does that make me qualified as an expert to help people buy and sell houses? NO!
The greatest problem that I have with this show is it is glorifying the 'quick fix' - the people who watch the show at home are getting the message that there really is a 'magic solution' for what seems like instant weight loss. Please understand that this is not just MY opinion but the opinion of other dedicated and CERTIFIED professionals in my industry.
I'm including a link to an article that was published September 2009 in the IDEA Fitness Journal Volume 6 Number 9 http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/weighing-in-on-the-biggest-loser It's kind of long but WELL worth the time it will take you to read it and please feel free to pass it along.
Lasting weight loss is not the work of a moment - it takes effort over time. You've heard me say many times that small changes over time yield HUGE results well it's true! I goal is to help my clients is to help them reclaim their lives, get them doing activities again that they used to enjoy, to have more fun, more balance in essence help them in Rediscovering Recess (TM) in their own lives. I can promise you that YOU are worth the effort.
To Your Fitness, Health and Wellness!
Jennifer Malocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness