The Biggest Lies of The Biggest Loser

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The Biggest Lies of The Biggest Loser


Getting Your Training Advice From The Biggest Loser Is Like Getting Financial Advice From Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Just a few weeks ago, the media went nuts following the “startling” revelation that former contestants from The Biggest Loser had regained a lot of the weight they lost following their involvement with the show. The conclusion they drew, and the conclusion that any logically thinking person was apparently meant to draw from this was that some people are just naturally overweight or obese, and will stay that weight in spite of interventions from even the most famous of trainers and professional of TV crews.

This is possible the biggest load of complete and utter crap I’ve ever seen from the media’s reportage of the world of fitness, and there are some heavy-duty contenders for that title.

So what’s the problem?

Well, straight away, I know why those people put weight back on. I can give you all the contributory reasons that anyone in their position might put weight back on, and I can confidently tell you that, following a season on “The Biggest Loser,” anyone who doesn’t leave the show and start piling the kilos back on learned a hell of a lot more after leaving than they did whilst on the show.

They didn’t put the weight back on because they’re “fat people,” who are incapable of being any other way no matter what manner of intervention they are provided.

They put weight back on because they were trained to put weight back on from day one. They were actively encouraged to build bodies that would be more inclined to store fat, and they were given almost zero skills to assist them in keeping the fat off. The first and most egregious sin I regularly see this show perpetrate is that it views loss of kilograms as the holy grail, as the thing every contestant must strive for above all else. This means contestants are encouraged to burn muscle tissue as well as fat. It means that they do whatever they have to to get that kilogram weight down. The show pays no attention at all to overall body composition, just loss of kilograms. If you’re burning muscle tissue, you’re slowing down your metabolism and teaching your body to store fat in the future. This, however, might be a more complicated concept than the average TV viewer is willing to twist their head around before they switch over to “Farmer Builds A House” or “Wife Renovation.” So they simplify it for the masses. Never mind if it’s going to be less beneficial for the contestant in the long run, they’ll be last season’s news by the time they start piling it all back on and it’ll look like it’s their own fault.

They could promote healthy nutrition. Instead they count calories and have challenges where contestants are tempted with their favourite foods.

They do it because it means better ratings.

They could show a well programmed, effective, one hour gym session and ongoing coaching on how contestants can approach the rest of their lives without suffering relapse into old habits. Instead they lock them away for the duration of the season and have them undergo bizarre training routines like walking on an escalator for hours or digging holes in the sand.

They do it because it means better ratings.

Before the show ever begins, the camera crew invades the homes of the contestants so their lifestyles can be scrutinised and criticised by the masses.

They do it because it means better ratings.

But let’s forget about the poor lemmings that get suckered in to being a part of the show. No-one’s going to make changes to the show’s “golden goose” format just in order to make sure these people actually achieve the health, fitness and physique they so desperately crave long term. What about the people watching the show? What message is it sending out into the world about losing weight and being healthy?

It’s telling them that in order to be healthy, have a body composition that you’re happy with, have energy levels that allow you to maintain ongoing function, you have to count calories, measure your bodyweight, and exercise for hours every day in a manner that appeals to the sofa-bound masses.

It’s telling them that they need to shoot for massive numbers of kilogram weight loss every week.

I’ve been in the business of making peoples goals real for nearly a decade, and I can tell you right now that the majority of people don’t have hours every day to spend training. I can also tell you that even if they did, I would still advocate one good hour of smart training over six hours messing around on a constantly moving escalator or climbing wall.

I can also tell you that you shouldn’t be shooting for maximum kilogram loss every week. That’s not how you keep your results. My clients build lean mass and strip away fat. They don’t measure their weight, they measure their composition, because that’s where the truth of building a healthy physique is uncovered. They learn healthy life and nutrition habits, and they go away with physiques they know how to keep. They’re not predisposed to being overweight or obese, I’ve never met anyone who is. They get results and they keep them because they train smart, not for the benefit of a TV audience.

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