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7 Feb

Biggest Loser Wins, Or Do They Really Lose After All

Biggest Loser, is a TV show where you need to be obese to get on the show. The winner is the person who loses the biggest percentage of weight relative to their initial weight. The premise behind the show is that you will be entertained by watching people who are seriously overweight struggling with their emotions, serious food rationing, and an exercise regime that belongs in a barracks.

The latest US series winner, Rachel Frederickson, lost 155lbs, around 60% of her starting body weight. The last 45lbs disappeared in just 2 months. That’s around 5lbs a week.

Interestingly she says that her weight gain was the result of a relationship break up.

The big question is did she lose too much too fast?

I’m also curious about whether or not it will stay off.

You see the prize for this feat of body sculpting is $250,000. Money is a powerful motivator. One quarter of a million dollars is a lot of money, clearly Rachel was more motivated than the other contestants.

I wonder, now that the money is in the bank, whether she has the will to maintain her current pattern of eating and exercise. I suspect that, if she plays her cards right, she can monetise her momentary celebrity and prolong her moment in the sun. There is a rich world out there for celebrity exercise videos, telling her story, endless chat shows while the star still shines, and so on.

My issue is not with Rachel, she worked very hard and received a well-deserved reward. My issue lies with the encouraging and lauding of rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss is bad for your health. Rachel’s BMI is now significantly below normal – in other words she is under-weight. Still, that’s just Hollywood isn’t it? Every female working in CelebrityLand pretty much has to be underweight. Normal body weight just looks, well, fat compared to the majority of female celebrities.  It seems to be a lifestyle choice. Still the financial rewards provide the motivation to maintain the situation.

But take away the money and what is left to drive the starving yourself every single day for the rest of your life?

My work with weight loss focuses on easy and sustainable lifestyle changes; changes that are small shifts in eating behaviour over a long period of time. This works. Weight is lost gently. There is no fight with food. There is no battle with denial. Eat what you like; just eat what you need and no more. It works. There is no gruelling regime to follow. Of course my recommended rate of 2lbs a week is far too slow for most people, despite the fact that those 2lbs stay off for ever rather than creep back on, and Rachel would not look much different now if she followed my weight loss plan. She would also be considerably poorer.

However, because the change is assimilated slowly it is effortless to maintain. It is based around changing attitudes to food. There is no reason to treat your body as an enemy that must be brutally punished for having the audacity to look fat and unattractive.

Good luck to you Rachel, I sincerely hope it all works out for you.


…and if you want to know about a gentler, permanent way to reduce your weight then check out my book How to Lose Weight Easily and Free Yourself from Diets Forever.

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