May 2, 2016

'The Biggest Loser': Sadly most contestants ended up losing their health, rather than permanently losing weight.

'The Biggest Loser' contestants?  They have certainly ended up losing, but not in a good way.  Seems like rather than permanently losing weight, they've permanently lost their health.

Credit:   That Lost Weight? The Body Finds It.  By Gina Kolata, New York Times

Long article in today's New York Times profiling 14 of the Season 8 (2009)  participants on the extreme weight loss reality show 'The Biggest Loser'.  Current results?  13 of the 14 contestants regained weight in the past 6 years; 4 of them weigh more now than at the start of the show.  Only 1 contestant weighs less than she did at the end of the 7-month show.  Uncontrolled binge eating was also a common current theme among the former contestants.

The contestants were all adversely affected by permanent (1) unhealthy decreases in metabolism and (2) unhealthy hormone changes.  Why would this surprise anyone?  Quick fixes ... in this case, weight loss in an extreme, controlled environment that cannot be replicated away from the show ... are just that:  quick and temporary, not permanent.  No wonder the contestants' bodies revolted.
Extreme diets don't work long term.  (Heck, just take a look at Oprah Winfrey's failed dieting history.)  But changes in lifestyle, as well of acceptance of our bodies and who we are as individuals, do help achieve long-term health and weight-related success. 
Healthy eating does not have to be skinless chicken breast and steamed broccoli.  Learn to cook and bake tasty food using high quality ingredients.  Don't deprive yourself, but rather monitor portions.

And get to moving.  Enjoy the outside with simple activities.  Walk.  Garden.  Bicycle.

And what about Health and our Faithful Canine Companions?

Exercise?  You don't have to spend big bucks on a gym membership.  Did you know that a Preventative Medicine study showed that individuals who own a dog, and who walk the dog, are almost 25% less likely to be obese than people without a dog?

Once again, another lesson in life from our Faithful Canine Companions.

Mary Rae Fouts

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