Food and the Biggest Loser

14 Mar

Two subjects for the price of one!

So on the food front I’ve been increasing my protein/decreasing my carbs in my latest challenge.  I’m actually quite enjoying the food, I’ve developed new lunches, found a passion for new vegetables and am now seeing the benefits.  I’m not eating any junk food at all and have vastly reduced things like potatoes, pasta and bread (still having them but they’re now on the treat list).

One thing I did try were protein shakes, they however didn’t agree with me, we thought it was the whey so I swapped to a soya based mix, however it’s still not doing it for me and I get a degree of bloating, it’s almost that my body just doesn’t like a burst in this way, it’s the same with protein bars and I have now cut them in half.  So I was interested to read this article from Charles Poliquin which gives some interesting information about how your body deals with food and that you really do need to listen to it.  Whilst I’m fine with eating a more protein based diet, I did need to modify for how my body reacts to it.  And the good news is that I am enjoying food (what’s the point if you end up hating what you ‘have’ to eat, that’s no long-term solution and leads to all kinds of relationship issues with food, been there, done that, dealt with it and not going back), loving cooking and as a fabulous bonus seeing the benefits! 

So onto the Biggest Loser which finished its current series in the UK last night, I have all types of issues with this type of ‘obesity entertainment’ – when I was bigger the last programme I would consider watching would be something about people who looked like me, most of us are in complete denial. It is totally unrealistic, the difference between the world of the programme and ‘normal’ life is immense – all of this leads to others having unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved in a short time.

The guy who had won started at 32 stone and lost 13 stone in six months, now firstly it’s great, he looks amazing but I have a couple of points to make. Firstly he started from an extreme, therefore the initial loss will always look big, it gets harder as you get smaller – google it, it’s true and he is still 19 stone, the hard work for him has only just begun.  Secondly, losing this amount of weight in such a short amount of time is not healthy or sensible and without a massive team of people around you looking after diet and exercise is not achievable in a normal environment and shouldn’t even be encouraged. It’s not necessary and it is better for you to lose it in a slower, more controlled way.  All the research says the quicker and more extremely it comes off the less chance you have of being able to keep it off. It’s far from a realistic goal for the vast majority of people and sets a poor example.

I was also hoping that as with other ‘reality’ programmes that we could revisit contestants from previous years to see how they were getting on in sustaining their weight loss however they seem to have disappeared?  I will always maintain my point that losing weight is only one part of the story, I am far prouder of what I’ve managed to do since the initial weight loss than of losing it per se. 

I found this article which sets out a lot of the issues I have with the programme.  I will never be negative about people losing weight and changing their lives, I know the joy and power that can bring. However what I would like to see is a move away from ‘entertainment’ based programmes and more about the true reality of being big, constructive, realistic help on being able to solve problems and a whole load of education for parents and kids to break the cycle.

Oh and the help of the food industry (production and outlets) to help us help ourselves (more on that later in the week).

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