The success of the NBC hit The Biggest Loser is more evidence that we are facing an obesity crisis. The challenge the show creates for fitness professionals is “does The Biggest Loser give us an accurate depiction of what is realistic in terms of sustainable weight loss”. The unfortunate fact is that over 90% of The Biggest Loser contestants gain most of their weight back within 1 year. Additionally, it does give some people unrealistic expectations for the amount of weight they can and should lose in a short period of time. Losing 20-30 lbs in one week is possible if you are completely isolated, but this rarely happens for ordinary folks. We all have families, jobs and lives that are much different from the BL contestants. Real world fat loss happens at a much slower rate over a longer period of time.
I think that any effort to help people lose weight and change their lives for the better is fantastic. That being said, The Biggest Loser has created unattainable expectations for some of our potential clients. It’s not uncommon for some of our first visit, weight loss clients to state goals that are simply too ambitious. While we would like to see people push their boundaries, it is very important that we are setting them up for success. It is very important to establish realistic goals with our weight loss clients early in the process. It is OK to lose just 2 lbs a week! I’m no math whizz, but I can tell you that in just 12 weeks we are looking at 24 lbs of fat loss. Think about what that looks like in the span of 1 year!