It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
The biggest loser is probably the most popular fitness-based program in the history of television. In case you are not aware, let me give you a brief idea about the show. It is a reality game show with obese contestants. Every week one contestant is eliminated and it goes on in this manner, till one winner remains. As you must have guessed by now that elimination depends, though not fully but greatly, on weight loss.
Although it did not make it big in India, it sure is a hit in many other countries and the trainers of the US edition are celebrities. However, if you were to ever ask other trainers about their personal opinion of Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper then be ready for some big-time criticism. Beginning with Jillian's rude and cold behavior towards the contestants to criticizing Bob for various reasons, you will hear a lot of negative stuff. I mean, does Jillian know how to swing a kettlebell, maybe, maybe not. But come on guys, how about giving a little credit where its due? I mean, how many gyms were making 400 pounders do squats, inverted rows, push ups on the floor and other intense exercises?
Most gyms have their obese client sit on the recumbent bike for 45 minutes followed by some gentle machine resistance training like leg extensions, seated bench press, etc. So yes, the biggest loser is not all that bad! In fact, I know this from experience that years ago most trainers - yes I mean trainers who are supposed to help their clients get fitter - would never truly believe that it was possible for their obese clients to live their dream of running something like 5 Km someday. They might have said "sure it can happen someday", but in their minds they were like, "yeah right as if you got a chance to make that happen, you big fat slob"!
If you were to ask me about the trainers in the show, then to be honest I will have to say that I have a very mixed opinion of them. Some of their negative features like being rude to contestants is really disturbing for me to watch. However, I do realize that it is a commercial TV show and that behavior obviously helps in gaining viewership. Plus, the ultra fast rate of fat loss achieved during the show is almost impossible to achieve in real life situations due to many reasons like lack of time, distractions, etc. Also some of their methods are too dangerous. For example, taking a 400 pound guy and making him do all-out sprints on day 1 without building up a conditioning base is frankly speaking crazy!
There are however some important lessons that one can learn from the Biggest Loser that can be used to lose fat. Of course just don’t expect to lose 100 pounds in 8 weeks. What you learn from the show might help you go on your own personal biggest loser experience, even if you are not as obese as the contestants.
1) Team work is important - Did you notice how the contestants begin the show in teams? Did you notice how the team members motivate and push each other to be more dedicated or push harder? Now do you think that it would have been the same if they were to start the contest alone? Surely not! Research has shown that whenever someone teams up with a friend, partner or any one else they are more successful. The accountability factor and the want to not let the other person down motivates one to be really dedicated. So, try to start your fat loss journey with someone like yourself, who is also very keen to lose fat.
If you do not know of any such person then even asking your friends and family members to be your cheering squad can be great. The constant reminders, compliments from your friends and family will go a long way to keep you on track for sure.
2) Take your grocery shopping seriously - I have never been to the Biggest Loser house, but my guess is that you will probably go crazy if you were to search for items like sweets, beer, fried chips, etc. I am sure that the fridge in the biggest loser home only contains healthy and nutritious foods. This is something that you must do in your home too. If your fridge only gives you the option of taking out things like lean meats, vegetables, and your kitchen is full of healthy spices, oils, etc then you will find it hard to stay fat!
On the other hand, if chips and sweets are only an arm's length away for you and your TV room has a six pack of beer in it, then it will be the easiest thing for you to consume. So, get rid of all the unhealthy food items in your house and replace them with the healthy ones. Every time you go shopping for food items, look to put only healthy eating options in your cart.
3) Have a well-rounded training program - Check out the training portion of any biggest loser episode, and you will find that the contestants warm up, lift, run, stretch, etc. In short they have a complete approach to fitness. On the other hand, a regular fat loss aspirant will probably only think of cardio and not really bother about the other important factors of overall fitness.
If you want the best results, then follow a well-rounded strength and fitness program which takes care of your overall health.
4) Make your workouts intense - When the contestants are in the gym they mean business! The gym for them is a place for work and not the place and time to gossip or catch up on the latest episode of their favorite TV show. The contestants are sweating, huffing, grunting and swearing while they work out. That is what an intense workout feels like. Compare that to the fat guy in your gym who probably pedals away on the exercise bike while he is watching TV or talking all the time on the mobile (believe me I have seen such folks).
From now on approach your workouts like they are a very important business meeting. Your focus should be fully into the exercise that you are doing. Also keep in mind to choose intense resistance exercises rather than only train your abs or some isolation exercise for your legs. For cardio look to push up your breathing rate and keep it up, instead of taking it slow and easy. I will however remind you that before beginning any exercise, please do consult your doctor and get a clearance so that you know your actual limits.
5) Set rewards for achieving goals - Other than the ultimate goal of losing fat and changing their life, the contestants also have an eye on the prize money that awaits them. Besides the prize money, there is also a smaller prize for the team that wins the weekly challenges. The concept of rewarding yourself for achieving both your long and short term goals will be a great way to keep you on track. Sure, you might not be able to reward yourself with big prizes like the contestants get, you can however use the money that you save from eating excess food to get a new better fitting jeans, or something else that you fancy. You should ensure that your rewards are not food items. Think in terms of clothes, watches, perfumes, jewelery, shoes, etc.
6) Move more often - The contestants on an average spend about 4-6 hours a day exercising. Now before you decide to do the same let me stop and warn you against doing so. It maybe OK for them since their only job while on the show is to eat, rest, and train for a lot of money that is at stake. You, on the other hand live in the real world and will not be able to keep up with such a schedule.
There is however the important lesson to be learned, i.e to be more active. Let’s be honest, one of the reasons why people get fat is because they are inactive. So that is a habit that needs to change. So, even though you may hit the gym only 3-4 times a week, you should still look to be active throughout the day, everyday. The simple steps like taking the stairs, walking more and relying less on automobiles are very useful when trying to get a little extra activity.
7) Yes, you can do it too - This should probably have been the first big lesson to learn from the show. No matter how huge you are, you can always change that and become healthier. Sure, you might not drop 20 pounds every week, or might not get down to your "perfect" weight, but you can definitely lose fat and get a grip on your life.
I have on occasions come across people who have been trying to lose those unwanted pounds for years but have been failing, and after sometime they actually give up all hope. The show has given a ray of hope to people who have restarted their journey; and they have done well too. So if you too have been unsuccessful for years, do not give up hope. Look to work with a well-qualified professional and make things happen. It might take a little longer for you, but it will surely happen.
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