Reality television shows have taken over the TV and there seems to be no topic off limits. From watching a family struggle to raise a boat load of kids, to how much stuff people have and where they store it, to how many wives a person has, to how many dysfunctional people we can put into a house and watch as they party themselves to death, if there’s a topic you want to see lived out there’s a show for that. And while some watch these shows for a good laugh, others watch them because they want their lives to be like that. The only problem is they aren’t real, despite being labeled “reality TV”.

One show that has had massive success and has been seen as life changing is The Biggest Loser. And we admit, we’ve watched this show too and wanted to see people as they tried to change their lives. But things aren’t always as they seem…We came across this article from a former contestant that puts a new perspective on what really happens. It’s because of shows like this that people think it’s realistic to have huge weight loss in a week and then get frustrated and give up when that doesn’t happen. This weeks article will focus on what is realistic and the real “reality” of weight loss.

The Truth About Weight Loss and Reality TV

 Millions each week tune in to watch The Biggest Loser and the vast majority of people who watch the show think that these people are losing massive amounts of weight because of their trainers and dietitians. Based on this article we’re seeing that things aren’t always what they seem, or what we want to believe. Here’s some truth to healthy weight loss that is attainable, and maintainable.

 Truth #1: Listen To Your Doctors

 While this would seem a no-brainer, some don’t understand the importance of this. Working out while injured can cause further and worse injury and so when your doctor tells you to rest an area or injury, heed the doctors advice. Your personal trainer should never force you to work out on an injury, especially when doctors have advised against it.

 Truth #2: The Healthy Calorie Range

First we have to understand that calories are not the enemy. Calories are what give our body’s the fuel it needs to keep going throughout the day. That being said we also have to understand that not all calories are created equal and there are calories that are good for us and others that are empty and will not help us achieve our goals. When calories drop too low (usually below 1,200 calories for women and 1,500 calories for men), your body’s protection mechanism switches on because the body thinks it is starving. In order to conserve energy, the body lowers your metabolism and you will not burn calories as quickly. This results in a slower weight loss rate, or sometimes prohibits any weight loss from occurring.When your caloric intake falls below these levels, it is also extremely difficult to obtain all the nutrients that your body needs for health and survival. These very low calorie intakes can also lead to other health problems such as eating disorders, gout, gallstones, and heart complications.
Truth #3: How Much Weight Is Realistic To Lose In A Week

First let’s make sure we all understand a week is 7 days. A realistic and healthy number is 1-2 lbs a week. While some people can and do lose more than that in a week, this is a realistic number that is attainable and maintainable.

 Truth #4: Water Is Vital To Weight Loss

We’ve written and posted many articles about the importance of drinking water to help with weight loss, and so to have people come out and say that they’ve had to do severe dehydration to drop the weight needed for a weigh in is sick and wrong. Water not only helps us feel full longer and helps keep our appetite controlled, but it also is needed for the function of our internal organs. From our bladder and kidneys to other vital organs water is needed to help everything running and functioning properly. Water also rids our bodies of toxins that can make us sick. Water naturally passes those toxins from the body and helps us stay healthy. When we do not drink enough or hold out on water our bodies go into survival mode and start storing water in fear that it won’t get any when it needs it and so then we start carrying around extra water weight, but when we drink water (recommended is a gallon a day) regularly our bodies know we are taking care of it and it has no need to retain any. So if you want to lose weight in a healthy fashion, become good friends with water and it’ll take care of you.

 Truth #5: You Don’t Live On The Ranch

Unless you’re the small percentage of people that live in a secluded place where you don’t have to work or care for families and where you have trainers, staff, doctors and nutritionist who are supposed to tell you what to do and what and when to eat, you’re going to have to figure out how to do this in the real world. It’s not realistic to think that most people can spend 5-8 hours every single day in the gym working out when there’s work to do and families to care for. A realistic solution would be at least an hour every day either in the gym or at home. It may take some creativity to fit exercise in with the full time job and family that both demand your time. If you’re a morning person getting up a little earlier and getting a good workout in to start the day is a way to ensure you actually get it in before the craziness of the day begins. Although you may not be able to do traditional strength training at home, there are very inexpensive resistance bands that can help you still workout on the days you can’t make it into the gym. Chances are you don’t have somebody who buys your food and cooks it for you, so what you eat is up to you. You may not have a nutritionist monitoring your food but that’s isn’t a pass to eat whatever you’d like. There are plenty of fantastic free online resources, like Sparkpeople, as well as many free phone apps that help create meal plans and count calories as well.


This blog post was submitted by Brad McCleary, an ambassador for the track club. You can see Brad around town helping people get motivated to get their goals in order and train them to achieve dreams!

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