Loser - number crunch shows fat loss claims unlikely
article (below) from 2004 is still totally relevant for each
season of this abomination of a show on "fat loss".
The greatest weight loss for the first week for the 2005 season
was 28 pounds and the least was 11.
can hardly contain myself - seriously. Since it is a scientific
fact that healthy fat loss is no greater than 2 pounds in
one week, what the hell kind of crap is this show trying to
promote here? 28 pounds? 28 pounds of fat is 98,000
calories! Or 1,18,216
calories, depending on whether you use the 3500 calorie/ pound
or the 4222 calorie/ pound reference. Either way that's a
lot of energy to use up.
your head around that.- that's a 14,000 calorie deficit each
have a 1000 calorie deficit a 200 lb person could eat 2500
calories and burn off 3500 calories through exercise. 3500
calories worth of exercise will take about 3 to 3.5 hours
of hard training for an athlete. An untrained person would
take longer, perhaps 4.5 to 7 hours of training because they
would not be fit enough to sustain the higher output.
200 lb person could eat 1500 calories and burn of 2500 to
get the 1000 calorie deficit, but once you get down around
a 1500 calorie intake you risk not meeting your daily intake
of vitamins and minerals. But we're not talking about a 1000
calorie deficit, we're talking 14,000. An exercise pace of
1000 calories per hour can be maintained by a trained endurance
athlete, but within 3 hours they would have to start consuming
carbohydrates in order to continue exercising at or near that
pace. To burn off 14,000 calories would require constant fueling
for hours. If you keep eating, then how do you get the deficit?
If you can't continue exercising without eating, how do you
can't be done.
is true that at a certain point of obesity the numbers become
more realistic, but the show still goes beyond the more rapid
weight loss potential of the very obese. People who weigh
350 to 450 + pounds have so much mass that to maintain weight
they need to consume 3500 to 4500 calories per day. Bring
these people down to the 1100 to 2300 calorie per day intake
that contestants are reported to consume and before adding
exercise you're at a 3000 calorie deficit. Add 7 hours of
exercise and that might be another 3000 calories. That puts
a contestant at 6000, maybe 7000 calorie deficit, still only
half of what is required for a 28 pound fat loss in one week.
Some first week contestants have apparently weighed in with
a 30+ pound weight loss. Note the term "weight"
loss is used, not "fat" loss.
if these contestants could exercise for 14 hours at 1000 calories
per hour, they wouldn't be able to repeat that day after day.
This beyond what Tour de France competitors do.
numbers simply don't add up. Even if they did, the contestants
would be at a high risk of electrolyte imbalance, dehydration,
and serious medical conditions, not to mention overuse injuries
from too much exercise, especially for untrained people.
matter how you look at it, the shows results are totally unrealistic
and would put any persons health at risk who attempted to
model the contestants claimed results.
is totally impossible for this rate of fat loss to occur.
It is inconceivable that this show can get away with this
garbage. Even 11 pounds is 5,500 calories from fat each day
- totally impossible. As an example through 18 hours of athletic
training in one week I burned off 12,648 calories so even
if I doubled my training I would not even come close to what
these goof balls are claiming. Is this show prepared to say
that it recommends that unfit people attempt to train more
than twice amount of a trained athlete? This is safe?
show should be asked to prove the contestants who lost 28
pounds in one week burned off 14,000 calories per day.
competitors will burn off 8500 to 11,500 calories during an
Ironman race (2.4-mile (3800 meter) swim, 112-mile (180 kilometer)
bike, plus a 26.2-mile (42.2 kilometer) full marathon. Were
the fat loss contestants doing more than a full Ironman race
worth of exercise every day for weeks on end? Impossible.
Not even the world champion Ironman athlete could do that,
and if they tried they would become injured.
a researcher, a coach, and an athlete I can say these claim's
are totally impossible and in no way whatsoever portray any
portion of what healthy fat loss entails. No, these people
did not burn off 98,000 calories in one week. It is even doubtful
that they lost 28 pounds of anything - even unhealthily.
show is obviously about fat loss - it isn't titled, "the
biggest loser of water and muscle", but that is exactly
what is happening if you lose more than about 2 pounds of
weight over 7 days. This show is totally sensationalistic
crap that poses unhealthy rapid weight loss as something to
be in awe of. For sure, if you're losing 28 pounds in seven
days you have lost a huge amount of water and lean muscle
mass and minimal fat. The show makes a trite attempt to provide
some basic safe weight loss info on its web site - none of
which is applied to any of its contestants.
Biggest Loser" - a reality style elimination TV show
where obese persons try to lose as much fat as possible each
loss is wholly unhealthy - ranging from 5 to an extreme
30 pounds in one week
are put through extreme workouts that in reality would be
harmful to any person starting an exercise program
people are admonished for not achieving massive fat loss
in extremely short periods
depicts an extraordinary emotional and physical struggle
with fat loss that is beyond reality
real losers are both the shows participants and viewers. The
participants are put through exercise extremes that amount
to nothing less than stupidity. Each time they are shown exercising
they are in physical pain and suffering mental duress from
The viewer is once again subjected to the all too common "boot
camp" sensationalized concept of exercise. At no time
is it shown that losing fat is in fact not painful or restricting.
At no time is the healthy standard of fat loss being between
2 and 8 pounds per month implemented. In fact, one participant
lost 20 lb. in one week. 20 pounds of fat is 70,000 calories
in total or 10,000 calories from fat per day. Keep in mind,
weight loss does not mean healthy fat loss.
It is absolutely irrefutably impossible to burn 10,000 calories
from fat in one day, even if you are a champion endurance
athlete running nonstop for 10 hours - which of course the
obese persons in the show are not, and could not. During one
week of training for competitive cycling I will typically
burn 8000 to 10,000 calories, and at times up to 15,000 calories
from exercise alone. One of the shows contestants apparently
burned 700% more calories in one week and is somehow healthy?
This is very difficult to believe.
hard race days I may burn up to 5000 calories in one day.
Of those 5000 calories 30% or less will be fat, 60% carbs,
and 10% protein. The non-athletic obese persons on this show
are going to burn off more calories than a trained athlete?
I don't think so. In fact it would be nothing short of insane
to even suggest that they try because their untrained bodies
could not handle the stress loads.
This disclaimer is posted on the shows web site, "Our
contestants were supervised by doctors while participating
in the show, and their diet and exercise regimen was tailored
to their medical status and their specific needs. Consult
with your own doctor before embarking on any diet or exercise
that the disclaimer does not state that the diet and exercise
programs are deemed healthy. No physician in their right mind
would condone a weight loss of 20 pounds in one weeks time
as it is certain the amount of water and lean muscle loss
required to achieve a 20 pound loss would be wholly unhealthy.
It would also be difficult to find a medical professional
who recommended exercising to the point of exhaustion and
pain nearly every day, which is what the contestants did.
Was there really a 20-pound weight loss at all? Or is this
a number made up to sensationalize the process? The shows
producers should be challenged to scientifically prove that
a human can lose 20 pounds of fat in on week.
Aside from the physiological extremes and impossibilities
showcased, each individual is put through ridicule and treated
as a circus act. That goes part and parcel with the common
"reality show", but instead of playing only on characteristics
of human behavior, "The Biggest Loser" specifically
targets overweight people and makes a mockery out of the serious
process of losing weight to get healthy.
It is true that many who are overweight struggle with apathy
towards changing their lifestyle to healthier living. Making
this apathy into a target to use for purposeful humiliation
is not part of the medically recommended treatment of healthy
fat loss. Can you say; immoral? Unethical?
example of this is when the contestants were given a choice;
no contact with their families, or, if they ate a giant high-calorie
desert, they would be granted telephone time with their families.
Part of the deal is secluding the contestants from their families
and the outside world while they attempt extreme weight loss
in a sort of "boot camp". The contestants were shown
deliberating the choice of breaking their diet commitment
to gain access to their families, or keeping the diet commitment
and holding off on family time. In the end nobody broke their
diet commitment, and they were all rewarded contact with their
the contestants put through a legitimate "test"?
The show euphemistically portrayed the segment as a character
building test of will. It looked more like a contrived manipulative
scheme that put people through irrelevant and unnecessary
mental anguish for the sole purpose of sensationalizing their
At one point in the show, a female contestant lost 5 pounds
in one week, the least of any contestant. She was totally
convinced that she failed, and that she was beneath the others
who apparently lost up to 5 times more weight in one week.
The reality is her weight loss was the closest to being realistic
and healthy, as healthy fat loss for one week is known be
as much as 2 pounds. The contestant also listed nearly every
part of her body when explaining where she felt pain "from
exercise". So how is exercise that hurts the entire body
supposed to be good for anyone? How is feeling guilty for
losing "only" five pounds productive? The shows
contestants and viewer are exposed to false information regarding
healthy fat loss.
of the male contestants was limping on a treadmill complaining
of an injured and sore knee. His "trainer" scoffed,
"don't worry about it", and the man continued on
limping. Need I say more?
FTC (US Federal Trade Commission) is known to take action
against companies that make unrealistic claims of rapid weight
loss. Weight loss claims that are similar to those made by
this TV show. I wonder if in the long term, shows like this
would be allowed to air, given that any company that claimed
to have a 20 lb weight loss in one week exercise or diet plan,
would certainly be put under the microscope of the FTC.
fact, the weight loss depicted in these shows qualifies as
a "red Flag" under current FTC recommendations concerning
bogus weight loss claims. Check out FTC information on bogus
claims at this FTC
show has succeeded in sensationalizing the serious epidemic
of obesity, and thus has succeeded in making a popular show
The commercial success of the show should not be taken as
evidence that anything in the show is a valid representation
of healthy fat loss. In fact, it is an abhorrent abomination
of realty. It is the worst I have ever seen.
2003-2004 Rhino Fitness