What’s so great about the TV show The Biggest Loser?
The messages in this popular show are all about deprivation, denial, starvation, and punishment. Exercise is akin to torture. Food is the fattening enemy. The participants use sheer willpower to white-knuckle themselves through each grueling day. They are praised if they lose ten pounds in a week (as if they are now better people), scorned if they lose only two (as if they are scum of the earth), and ridiculed if the scale barely moves. The participants get no credit for having inner beauty that shines from the inside out, nor do they get treated as if they are decent people with tender feelings. The scale is the sole judge of their worthiness.
The unfortunate message perpetuated by The Biggest Loser is "eating is cheating." False. Eating satisfies a physiological requirement for food.
Just as people need to sleep, urinate, and breathe, they also need to fuel their bodies, ideally with appropriate portions of healthful foods. Yet, you don’t need to eat a "perfect" diet to have a good diet. There’s little harm in enjoying a slice of pizza or piece of birthday cake. The E in eating should stand for Enjoyment, not for Excruciating Emptiness.
Dieters need to create a sustainable food and exercise plan that they are willing to maintain for the rest of their lives.
For help with weight reduction, use the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org to locate a sports dietitian in your area.
Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD
author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook
Sports Nutrition Services LLC
Hope to see you at an upcoming workshop!