Monday, January 10, 2011

TBL Syndrome

Good Morning everyone..

Happy Monday to everyone! Today's blog is about a real problem that I am noticing having to do with people attempting to lose weight. Its something that I have talked about with my fellow bloggers and I have decided to name it TBLS an acronym that stands for "The Biggest Loser Syndrome."

Ok so let me explain how this all got started. I have a friend that is slightly older (Late 50's) who did the New Years resolution thing and decided that she wanted to lose weight. She asked for my help since she didnt really know how to exercise and I agreed even though the thought kind of terrified me. I have never had to create a work out plan for someone who was older and I get nervous about causing her to over exert herself or cause injury.. but anyway..

We went to the gym about 4 times last week .. I had her doing 30 minute hill walking drills on the treadmill and very light (2-5 pounds) lifting exercises during lunch. I answered her questions about portion sizes and what not. On this snowy Monday morning..she comes into my office first thing.. looking like she is about to cry and says "I am so discouraged.. I only lost two and half pounds last week." I was floored and even a bit angry at the thought that the triumph of losing over two pounds in one week wasnt enough.

After digging a little bit deeper she was citing that on "The Biggest Loser" there are women that lose 6-7 pounds in a week. AH HA! The mystery was solved.. Alrighty folks... lets get this all settled.. right here and right now.. The Truth about the Biggest Loser.

1. Those who are on The Biggest Loser are morbidly obese and have not exercised or eaten healthy for years of their lives..possibly ever.. they arent jumping back on the fitness train after a few months off. Therefore any immediate and strict change in their diet or exercise plan is going to cause them to lose a lot of weight quickly because they have been so stationary for so long and their bodies are used to consuming 3000-5000 calories a day that has now been restricted to 1500 while they are burning much much more than that. For example.. if I (at 130lbs) run 1 mile at a ten minute pace I burn 100 calories. If someone who was 3 times my weight ran that same mile at the same pace.. they would burn closer to 300 calories bc it is harder for their body to move.

2. The amount that they exercise is unsustainable in real life situations. Come on folks.. when you watch the show you only see 30 minute clips of their exercise routines.. but in actuality .. their job is now to be on that show and lose weight so they exercise with the help of nationally renowed certified personal trainers and thousands of dollars worth of equipment for up to 4 hours or more a day. Do you have the time between work, kids, friends, significant others to exercise for that long everyday? or thousands of dollars to spend on fancy exercise equipment? If you do.. then I feel badly that you dont have more to fulfill your life.

3. They enlist the help of nutritionist, chefs, personal trainers and space that the average american couldnt even fathom having the money to be able to utilize. Do you know that the average personal trainer at a gym will charge you between 50-150 dollars an hour depending on where they are? So imagine for 4 hours every day of the week.. just to be trained would cost more than 1400 dollars. And thats for a regular no name trainer.. I promise you .. you couldnt afford Bob Harper or Jillian.

4. Last but not least, the reality of the biggest loser is that the way in which these people are taking weight off (while inspiring) is not healthy or realistic. To be 400-600 pounds and try to run on a treadmill after not exercising for years.. is unsafe. It could put a strain on your organs and especially your heart that could cause stroke, heart attack or even worse medical conditions. Thats why shows like this have top physicians on hand at all times. Also, for a person to lose more than 3 pounds a weak is too much of a shock to your system.. your body is in starvation mode and you are hurting yourself in the long run.

Unfortunately, our society has become one of extremes.. extreme portions, extreme eating, extreme diets, extreme weight loss...and anything thats normal and realistic is shunned. You dont see any commercials for products stating " Take Xenadroxylin.. it a vitamin that will help your bones stay strong and joints stay loose so you can exercise more and take off 1 pound a week!" .. people wouldnt buy it because they'd be running for "green tea extract" that promises to help them magically have a 6 pack in 3 weeks.

Of course people will be discouraged at losing 2 pounds if they were expecting to lose 7.. but that is just not going to happen. So accept that if you are serious to lose weight.. you have to make a life change and you have to know that it will take time but love yourself for making good decisions everyday and when you know that you worked hard for it.. it will be that much more fulfilling.