The Biggest Loser Season 9: A Fan's Perspective

By: Jania Matthews   Date 1/11/10

The Biggest Loser is a television program that needs no introduction.  The show draws millions of viewers each week and I am one of them.  I've been an admirer of the show for several seasons and the show is nothing less than inspirational.  The transformations that take place from day 1 until the end of the season are phenomenal.  While there's no doubt that the physical changes contestants undergo is amazing, the time and dedication they give to achieving their goal isn't realistic for the average person.

I, too have struggled with weight-loss, but for anyone looking to make a lifestyle change, you should consider an approach more feasible to your everyday life.  As someone who works with dietitians and tracks the latest weight-loss trends and media stories, I know that many people continue to seek easy weight-loss solutions.  Who doesn't want to loose 20 plus pounds in one week-common occurrences during the shows first weekly weigh-ins?  Viewers of the show should not expect to lose 100+ pounds in a 3-4 month period.  However, The Biggest Loser is a good example of how a lifestyle inclusive of healthful eating and physical activity can equal success. 

Bigges Loser Limitations

Unlike most of us, contestants of this show commit 100 percent of their lives to their weight-loss efforts, working out for several hours a day.  This is not possible for many people as we have additional responsibilities that prevent us from making identical efforts. Not to mention, the average person doesn't have personal trainers at their disposal and they can't be isolated from family, friends, work, and other outside distractions for such a length of time.  Let's not forget the monetary incentives that can certainly provide an additional boost of motivation either.  I've witnessed past contestants achieve what I consider "extreme" weight-loss and there's no doubt financial gain contributed to that behavior.

Still, the Biggest Loser is reality television at its best.  Viewers, like me, develop an emotional connection with contestants.  We cheer for some, dislike others, and develop what feels like an extended support system that keeps us coming back from one week to the next.  Regardless if you're a participant on a national television show, or if you're working out from the comfort of your own home, there's a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication involved in achieving weight-loss success.

Losing Weight & Keeping it Off

If you're serious about losing weight and keeping it off, here are a few tips that I've followed that helped me to get started that I think are effective and realistic:

- Seek the advice of your physician or registered dietitian about the number of calories you should consume and inquire about eating proper foods to fuel your workout 

- Don't expect to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week

- Exercise is critical, but gradually adding more physical activity into your daily life is better than trying to fit in hours at the gym

- Stay motivated by setting small goals and reward yourself. Consider getting a new outfit or manicure. 
(Note: The reward should not be related to food. )

I'll continue to watch the Biggest Loser, and as an early prediction, I'm rooting for the pink team.  Which team is your favorite?

Check back for more insight as the Biggest Loser is always a hot water cooler topic amongst those who work here at the International Food Information Council Foundation.  I'm sure our predications and alliances will change as the season progresses. We'll also post additional tips and motivational messages that seem to work for us and maybe you too.   Stay Tuned!