May 16 2016

Weight loss

jillian-michaels-yellingThere has been a lot of press lately about the impossibility of long term weight loss. The NY Times reported a study of past participants of The Biggest Loser and decided that it is not possible to lose weight and maintain it.

That is simply not true.

Studies have shown that weight loss is not only possible, it is sustainable. The only thing that is not sustainable is living like you are a contestant on the Biggest Loser.

Other, more reputable sources, have proven that weight loss and maintaining weight loss can be achieved, with some persistence.

 One study followed 3,000 people, who lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for 10 years. There were three common factors for losing weight and keeping it off. The people that were physically active, weighed themselves regularly and watched portion sizes maintained their weight loss.

Another study looked at 65,000 overweight and obese people from 2005-2010.  80% of those that lost a significant amount of weight during the first year kept the weight off the second year.  90% of participants that continued in the program maintained their weight loss. This program provided support, encouraged activity and exercise, as well as healthy eating.

Personally, I have watched many clients lose up to 100 pounds and maintain their weight loss.  Common factors that worked for all successful losers include, eating more vegetables, reducing processed foods, exercising regularly, having support and keeping track of their body weight.

Perhaps we could assume from these results that the common ingredients for successful weight loss include, regular physical activity, keeping track of your body weight, eating whole foods, watching portion sizes and having support. Perhaps not entertainment, but practical and proven methods for success.

But, back to the Biggest Loser.

This isn’t real, this is “entertainment” if you like that sort of thing. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a Canadian obesity specialist says it is the most god-awful dangerous thing to happen to weight management in history.”

Dr. Ed Tyson an American eating disorder physician has said “it’s miraculous that no one has died yet”

Fitness “expert” Jillian Michaels is an actress who made millions of dollars out of bullying people for entertainment by saying things like The only way you’re coming off this damn treadmill is if you die on it!” 


Not inspiring, not professional, not sustainable, not a weight loss program.

The Biggest Loser is not a realistic study in successful weight loss.  But, it does remind us one thing. Diets don’t work. Lifestyle changes need to be made for the rest of your life. Exercise and activity are important for weight maintenance. This doesn’t make for good tv or great headlines.  As Dr. David Ludwig, Director of the New Balance Foundation of Obesity Research, says “it shouldn’t be interpreted to mean we are doomed to battle our biology or remain fat. It means we need to explore other approaches.”

Change your mind, change your health,