4 to 500lbs? That is quite sad.
Some of my thoughts on Biggest Loser.
I am a fan of such shows, I've seen the Australian and Asian versions as well. It's always nice to see the transformations but the lure of money makes contestants and their trainers do and instruct senseless and sometimes dangerous things.
- I think they put contestants through excessive amounts of cardio and plyometrics when their (in most cases) lifetime of carrying excess weight has made their joints week.
- They focus on weight lost and not fat loss. The winner last season for the Asia show David looked like he was ill, dehydrated and sickly. This is not how a transformation should look.
- Contestants with high starting weights have the best chance of winning, especially men in the 150kg+ category, that gives them enough time to lose the weight and even with over 50% weight loss (the usual standard for winning BL) they are capable of winning.
I think it's naive to think they are spreading a health message through such shows when it's really all driven by the money and fueled by competition.
Talking about post-competition, there are cases of winners (I think there was one from the first or second season USA) that put his weight back on.
What they show you on TV seems like one week but can be 2 or more weeks. They operate on a heavy calorific deficit and marathon gym sessions (4 to 6 hours a day).
Anyone who knows what they're doing will say the above is ridiculous and not needed.
I guess what they don't show much in the USA show which I have seen in the Australian show is the level of psychological pressure they place on contestants, making them feel guilty for weight loss, performing tasks that act like metaphors (climbing bridges, vertical marathons, bungee jumping etc), seeing their former self photos etc. I think there would be more effective weight loss if more time was spent on the emotional side of eating and not just the physical.