Lose 100 pounds in 3 months! This is a JACKPOT for those who struggle with obesity. Sadly, contestants from the Biggest Loser, Season 8 may not think so. A study by scientists at a federal research center showed that after 6 years all but 1 contestant regained the weight they lost. Four of the contestants weigh even more than they did when they began the contest. Adding more salt to the wound, the contestants’ metabolic rates have declined dramatically, so now for them to maintain their heavier weights, they must take in significantly fewer calories than then they did pre-show.
Does this spell doom and gloom for those needing to lose weight? No. Gradual change leads to permanent change. Successful losers practice moderation in portions. Successful losers do not eliminate food groups or even their favorite foods. Successful losers avoid thinking, “I ate this cookie, so now I blew it,” and proceed to eat the box of cookies. Successful losers learn to deal with their feelings in other ways besides using food. Successful losers exercise regularly, but don’t make exercise their part-time job.
The biggest take home message is avoid becoming obese. If you notice yourself gaining excessively, treat this as any other medical problem. Be proactive and consult a doctor or dietitian.
Pam Chin-Lai, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD specializes in the nutritional rehabilitation of eating disorders in children, adolescents and adults.