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The Biggest Loser: Motivating or Depressing?

I enjoy The Biggest Loser, well except for last week's show, which was crap. I do however take it with a grain of salt realizing that the contestants are on this show and their only obligation is to lose weight. No kids, no work, no holidays, no school, no McDonald's, just weight loss. I am thrilled that it does motivate some of us to get off the couch and lose some weight too, but the New York Times is reporting the show may make some of us feel worse than we did before watching the show. (Thanks to BuzzSugar for the lead on this one.)

Here's why:

"...If you’re losing two pounds a week and you’re watching The Biggest Loser, you probably think your diet is going horribly. If you lose two pounds a week and you’re not watching the show, you probably think your diet is going great.

I fully agree, which is why I say you need to take it with a grain of salt. Take the tips and tidbits with you, but leave the expectations that you're going to lose ten plus pounds a week at the door. I get angry when the contestants are all mad over losing less than ten pounds a week because in the real world, even half a pound weight loss is an accomplishment to be celebrated. Remember to watch the show tonight!

What do you guys think? Do you find The Biggest Loser to be motivating or depressing?


Spectra Spectra 9 years
I think it's kind of motivating, if you have the right mindset about it. You shouldn't try to lose as much weight as they do per week because they are on a strict diet of 1200-1500 calories a day, plus they work out a LOT (and when I say a lot, I mean 90 minutes of intense cardio, 1-2 hours of strength training, and 3 hours of treadmill walking per DAY). And yeah, these people are morbidly obese, so they will obviously lose weight quickly.
Tutta Tutta 9 years
I think it's motivating. I've said the same thing though, I don't understand how someone would get upset over losing 3 or 4 pounds in one week instead of 10 or 12. I get that it's a contest but you should be grateful for even the small accomplishments.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I don't have tv and can't say if it's movtivating or not. But isn't it generally true that if you weigh in the 300's or so, way beyond one's ideal weight range, that it's more natural to lose 10 lbs a week?
AmyLizK AmyLizK 9 years
Other: There is so much wrong with this show and it's affect on people I couldn't even begin to get into it in a comment... I should write a dissertation. It's blowing smoke in the fire(s) the fire of self-hatred if you, yourself have a weight problem or the fire of arrogance/prejudice if you do not.
tabloidprincess tabloidprincess 9 years
I think it is motivating because every one loses weight and they try so hard. Every time I watch I am near tears.
absolutromantic absolutromantic 9 years
Last night, I spent the second half of the show on the elliptical doing a pretty intense workout. Normally, that would be the end of my cardio (45 mins), but last night I was feeling particularly inspired after watching, so I decided to jump on the treadmill just for a mile. I ended up doing my fastest mile ever! (And at a 1% grade, which I've been told approximates running on a flat surface outdoors under normal conditions). So yes, I think TBL is inspiring (even if last night's episode was really upsetting).
bluiedgrl bluiedgrl 9 years
I find it motivating. It drives me to maintain the shape I am in, although I wish I was as ripped as Jillian. Sometimes I am a little repulsed by the pitfalls, but there have been times when I have shoveled 8 Oreos in my mouth too. I admire them for putting their struggles on display. I won't even run outside so people don't see my butt jiggle. HA HA
elenoftroy elenoftroy 9 years
Motivating. It's easy to realize that these people 1) have FAR more to lose than I do and 2) are doing nothing but exercising and dieting all day, so I don't compare myself to them at all.
melda melda 9 years
i don't watch it i mean i cannot and from what i read on fitsugar about the show i think its motivating! i dont get depressed because they lose more than me but it motivates me to work harder, also i dont want to lose that fast at all!! what should i do with extra skin then!
amybdk amybdk 9 years
apologies, purrtykitty. major D'OH moment... should have waited until the recap tomorrow. I was just so... soo mad!
purrtykitty purrtykitty 9 years
ok, i'm a little peeved about the spoiler above...but i should have just skipped to making a comment. anyway...i agree it's sad to see people even get to the point we need to have a show like this, but on the other hand i'm glad to see people taking control and doing something about it. it is a little depressing to see them losing 10+ lbs. a week (i wish i could do that, i'd be down to my goal weight in like 4 weeks), but it's not usually every week that happens...and plus, these people are HUGE!! for the most part, i enjoy watching the show for entertainment purposes only. besides, i know what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.
maryamrose maryamrose 9 years
I have mixed feelings about it. Though they are rather large to begin with, and they are devoting their entire time to weight loss, the numbers they're seeing are unreasonable. On the other hand, there are great lessons of perseverance and control to be learned from the contestants and trainers. As long as people don't use it as an absolute model for their own health, and look at the show analytically, I'd say it does more good than harm.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
I voted depressing... but that's because I just finished watching tonight's episode. I can NOT believe Jez got voted off. I'm so disgusted. I am sad that some of the players chose not to play with integrity and fairness. What an embarrassment to the other contestants.
ashley1 ashley1 9 years
you have to be able to realize that they obviously are in a very controlled environment therefore they will lose more per week. also if your below 200 pounds its probably even harder to lose more that 2 pounds (at home) per week.
misstsapinay misstsapinay 9 years
I think that it's motivating and mainly here for entertainment purposes. It's a TV show, afterall. I'm sure if we were all sent to a seculded camp and only exercised and ate healthy foods for a few months, we'd all be losing tons of weight a week. BUT, this is real life. We have lives, worries, jobs, families, etc. Our health isn't always top priority at times. I watch "The Biggest Loser" and see amazing people getting healthier and can't wait to see the outcome.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
The people on that show are doing more than trying to lose weight, they are competing on a reality show. This show meant for entertainment as much as it is for promoting weight loss.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I love it and am always motivated by it! Well, by Bob anyway! haha I know I won't lose what they're losing. But that's okay! I get tips, work out ideas, eating right idea, and to watch Bob. Go Blue Team!
blondewithbangs blondewithbangs 9 years
i think its motivating. I watch the show every week and can't sit still. I always get off the couch and do ab work or mess arounf with my stability ball. I can see how seeing someone lose 10+ lbs a week when you only lose 1 or two can be discouraging to some people.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
Totally motivating becuase the show depicts the pitfalls and health hazards of reaching a weight of say 300 or more pounds. It feels great to see the contestants feel great from the exercise..that's really motivating!
Hootie Hootie 9 years
A little of both. It makes me sad to see how bad people treat their bodies. Weighing 300 or 400+ pounds is awful. The human body is not meant to be that large. But then I get really excited as the show goes on and they all lose so much weight! It's amazing what hard work and will power can do! I love when someone gets sent home and they still kick a$$! This season all the guys getting sent home are losing over 100 lbs! It's great! So I really like the show because the bottom line is, if you work hard and keep at it you will succeed!
syako syako 9 years
Personally, I don't watch it, so I can't say either way. But, I do agree that expecting to lose more than 2 pounds a week is not only wishful thinking but also unhealthy. If you're losing more than 2 pounds a week chances are you're losing either water weight or muscle mass - not body fat! So, if you are trying to lose weight healthfully, celebrate every pound of fat lost, every inch off the waist lost, and ever percent of body fat lost.
ssngeorge ssngeorge 9 years
I think it is motivating how well the people do, but, it is not realistic. I think that same Times article had some of the extreme measures Kai from last season went through in the two weeks before the final weigh-in and they were VERY unhealthy. But I still find the show motivating, it shows that it is possible to get yourself healthy.
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