The press has been filled with stories about a study showing participants in the Biggest Losers TV show regaining their weight. The press is using this study to suggest that weight loss is not sustainable. That it is our destiny to wear plus size clothing.
That is just wrong. The overwhelming body of health research has documented that sustained weight loss is achievable. My research shows that weight loss is not only achievable but that there are best practices for losing weight plus enjoying life more.
Confusion over metabolism after weight loss
The misconception that we are doomed to regain weight after weight loss is tied to metabolism. Metabolism is the body’s process for consuming energy (calories). People with higher metabolism will burn more calories and those with lower metabolism will burn fewer calories.
What this study found was that Biggest Loser participants had a lower metabolism after weight loss. So will you. The reason is pretty obvious. A leaner body does not have to burn as many calories to function because it pushing less weight around.
Lower metabolism after weight loss does not doom us to then regain the lost weight. Metabolism is a balancing act between calories ingested and calories burned. If you go back to eating fast food after weight loss, plus achieve a lower metabolism, you will gain weight. It is not because you have a lower metabolism. It has everything to do with the fact that fast food is fat food.
Three ways to make sure the Biggest Losers study does not apply to you
There was one key factor that most probably influenced Biggest Loser participants to regain weight. It was a loss of the intense team of supporters that participants received during the show. They left the show and all the coaching, attention and psychological support disappeared.
Research documents that a supportive team enables superior weigh loss results. That is the weight loss secret from I Love Lucy. Even a crazy/funny team like Lucy, Ethel, Fred and Ricky can achieve results. That is why this TV show was a comedy and not a tragedy.
The top three ways to make sure the Biggest Loser study does not apply to you are:
- Maintain your weight loss support team. Having this type of team is an absolute best practice of The Boomer Generation Diet. In the book I explain how to create one. Do so. And don’t quit the team. The lesson learned from Biggest Losers participants is that losing your weight loss support team is an accelerated path back to weight gain.
- Mountain top experiences have only a downhill path off the mountain. Mountain top experiences make us feel great. But they don’t last. Isn’t that what we are seeing from the participants of the Biggest Loser? Sustained weight loss is not a mountain top experience. Sustained weight loss is a lifestyle change achieved by reducing stress, increasing play time and eating good for you food that tastes good.
- Reduce stress to reduce weight. Imagine the stress of being on the Biggest Loser TV show? Yes, there was a mountain top success experience but at what cost? Who wants to be on a national TV show for being overweight? Think about the pressure of not knowing if you will fail. Did any of these participants met anyone during this experience that did not begin a conversation around their weight? Talk about stress! The bottom line is that stress creates weight gain. I can imagine participating on that TV show to be like twisting a rubber band until it breaks. Once the show ends all that stress cascades on the participants. Do not do like they did. Approach weight gain by identifying ways for reducing stress. That is the path to sustained weight loss.
About the author
Bill Roth is the author of The Boomer Generation Diet, now on sale at Amazon! Here’s what Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief of Triple Pundit says about the book: ”Written in Bill Roth’s lovable, relatable tone. The Boomer Generation Diet is a must-read for any Boomer who is looking to jumpstart their health and have fun at the same time. I hope my parents read it!” Follow Bill on Twitter and Facebook.