Popular reality weight loss shows such as `The Biggest Loser,` `Losing It With Jillian` and `Heavy` depict umbelievable feats of people losing 50, 70, even 100 pounds over the course of a few months, but what they fail to show is how the contestants are really losing that weight.
The reality is, those contestants are exercising five to six hours a day and eating a strict, controlled diet, which is not a `normal`lifestyle one could keep up outside of the TV program, as people have responsibilities such as work and family that inhibit them from spending five to six hours a day exercising.
The shows also fail to mention that losing weight as rapidly as the contestants do is often not always a good thing. In fact, losing more than 1-2 pounds per week is actually unhealthy, as it puts a huge strain on your body. According to an article in The Los Angeles Times, some contestants on `The Biggest Loser` admitted to fasting and dehydrating themselves to lose weight, and at least two had to be hospitalized after collapsing during a one mile race.
Weight loss shows are also problematic, as they depict a huge emphasis on the importance of body image, perpetuating stereotypes and causing some viewers to have issues with eating disorders and other dangerous behavior.
Even if you do lose the weight, the hard part is maintaining that weight loss, as one would gain back the weight they lost when they began living a `normal`lifestyle and eating a regular diet again.
Ultimately, reality TV shows make losing weight look simple and keeping the weight off a non-issue, giving viewers a false hope for their own weight loss goals.
While they encourage a healthier lifestyle, they do not break down the `how-to`s`for their average viewer, leaving fans feeling discouraged and unhappy with their own bodies.
Don`t get me wrong…weight loss is a good thing! It is important, however, to understand the difference between weight loss and healthy weight loss. Anyone can do a crash diet, surviving on toast and juice for a week, but any weight lost during that time will all come back, and then some. Losing weight through healthy dieting and exercise, and learning to maintain that weight loss is much more challenging, yet much more rewarding.
If you seriously want to lose weight, you have to be committed to making a life change. The best way to start? Get rid of any processed, high fat or high sugar foods you have in your cupboards. Yup, that means the sugary cereal, the high fat peanut butter and those creamsicles from the freezer. Toss the boxed Kraft Dinner and the pre-packed meals. Swap out all of these bad food choices for fresh, organic foods like vegetables, fruits, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, low fat yogurt and fish. The next thing to do is start exercising! Sound like your nightmare? It doens`t have to be that bad!
Walking is a great way to start shedding pounds, and can also help your body adjust to exercise slowly. Start with a 15 minute walk, then up the time every week. Soon you will be walking for an hour and feeling great! Some other, non-stressful exercise ideas are biking, swimming and playing sports, such as tennis or basketball.
By simply improving your diet and getting some exercise in your life you will be looking and feeling better!
The Reality TV Weight Loss TV shows may not be completely true, but if they have inspired you to lose weight and get fit, that`s great! With the tips you`ve learned from this article, you will be able to start your weight loss journey in a healthy way, so you can feel good about it and keep up your goals for the long-term!