It’s a new season of The Biggest Loser, NBC’s hit weight loss show, and already contestants are being sent home. The show sucks me in each season, since it’s such a bizarre combination of nutrition, exercise, and drama. It’s always difficult for me to watch the contestants beg to stay, especially in the beginning of the season. They are so afraid to go home because they are still learning how to eat and exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, don’t have supportive home environments, and have to face a lifetime of bad habits (usually a lot of processed foods, take-out, and fast food).
In light of the current obesity crisis, it’s no wonder the show is a hit. We can’t all be contestants on The Biggest Loser or move to a weight loss ranch, but we can all learn something from the contestants. First, increasing physical activity indeed burns calories. Second, contestants make their own meals instead of eating out. Many restaurant meals contain 2 to 3 times the amount of food most people need at one meal, and usually contain excessive calories, fat, and sodium. Third, contestants always include fresh fruits and vegetables in their meals and snacks. Vegetables and fruit, such as pears, are nutrient-dense foods, meaning that they contain essential nutrients without being heavy on calories. Indeed, including fresh produce at each meal and snack packs a nutritious punch that won’t sabotage your diet.
Although you may not (and should not) lose more than 1 to 2 pounds per week, a few changes can go a long way!