5. Lack of Support and Accountability
Becoming a contestant on “The Biggest Loser” puts massively overweight people in the hands of professionals and experts. During their time on the show, they have unlimited access to nutritionists, cooks, personal trainers, and other people who are going through the same thing. This unlimited support makes it much easier to lose weight and stick to the diet and exercise plan suggested.
Also, while on the show, they are held accountable for the food, exercise, and lifestyle choices they make. If they overeat, it shows at the weekly weigh-ins. Not only do they let themselves down when they don’t lose weight, but also their team, family, experts, and in some cases, the entire nation who is watching the show on television. This type of accountability is not offered when a person is trying to lose weight at home.
After the show, even if the contestant has successfully lost a large amount of weight, not having this support system can take a huge toll. No longer do they have experts to ask questions to or the support of other contestants who are in the same boat. In fact, many feel completely alone in their weight loss journey when they return home. This makes it extremely easy to slip back into old habits and forget the successes they had while the camera was on.
A lack of support and accountability plays a huge role in “The Biggest Loser” contestants regaining the weight when they return home.
4. Mindless Eating
During the filming of “The Biggest Loser,” contestants are provided with the tools and guidance necessary to eat healthy, low-calorie diets. Snacking is not an option, and no unhealthy food is on the ranch. The possibility of “mindless eating,” while the camera is on, is virtually non-existent. Not to mention virtually every free moment of the contestants day is filled with some type of physical activity.
However, by the time the show ends, the cameras are turned off, and the contestant goes home, they are back in their world. It is easy for these individuals to find themselves on the couch having consumed an entire bag of chips before they even know what is happening. At home, their day isn’t structured around eating healthy and exercise. They are back in their own domain, where (in many situations) mindless snacking throughout the day is a part of life. The situation is made even worse when other members of their family participate in this type of behavior.
When mindless eating occurs, the contestant (regardless of how much weight they lost) are going to start regaining the pounds – probably pretty quickly. The key to avoiding mindless eating is to have other things that occupy the person’s time. However, after the show, it is more difficult to avoid mindless eating, and in most cases, when it occurs, it is unhealthy food options. This all contributes to the regaining of weight for TBL contestants.
3. Getting Off the Exercise Routine
Virtually everyone understands that exercise is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy weight. While on the show, contestants have state-of-the-art gyms to use, outside exercise activities, and access to personal trainers. This makes it easy to get hours of exercise each day. However, after the show, many contestants return home to a location where there is no exercise equipment, no personal trainers, and no motivation even to get up and move. If a person goes from exercising several days a week to minimal exercise or none at all, it is only natural that they will regain the weight they previously lost.
While it may not be necessary for a person to exercise as much or as often as they did while on the show, any reduction in their physical activity is going to result in the individual finding it more and more difficult to keep the weight away.
Unfortunately, what many researchers have found is that the show sets unrealistic exercise and workout standards. Most people are well aware that once they return home, they won’t be able to commit to the same level of physical activity. At the time of the show, they may not think much about it, but if they did, they would realize that the weight loss they achieve is only going to be temporary. There is no way to maintain massive amounts of weight loss if a person reduces the physical activity they participate in on a day to day basis. Tracking fitness activities and watching caloric intake were the primary drivers of success on TBL; without these two crucial elements many former participants gain the weight back.