Several years ago, I did a national television show about the people on the Biggest Loser. The focus of the interview was on how the contestants fared away from the TV cameras a year or so later. The follow up data wasn’t good. So when latest contestant, Patrick, left the show, I was routing for him but know the challenge he faces. He has to make changes in his real life to not only sustain, but lose more weight. On TV, you are surrounded by a medical team, work out experts and continuous reinforcement.
Biggest Loser goes for dramatic weight loss through calorie restriction and excessive exercise. While contestants learn how to make healthy choices in their eating habits, sustaining the continuous exercise often proves difficult. Many regain weight a year after the show.
It is maintaining weight loss that matters. The U.S. National Weight Control Registry tracks people who maintain weight loss. Most of those people maintain an exercise regiment of about an hour a day. Slow steady weight loss is better than the rapid weight loss we see on the Biggest Loser
So if you are trying to lose weight, here are a few tips from my book Press Pause Before You Eat.
1) Depriving yourself doesn’t work in the long haul. You can’t think deprivation and sustain weight loss. Instead, think, “I can have this food item, but do I want it? Will it lead me to my goal?”
2) Don’t skip meals like breakfast. You need regularly scheduled meals to avoid bingeing.
3) Slow down and chew every bite. Give your brain time to realize your stomach is full. Know the difference between actual hunger and emotional eating.
4) Control your portions. It isn’t always what we eat but how much of it we eat.
5) Stop viewing food as the enemy. Rethink your food relationship so that eating can be enjoyed but controlled.