I don't know about you, but my hunch is that you know someone that would risk the reputation of someone else so they could make themselves look better. It has never been more apparent than on the recent episode of, The Biggest Loser.

Not only did 1 contestant head to the hospital, but 2 contestants. I don't watch the show, I refuse to, but I have clients fill me in and I read the recap on various websites. I can't stomach watching the trainers week after week not only tainting the reputation of qualified trainers, but risking the health of the contestants.

I get it, contestants are losing weight, a lot of weight and it's inspiring, right? But to what end? My last post I discussed the contestants that gain weight back after the show ends. There is science that shows unequivocally, yo-yo weight loss can be very detrimental to one's health and that the best approach is slow, gradual weight loss over time.

What these contestants are put through (I don't care who is behind the scenes) is without question irresponsible and may risk death or permanent disability. Having someone that weighs over 300 pounds running through sand is insane. I'm fit and that's tough, what's the point? What are they trying to prove?

I must admit, some of my clients say they're inspired when they see these contestants participate in outrageous challenges. They tell me it shows that heavy people CAN overcome and can be active. For me, I'd rather see someone inspire me that is doing something a bit more practical and less life threatening. Not only because it's smart, but if people are watching it, they can actually go out and do it. How many obese people watching the show are going to run a mile in sand?

Watching people go from morbidly obese, depressed, energy zapped to high energy, happy and hopeful is inspiring, I understand that. But what continues to frustrate me is the fact that once these folks leave the show, they have to go back to their real lives, no trainers, no cooks, no doctors, no psychologists, nada, zip. How inspiring is that?

These folks go back to their life, few if any are ever thought of again, unless they've got someone willing to throw cash at them and market them with books, etc. But for most of them, they go back to their "old" lives, making their own meals, going to work every day and adjusting to the natural stresses and challenges that come with life. Their 6-8 hours a day of exercising are over. The days of carefully prepared meals by someone else, gone. The tough days that naturally come with weight loss are no longer supported by a therapist or trainer, that's gone too. So what's left? Just their experience and their day-to-day struggle to keep their weight off. To be honest, I'd LOVE the idea of the show if there was a strong history of long-term success by these contestants, but there's not.

If you've been following my blog and had checked out my new book you know my view, any one can lose weight, it's keeping it off that is the hardest part of all. Diet's don't teach maintenance, they teach weight loss. Shows like this don't teach reality based long-term habits, yet it's the most crucial component to REAL weight loss success.

Sure, go ahead and show the happy, woo-hoo, losing weight stuff, along with the drama of the trainers' and well, it's a recipe for a successful television show. However, it's at the expense of the contestants, those that are kicked off, and eventually the "winners," if you want to call them that. They go back to their life, maybe a little richer, I'd like to think wiser, but when the pressures of life come back, and no one is there to help through the day-to-day challenges, it breaks my heart.

I don't know, I'm growing tired of the show and of the trainers that treat the contestants in a manner that I would never dream of treating my clients. But it's entertainment and people are desperate for two things, weight loss and entertainment. I suppose it's a recipe for success, or if the show continues down the same path, a recipe for disaster. Then and only then will the name "The Biggest Loser" really ring true.

Author's Bio: 

Nicki Anderson entered the fitness industry over 25 years ago after losing close to 50 pounds. She has owned and operated an awarding winning Personal Training Studio, Reality Fitness, since 1991. As a successful business owner and motivational speaker, Nicki’s enthusiasm and fitness knowledge on subjects including Weight Loss, Developing and Maintaining a Healthy Life and Healthy Body makes Nicki a sought after international speaker.

Nicki is the 2008/2009 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Finalist in 2006 and 2007 and 2006 IHRSA Top 25 Fresh Faces. She is the author of numerous books, her most recent, Nicki Anderson's Single Step Weight Loss and 101 Ways to Motivate Your Clients and Increase Retention (Healthy Learning, 2009). Nicki is the health and fitness columnist for Chicago Suburban Newspapers, IDEA Editorial Board member and contributor to numerous magazines and websites including, MSNBC.com, Forbes.com and FitnessMagazine.com
For more information about Nicki www.nickianderson.com www.realityfitness.com