‘The Biggest Loser’ no more.

The other night while trolling Facebook, I came across a post talking about ‘The Biggest Loser.’ This is a very popular show, and I think everyone at least knows about it and the concept. Lose the most weight, no matter what the cost, and you win. While I think the intention is good, thinking about losing to win a little contradictory, no?

The though I always have when this show is mentioned: Why would you work hard, discipline yourself and do things right with your health all with the intention of losing? This is, unfortunately the trap that so many people fall into. Eat less, exercise more, lose weight. It sounds like the right thing to do, and almost makes sense, until you really think about it.

Ask most people, and losing weight starts with eating less (creating a calorie deficit). We’re all taught that taking in less calories will cause weight loss. Realistically though, taking in less calories will cause you metabolism to slow down, and your body holds on to the the energy (calories) it’s given long as it can. Your energy drops, you feel like crap, you end up less active and burning less calories than when you were eating normal, and you basically break even.

The same holds true for exercising more. If you go with the same theory of burning those extra calories through more exercise, the same result occurs. You exercise more and work out longer and harder, your body’s energy stores get used, you get tired and feel like crap until you eat more to replace what’s lost, and again, you break even.

This is obviously a sh*tty way to approach getting healthier and more fit for many reasons. While the calorie concept is easy to understand, there’s a lot more going on in your body than simple math (hint: future blog topic). My point with all of this is to look at your health and fitness not with an attitude of trying to lose, but working to gain.

Learn gymnastics, running, rowing, and weightlifting techniques to gain coordination, speed, endurance, strength and flexibility. Gain these attributes, you get more fit. Get more fit, you get healthier. Get healthier, life gets better. When you focus on your gains instead of losses (what you can DO), things make a lot more sense.

Post Thoughts to Comments.

Casey Mouw
Lead Trainer
CrossFit Sioux Falls

10 Responses to “‘The Biggest Loser’ no more.”

  1. SO…when people ask ‘how much have you lost since you started CrossFit?’ I should reply with ‘ Lost?… let me tell you what I have gained!’
    I need to remember that one~

  2. MattyB "FTS" Says:

    Holy crap…please print this out and read this from time to time if one of your goals is weight loss. Simply just looking at scale weight alone day in and day out doesn’t do the process justice.

    Hey I went on this amazing vacation and tooks hundreds of pics…here I will only show you one. See don’t you agree how amazing it was!?!?

  3. Throw away your scale! Mr. Mello will take it to Cali with him!!!!!!!

  4. Great post Coach,
    There are a couple of great books that go into the theories of weight gain/loss including calorie in vs out and a few others. If this interests you (I am a book geek) look into Gary Taubes “Good Calorie, Bad Calorie” it is a somewhat difficult book. If you want a cliff notes version, his most recent “Why we get fat” came out 3 weeks ago and is really good.

  5. Forgot to add ….his books explain the science of why Paleo works.

  6. Good stuff Chris. I know of Taubes but haven’t ever read his work.

    As I said in my post, I will blog in the future about this topic and why people get to the point of being overweight/sick and how to fix it. In the mean time, just remember to eat LOTS of meat, vegetables and quality fat, keep workouts short and intense, focus on improving fitness goals, and get plenty of rest.

    • It is as simple as that. People make things too hard. You are not going to get there overnight, so follow what Casey said here. Don’t make it rocket science. I follow the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid! The only thing that I would add is good supplements, Chiropractic Tuneups (had to get my plug in), and a good mental attitude. People who don’t have a good mental attitude/are depressed are in more pain, take longer to heal, in additional to countless other things. Keep your goals in mind, and take baby steps!

  7. Great post!! I wish I had some wise words of wisdom… but figuring out what to eat is still an area I’m learning. I’ve always been an avid eater, so I try to eat to be strong. Building muscle is more important to me than cutting calories and being weak. If I’m not mistaken, more muscle = more calorie burning at rest, which just seems like a winning combination to me.

  8. I couldn’t agree more, Casey. Common ideas of health and fitness are incredibly off center. Some of the issue lies behind lazy diluted suggestions shared with society that create a false sense of direction. Quick abs and fad diets poison the minds of people who care about their health. I believe most of us fell under this spell before CrossFit – myself included. CrossFit is, without a doubt, the concentric database for effective health.

  9. Chris Mello Says:

    Truth be told Case! I was always in favor of starting a “Biggest WINNER” show…who’s in??? (To note I do love the Biggest Loser show)

    Its all about FITness not Weight-LOSS! Slowly America is catching on…SLOWLY! But with CFSF and CrossFit the truth will come to the forefront alot faster. I’m very grateful I found CrossFit when I did and was and am able to help others find and learn the truth NOW vs. later!

    Onward to ELITE FITness!


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