Biggest Loser

Jan 172010
Authors: Robyn Scherer

We are a nation of fat people. According to American Sports Data Inc., 63 percent of Americans are considered overweight and 31 percent of those are considered obese.

I hate to say this, but obesity has become an epidemic. 3.8 million people in this country weigh more than 300 pounds. People need to get up and exercise, but in a world where time is a problem, it gets harder and harder every day.

Fast food restaurants only contribute to the problem. People can eat out and still eat healthy, but knowing how is the problem. It’s now to the point where we have reality weight loss shows, and The Biggest Loser is a prime example.

On Tuesday night, The Biggest Loser crowned its newest biggest loser, Danny Cahill, who lost 239 pounds in roughly 20 weeks.

I remember looking at the Facebook statuses the night of the finale and seeing all of my friends who were inspired by the show. I’ve watched the entire season, and will gladly admit the show touched me too.

It really is inspiring to see the people on the show change their lives. You see these people who weigh more than 400 pounds, such as Danny, and then you see them at the finale and think holy cow! I want to do that. I want to lose weight.

However, shows like this are unrealistic for the average person. According to, a person must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. Most people should be operating on a 2,000-calorie per day diet. This means to lose one pound in a week, you should cut 500 calories per day.

The contestants on the show worked out three times per day for two hours per workout. That is not a feasible for the average person. They did not only work out, but they had personal trainers who could push them and tailor the workout to burn the maximum number of calories.

The average American does not have that luxury. People can’t take off work and hire a personal trainer to get them in shape. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but welcome to reality.

Losing weight is not easy. I’m sure many people can relate to fluctuating 20 pounds in a year due to this diet and that whoops month. It is even harder for people to lose weight with busy schedules and stressful lives, as everyone seems to have now.

This is what will happen come the first of the year. People will make their New Year’s resolutions, and for the majority of people, I’m guessing that weight loss will be on that list.

These people will hit the gym hard for the first three weeks or so, and like the results they see. Then the newness will wear off. She will miss one workout. He will overeat at one meal. That is when the snowball starts.

Every pound lost will be regained, and maybe more. People will look back and become frustrated, and go right back into the same routine they have been in. Nothing will change.

People may try the route The Biggest Loser contestants take. They may work out hard for several weeks, but they will not see the same results The Biggest Loser contestants did.

This will turn to desperation. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on the context. In this context, it will be bad. People will be so desperate to lose weight that they may turn to dangerous diseases such as anorexia or bulimia.

So what can you do to lose weight? You can start by cutting out fast and processed foods, and getting your butt off the couch. If all you can do is walk 20 minutes a day to start, do that.

As you lose weight and start to feel better, you will find you can exercise for longer. You will see the weight drop, but it takes patience and dedication.

Although The Biggest Loser is a great show, keep in mind what is reality and what is not. The bottom line is you can lose weight, and all it takes is the right attitude and mindset.

Robyn Scherer is a senior animal science, agricultural business and technical journalism major. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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