So far in this season of The Biggest Loser Transformed, I’m leaning towards appalling.

I call BS on this show. It makes me sooooo angry! Firstly people are achieving weight loss of 4-10kg in 1 week, which I simply don’t believe. Previous contestants of this kind of show have confessed that they had been told to pretend that 21 days of weight loss actually happened in 7 days, I don’t know but I suspect they are doing the same thing again.

The trainer Shannan Ponton just got all angry and gave what he described as “much needed tough love” to a contestant for “only” losing 3.6kg!!! Seriously, they guy was proud of his achievements and the trainer shamed him for being proud!!! If losing 3.6kg in one week is not a worthy achievement for someone needing to lose weight to improve their health then what is?

Fiona Kane, Rachel Fox and Rebecca Varcoe – Our Nutritionists

The Biggest Loser should be ashamed of themselves, treating people that way. They are not just causing psychological and potentially physical damage to those people but all the people at home watching the show. Getting people to stand on the scales in public, wearing only crop tops and tight pants so you get the full visual effect of their “fat tummies” rather than letting them wear the t-shirts or weigh in privately, serves no benefit to anyone except great visuals for tv ratings. Constantly fat shaming someone does not help them with their health long term. It just adds to their self-hatred. In my experience people with significant weight issues carry a huge amount of shame and self-loathing. It is my job to help them to reconnect with their body and themselves and learn how to “love themselves to health”. If I shame them, I am only confirming that they were right to hate and shame themselves in the first place, just compounding their problems!

Then there is the low fat nutrition advice! Fat in the diet is essential for good health, fat allows you to feel full as well as being essential for making hormones, absorbing fat soluble vitamins and the function and health of every cell in the body. Low fat diets are invariably high in sugar, consuming a high sugar diet stops you from feeling full and drives diabesity (obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes etc).

Having kilograms lost being the only measure of success is missing the point as there are so many other aspects that are important for long term healthy weight and good health. This includes but it not limited to energy, mood, sleep, digestive health, fitness, muscle mass, bone mass, learning how to listen to and nourish the body and mind with healthy food and positive self-talk. No wonder we see so many people in our nutrition clinic who have been damaged by these attitudes, just appalling.

Short term they may get results but long term they will still hate themselves (no matter what their size). You don’t automatically love yourself at a different size. (I know this from personal experience). If you hate yourself and believe you are shameful, you don’t believe that you are worthy of nourishment and wont nourish yourself. Guilt and shame will also drive emotional eating and off you go again back onto the weight loss merry go round.

A big part of weight loss is learning how to manage in the real world. Not just shopping, cooking and moving etc but also managing your relationship with yourself and your relationships with others. How to manage stress and emotions that drive emotional eating. When people are sent home after this experience they go straight back in to the stress and relationship dynamics that would have been one of the main causes of their problems in the first place.

Nobody ever hated themselves to health that lasts. I know from my own personal experience and from 10 years working with clients that we must love ourselves to health not hate and shame ourselves. This is just drama for dramas sake with no thought for the damaging consequences for these contestants and the many people who watch the program for inspiration. Just appalling.

Fiona Kane

Nutritionist, Holistic Counsellor and Life Coach

www.informedhealth.com.au