I feel shows like this have unrealistic results compared to most individuals. This then can make clients expect similar, yet unrealistic results. Still shows like this tend to motivate people and get them interested in losing weight/fat. Do shows like this help or hurt our industry? Your thoughts?
I believe that most people understand that the almost impossible becomes possible when you put people in such a unique environment. All weight loss programs are successful when people are taken from their usual surroundings and tightly controlled. Whether it is called a spa or a diet and fitness center, they all show results even though less visible.
If anything, the show demonstrates that it takes a superhuman effort to lose weight that quickly. And they all have to go home afterwards to their normal environment where they have to prove themselves all over again.
to me, that show has made no difference whatsoever. I have never had anybody come to me expecting even remotely similar results. In fact, it is hardly ever mentioned.
I think that this show definitely makes our job more difficult as we deal with “real people,” living real lives, and being surrounded by real temptations. As fitness professionals, most of us understand that the Biggest Loser farm presents an “unreal” setting for the participants. As a result, they can (and do) achieve unreal results. Unfortunately, the sensationalism of it all can have a very detrimental effect on our clients as they see the “results,” (after all, we live in a very results-oriented society) but not necessarily at the same time taking in the situation under which those results occurred.
I think it depends on the person watching and their previous education and experience with weight loss. If they are the kind of person that often makes decisions based on what they see on TV, it could do one of two things. 1. They could be totally inspired by what they see and even have a contestant as a role model and realize that even though they might lose weight at a different pace from their role model they can find the determination to do it their own way. 2. They could see people losing weight at superhuman speed and feel like working out extra hard and cutting calories will make them a weight loss machine; potentially injuring themselves or quickly hitting a weight loss plateau. Maybe we as fitness professionals can facilitate the first scenario for clients that have an emotional connection to the show.