Debate: Are reality weight loss shows motivating?

I spent part of Tuesday night curled up on the couch watching the premier of The Biggest Loser, a popular

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I spent part of Tuesday night curled up on the couch watching the premier of The Biggest Loser, a popular reality show that is now in its 13th season. The contestants on this show are all competing for money, however, personal weight loss and the goal of a healthier life are also motivating factors. And they’d have to be ‘ past winners of the show have typically lost over 100 pounds.

Contestants work out for hours each day, seven days a week, with the help of a trainer. (This season’s trainers are Dolvett Quince and veteran Bob Harper.)  The workout intensity is high, and one contestant last night lost a whopping 22 pounds at the end of the first week. But is this kind of rapid weight loss realistic, or even healthy for that matter?

The transformations are pretty amazing (seen in these before and after photos of last season’s participants), but probably not really sustainable over the long term. Plus, the average person doesn’t have the luxury of taking three months off work purely to work out and lose weight.

Do you think the shocking results are motivating or unrealistic outside of TV Land?

Related:
What a personal trainer can (and can’t) do for you
Fitness tips from celebrity trainer Jackie Warner
News: Personal trainer gains over 70 pounds

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