Is the extreme weight loss on “The Biggest Loser” realistic?

biggest loser

When you work hard to achieve your goal weight, it’s natural to be excited about your results. But be careful not to get too excited — the only way to keep the weight off is to continue the hard work that helped you lose it in the first place.

It’s not easy to maintain a significant weight loss. That’s what some stars of NBC’s weight loss reality show “The Biggest Loser” are learning, Kevin Hall, a scientist at a federal research center, recently released data he collected while following contestants from the 2009 season six years after they completed the grueling workouts and diets that helped them lose up to 239 pounds.

Many of the contestants, it turns out, have gained almost all of their weight back. Only one continued losing weight over the course of the study.

Dr. Dirk says this comes as no surprise. While he doesn’t agree with the researcher’s idea of why it happens, he sees it every day in his patients.

“What happens historically,” he says, “is that people who lose weight through diet and exercise go off the rails in regards to nutrition and exercise once they reach their target weight.”

The usual culprit is that after putting in hard work resisting junk food and exercising often, people think they can take a break. The break turns into a lifestyle, and that can turn into yo-yo dieting or worse. If someone truly needs to lose weight to become healthy, they have to understand what it takes to achieve — and maintain — results.

“The real problem I have with ‘The Biggest Loser’ is that the reality situation it presents is not real,” Dr. Dirk says. “No average person can give up 6 to 12 weeks of their life, leave their family, leave their job to live in a ritzy camp with their every meal and every moment supervised by a trainer. No one’s life is like that.”

If your nutrition and exercise plan could use some kickstarting, one of our Dallas weight loss surgery procedures might be right for you. It takes work, but it’s nothing the average person can’t handle — and nothing that takes you out of reality.