I haven’t watched The Biggest Loser in several years. I stopped watching it because it started to feel more like it was about product placement and not about health and fitness.

The show was never realistic. I got that but I liked seeing the transformations. I liked when they tried to get to the bottom of their issues with food. Not everyone can go away to a ranch for a few months to lose weight. Most of us have to figure out weight loss in the real world so we can’t apply everything from the show.

I did not watch the most recent season but I have read and seen the pictures from the finale. I must say, I am shocked. The woman who won did not look healthy. She shocked Jillian and Bob, and not in a good way. Rachael Ray asked Bob about it and he pretty much danced around the question and changed the subject. If he thought it was healthy, he would have given his opinion. She dropped 45 pounds in just a few months. She went from a healthy weight to underweight. It is not healthy to lose 45 pounds that quickly when you are already at a healthy weight.

In reading subsequent interviews with the winner she has stated she ate 1,600 calories and worked out for six hours a day during the home part of the competition. 1,600 calories and six hours of working out?? I eat more than that on days I don’t work out. I still manage to lose weight but at a healthy rate.

People are just saying she did it to win the money and she will gain weight back now that the contest is over. Really? You know this for a fact? I haven’t seen her say that anywhere. I actually saw an article in which she stated she planned to maintain her loss. To me that doesn’t sound like she plans to gain any back…

I am not jealous of her. I have no desire to be skinny. I have no desire to be underweight. I want to be strong and healthy. I want to lose fat, not weight. I want to build muscle and strength.

I don’t think potentially harming yourself to win $250,000 is worth it. I also don’t think it is a great image to put forth as a role model. And yes, she is a role model. A lot of people watch that show and are inspired by the contestants. They will look to her as an example and start working out six hours while barely eating.

Obesity is a huge problem in America but we need to solve it by educating people. People should now there is an estimated calorie amount they should eat to maintain. Calories on menus don’t have an effect on people if they don’t know how many calories to consume in the first place. A 700 calorie burger doesn’t mean anything if the person ordering it doesn’t know what context the 700 calories is in.

I don’t know how to solve the obesity problem. It is a multifaceted problem and needs to be attacked from many angles. Education is one of them. Another is not promoting or encouraging unhealthy habits. I have heard the Biggest Loser is going to look at this issue and adjust the contest. I hope something good becomes of this.

I know last week I said I would cover the TDEE method but this just felt more timely and fitting. I promise the 28th will talk all about TDEE. I will educate you on estimating your calories and determining a safe calorie cut in order to lose weight!


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.