Friday 10/17

“Diane”
21-15-9
Deadlift @ 225/155
Hand Stand Push Up

 

This post is from our Facebook page, CrossFit SAC Nutrition. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check it out. It’s full of useful information about all things nutrition related, and can also be a good forum to get your questions answered if you have them.

 

The Slow Burn

The Biggest Loser recently started its 16th season. While there is much to be said about the inspiration it has had on people wanting to lose weight and get moving, it also creates some very unreasonable (and unhealthy) expectations. There is no doubt that the people who compete on the TV show are in desperate need of a lifestyle intervention and by them losing weight, they have added years to their lives. Unfortunately, the way in which they are told to lose the weight– hours of exercise paired with a low-fat, low-calorie diet– is not only unsustainable for most, it can actually work against keeping the weight off in the long run.

top_10_biggest_losers_where_are_they_now_ryan_benson

A recent study compared actual Biggest Loser contestants to people who had recently undergone bariatric surgery. While the Biggest Loser contestants were able to retain more lean mass (muscle mass), they also experienced a larger decline in their resting metabolic rate, meaning that their body was not as efficient in utilizing and expending consumed energy, or burning calories. This is not surprising considering the amount of stress that chronic, high duration exercise paired with food deprivation causes the body. Sometimes people refer to this as “starvation mode.” Remember, our bodies don’t know that we live in a world with readily available food, so when you workout  and don’t eat enough to support that activity, your body “thinks” that it is dealing with some dire circumstances. In response, it slows your metabolism to better hold on to what little energy you are eating. This leads to a vicious cycle of more exercise and more extreme dieting in order to lose weight or keep the weight off. The Today Show did a follow up with some past contestants. Most had gained some weight since their final weigh-in, some had gained back almost all of the weight that they had lost.

While it is true that the Biggest Loser method of diet and exercise does lead to weight loss, it does so at a pretty hefty price to contestants’ metabolism and potentially to their health, usually resulting in the regaining of weight. It’s tempting to try and emulate this program after seeing people lose half of their body weight in a relatively short amount of time. However, it’s also important to remember that any attempt at leading a healthier lifestyle need to be sustainable and liveable. If you are miserable, tired and hungry, you likely won’t stay with the program once some weight is lost or the “challenge” is over. Embracing long-term changes, like cutting out sugar and processed foods, will prove more feasible in the long-term.

 

Supplemental

AMRAP 8 Min
3 pulls on the ERG Under 1:30/1:45
3 Deadlift @ 315/205

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