Is the "Biggest Loser" Making Us Fatter?

07/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Janice Taylor Life Coach, Anti-Gravity Expert, Positarian, Author and Artist

While leading an amazing Our Lady of Weight Loss enLIGHTens Workshop, I tossed the following question out to my group. "How do you know when you are sated?"

The question was met with silence and blank stares.

I took in a deep breath and again, thinking that maybe they just didn't hear me, asked,
"How do you know when you are sated?"

To be clear, the group was comprised of highly intelligent and aware people. Had I been administering a vocabulary test, I am sure that they would have instantly been able to define 'sated.'

However, in the context of this weight loss workshop conversation, they were clearly befuddled. The synapses were not quite connecting.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Rather than move towards insanity, I changed the question. "How do you know when you are full? You know, how do you know when it is time to stop eating?"

The light returned to people's eyes ... "Ohhhhh ... how do I know when to stop eating? That's easy!"

"When my upper lip is numb, I know it is time to stop eating ice cream."
"When my plate is empty."
"When I can't breathe any more."
"When I feel sick."
"When I'm out of money."
"When other people are done."
"When my anxiety decreases."
"When the bag is empty."
"When The Biggest Loser is over."

"When The Biggest Loser is over?" I wanted to make sure that I'd heard this correctly.

A resounding "yes" from the crowd. One after the other these workshop participants boldly and courageously stepped forward and confessed that it is their ritual to gather the snacks and sodas before their beloved show airs, eat their way through the show, and when it is over, yes -- that is their signal to stop eating. When The Biggest Loser is over they are "sated."

I'm not surprised that we as an obese nation are more influenced by the environment, by external cues than whether we are actually hungry. Most of the signals from our society tell us to eat and eat some more. I'm not shocked that the start of a television show means 'start eating' and that the end of the shows translates into 'stop eating.' But The Biggest Loser?

There is paradox written all over The Biggest Loser.

Is there really a winner if you are a loser?

Does focusing on weight loss turn our thoughts to food and these thoughts trigger eating?

Does watching the show bring up feelings of hopelessness? After all, the people who 'win,' win in a controlled environment. How can you make it on your own?

Does watching the show feel like a first step forward toward your weight loss goals? Do you 'deserve' a reward for this step? The reward being food?

Does The Biggest Loser satisfy?

How do you know when you are sated?

I invite you to comment below.

Spread the word ... NOT the icing!

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