Behind the Scenes at The Biggest Loser

I just read an interview with Dr. Michael Dansinger, The Biggest Loser’s behind-the-scenes nutrition doc for the last five years. (Tufts Magazine, summer 2012)

Pure Hollywood

For me it was good to have confirmed what we all know: this reality TV weight-loss competition is just pure Hollywood.

Exercising up to six hours a day and cutting your calories in half so you can lose up to twenty pounds a week is a ridiculously unrealistic, unsustainiable weight-loss approach. But “the top priority of a television show is to entertain, and two to three pounds a week weight loss does not a show make,” says Dr. Dansinger.

Very true.

One Take Home Weight Loss Strategy from The Biggest Loser

However, there is an important weight-loss strategy to be gleaned from The Biggest Loser that Dr. Dansinger personally employs in his clinical practice helping people lose weight: accountability, having someone to answer to.

If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser, you know there’s a lot of dramatized, Hollywood-style accountability going on.

Drama aside, Dr. Dansinger says accountability is very important because our brains are wired to focus on the short term—that delicious food---but skip the exercise. An accountability friend helps keep you on track.

So how could an accountability friend help you on your weight loss journney?


Diana Fleming

Diana Fleming, PhD, LDN, is a co-author of The Full Plate Diet and Nutritionist for Full Plate Living. She received her doctoral degree from Tufts University and has since dedicated her time to translating complicated nutritional data into easy and fun concepts anyone can apply at their next meal. In her spare time, she has painstakingly perfected the ultimate healthy AND delicious chocolate chip cookie.

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