BY CARLY ASSE
Unsupersize Me and The Biggest Loser have the exact same goals, but very different ways of arriving at the destination. It is important to remember while reading this, that these both have inspired thousands of people to get in shape and live healthier. Having said that, Unsupersize Me is a more effective, healthier, and more realistic way to lose weight.
The Biggest Loser takes contestants and moves them out of their city. It has a production crew that follows the contestants around every day and takes them places. They cannot work during this time, and have very little contact with people outside the show. Contestants are limited to 1500 calories per day. Contestants do learn to cook food, but they have a personal shopper that buys and gets all the groceries. The lifting sessions are often 2 or more hours, and cardio is another few hours on top of that, not counting travel time. Workouts are done seven days per week. You can eat whatever food they deem "healthy" you want, but there are consequences if you over eat.
Often times extreme changes are made because of how the competitive side of the show is set up. One example is completely cutting out salt because it can make you retain small amounts of water weight, and you can be voted off if you weigh more than another contestant that week. Contestants do lose weight, and usually relatively quickly. But you have to ask yourself if you could do that regimen. Can you give up a huge portion of your life and afford to do it? I feel a regimen like this is not sustainable for anyone long-term, and very close to unattainable in the short term.
Unsupersize Me is a program that is designed for anyone and everyone. This can be done because the time commitment fits your current lifestyle and location. Using this program, Zen Fitness has helped many people lose massive amounts of weight, the most impressive of which was Tracey Ryan losing 131 pounds in six months and 200 pounds in one year. Now, this program may sound extreme, but there are only a few rules.
1. No animal products. Some people have stopped reading already and will say that they cannot give meat and dairy up, and me three years ago would have been right there saying the same thing. But now that I have researched it, have done it myself for almost three years, and have helped many people switch and be able to stick with it, I know that it is the healthiest choice anyone can make for their health and longevity. A trainer goes with the client to a grocery store that the client buys groceries at, and shows them how to read labels and make healthy choices while shopping. The trainer then goes to the clients house, or has the client over to teach them how to make a few meals that are whole food plant-based, and will also show them books and sites to find recipes at. What this allows the client to do is learn. It is not enough to just do the program and then stop when the weight is lost. This program teaches people to be self-sufficient in the kitchen and enjoy food instead of dreading it.
2. Lift weights for one hour and do cardio for one hour five days a week. The client’s trainer sets up the whole lift for the client. This part is the only part that is not done without the trainer. Cardio is done with the trainer sometimes, but typically the client does cardio themselves. The trainer will give them a plan, but the client is pushed to do it on their own. Trainers also look for things outside of traditional cardio, such as sports, or dancing, or any other active thing the client enjoys doing.
That's it! Those are the rules. You do not have to count a single calorie, you do not have to weigh any food, and you do not have to train for more than two hours on any day. Another beauty of it is that the competitiveness is a positive instead of a fear-based system. Trainers encourage clients to shoot for doing 5ks or half-marathons eventually, instead of having the fear of being voted off be the motivator. Yes, two hours is a commitment but this program is for people who are making a drastic change to their lifestyle, so fitness should be a top priority. Clients can still have full-time jobs and other hobbies or interests outside of weight loss. Unsupersize Me is much more realistic and sustainable. The Biggest Loser does have a very large platform of viewers and is motivating to many people, but in reality it is not a system that the majority of people can actually do and stick with. Unsupersize Me is a very freeing program that helps people to build a healthy and positive relationship with food for the rest of people's lives.