“AND THE WINNER IS” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This statement was made at the end of a weight lose seires on BBC 1 recently. Me and Jo could not believe our ears. The programme was promoted as a way to help people lose weight.

Yes, TO HELP PEOPLE LOSE WEIGHT. I just don’t get it. Every single programme I watch, every article I read, it’s all about losing weight. This programme proved no different.

After separating 75 overweight people into 3 groups (arrived at by scientific tests), the desperately keen to succeed guinea pigs embarked on diets which were specific to their scientific results. This experiment was set to last 12 weeks.

The 3 groups consisted of:

  • The gorgers (who are not able to stop even when very full)
  • Constant cravers (wanting to eat constantly through the day)
  • Emotional eaters (eating more when stressed or upset)

Now, these groups were arrived at scientifically, but that is not my main bone of contention (although I could challenge some of their tests). To keep this article as brief and as hard hitting as I can, I will focus on just 3 of my main concerns:

  1. The scientists proclaimed at the end of the 12 weeks…. “and the winner is”…. The man that won had lost the most weight (obviously), but he struggled throughout the series, was in tears at times, and lost his weight far too quickly in the first month.


  1. If they were going to make it a competition (which I thinks is ridiculous), surely the groups should not compete together, especially when the scientists revealed several times that the emotional eaters had the hardest task of all. It would be like asking Linford Christie to race Mo Farrow over 5,ooo metres. Just not fair.
  2. The entire series concentrated on weight loss, not sustainable lifestyle changes. Every person taking part was desperate to lose weight, and the programme just fuelled that desperation as they were weighed at every opportunity.

So, how can I sum up my frustration in just one article? I have so much to go at but will try to make some sense of it.

It becomes increasingly clear to me and Jo that the further away a person moves from what is their current daily routine and habits, the less chance there is of sustaining those changes. The more extreme and drastic the changes, the more chance it will all end in tears. It’s so obvious and yet people just attack it. THEY GO FROM ONE FORM OF ABUSE TO ANOTHER LESS OBVIOUS FORM OF ABUSE. It ends in tears, leads to low self-esteem, and more importantly reinforces repetitive behavior.

It upset us so much to see after the first month, one poor lady who expressed her disappointment at ONLY losing 6kgs!. The scientist said: “Don’t worry, perhaps it will get better next month”. We were astounded. The poor woman then said: “Well perhaps I didn’t really try hard enough”. Well, that is our entire point. She lost 6kgs in one month, without trying too hard. That is what we want here at Xercise. We want people to achieve targets without trying too hard. That way it remains sensible, sustainable and achievable. But because the man who ultimately lost the most was getting cheered so much, she felt a failure. Arghhhhhhhh. (That is me shouting at the TV). Perhaps I have an anger problem!

I could go on and on but must stop at some point. Talk to me and Jo if you would like to explore any thoughts around sustainable achievements. Our aim is to get you enjoying your lifestyle changes. That leads to sustainable results. CHANGE YOUR HABITS – CHANGE YOUR SHAPE.

Finally, my best mate from the Army has joined Xercise. Vic is traditionally a non-consistent trainer, but when he starts he usually over does it. Read his testimony on the board. He is doing absolutely great. Just recently, after a nice tough interval session, he said to me: “Right, now it’s my turn. Let’s go for one of MY sessions in town tonight. He laughed, knowing I would refuse!

Vic is one of the best drinkers I know (not sure he should be proud of that lol), and he knows that I will occasionally have a pint, but I don’t drink really. So, why would I get drawn into town and drink like he does, knowing that I hate that feeling, during and after the session. I just would not do it. ITS TOO FAR AWAY FROM MY LIFESYLE AND DAILY HABITS.

I will end by stating my latest hard hitting thought: “If you cannot just control your portion size, and increase your activity levels, what makes you think you suddenly start eating virtually nothing and train 5 days a week. That is what I call TRAIN LIKE A RACEHORSE AND EAT LIKEA RABBIT SYNDROME……………….. Doomed to fail!

“12 WEEK PLAN”…………

Yours, feeling a little better after talking about it!!

Nige Davies