Weight Loss Reality TV Television Shows.
A growing number of weight loss reality
TV shows are appearing on television screens around the
world. All of them demonstrate major results that can be achieved
through diet and exercise, though some add extra therapies into the mix.
Some critics argue that certain of these weight
loss reality TV shows may encourage unhealthy practices
in the name of rapid weight loss, inspired by large prizemoney. There
have been suggestions of what happens off-camera, such as vomiting and
purging by some contestants, for example.
There is also the criticism that large scale short term
weight loss will inevitably result in contestants metabolisms slowing
down, leading to rapid uncontrollable weight gain in coming years. Of
course, we'll never see these long term effects on our screens.
A further criticism of certain such weight
loss reality TV shows is that they are, in fact, far
from "reality". The role models provided cannot be emulated by the
viewing public. The very artificial environments of isolation, 24 hour
supervision by doctors, dieticians, fitness instructors and other
professionals, the many hours of vigorous exercise every day, the
removal from daily responsibilities of families, jobs and so forth,
just cannot be copied by the general public. Accordingly, the results
contestants / participants on these weight loss reality
TV shows achieve can reasonably be argued to be very
For all the range of criticisms, however, there is a
valuable role being played by the various weight loss
reality TV shows around the world. They provide the
viewing public with inspiration. They discuss health, diet, cooking
& meal preparation, exercise, attitude, motivation, the role of
alternative therapies such as yoga or other forms of stress management,
and other educational issues.
The following are links to the websites of a number of recent
and current reality weight loss TV shows. These sites
provide updates on the shows, the characters, and also the diets and
fitness tips the contestants / participants are following.
its debut in 2004,"The Biggest Loser" has become a worldwide hit airing
in over 90 countries and produced in 25 countries.
The blockbuster eighth series airs from mid September
2009, with a cast
of sixteen contestants and a series theme of "Second Chances". It will
again be hosted by Angela McSweeney and the contestants will again be
ably trained by Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels.
"The Biggest Loser"
website contains all the information about the show,
the previous series, the contestants, plus plenty of expert advice on
diet and training.
Expressions of interest for contestants for a ninth
series are already being sought. Would you like to be a contestant on
The Biggest Loser? They are currently seeking family member teams of
two who each have at least 100lbs to lose. Click
here for general NBC casting information or Click
here for specific "The Biggest Loser" casting details.
This is a "spin off" website related to "The Biggest
Loser" where you can get online access to the diet & fitness
program used by the contestants - personalized to fit your goals and
This 2006 weight loss reality television show series was
previous entitled "Take It Off". Chef Juan-Carlos Cruz helps overweight
and women slim down for a special event in their lives. Over a 3-month
period, the "losers" will get guidance, support, and advice from a team
of health and fitness experts: a nutritionist to devise individual
eating plans, and a trainer to help them shape up.
"Weighing In" appears to have only lasted that one
season and the website has now been removed. The link above now diverts
to the home page of The Food Network.
Celebrity Fit Club - Series 5 - "Men vs
Women" (Mid 2007) (VH1)
Celebrity Fit Club - Series 4 (Late 2006)
Celebrity Fit Club - Series 3 (Early 2006)
Celebrity Fit Club - Series 2 (Late 2005)
Celebrity Fit Club - Series 1 (Early 2005)
Celebrity Fit Club is a one-hour weekly reality show in
which eight overweight celebrities compete in two teams of four to lose
weight. In each episode the celebrities attend 'Fit Camp' where they
take part in a range of physical and motivational activities designed
to shed the pounds, increase team spirit and rivalry, and win prizes.
The show is hosted by noted comedian ANT and the contestants are aided
on their weight loss journey by:
The Trainer: Gunnery
Sergeant Harvey Walden IV
Health & Nutrition Expert:
Dr. David Katz &
Hypnotherapist: Marisa Peer
Despite the success and popularity of Celebrity Fit Club
over six seasons, no announcement has been made as to whether a seventh
season can be expected. (Maybe after six series, there's a lack of
overweight, unemployed 'celebrities' left in the US.)
New to 2009, 'Dance Your Ass Off' introduced a new
concept (some would say "a new low") in weight loss reality television
by combining two popular reality show genres (dancing and weight loss)
into a single theme. Contestants were ranked each week according to
their dance score, marked by a panel of judges out of ten, and their
pounds of weight loss for the week. The lowest scorer each week was
eliminated. (In effect, the dancing component comprised about 75% of
the total score, so it was far more a dance show than a weight loss
The series was not only watched in the US, but
Australian viewers on the Nine Network throughout Australia had the
chance to see it, too. In Australia, it was removed from programming
after just the first week due to an outraged and offended audience.
Frankly, I don't understand why it lasted the distance in the US
without channel executives pulling the plug. Nor do I undrstand why
they are calling for applicants for a second series in 2010.
In effect, the show is demeaning and voyeuristic in its
approach, appealing to television perverts who get off on watching
obese people, mostly from distinct minority groups, humiliate
themselves by wild gyrations of their "floppy bits". The sick and
demeaning nature of the show was confirmed in the very first episode
when one of the judges told a contestant that, from the way her....
err..... let's just say "between her legs area" flopped and bounced
while doing the splits in a dance move, that id she didn't win the
$100,000 overall prize, he could see another way that she could easily
There is nothing of any meaningful value for overweight
or obese viewers to learn from this cheap, trashy voyeuristic show and
I recommend a viewers' boycott and a campaign with the US media
regulators to demand that this show be discontinued on the basis of
offending all sense of public decency and being offensively out of
touch with community standards, including treatment of minorities.
No, I won't provide a link to the call for future
Sometimes, you have to wonder what kind of depraved
minds are behind these voyeuristic television shows. What sicko came up
with the idea of taking a grossly obese person and a sickly anorexic,
putting them in a clinic together -- not to treat them -- but to make
them swap diets and lifestyles for a week so that they can "learn"
about each other's bad habits? I sure hope that Dr Christian Jessen is
ashamed of himself for his participation in this disgracefully
exploitative and unhealthy series - though if he was, surely he would
have walked away from the show (and the pay packet) before now.
Such is 'Supersize vs Superskinny',
commencing its third season in February 2010. The series is also
available in a number of other countries.
Additional to the unhealthy voyeuristic exploitation of
the vulnerable, the series features Anna Richardson carrying out short
term experiments on herself with diets she has found on the internet.
In addition to diets, she also 'promotes' potentially dangerous extreme
measures such as Laser Lipolysis, Diabulimia, and so forth.
Do not mistake 'Supersize vs Superskinny'
for a medical or health show. It is probably the most unhealthy and
dangerous weight loss show ever devised.
Three Fat Brides, One Thin Dress. (3 Part
Special Series) *
Meal Plans (11 Part Special Series) *
Healthy Foods (Special Series) *
XMAS Detox (2 Part Special Series) *
You Are What You Eat - Series 3 (2006)
You Are What You Eat - Series 2
You Are What You Eat - Series 1
Taking a very different approach from other weight loss reality TV
shows, each 30 minute episode looks at a different family. The chosen
families are of serious obese husbands, wives and usually teenage or
at-home older children who have terribly unhealthy diets and sedentary
lives. The no-nonsense, straight talking nutritionist Gillian McKeith
analyses their lifestyle and diets, re-educates them about the dangers
and health consequences of how they are living, and with a program over
an eight week period (condensed into the 30 minute episode) produces
tremendous changes in their shapes, their health and their attitudes
towards exercise and diet.
For many people, this show should not be watched while
eating dinner. Gillian McKeith's obsession with colonic irrigation and
examination of poo samples does not make it suitable meal time viewing.
Overall, "You Are What You Eat" is a far less
'sensational' and much more educational and practical reality
television show than many of it's peers, though tends to promote a very
debatable near-vegetarian dietary approach.
After Series 3 in 2006, the show ceased being a weight loss reallity
television show and transformed itself into documentary-style specific
topic special series.
"Honey, We're Killing the Kids" is a series where six
sets of parents get to fast-forward their children's lives and actually
come face to face with them in middle age. For many of the parents it's
an unsettling moment as they meet their adult offspring who've been
adversely affected by their unhealthy lifestyles. The show covers more
than just weight loss. It looks at the total long term health
consequences of the way children are being raised today.
This show lasted until Series Three in 2006 on BBC
Three. The website link above remains available, but appears unstable
and often difficult to access.
Based on the same successful format as the USA version,
right down to importing the same US Trainers, the first series of the
Australian version of The Biggest Loser was an overwhelming ratings
sensation in 2006.
The show has evolved in the two subsequent series with
Australian trainers, Michelle Bridges and Shannon Ponton, sharing the
effort with the US's Bob & Jillian in 2007 and the two
Aussie trainers (plus the mysterious and frightening "The Commando")
fully taking over the training responsibilities in 2008 & 2009.
The 2009 Series Four has recently concluded. It was such
ratings sensation that a fifth series in 2010 is inevitable. A
contestant-call has already been made. One thing we do already know
about the 2010 series is the the host of prior years, Ms. Ajay
Rochester, will not be returning. Her high profile legal and other
controversies in 2008/09 have seen the Network announce that a
replacement will be found for future series of this weight loss reality
show ratings blockbuster.
This is an official "spin off" from the Australian
weight loss TV reality series "The Biggest Loser" where you can get
online access to the diet & fitness program used by the
contestants - personalized to fit your goals and lifestyle.
Celebrity Overhaul (Nine Network)
(Link disabled as the relevant website has been
deleted.) Having finished a highly successful second
series, a third series late in 2006 was promised. A group of a dozen or
so Australian celebrities are put into a rigorous doctor &
fitness instructor supervised camp for six weeks. The first series was
set on an Australian rural landscape property. The second series was
set in a Thailand beachfront health resort. Unlike 'The Biggest Loser'
and 'Celebrity Fit Club', Celebrity Overhaul is not a contest. The
improvements in fitness, health and weight loss for all contestants is
its own reward.
Overhaul (Nine Network)
(Link disabled as the relevant website has been
deleted.) The promised late 2006 third series of the Nine
Network's weight loss reality TV show "Celebrity Overhaul" has been
replaced by 'Overhaul'. Basically, it is the same show, only with eight
overweight ordinary Australians instead of celebrities. (Maybe after
the first two series, there became a shortage of overweight unemployed
'celebrities' in Australia.)
It appears that the Nine Network have ceased production
of any further series, though the website from the last series is still
Honey, We're Killing The Kids (Network Ten)
An Australian version of the UK BBC series was
aired from early to mid 2006. That first Australian series was not
followed up with new series in 2007 or any subsequent year. (No website
Taking It Off - Season 3
Taking It Off - Season 2
Taking It Off - Season 1
(A special "thank you" to Alyson, a
contestant from Series 4, for bringing the "Taking It Off" website
& TV show to our attention.)
In an interesting twist for a weight loss reality
TV series, no-one gets voted off and each contestant choses
their own program to lose weight. The contestants are not "live in" and
therefore the show depicts real people in real life situations with
practical weight loss pursuits that viewers will find inspiring and
educational. The show has not progressed to a fifth season.
The X-Weighted TV show is a series of one-hour
about adult Canadians each fighting their individual war on fat. The
bulge-busters hail from across Canada (Halifax, Calgary and Vancouver.)
Carrying from 40 to 150 extra pounds each, they run, climb, pump, bike
and dance their way to healthier weights, during periods of four to six
months. The X-Weighted TV Show records all the plans and
pitfalls, gripes and grit that go hand-in-hand with achieving this
often-exasperating goal. The emphasis is on the underlying causes and
ongoing triggers for excess weight as these frank but feisty people
grapple with their personal flaws, emotional baggage and suppressed
Full episodes are available for viewing online.
The third season has recently concluded and a fourth
season has been promised. This coming season will be based on families,
rather than individuals. In the words of the producers:
eye-opening viewing experience revealing the critical issues
contributing to a national obesity epidemic. We follow the journeys of
a varied cross-section of courageous Canadian families coming to terms
with their fat reality. As well as losing sleep about fitting in at
school or their first kiss, obese kids are also worrying about
diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. Each of the thirteen
stand-alone episodes follows a different family in their struggle to
effect positive change in their own lives and the lives of their
call is open for people wishing to participate in the next series of
this weight loss reality TV show. If you wish to be a contestant, click here for application details.
The Last Ten Pounds Bootcamp
The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp propels women through an
intense fitness and nutrition regimen that dramatically resizes them in
record time. Motivated by a special event (an upcoming wedding,
anniversary, vacation, or reunion) participants strive to transform
themselves physically and mentally in just four weeks. Their mission:
to lose weight. Their target: to fit into a sexy new outfit.
Tommy Europe, former football star turned celebrity
trainer, is the country's most sought-after personal trainer whose
modus operandi is a military-style IN-YOUR-FACE approach. A thrilling
combination of scary and sexy, he is the Drill Instructor everyone will
love to hate - he's every participants' best friend and worst enemy.
Tommy's sidekick is hard-bodied Nadeen Boman, the
take-no-prisoners Nutrition Coach who is well known for his "Nadeen
Boman Meal Plan". Nadeen ransacks the fridge and cupboards, trashes the
sugar and fat, and completely overhauls the participant's nutrition and
lifestyle in a hard-hitting high impact fashion.
Full episodes are available for viewing online.
The current series is now almost finished. A casting
call is open for people wishing to participate in the next series. If
you wish to be a contestant, click here for application details.
Do you know of any other Weight Loss
Reality TV programmes, anywhere in the world, that have
accompanying websites? Or, is any of the information on this page
outdated and in need of updating? Please
let us know.