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"Biggest Loser" Mathematics
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Watching the Biggest Loser show tonight (yea, I know)...

Suppose a contentant's base metabolic rate is 3000 calories per day. Suppose they burn an additional 2000 calories per day exercising. And suppose they eat absolutely nothing for an entire week. That amounts to a caloric deficit of 35,000 calories per week - which should result in a weight loss of about 10 pounds.

assuming they eat... absolutely nothing...

How the hell is it even possible to lose 13 pounds in one week?
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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Water could be part of it. But I'd bet there are numerous days the contestants burn more than 2000 calories. Putting them at 400 calories per hour, I'd bet they put in more than a few 5-hour days.

Now, food still has to be eaten! But the 35,000 calories you're coming up with is based solely on losing FAT, which I'm sure isn't the only source of energy here. I doubt any of these people walk out with EXACTLY the same amount of muscle they came in with.

With all of this jibberish I am coming up with out in the open, I have NO idea how they lose 13 lbs in a week!

EDIT: How about the fact that Trent has lost 70 LBS IN 5 WEEKS! I don't know how they pull that off really, but as long as it's healthy I couldn't be happier for the guy.

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"Lemond is cycling's version of Rev Jessie Jackson." -johnnyperu 5/18/07
"Just because I suck doesn't mean my bike has to" -rickn 9/2/08
Last edited by: brandonecpt: Jan 29, 08 18:43
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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The show is put together and produced so that people can have astounding results.

1500 cals a day in food is not equal across the board. They have nutritionally optimized meals so that the contestants aren't eating a trash diet. Considering where these people are coming from, and how badly their bodies are looking for better nutrition and exercise, it's not that surprising that the accompanying effect of having an insulin balanced life results is rapid weight loss (at first).
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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Oh man, that one dude GAINED weight. Losing less than 4-5 lbs when on the show would be tough to take...but GAINING??? Ouch.

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"Lemond is cycling's version of Rev Jessie Jackson." -johnnyperu 5/18/07
"Just because I suck doesn't mean my bike has to" -rickn 9/2/08
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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How the hell is it even possible to lose 13 pounds in one week?

Flax Seed!

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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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Also remember that obease people carry alot more water than a fit person so some (not all) of that weight is going to be water getting wrung out of their tissues. Heck if you go in weighing 400lbs you only have to lose 3% of body mass to get 12lbs, and 3% fluids is what is considered to deydrate a fit person.

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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [brandonecpt] [ In reply to ]
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Pretty amazing. I felt terrible for him and his ex-wife. I love Trent and his teammate, the other guy from Alabama. I have a soft spot for former SEC athletes.
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Watching the Biggest Loser show tonight (yea, I know)...

Suppose a contentant's base metabolic rate is 3000 calories per day. Suppose they burn an additional 2000 calories per day exercising. And suppose they eat absolutely nothing for an entire week. That amounts to a caloric deficit of 35,000 calories per week - which should result in a weight loss of about 10 pounds.

assuming they eat... absolutely nothing...

How the hell is it even possible to lose 13 pounds in one week?

What should be even more intriguing is that there is very little chance any of those poeple can exercise as intensely for long enough to burn 2000cal/d. They simply wouldn't have the aerobic capacity for it. Also, 35,000 cal deficit would probably not quite reach 10lb weight loss. We're obviously not talking about fat being the only weight loss here, as well as fat not being the only fuel used when they exercise.

When people do this kind of thing, they lose all fuel stores (carbs, fat), the stuff assocaited with storage (water, and some other things), and probably some lean tissue. Not to mention some of them probably have a handful of turds the size of your forearm sitting in the pipes that don't get replaced on the zero food diet...... Probably more weight lost there than genuine fat loss.
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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I hate the method they use on that show (i.e., weight only). I realize this would be a lot harder to measure, but, they should go by body fat percentage. Weight alone simply is not an accurate measure of fitness.

Plus, I do not understand why the guy trainer (sorry, do not know his name) does so much weight training in his final workout. Why not do all cardio and try to drop as much water weight as possible?

Finally, has a woman ever won? Seems like, using weight alone, the guys have a huge advantage, given that they usually weight quite a bit more.

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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they have to eat something to keep the ol metabolism rolling. I suspect weight potentially rolls off in larger quantities for 300lb peeps. Water, whatever weight. How about the guy that gained 3 lbs.?

Let us not forget these people are essentially professional weight losers. It's their job while they are there. Seems a little screwey to be adding weight. Sneaking out for a late night KFC run?
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [JSA] [ In reply to ]
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"I hate the method they use on that show (i.e., weight only)"
Not a fan either, but it makes it easier for Americans to level with the players.

"
Weight alone simply is not an accurate measure of fitness"
Not only is it not accurate, it's not a measurement of "fitness" at all. But then again, this show isn't about "fitness", it's about "weight loss"

"
Finally, has a woman ever won? Seems like, using weight alone, the guys have a huge advantage, given that they usually weight quite a bit more"
It's done on a % of weight loss vs. previous week. Yes, men would lose more pounds, but not necessarily a larger % based on their total weight.


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"Lemond is cycling's version of Rev Jessie Jackson." -johnnyperu 5/18/07
"Just because I suck doesn't mean my bike has to" -rickn 9/2/08
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
How the hell is it even possible to lose 13 pounds in one week?


Do the calculations all over again with a week being 10 days.

That's how the show does it. It's a 10 day week.

Sometimes it's shortened to 9 and 8 days towards the end 6.

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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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I love this show. I wonder if they would do even better in if they just walked/ran/cycled for 4-5 hours a day at lower intensities, then did a little bit of weight training? Seems that some of the high intensity stuff is not a good idea and will wear them out before they can burn enough calories.

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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [BIGZACH] [ In reply to ]
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I've wondered that was well. But, that wouldn't be very interesting to watch! A group of people riding bikes with their HR around 130....for 6 hours....

I'd think tossing in some weight training between bouts of cardio work like you suggest would be a good way to break the monotony of the cardio, make for some good tv, and lead to some pretty staggering weight loss results...

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"Lemond is cycling's version of Rev Jessie Jackson." -johnnyperu 5/18/07
"Just because I suck doesn't mean my bike has to" -rickn 9/2/08
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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It does sound difficult and not reality but you are looking at it from the perspective of someone at a much different fitness level then they are at. I topped out at 318 lbs about 5 or 6 years ago before I came to my senses and got back into shape (I was in great shape, and then took a 4 or 5 year vacation from working out and eating sensibly and put on a 100 or so lbs). I lost a little over 100 lbs in a 12 month period to get back to my current weight and haven't fluctuated much in 4 years. But for the first 5 or 6 months it came off much quicker then later on, not because I wasn't as disciplined or working out as much. For the first month or two I was dropping a pound a day or more. The way I did it was I just watched what I ate and consumed maybe 1800 calories a day. No fried foods and minimized sugar. But I exercised a LOT. I had to start out doing a walk/run because I couldn't run more then a few blocks without stopping. But when you weigh over 300 lbs and are incredibly out of shape, and do even a walk/run for an hour you burn a tremendous amount of calories. If you look at it from a perspective of being in very good shape, running for an hour at a good pace might burn 600 or 700 calories. I am sure I was burning over double that back then because I had to work that much harder. Now if I want to drop a few lbs it is incredibly difficult but I don't have much to lose. It is a bit ironic actually that 6 years ago I couldn't run more then a block or two without feeling like I was going to die, but I could drop 30 lbs in a month without much difficulty. Fast forward 6 years, about 110 lbs, and multiple Ironmans later, and it is damn difficult for me to lost 5 lbs in a 6 week period. Go figure.
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [brandonecpt] [ In reply to ]
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Yea...just bring out some cool equipment for 15 minutes every once in a while and film that for the show....like the boxing gloves, and the physio balls or whatever they are called.

Ruble Triathlon Coaching Average of 30 coached PR's per year
Florida Triathlon Camps Train in North Americas winter training destination
Ruble Racing Events Midwest Triathlon Racing
Ruble Timing Midwest Event Timing
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [BIGZACH] [ In reply to ]
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That's what I'm sayin'!

Maybe I should be a producer! We could make some good TV with some even bigger weight loss numbers!

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"Lemond is cycling's version of Rev Jessie Jackson." -johnnyperu 5/18/07
"Just because I suck doesn't mean my bike has to" -rickn 9/2/08
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [brandonecpt] [ In reply to ]
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Right, I understand that it is % weight loss rather than total number of pounds, but, weight loss, by itself, is not a good measure. I still think it should be body fat percentage, but, agree that the average American can grasp lost pounds better than body fat percentage.

I do not know enough about weight loss to be able to intelligently argue why this is true, but, I suspect that a woman will never win this competition based on the currently formula using % weight loss.

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Iron Buckeye] [ In reply to ]
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Water. The first thing that happens if you put somebody on a semi-starvation diet is they pee all day for a few days. Some seminal work was done in the early '40s in anticipation of the liberation of what was expected to be a starved European population. Army volunteers were starved and observed.

I do the occasional cycle on a ketogenic diet. I always drop 5-6 pounds in the first week. My pants get baggy. And I haven't even cut total calories. Then it stabilizes and the weight only begins to fall if I run a calorie deficit.
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [Ashburn] [ In reply to ]
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Let's suppose the differnce between the first and second weighings is due to water loss. How do they keep up the weight loss past that point? Be even more dehydrated?

Week 0 - overhydrated
Week 1 - dehydrated
Week 2 - dehydrated
Week 3 - dehydrated
Etc.
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [The Cricket] [ In reply to ]
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What I find interesting about this show is that they have the huge weight loss (regardless of how long it takes to do it) but they donít get all the droopy skin like most people. Most people dropping that sort of lbs end up under the knife to have the extra skin cut off. These people donít. Maybe its all the weights.
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [cooterbob] [ In reply to ]
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My guess is that there is plenty of loose skin being removed after the show is taped. When they weigh-in, there is A LOT of loose skin, I doubt it's THAT elastic. But with enough time, it should come back a little....but I doubt it's elastic enough to recover from being stretched around a 350+ lb individual and then later fit a 175 lb guy...

--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Lemond is cycling's version of Rev Jessie Jackson." -johnnyperu 5/18/07
"Just because I suck doesn't mean my bike has to" -rickn 9/2/08
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [cooterbob] [ In reply to ]
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>but they donít get all the droopy skin like most people. <<

No, they do. Past contestants have discussed this and I think some have had it surgically removed after they were finished with the obligations of the show.

clm

clm
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https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [brandonecpt] [ In reply to ]
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>>
"Finally, has a woman ever won? Seems like, using weight alone, the guys have a huge advantage, given that they usually weight quite a bit more"
It's done on a % of weight loss vs. previous week. Yes, men would lose more pounds, but not necessarily a larger % based on their total weight. <<

No a woman has not won.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: "Biggest Loser" Mathematics [The Cricket] [ In reply to ]
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losing water doesn't = dehydration. the water is lost due to shifting from lypogenesis to lypolysis
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