Thursday, April 24, 2008

You Are What You Eat

Right this second I am watching You Are What You Eat on BBC America. A nutritionist who has an appropriate personality for reality tv goes to an obese person's house. The obese person is generally obese because they eat take out for most of their meals, drink way too much, and not so much exercise. The format of the show is that the nutritionist shows them how much food they eat in a week, in an appropriately overcrowded table and everything looks disgusting and grows. There are usually close up shots of the obese person either in a bathing suit or in their skivvies. The nutritionist asks for a stool sample and usually goes over it with the person while holding a Tupperware container holding the "specimen" and in general there is berating of the obese person over the state of their sample in addition to the state of their skin and general smell of their sweat and things. She then puts them on a eight week detox diet.

I do think that the nutritionist is a bit extreme. But these people seem so dim that they probably need it. But there is a bit of an oh brother, way to be dramatic, there. But at the same time, I can't believe someone would dare to eat all of this, and I imagine that this woman and her show, dramatic or not, probably knocked some sense into these people. There is also generally a weigh in at the end of it and they've knocked of a considerable amount of weight.

But the thing that I really like about this show is that, yes, it helps to lose weight, but it focuses more on this is why you've gained all this weight, you're eating absolutely nothing that is healthy. I've read up on the nutritionist and there is some controversy over where she has gotten her training, but it seems like most of what she says is at least healthy.

When I started trying to lose weight, one of the things that helped was that I noticed that I felt better and could exercise better when I ate better. That was my main motivator. Yes, this is nothing new. All the magazines and health gurus say this. But seeing for myself the connection between eating well and feeling better in general really helped me stick to this lifestyle change. I really think that, even though the program is designed to shock both the participants and the audience, that going through why it was good to eat vegetables and fruit, and eating whole foods instead of processed, and how you eat food really does effect your overall health instead of focusing on the weight loss aspect really makes it a lot more helpful than Biggest Loser or Celebrity Fit Club.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Thanks for explaining this show--I'd heard about it but didn't really know what it was about.

Personally, I think the poo thing is really pretty weird. And while these people sound in serious need of nutrition and exercise intervention, the word "detox" always makes me suspicious. A lot of screwball nonsense seems to go along with the the whole "detox" notion.

But I agree, I think it's better that the focus is on health rather than just weight loss.

Fooled said...

I think the poo thing is pretty weird, as well. But I also think it makes for the shock factor. For the audience (who apparently jones for blurred out images of other people's poo. I could do without, personally), I guess, because out of all the things I'd like to change about myself, the consistency of my poo probably isn't on the list.

They use the word detox on the show, but it also seems after the eight weeks that the people are on the program, they are expected to follow the same sort of diet, and detox always seems like it would be a temporary thing, so I'm not sure if they are just calling it that.