Linda Melone, CSCS, is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and certified personal trainer based in Orange County, CA. If you've ever struggled to fit into your skinny jeans, you know the frustration of shedding those last five pounds. It's also not a competition show, so you don't have someone going home every week, says Powell.
Participants are offered therapy throughout the process to help them get to the core issues that caused them to gain the weight in the first place.
Tune in to the show to watch as Powell helps each person go through his or her own personal challenges to become healthier and fitter over 365 days. The "extreme" in this summer's new reality TV show "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" doesn't necessarily refer to the tactics used by personal trainer Chris Powell.
The eight contestants who will be the stars of the show were all turned away from another ABC weight loss show, "The Biggest Loser," because the intense workouts might have been a health concern.
While these particpants may have the most weight to lose of any reality TV makeover, the approach taken by "Extreme Makeover" may be the healthiest, most doctor-approved approach yet.
When you're tipping the scales at nearly 500 pounds, losing weight can be a matter of life or death, but so can extreme dieting or exercise, especially for those who suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease.
The "Biggest Loser" approach, with intense calorie-restriction and a competitive environment, "is not the way I would have most people lose weight," says Dr.
The Institute offers an immersive weight-loss program that focuses on moderate, easier-to-maintain dieting, with a vigorous exercise program that can be gradually tapered down as the person reaches their ideal weight, Schaak says.
This is the basic approach taken on the show, on which eight participants lose a total of 2,600 pounds over the course of a year under the guidance of their "650-Pound Virgin" trainer, Chris Powell.
Make no mistake, the makeovers were dramatic, with some contestants losing "north of 150 pounds in the first 90 days," says the executive producer of the show, JD Roth. Indeed, the emotional ramifications of major weight loss often take longer to cope with than the weight loss itself, doctors note.
Sometimes, the person the weight-shedder becomes is not who loved ones are used to, says Dr.
By focusing in on one person's full journey each episode, documentary style, "Extreme Makeover" will attempt to capture the full journey through weight loss, not just the high-intensity, boot-camp aspect of it.
I guess it only makes sense that, in our increasingly jumbo-sized society, someone would find a way to make extreme weight loss TV show fodder. While assuring Powell that hea€™s working hard and eating right, a video camera installed in the basement workout room Powell built for Wally suggests otherwise.
Maybe for a minute, or at least long enough for Powell to get back on a plane and out of sight. The End Result:A Whata€™s surprising is that this show doesna€™t find more Wallys, truth told. Another odd thing is when contestants are recruited to plug some item or another (dessert-flavored gum comes to mind).


And yet I still cana€™t get past the game play, the scheming, the hypocrisy of a show that pushes redemption and exploitation in equal amounts. The one-hour series documents the amazing makeover of eight courageous "super-obese" people (defined as those who exceed their ideal weight by 225 percent) who attempt to safely lose half of their body weight in 365 days. In addition, participants do not have a refrigerator full of nutritionally sound food set up to help them.
People need to address their social and environment triggers before the exercise and nutrition aspects can fall into place, says Powell, the trainer. But the fact that makeovers take place over the course of an entire year in the contestants homes, with participants often fending for themselves for weeks at a time, makes this kind of reality weight-loss makeover more likely to stick, says Dr. At the end, wea€™re treated to a satisfying reveal (hopefully), lots of hugging and some slo-mo video set to heartwarming music.
When Powell finally meets with Wally to reward him for meeting his initial weight loss goal (a family trip to Disneyland), he can tell without having to whip out the freight scale that Wally hasna€™t hit his latest weight loss goal.
A While the result is just as addictive as a€?Extremea€? (maybe not as addictive as fries, but close), ita€™s also more than a bit unsettling. But this time theya€™re not just battling against fat; theya€™re battling against each other.
In this extremely weird part of the game, the players are invited to a dinner where they must pick the most caloric things on the menu and consume them in their entirety a€“ and whoever eats the most calories, instead of being beaten about the head, is presented with a reward. They share their a€?discoverya€? with their teammates while conveniently handing out packets of freebies, and everyone nods seriously, as if this isna€™t a purely planned infomercial right in the middle of the program. The show drags out the weigh-ins interminably, until wea€™re on the edge of our seats, rooting for 290 instead of 300. They're trying to accomplish this transformation at home in the environment that got them in trouble in the first place, says Roth. Keith Ayoob, associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
When people lose significant weight through bariatric surgery, doctors have noted that there is a high divorce rate, manic episodes and even cases of hypersexuality, he says. Anyone can do calories in, calories out, but it's all the other work that needs to be done: what went wrong, who you will be in your new life. Ia€™d always thought fast food addiction was like being addicted to a TV show or expensive handbags, but Powell assures us that ita€™s not only a real thing, but as overwhelming as heroin addiction. And Powell realizes that this particular case cana€™t be treated with free workout equipment and a leafy greens.
Even if the Wallys of the world do fight the good fight and reach their goals, often bad habits return and, one by one, the pounds creep back on once the cameras leave.
If they only had to loose the most weight (or percentage of weight) to make it to the finish line, that would be fine.
Contestants cry and strategize and we find ourselves rooting for favorites, deriding others as schemers and, well, basically watching the very obese struggle to lose pounds with the same excitement we usually reserve for watching the castmates of a€?The Amazing Racea€? roll hay bales or eat smoked haddock until theya€™re sick.


Extreme care was taken to enhance all aspects of her comfort and style, while maintaining her pedigree as a true performance yacht.
The good news: You have the help of a top-notch personal trainer who moves in with you to coach you every step of the way. Trainer Chris Powell descends on one morbidly obese person in each episode, which follows their individual journey over the course of a year.
Wally is shipped off to rehab for compulsive eating, and Powell tries to take an otherwise lost episode as an opportunity to talk about compulsive eating and treatment and other stuff. But that isna€™t exactly good TV, especially for anyone scarfing down ice cream in front of the tube instead of working out.
But do we have to recruit people whoa€™ve already been forced to be weighed and parade around shirtless (or in sports bras) on national television to do the networka€™s dirty work? Anyway, Wally, as smiling and mild mannered as he is, throws a (fittingly) enormous wrench into Powella€™s feel good, take charge, anyone-can-do-it methodology.
His wife thinks hea€™s working out and shea€™s cut off his fast food budget (this is not so effective if he still has access to his bank account, dear), so he lies to her, too.
They must vote one another out, a€?Survivora€?-style, which often has more to do with sending home someone enthusiastic to shed pounds and more to do with keeping floaters to save your own skin.
Instead, while some contestants strategically throw the challenge (good idea), others may gorge themselves silly, desperately trying to convince themselves that the weight they put on will be worth it.
Roth, executive producer of the show, who explained how this show is unlike any other weight loss show. Just as we want that inner tube around our midsections to disappear, we want these jumbo-sized people to slim down. The contestants tearfully explain away their actions by insisting that, after so many years of living for other people, theya€™re finally fighting for themselves.
I don't doubt JillianA Michaels (who's leaving the show) and Bob Harper are as dedicated as they seem to be.
As much as he wants to stick around for his wife and young daughter, his inability to be scared straight doesna€™t forecast a heck of a lot of longevity for him.
I just wish, with these people battling not just to be acceptably thin but to save their own lives, it was more. Usually until they sob, at which point Powell demands, a€?WHAT IS MAKING YOU FEEL THIS WAY?a€? which is when said obese person admits theya€™ve been trying to bury some traumatic childhood incident under several hundred pounds of cheesecake and barbequed baby back ribs for years. Firstextreme weight loss originally titled extreme makeover weight loss originally titled extreme.



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