Join Our Mailing List!
Latest News:
LETTER TO THE EDITOR -- "EMS Services Impacted by COVID Pandemic – Seeking Subscribers." -- 31 August 2020
‘Team Livi’ Moves Sept. 12 Spaghetti Dinner to ... -- "Adding 2nd Venue to Fulfill Young Cancer Patient's Wish Due to the high ..." -- 30 August 2020
West Newton Library Has a Lot to Offer During ... -- "With Social Distancing and stay at home mandates, now is a great time to ..." -- 30 August 2020
Monessen Veterans Banners Repaired And Reinstalled -- "The Monessen American Legion Post 28 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1190 ..." -- 30 August 2020
Peters Creek Historical Society Program Will ... -- "Large Copper Coins Used in Sweden During The 17th And 18th Century. The ..." -- 30 August 2020
Restoration of Monessen’s War Veterans Memorials -- "Restoration work has started on Monessen’s War Veterans Memorials. The ..." -- 30 August 2020
Donora Public Library Seeks Submissions for ... -- "The Donora Public Library is now accepting submissions for the next volume of ..." -- 30 August 2020
West Newton Library ‘Fill a Bag’ Book Sale in ... -- "The West Newton Library will hold a $5 “Fill a Bag” book sale on ..." -- 30 August 2020
Saint Katherine Drexel in Bentleyville Holding ... -- "The Saint Katharine Drexel Fundraising Committee is sponsoring ‘Take Out ..." -- 30 August 2020
Free Shredding Event in Pleasant Hills September ... -- "A free ‘Shredding Event’ will be held in Pleasant Hills on ..." -- 30 August 2020

Kids & Family

(BPT) - We can watch television programs, such as The Bachelor or The Real Housewives, and recognize that what we are seeing is a contrived "reality." But with programs like The Biggest Loser, Fit to Fat to Fit and Extreme Weight Loss, the lines become blurred. The contestants are losing weight, so it must be real, right?

23392873 original
TV hints aren't always the answer for overweight kids

The "real" reality of weight loss is complex and unique to each individual. And the truth is that safe and sustainable weight loss takes time. But weight loss on "reality" television would lead you to believe that losing 50 or more pounds in just a few weeks is possible.

Eliza Kingsford, a licensed psychotherapist and certified personal trainer, says this skewed perception of what constitutes "successful" weight loss isn't just wrong; it's dangerous - especially to people desperate to lose weight.

"I call it 'The Biggest Loser Effect,' this idea that unless you're losing enormous amounts of weight each week, you are failing," she says. "These programs do a disservice to the public - and especially teens - because they don't show the full story, and they foster a dangerous expectation."

Kingsford, who has worked with former weight loss reality show participants, says that behind the scenes contestants claim they sweat in saunas, exercise 6-8 hours per day and eat severely restricted diets. So while the quick and dramatic weight loss makes for entertaining television, these tactics cannot be sustained for long periods of time.

At Wellspring Camps, the nation's leading provider of health and wellness camps for children, teens, young adults and families, the popularity of extreme weight loss television has required the staff to re-educate its campers and their parents about what healthy and realistic weight loss really looks like. Kingsford, who serves as executive director, recommends keeping these three things in mind before starting a weight loss journey as a family:

Set expectations early. Gradual and steady weight loss, about two pounds per week, leads to greater success, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While it's natural for people to want to lose weight quickly, Kingsford says when you rush it, your efforts will backfire.

"The true measure of success is consistently engaging in healthy behaviors over time. This includes a diet of nutrient dense whole foods and incorporating exercise," she says. "At the very beginning, adjust your thinking that success means sticking to your daily goals for activity and behavior, not a weight goal. Over time, with consistent behavior change those numbers will add up, and you'll have made long-term, sustainable changes."

Don't compare one person to another. The biological differences in our bodies - from gender, age, height, genetics and metabolism - all play a significant role in how much weight a person will lose and the rate at which they'll lose it. That's why Kingsford says weight loss shouldn't be a competition, especially if you have children of the opposite sex trying to lose weight at the same time.

"While some people enjoy a little healthy competition, when it comes to weight loss, men and women, and boys and girls, are not on a level playing field," she says. "It's better to motivate one another through encouragement and support, not by comparing numbers on a scale."

Recognize it's a process. Kingsford says the key to losing weight is sustainability - finding activities you enjoy that also fit into your life and making healthier eating a part of your everyday routine. That's not to say there won't be a few bumps in the road.

"Habits are hard to break and, sometimes, you reach for a cookie when you know an apple is a better choice, but that's OK. Own your decisions, accept them and let them go," Kingsford says. "Make a commitment to yourself that your next decision will be in line with your goals. When you beat yourself up, it's easy to throw in the towel and undo all the hard work you've already put in, plus it doesn't get you any closer to your goals."

For additional tips and inspiration for family fitness, visit the Wellspring Camps blog or learn more about Wellspring Camps by calling (877) 796-2130.




Pizza Station


Mon Valley Hospital

  • Prev
  • Featured Advertisers
Scroll to top