ABC this week premiered a new show, My Diet is Better than Yours, that sounds a bit hokey but was fascinating viewing for me. It’s a variation of Biggest Loser on NBC.
On the ABC show, contestants get to pick a diet plan and diet plan advocate to follow and train with. The five diets all have some wacky elements to them but they’re basically about eating less processed foods and exercising more, which is really the secret to any successful weight loss.
What I found most interesting was the low self-esteem all the contestants expressed. It was really sad to hear about all these unhappy people hiding behind food. I’ve done it myself and still do it, so I understand, but it’s still sad to see it on the air.
I like some of the features of this show better than Biggest Loser. The new show has people living in their homes trying to change their everyday lives, making it much more a test of how they will change their lives longer-term once the contest is over.
Contestants also have the option of dropping a program and picking another — but only once during the competition. Is there any relationship between patience and self-esteem? This show may tell us that if we see those not dropping pounds drop their trainers instead.
The trainers, each pushing their own plan including one called the no diet plan, all are a little over-the-top, as you might expect any evangelist to be. They remind me of obnoxious neighbors who manage to give up some bad habits and then harass you for still doing it.
And host Shaun T seemed almost cartoon-like in his emotions, but he’s a weight-loss evangelist too, having lost 50 pounds at one point in his life and now a proponent of his own regimen.
“When I walked out to see the contestants for the first time, I literally almost cried because I remembered what it was like to embark on my own weight loss journey,” he blogged about the show for People magazine, which has previewed the show in a recent issue and is going to feature the winner.
Dropping pounds is hard work, dropping the amount these contestants need to lose is massively hard work. Being chipper and cheery about it seems disingenuous to me. Just get on with it and leave the platitudes at the gym door please.
That said, I’m fascinated to see how these so-called diets play out. I’ll be watching and blogging about the show regularly.