Jillian Michaels calls us out / reality TV roundup

I don’t know what it is lately, but Jillian Michaels seems to be taking over my life right now. First on Monday I watched her on the Today show, then yesterday I got a double dose of her: not only was it Biggest Loser night, but she was also the guest on the Rachael Ray Show (yes, I watch that religiously when I work from home).

On Rachael Ray, Jillian said that plateaus in weight loss are really just a figment of people’s imaginations; it’s more likely that the plateau is because they’ve been slacking and not counting calories as perfectly or pushing themselves that hard in their workouts. She went on to explain that on The Biggest Loser, there will be 15 people losing hundreds of pounds, and that usually they’ll have at most just one bad week. Jillian attributes that to the fact that on TBL, people are pushign the contestants constantly so they can’t slack.

What do you think of this idea? I’m not really sure – I’ve definitely hit plateaus where I can’t seem to drop my weight any lower, but I’m also not so good with the cheating/slacking, and her explanation might make sense for me. If I was super duper strict, it’s possible that I wouldn’t have a problem attaining my weight loss goals. But who wants to be 100% perfect all the time?

In other somewhat Jillian-related news, last night while watching TBL, they had a challenge where contestants were shown plates of Superbowl food and asked to estimate the calories in each one; the closest without going over would win. (Speaking of which, I think it should be closest without going under, because it would seem to me that it’s generally better to overestimate your calories than underestimate). Anyway, the three foods were:

1. Chicken wings with blue cheese dressing: something I never eat because I hate eating foods with bones in them. It’s one of my strange quirks – I can never seem to get the appropriate amount of meat off the bone. I always end up either leaving half the meat on there and having my eating partners ask why I didn’t like the food, or I end up gnawing away on the bone in an attempt to get the last scraps. Also, I hate blue cheese dressing.

2. A bread bowl with chili topped with sour cream: also something I never eat. The closest I come is my homemade chicken chili, which is not anything like regular chili, nutritionally.

3. A humongous bowl of seven layer dip. I’ve tried nine layer dip before, but only a few tablespoons, and it was years ago, before I started counting calories. To knock TBL a bit further, I’d just like to say that I thought this dish was ridiculous. The bowl contained enough dip for an entire party, with the point clearly being to inflate the calorie count and make the dip sound disgustingly unhealthy. Now, I know seven layer dip isn’t healthy per se, but eating a normal amount won’t kill you. If they really wanted to inflate the calories, they could have just made the platter with a single serving of the dip and plenty of chips to dip it in. I mean really, what are people going to do – dig into the bowl with a spoon?

So anyway, the point was for the contestants to guess the calories, and I decided to play along. For the wings, I estimated about a dozen wings at 80 calories each, and then 200 for the dressing, for a total of 960 calories. Correct answer: 991 calories. For the chili, I figured 450 calories for the bread bowl, 500 calories for the chili, and 200 calories for the sour cream – total of 1150 calories. Correct answer: 1165 calories. Finally, for the seven layer dip, I figured that one serving would be about 180 calories, and the bowl probably contained about 10 servings, so 1800 calories. Correct answer: 1755 calories.

Damn, I ought to be a nutritionist! I haven’t even counted calories for a few months, and as I mentioned, I never eat those foods, but I guess I’ve learned how to estimate pretty well.

One other thing I’d like to point out from TBL is one guy’s realization when he went home and tried to lose weight. He said that he thought he never had time to work out, but then he realized he used to spend 3-4 hours a day watching television. Um, exactly! I hate when people tell me they don’t have time to work out or cook and eat healthy. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it – if you’re that addicted to the boob tube, just get off your butt and try to move a little while watching! (I covered 5.8 miles on the elliptical in the first hour of TBL last night).

To close with some more reality TV tidbits (this show does not involve Jillian Michaels, though I would love to see her screaming at the idiot contestants), I’d like to take a few minutes to express my love for last week’s episode of The Bachelor, which I just finished watching. Yes, I know it’s one of the most vapid shows on television, but that’s why I love it. There’s something about drinking wine and making fun of the bimbos that always makes for a fun time :)

-The bachelor, Jason, took the girls on a group date to an art museum, where they got “busts” made… of their busts. As in, they got naked, got oiled up, put plaster of paris strips on, and made molds of their cleavage. Apparently they planned to paint them and auction them for charity. (Who will buy them, I have no idea). All the girls were like, “I’m so happy to do this romantic thing with him… I love helping people and I would do anything to help people, even if I had to stand in the streets naked!” It’s basically the lamest, most transparent excuse ever for nudity and body rubbing. The girls were all totally serious about it as an “opportunity” to “give back.” Just once, I’m dying for one of the girls to laugh and admit that this show is ridiculous.

-My favorite girl (Melissa) is unfortunate so done. She confessed to Jason that when she was 17 she had a breast reduction, and you could just see his face being like, “What? You made them smaller? Why? Why would you do that? I don’t understand!” Then he basically said as much in a confessional, because he’s not shallow or anything.

-Once all the busts were complete and displayed on pedestals in an art gallery, Jason walked around and inspected as if he were an art critic. One girl’s bust was a bit lopsided, and she was almost in tears as he (not so) subtly compared the pieces of “art.”

-Finally, let’s discuss the one-on-one date. Natalie went to Vegas for her first date with Jason… and she decided that she wants to elope. Please note that a few minutes later she was complaining that they haven’t even kissed yet… but still, she wants to elope?! Fortunately, Jason shows some semblance of a brain and kicks her to the curb at the end of the date. Not so fortunately for her, they remove the borrowed jewels from her neck as the final insult. When she leaves extremely pissed off, it’s hard to tell which she misses more, Jason or the jewels. However, she does insist that she’s constantly being stereotyped as a silly dumb blonde for her “appearance.” The appearance certainly helps, but I think there may be more to that judgment than just looks…

So there you have it. Yes, I watch reality television and enjoy it. No, I’m not fat and lazy. Funny how my little commitment to never watch television while sitting or lying down has meant that watching crappy reality TV has actually helped me stay in shape!

Comments

  1. That makes sense about cheating and stuff on a diet. If we stayed strict on a diet, maybe then we would lose weight faster, but i agree – everyone cheats on diets!!

  2. I’ve just recently gotten into watching TBL. I understand what she’s saying about plateau’s, I think that’s part of my problem is I’m not strict enough with myself. I’m working on it. At the same time, I’m not about to start carrying measuring cups and spoons and weighing and measuring every single thing I eat! That’s wayy tooo strict for me, and I DON’T want to perfect 100 % of the time which is why I give myself a ‘cheat meal’ on Sunday nights.

    PS: Thanks for the carbs tip, I’m definitely going to try to cut back on my carbs a little bit. Maybe limit them to one meal and one snack a day or something. How do you do it? Do you cut them out completely?

  3. I don’t know if I believe in plateaus either. I think our scales are just not as precise. You might lose a pound one week and a fraction of that the next. You’ll think your on a plateau because the scale didn’t move. You lost weight, just not enough for the typical scale. BL contests have a larger loss, so they go from losing 12 pounds one week to losing 3-5 for several weeks in a row. But, at least it shows on the scale.

    My feeling is that if you put in the work, it will eventually show.

  4. What did you think of their ‘healthy’ chicken wings? I didn’t really think that they were in the same spirit as normal hot wings. I mean, the kind that he made looked awesome, but I thought that they were supposed to be to replace the fried ones?

  5. Wow TBL is something i need to start viewing!!!

    Your hardcore girlie!!! Exercising at 10PM???

    WOW!!!

  6. Hahaha I LOVE your comment about chicken wings. I’m the exact same way with foods with bones. Makes it easier to pass on that junk food though!
    Nothing wrong with a small addiction to reality shows :)

  7. Hi-Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you are feeling on track with your goals! I’m not sure about Jillian’s take on the plateau business, I definitely hit plateaus, and i know that there is research out there that points to a natural weight that our body wants to be at. Either way, I try to change up my routine as much as possible so as not to get to “used” to a particular exercise. Thanks for the reality TV recap:)

  8. I agree about the plateaus only in part. I know that the reason I’m not really losing weight right now is because I am too lax about cheating on myself. However, when I was really losing weight steadily for a long time, I would hit plateaus where I’d go for several days, a week or more, without losing a pound (even though I was not slacking at all, on diet or exercise), and then drop a whole bunch of pounds at one time.

    Regarding the calorie estimates, I didn’t bother to play along on the high calorie foods, but I did on the skinny chicken skewers. I guessed that each of the 5 pieces of chicken would be about an ounce, at 40 calories an ounce (200 calories there) plus some extra for the marinade. I think the actual number was 230 or 240, so not too bad a guess on my part. And I agree with one of the other commenters, they should have made the chicken pieces more similar to hot wings. Easy enough to do a light version of “hot” chicken pieces, even with a low cal blue cheese dressing (e.g. fat free sour cream with blue cheese mashed in). Actually Ellie Krieger did that on one of her Healthy Eating episodes on the Food Network. Check it out. (I know you don’t like blue cheese, but somebody else might!)

  9. TBL is a great and inspiring show but also not very realistic, at least in my opinion. People in the real world hit plateau’s b/c they don’t have Bob and Jilian and limited access to certain foods. Plus, I don’t think you could continue to lose weight at that rate indefinitely, nor would you want to.

    Furthermore,”cheating” every once in awhile is what (in my opinion) separates healthy eaters from those with eating disorders. Too much counting and exercise at least for me, makes me a not so fun person to be around.

    WOW…didn’t mean to get all preachy there!

  10. I love The Bachelor. I’ve been watching on abc.com. Those girls are psycho..especially Shannon. I am kinda rooting for Naomi. Although, I heard a rumor at The JQ Lounge about who will win..but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

  11. I don’t know what I’d do without horrible reality shows in my life. Atleast TBL is a ‘good’ show I can feel better about!

  12. Man, you were spot on with the calorie counting! Impressive. I definitely watch a lot of bad TV but I just can’t bring myself to watch the Bachelor or any other similar dating shows. They make me cringe!

  13. Hahaha! The funniest part of the calorie estimating was how far off some of them were…I mean, I know they are people who in the real world were obviously (and admittedly) oblivious to calories, but they should have learned something in their first few weeks at the ranch! Some of them were guessing like 8,000 calories!

  14. I’m very impressed with your calorie estimation. That’s pretty darn good

  15. Interesting Jilian tidbits about weight. I have a giant theory about natural weight and getting below it and staying below it, but I wouldn’t ever call Jilian wrong. Don’t want her yelling at me. :o)

  16. I thought the same thing about the 7 layer dip! I mean, I love me some 7 layer dip, but I don’t eat the whole bowl. Plus I use chips. I thought they should have used that as a realistic serving.

    I definitely hit ‘plateaus’ because I get lazy or have some holiday/celebration going on. I don’t think I’ve ever hit one while actively trying.

  17. Normally agree with Jillian, bug I have to completely disagree with her on the plateau thing.

    Val spent 7 weeks making 0 progress. I was tracking her food (so unless she lied to me for 7 weeks about it…), she added workouts, we adjusted calories upa dnd down. Then suddenly it started moving again.

  18. http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com

    You’ll thank me later.

  19. OH, but you totally forgot the best part…the girls that DEMANDED he give them a rose! :)

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