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Tom’s Fitness and Paris Martial Arts

Biggest Loser 2 (Week One)

Posted: October 12, 2007

It was an exciting first week for our “Biggest Loser 2” competitors. The main priority was to get them all moving, and move they did—twice a day, morning and evening.

We asked everyone to at least walk a mile every morning. This takes just 20 minutes for most people. If they wanted to do more, they could. The purpose of this was to get their metabolism going, and start them burning more calories throughout the day.

They also used the 13 station strength circuit three evenings a week (Mon, Wed, Fri), and did a more rigorous cardio workout on the other evenings (Tue, Thur, Sat). The differences were pretty amazing, even after just one week.

After the weigh-in, we had our first boot camp workout (ask any of them—this one’s a killer). The purpose of that is to burn a bunch of calories (keeping them moving), and to teach them they’re capable of doing much more than they ever imagined.

The mistake people make is getting settled into a routine and never change it up. If your body can already do it, though, there’s no reason for it to change. If you want to lose a lot of weight, you need to keep it changing.

Next week, they’ll do the same strength circuit, but instead of normal repetitions, they’ll be doing very slow ones (5 count up, 5 count down). This makes it more difficult, and will work their muscles more.

More muscle means a faster metabolism. Muscle needs a lot more energy to operate than fat does. If you look at a muscle cell under a microscope, you’ll see all kinds of things—it’s like a little engine. Fat cells have a simple blood supply (to get the fat in and out). Muscle is what moves you around. Fat basically just goes along for the ride.

So, if we can get more muscle on these contestants, it will make them much more efficient fat burners, not to mention all the calories burned along the way. Remember, a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. If the contestants can burn 500 calories a day through exercise, in a week’s time they’ll burn off a pound of fat!

Now that we have them moving, next week the goal is to get them thinking about what they eat. They’ll have to fill out a homework assignment about why they want to lose weight, and also start a daily calorie log.

The bottom line (which really affects our bottom), is if you don’t know exactly how much you’re eating, you’re really guessing, and guessing makes you fat. You’ll guess high and eat too much (getting fat), or guess low and eat too little, causing your metabolism to slow down (ironically, this too can make you fat).

The only way to really know is to write everything down for a couple days to see. Once you understand how much you’re really eating, and how much you should be eating, you’ll be able to start controlling your portions—and that’s how you really lose weight.

Then of course, it comes down to the quality of what you’re eating, but I’ll talk more about that next time. Right now, let’s meet the people who stood out this week.

Tony Peel was the Biggest Loser, losing a whopping 8.4 lbs. Tony’s a correctional officer up in Danville and he went a long way to correcting his own problems. 8.4 pounds is amazing, and he served notice that he’s going to be a serious contender for the $500 prize.

Tony’s 8.4 pounds, however, were followed closely by Steve Johnson (7.6 lbs) and Marvin Hooper (7.0 lbs). The gals weren’t to be denied, though, because Shirley Fiscus lost 6.5 lbs, followed by Dawn Stewart (6.0 lbs), Susan Hooper (5.6 lbs) and Deanna Mason (4.2 lbs).

We’ll see how they do next week. Early weight loss is often water weight and muscle. As weight comes off, we hope to see a corresponding reduction in measured body fat.

A good example is last year’s winner and this week’s runner up, Steve Johnson. While he lost 7.6 pounds, he also lowered his body fat from 36.4% to 33.1%, which indicates that all of his weight loss came from fat. The next few weeks should tell the tale for the others.