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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: October 25, 2008

Well, it’s been a quick four weeks and we’re a third of the way through the twelve week program. That means it’s time for a look at how everyone’s doing.

We started with 53 people who’d signed up for Biggest Loser “5” and we have 47 people still on the books. Of those, 40 people made the weigh-in at the end of week four.

Of the seven who missed the weigh-in, I think a few have called it quits, but the rest are still participating. We’ll find out this week.

That’s actually a pretty good percentage at this point. Typically, we lose about a third in the first month, due to life intruding in various ways. So how is everyone doing?

I told you last week about the ladies. This week the men came roaring back with some great numbers, but two out of the top three losers still were women.

The Biggest Loser in Week Four was Shawn Bowers, our winner back in week one. Shawn lost an amazing 3.0% of his body weight and a total of 8 lbs. That brings him to a total weight loss of 18.8 lbs in the first month.

For his hard work last week, Shawn won a $20 Walmart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance. I know how hard he’s been working, because he does his group workouts with me three days a week, and is running on the other days.

Shawn’s situation actually demonstrates something I talk a lot about to the group—the need to eat enough food when you’re trying to lose weight. After having a great first week, things slacked off a little bit for him.

When people have dieted over the years, especially women, they’re often scared to eat, thinking that anything they eat will be put on as fat. Nine out of ten women I work with start out not eating enough—often as little as 1,000 calories a day—or even less!

Guys usually have the other problem, typically being over-eaters, but once in awhile, we’ll need to add calories—especially if they’re very active, like Shawn. The American College of Sports Medicine strongly recommends that women never drop below 1,200 calories and that men get at least 1,800 calories each day.

This is to ensure that they hit their minimums, and give their body enough fuel to keep things going. If we drop below our minimums, our body slows down, thinking that we’re starving, and making it very difficult to burn fat for fuel.

What we’ve found, though, is that active people need even more. Most average women need at least 1,650 calories a day to feel great and still lose weight. Men need around 2,400 calories.

Shawn’s a big boy, standing around 6’4, but was only allowing himself around 2,400 calories, which is usually correct. As active as he was, he needed to bump up the calories to around 2,700 and sure enough, his body responded, letting him burn fat for fuel.

I see it all the time, and it sounds crazy, but it’s true—eat more, and you’ll start losing weight. Now, if you’re an over-eater (most guys), you probably have to back off the calories. But for most women, and a few guys (especially active ones like Shawn), you’ve got to hit your minimum.

Second place was a two-way tie between two ladies: Shirley Fiscus and Erika Hollis. Both lost 2.1% of their body weight and 4.0 lbs. I think this is Shirley’s fourth Biggest Loser, and Erika was the winner back in Week Two. Both ladies are hard workers.

Before we go over the results for the first month, there are a couple more things to talk about. Even though it’s exciting to get those big numbers, and everybody wants them, that’s not going to happen to everyone.

There are a lot of factors that play into how quickly you can lose weight. I keep telling everyone that one pound a week is good, two pounds is great, and three or more pounds is fantastic. That means four pounds in a month is good, but even then, there are other considerations.

Everybody is different, and some people can push themselves harder. Sometimes, we just have to get you stronger first, and then you can turn it up. Plus there’s the issue of eating enough, as we looked at earlier.

Age has a lot to do with it, too, as does your current health when starting a program. The younger and healthier you are, the more you can do. Finally, the closer you are to your ideal weight, the harder it is to lose.

Here’s what I think is important. How do you feel? That’s first and foremost. Do you feel better? If you’re feeling good, you’re doing good, and weight loss will eventually come.

Next, how are your clothes fitting? People are always telling me that they’re losing inches, but it’s not showing up on the scale. That’s O.K. It will.

Then, what’s your body fat doing? If it’s going down, even though your weight isn’t changing much, that’s O.K. too. You’re burning fat, building muscle, and the scale will show it soon.

Finally, what does the scale say? If you lose just a pound a week, in a year, that’s over 50 pounds. That’s enough to change anybody’s life. Stay with it and you’ll get what you want. That said, I’m proud of everyone who’s made it this far.

1. Erika Hollis 8.6% 18.0 lbs
2. Weston Hughes 8.0% 22.9 lbs
3. Logan Graves 7.5% 23.0 lbs
4. Shawn Bowers 6.5% 18.8 lbs
5. Steve Jones 5.7% 12.8 lbs
6. Kelly Lynch 5.6% 10.0 lbs
7. Amanda Posey 5.1% 11.1 lbs
8. John Rigdon 4.9% 10.1 lbs
9. Dan Lynch 4.6% 10.9 lbs
10. Pam Ogle 4.3% 10.0 lbs
11. Shirley Fiscus 4.3% 8.6 lbs
12. Brant Walls 4.3% 11.2 lbs
13. Sue Sheeran 4.3% 9.4 lbs
14. Heidi Walls 4.1% 6.0 lbs
15. Margo Yeargin 4.1% 7.6 lbs
16. Kelli Stidham 4.0% 10.8 lbs
17. Jennifer Bowers 3.9% 8.0 lbs
18. Melissa Bradley 3.8% 8.0 lbs
19. Ellen Newlin 3.7% 7.4 lbs
20. Jean McConkey 3.5% 7.0 lbs
21. Carol Cline 3.4% 7.8 lbs
22. Teri Dennis 2.7% 6.0 lbs
23. Amy Elmore 2.7% 4.4 lbs
24. Megan Gill 2.7% 5.6 lbs
25. Cherise Murphy 2.5% 5.8 lbs
26. Renee Colvin 2.3% 4.4 lbs
27. Kevin Branson 2.2% 5.9 lbs
28. Kelly Reed 2.2% 4.0 lbs
29. Gayle Dailey 2.1% 3.0 lbs
30. Lynn Holloway 2.0% 2.8 lbs
31. Megan Sellers 1.8% 3.5 lbs
32. Stacey Reed 1.5% 2.6 lbs
33. Robert Davis 1.4% 3.8 lbs
34. Darren German 1.4% 4.0 lbs
35. Pam Kelly 1.4% 3.6 lbs
36. Doug Hasler 1.2% 2.8 lbs
37. Theresa Finley 1.0% 2.1 lbs
38. Mary Jo Becher 1.0% 1.8 lbs
39. Lavonna Davis 0.7% 1.2 lbs
40. MaryAnn Heinrich 0.5% 1.2 lbs