Fit to Fat to Fit Review
The network A&E has released a new reality show, Fit to Fat to Fit, which has people worried and a little bit upset about what they think is the promotion of yo-yo dieting.
Airing on Tuesdays at 10pm, the show centers on creating empathy between fitness trainers and their clients by having the pairs lose weight together. Of course, in the case of the trainers, this means they have to gain the weight first.
What Is Fit to Fat to Fit?
The show was inspired by Drew Manning, who has experience with this type of drastic change. The personal trainer turned author documented his own journey of gaining and then losing 75 pounds in his book Fit2Fat2Fit, which was concluded in 2014 when he revealed his new, healthy body.
Manning, who will also be hosting the show, has said that getting back in shape after gaining the 75 pounds was the hardest thing he had ever done. The trainers who participated in the show seem to agree with him after going through the ordeal themselves, though that still leaves several questions about the safety of the experiment.
The Fit to Fat to Fit Process
So, what exactly is Fit to Fat to Fit all about?
The show, which has called itself ‘the most extreme weight loss experiment ever’, starts with a personal trainer and a client. In most cases, the client feels that the personal trainer doesn’t understand the difficulties that come with weight loss.
In an effort to empathize with the client and to prove that weight loss is possible, the trainer stops working out and stops following a set diet. After four months of gaining weight, the trainer and client start to lose weight together. Ten trainers and ten of their clients will be featured on the first season of the show.
In theory, Fit to Fat to Fit sounds like the perfect idea for a show. After all, weight loss shows have been popular on television for over a decade. Finding a new way to spin the original idea by creating a stronger bond between trainer and client is a great way to boost interest in the show.
But, Fit to Fat to Fit isn’t getting the reception it hoped for, since viewers are more focused on how dangerous the experiment is for the trainers than the actual show.
Is It Safe?
It needs to be said that the weight gain and even the weight loss that takes place on Fit to Fat to Fit is monitored very closely by doctors and health professionals. So, while it’s definitely not recommended to gain 61 pounds in a month, like the trainer in the first episode, at least this group was closely supervised.
Unfortunately, not everyone can have an entire medical team at their disposal, which makes this type of yo-yo dieting dangerous. The Director of Obesity Programs, Bartolome Burguera, MD, says that the weight gain and loss presented in the show can increase the risk of hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.
A Professor of pathology at Florida International University Eneida O. Roldan agrees with Burguera’s assertions, adding that when the weight is gained by eating foods that are high in fat, which is what the trainers on the show do, it can also cause fat to build up in vital organs, including the liver. Fat heavy diets also increase LDL, or the ‘bad’, cholesterol levels in the body, which can clog arteries with plaque.
Is the Damage Permanent?
Most health professionals agree that even if relatively healthy people adopt a high fat diet and an inactive lifestyle for a short amount of time, it can lead to health issues. Thankfully, many of the problems that come with overeating and not exercising can be reversed if a person commits to the lifestyle change.
For the trainers in Fit to Fat to Fit, because they had already established long-term healthy habits, undoing the damage to their bodies is more than likely probable. As long as they go back to following a strict routine, they should be able to lose the weight, keep it off, and stay healthy. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for their clients.
The key here is that the trainers had established the habits that would keep them healthy in the future. Many of their clients didn’t have this opportunity, they were simply thrown into an exercise routine and a crash diet to quickly shed the pounds.
For those without the firm foundation of a long-term, healthy lifestyle, gaining and losing weight can become a lifelong rollercoaster. The show might have been more beneficial if it focused on making small, but continuous, changes to the clients’ lifestyle. This, combined with diet and exercise, might have presented a more valuable lesson to those involved in the show and to the viewers.