It will be a little different than the one on TV.
We’ll start with 20 obese people who want to lose weight. We’ll take people with like 40 BMI’s; try to split it between male and female, with a wide diversity of ages.
We’ll house them for the duration of filming in a plush resort type location where they can each have their privacy and personal space.
We’ll have a staff of doctors oversee their progress with regular checkups and actual medical supervision. They’d all have weekly lipid panels and insulin tests; they will be closely monitored for HBa1c’s, uric acid level, C-reactive proteins and anything else bad that could happen.
This program won’t restrict their calories to the point of starvation (that breaks their basal metabolic rate) or force them through gulag style exercise regimes that are impossible once they’re off the show. The show won’t humiliate them or make them a circus sideshow simply because their metabolisms are out of whack. They will be respected and treated with dignity. Losing weight is hard. Putting yourself on public display while trying to do it is even harder. It’s nothing to laugh at.
Every morning, all contestants will awaken whenever their natural body clock wakes them up. There are no wanna-be drill instructors here.
The first day of the first show, their meal plan will be presented to them. Monday through Saturday, they will begin fasting with only coffee, water, broth and salt allowed for their fast. They will start small the first few weeks with 18/6 fasts, building to 24, then 48 hour fasts all building to being able to fast Monday through Saturday. If they want to try sooner, they are encouraged to do that. If they can’t even face doing a week or a few days, they are supported and encouraged to do whatever works for them. Once they hit the week fast, they can drink as much as they need to get through their fast.
Once the initial transition to a fasted state happens, everyone suddenly feels better.
On Sundays, everyone breaks whatever fast they are doing with dinner. Their food choices for the entire run of the show are foods like steaks and briskets and pulled pork and eggs and a rainbow of fresh veggies that can be sautéed in real butter. They get to share the meal with their visiting family or friends if they want. No one is isolated, no one is treated as a prisoner for the crime of being fat. After their meal, they resume fasting on Monday.
So far, sounds like the dullest possible TV show. Where’s the drama? The intrigue? The cat-fights that play so well?
They don’t exist. Everyone is expected to be as supportive and helpful to fellow contestants as possible. That’s one of the few rules besides fasting. If you can’t say something nice about someone, please don’t speak. Have as much respect for their journey as you want them to have for yours.
Ok… still kind dull. How do you fill all the extra time when you’re not filming people sitting around not eating?
Easy… the rest of the program is actually very full.
Every day, the contestants can go to meditation classes or fitness classes or tai-chi- all taught by masters who have nothing but patience, respect and love for these people who desperately want to make a change in their health.
These contestants would be pampered like they’ve never been pampered. Massages whenever they want; saunas & spas where no one is staring at them and no cameras are allowed and everyone understands what it really means to be obese.
Uh… what about the exercise portion? Wont they have to sweat off those pounds?
No. Once or twice a week or maybe even on call for whenever people want to exercise, someone like Dr. Ted Naimon or Dr. Doug McGuff show them how to use HIIT for their exercise. (Notice that almost all of our consultant’s/leaders would be MD’s and not personal trainers.) No more than 8-15 minutes of body weight fitness or some weight machines. If the contestants choose to do it… great! But there is nothing required except to fast, preferably for 6 days. No one screams at them for going too slow, no one calls them names for rolling around in exhaustion and most importantly, no one gets to laugh at fat people trying to exercise on TV.
One day a week, each person has a long session with a counselor to discuss stuff like how their weight has damaged their self image and how to repair it; they can talk about the stress and humiliation of trying to live in a skinny world where people assume they’re fat because they’re lazy or just lack the willpower to “not eat like a pig”. They can try and repair their damaged relationship with food. They can learn to accept and love themselves no matter what they weigh.
There will be weekly classes on body chemistry and the actual science of nutrition- none of that “eat less, move more” crap. Dr. Jason Fung & Meagan Ramos could lead lectures on how their bodies really work and why they’re really fat. An early lesson will be on the differences between fasting and Calorie Reduction as Prime and why one works and the other is crap. Later in the show, this portion will change to lessons on how they can keep the changes up in daily life. Lessons on cooking and shopping and on what areas of the grocery store to avoid. Special guests will give other lessons and demonstrations on how to survive in a carb filled world so contestants can keep their weight off once the show is over.
Once a week there would be a trip someplace really cool to wander around. Zoos, botanical gardens, art museums, anyplace that is relaxing and interesting where the people can just enjoy life.
And every once in a while will be a really special day… puppies visit. Pure, unconditional love will be showered upon everyone (maybe a little puppy pee too but that’ll make for good TV).
Every night, everyone sits around a large fireplace and review how their day went with emphasis on the best part of it. What did they like the best? Was it the chance to freely study whatever they wanted? The day trip to the Rose Garden? Or maybe it was the chance to take an art lesson? Puppies? Or maybe someone was really nice to them and they want to thank them. The Fire of Gratitude is where that happens.
Towards the end of the show, it will become a question of who will be the winner… wait… is there a winner? How have they been competing?
The 2nd to last week, the details of the contest are revealed. Each contestant takes a sheet of paper and writes up which contestant had the most positive influence on their experience. Was it the guy who stayed up all night listening and empathizing with their humiliation of trying to wear a swimsuit in public? Maybe it was the lady who was always so cheerful in the morning? Maybe it was the guy who helped everyone incorporate gratitude into their daily lives.
They were all in this together and together, they will decide who was the Best Loser.
The last week is the giant reveal. There has never been a weigh in all season long and there won’t be one on the finale because their weight just doesn’t matter. A brief montage goes over how each contestant’s lipids and health improved over the course of the series. How they each have better risk profiles; how they lowered their Hba1c’s to normal levels and they’ve reversed their diabetes and taken back control over their lives and health.
Over a celebration meal of more steaks, sautéed vegetables and giant salads, the contestants all talk about who got their vote. It’s nothing but praise and thanks and positivity about each other. The contestant that gets the most votes is revealed as the winner and hopefully has something nice to say about the experience. They talk about how this changed their life and their spirit. All contestants are given generous gifts of clothing and travel so they can go experience life like never before. The Best Loser is hired as motivational coach for the next season with a generous income.
The best part of this show? It will actually help people lose weight and give them the tools they need to keep it off. They won’t be treated as circus freaks sweating and starving for people’s enjoyment. It’ll rebuild their confidence, rebuild their relationships and hopefully change their life and their family’s lives for the better.
Hell, I bet we’ll even be able to have reunion shows.