Diets, weight-loss and fitness are always at the forefront of people’s minds.
Whether it’s ‘new year, new me’, a dress that you need to fit into for a wedding, or a school reunion that you want to look good for, everybody’s got a goal in mind.
And TV programmers know how to capitalise on this, coming up with enticing-sounding shows that claim to be able to answer the deep-seated questions we all have, or provide us with some silver bullet to provide quick fixes to the weight-loss conundrum.
This needs. To. Stop.
I understand viewers’ pathological need to flick over to a show with a click bait title – a title that implies it will give us a quick-fix solution.
Everybody wants the insider knowledge, the scoop, the tips and tricks to trimming down the love handles and banishing the bingo wings.
The only problem is that almost without exception, the advice offered is vague and unhelpful, the ‘experts’ are barrel-scraping at best, and at the end of the programme you’re left with more questions than answers.
You’ll have questions like, ‘what exactly constitutes an expert?’ and ‘where have they found these mad people?’ and ‘how exactly is a four-week eating experiment supposed to provide any concrete evidence for the benefits of a given diet plan?’
What’s the point of a programme that makes a claim and then fails to fulfill it even slightly?
They delude viewers into thinking that there is one trick, tip or tactic to losing weight or getting fit – when actually I think we all know that the only ‘trick’ is consistency and perseverance.
Eat less junk, do more exercise. Results will follow.
The crux of the issue is that if there were a single trick to losing weight, one that takes minimal effort and not much time, we would probably all look like supermodels.
People are overweight because bad food is delicious, and maintaining willpower is difficult.
Programmes that experiment with fad diets and offer a conflicting melee of expert opinions just aren’t helpful. Particularly when they offer a sample size of one – one person testing a dumb diet, to ‘see if it works’.
They perpetuate the idea that if we just try eating this one food or sticking to that plan or attempting this exercise regime, we will become thin or toned.
But they miss out the most important emphasis, which is that you have to actually stick to the plan for an extended period of time, and change your bad habits for good, in order to achieve long-lasting change.
And a ‘plan’ that constitutes eating exclusively cabbage is not one that any reasonable human would be OK with.
We probably all know that there isn’t just one simple trick to getting healthy.
Yet we still watch this crap. And why?
Because we secretly love watching infuriating TV, that makes us want to yell and chuck things at the telly.