What it takes to lose weight on ABC’s 'Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition'

If you're still struggling to lose 50 pounds or more, have you ever thought about being on a reality show like ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition"? The diet and fitness program is designed to help contestants lose at least half of their body weight over the course of a year. The transformation isn't one that most people can undertake on their own, which is why each contestant has celebrity trainer Chris Powell move in to their homes to provide motivation, guidance, and advice. What does it take to lose the weight on reality shows like this? How much time and energy do you need to get going on those weight loss and fitness goals on your own?

I talked to celebrity trainer Chris Powell for some tips and advice on making weight loss work - and what it really takes to shed the pounds like the contestants on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition".

Celebrity Trainer Tips for Weight Loss Success

One of the most important things contestants on the show need to remember is that they're not only working towards an outward change. For many, losing half their body weight means a total transformation from inside out. Chris explains, "Transformation begins in the mind…when the shift occurs, weight loss becomes just an afterthought. The whole process of transformation is about understanding ourselves, our behavior, and how we react to the world around us."

Setting realistic and attainable goals is also part of the process. Chris says that setting SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound - will pave the way to success with any weight-loss endeavor. He also talks about this goal-setting process in his book, Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution.

Some other tips from Chris Powell:

  • Less is more. Your body will adapt to everything you do, so start out light and progress to heavier intensity and longer duration workouts every couple of weeks. "This keeps your body changing as fast as possible," says Chris.
  • Start small. Make small changes and commitments so that you end up adopting healthier habits for a new lifestyle.
  • Reward yourself regularly. A dark chocolate square after dinner or getting your hair done after you reach a milestone are just a couple of ways to keep the momentum going.

Being an 'Extreme Makeover' Contestant

If you're determined to lose the weight for good and are brave enough to do it on a reality TV show, you can apply to be a participant for Season 3. Check out the sneak peek of Season 2 which is slated to air in May 2012. Head here to submit your application to be on "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition."

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