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Weight Watchers: Reality Diet Shows

Bathing-suit season is fast approaching, so what’s a couch potato to do? Watch more TV, of course! Three network shows address America’s obesity problem with drastically different takes on weight.

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IF YOU WANT TO DIET, WATCH …
I Can Make You Thin (TLC)
This hour-long program features motivational speaker Paul McKenna preaching his weight-loss tenets to a live studio audience. “When you get hungry, what do you do? Eat! Then eat what you want! And eat consciously! And when you think you’re full, stop eating!” The audience yells these tips about five times per show, clapping wildly afterward. Then McKenna brings out people who’ve lost weight to tell their success stories; it’s like Richard Simmons, but without the short-shorts and Afro.


IF YOU WANT TO WORK OUT, WATCH …
The Biggest Loser (NBC)
Follow teams of obese players as they exercise with insane trainers for up to six hours a day. Contestants drop as much as seventeen pounds a week, and the pleasure of the show lies in the flashbacks to earlier episodes, when you’re abruptly reminded of what these people used to look like. After watching the group complete a triathlon of swimming, biking, and running, including climbing up 40 flights of stairs, you’ll immediately drag your own lazy butt to the gym.


IF YOU WANT TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF, WATCH …
Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp (VH1)
VH1 brings its golden washed-up-celebrity format to weight loss, and it’s not half as entertaining as Flavor Flav’s love life. The show pits two teams of D-list, chubby celebs against each other to see who can slim down the most. It can be mildly amusing (a drill sergeant screaming at a flabby Dustin Diamond) and horribly depressing (a drill sergeant screaming at a pudgy Tina Yothers). The contestants are clearly trying to lose weight so that they can get cast in something other than Celebrity Fit Club.


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