I promised to focus on the teenagers in "The Biggest Loser" and not worry about the whining and screaming from the adults. This week, the teenagers didn't do much (and we'll hear from them later), but the show actually tried to help the adults on food and nutrition. Consider me floored.
The adults had to shop at a grocery store to feed themselves for the week. Each team got a budget of $10 per day per person.
"$10 a day per person? I can't eat lunch on $10 a day. How am I going to eat three meals a day on $10?" Joe said.
Alex noted, "I'm a fast food junkie. It's so much easier and convenient to run to, you know, a fast food place and grab something for $5."
So many people perceive that $5 is cheap from a fast food restaurant, but $5 in a grocery store feels expensive. These contestants, some of whom admit to not enjoying grocery shopping, learned first-hand on television that shopping smart at the grocery store saves money.
The teams had to get in at the budget with only 15 minutes to shop. The Blue team had 5 people for $350; Red had 4 people/$280; but Danni is the only person on the White team, so she had $70. The dynamic of buying in bulk would prove to be an advantage for multiple people (i.e., families in real life). The two multiple-contestant teams came really close to their budget. Danni actually fell way under at $61.31; if anything, she might have gone a little hungry.
"I'm shocked with how much I bought for $61. I have food for the whole week plus snacks. That's less than $10 a day," said Danni.
Yes, even at less than $9/day, one person would do just fine. Ask the average fast-food junkie who eats out twice a day, likely for about $10 just for two poorly sourced meals.
"I went into this challenge thinking, you know what, eating healthy is pretty expensive, it's pretty hard. But actually, I changed my mind about that," Michael said.
Let's hope the viewers agree with you.
Turns out "The Biggest Loser" has a resident chef — Devin Alexander. She showed the contestants how to make a Southwest loaded sweet potato. Essentially, this was nachos minus the corn chips but with a healthier cooked sweet potato.
Alexander topped the sweet potato with red salsa, turkey, green salsa, and then topped with Greek yogurt, a "great substitute for sour cream."
This was a rather decent suggestion. Even using healthy salsa and low-fat turkey in a dish was helpful.
Alexander came back later in the show to help parents at a high school in Cleveland figure out a smart way to get protein for breakfast. She taught them how to make a breakfast pizza. Just so everyone was clear on the real reason Alexander was there, the segment became a in-show commercial for Jennie-O turkey products.
Alexander pumped up the turkey sausage and turkey bacon. This was bad enough, but one of the mothers was singing the praises of Jennie-O. The people normally on TV know they're doing a commercial; this mother should have been paid as if she was doing a commercial (more than scale, in other words).
The teenagers on "The Biggest Loser" are supposed to be worried about screens. TV and video games are a great concern to obese teenagers, so screens are a problem. So how did the trainers interact with the teenagers this week? Screens.
The trainers talked with the kids via Skype. We found out that Lindsay is working out at a gymnastics center, perfect for her cheerleading dream. Biingo hadn't built on his baseball momentum.
The theme this week was having the kids work out via the Skype screen, so the trainers can see them move. The teenagers can't be on the ranch, so there is only so much the trainers can do.
The teens have seen the "junk" that should be thrown out; they could use a nutrition exercise as well as a visit from Alexander.
Lindsay's enthusiasm has been strong; her focus is on the cheerleading. Whatever you might think about cheerleading, she is driven. Biingo may be doing fewer video games, and his injured foot isn't helping him, but he needs to keep his baseball focus.
Still, those two kids have a focus. Sunny still goes on about fitting in the perfect prom dress. She doesn't have the physical focus of the other two teenagers.
Jillian had Sunny running in place during the Skype call. Dolvett had Lindsay doing pushups.
Overall, this was a very slow week for the teenagers.