What does it take to lose 40 percent of your body weight? "Extreme Weight Loss" answered that question on Tuesday's premiere episode: Intense determination, a zest for Zumba dance and transformation specialist Chris Powell, whose knowledge of carb-cycling diets and weight loss workouts helped one woman achieve her goal.
The episode proved that by believing in herself - and knowing that Chris believed that she could do it - 310-pound Charita successfully completed her year-long journey of transformation and lost 150 pounds. Author of "Chris Powell's Choose More, Lose More for Life," Chris is known for his use of carb cycling diets to accelerate weight loss in his clients.
Charita began with an attitude of desperation. She wanted to dance again, but her weight and her depression were barriers to happiness and health. She asked Chris for help.
In a new twist to the show, the boot camp segment involves a longer residential element before participants work out on their own. However, Chris still checks in with them and sets phased weight loss goals. His unique approach to dieting is detailed in his book "Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution."
With a new career as a Zumba instructor, Charita also gets encouragement from celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito, author of "The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love." The food plan in the book uses a different version of carb cycling by providing more food on weekends.
Although Charita experiences periods of fatigue and frustration, she continues to triumph. At the end, standing on the scale for her final weigh-in, Charita expresses joy in both her physical and emotional health.
In contrast, the episode also featured, for the first time, a participant who withdrew from the opportunity. Ty wanted to be a professional baseball player. But he also wanted to be left alone.
At 480 pounds, Ty knew that he needed help. But he seemed mired in depression and despair. Chris and his wife Heidi Powell, who worked closely with both participants, could not persuade him to let go of his fear of change and stay with the program.
Chris talked with WetPaint Entertainment on Tuesday about his views on obesity and diet fads. Although he feels the nation is more educated overall about nutrition, Chris expressed concern about the Standard American Diet (SAD) of processed and fast foods.
"I see, by and large, America is addicted to processed foods," Chris said. What will it take to reverse the increase in obesity? "The psychological and emotional components need to be addressed in order for people to change."
Ty illustrated Chris' belief that conquering obesity requires mental changes as well as physical. "I think that if you can't take care of your head and your heart, your body's not going to follow," Chris noted.