Tuesday, April 7, 2020

'The Fastest Shedder,' the reality show fighting obesity in Nigeria

Fitness trainer and healthy lifestyle enthusiast, Seyi Olusore is helping people keep fit and lose weight through his show -- the 'Fastest Shedder.'

The show, which started in 2015, is Nigeria's first weight-loss reality show and is modeled on the 'Biggest Loser' in the United States.

"I believe in working out anywhere with anything if you can afford it, some can't afford a personal trainer or you can't afford to go to all the way to the gym, you could just work out in the comfort of your home, office, anywhere. So, I just use my creativity to bring up routines," Olusore told CNN.

Rigorous training  
Olusore says he was inspired to create the show as a way to enlighten Nigerians about the benefits of practicing healthy eating habits and keeping fit.

It is a 90-day weight-loss reality show for women that incorporates physical training and healthy eating habits.

"I've realized that a lot of women, a lot of plus size women, they face body shaming. They are quick to...look down on themselves in terms of self-esteem," he said.

About two-thirds of Nigerian adults are either obese or overweight, according to a study by BMC public health,

Olusore wants to reduce these numbers.

The fastest shedder gathers 10 plus-sized women interested in losing weight and puts them through rigorous training on TV.

The winner is usually the contestant with the highest weight loss percentage after 90 days.
The show has different trainers who handle different activities that help the contestants lose weight like Zumba, aqua aerobics, cardio, yoga, and kickboxing.

After 21 days, contestants who record the lowest weight loss gains are put up for eviction. Their continued stay in the house is decided by their housemates and viewers who are able to vote online.
Past winners have won a car and a trip to Dubai.

The show, which is currently in its third season, sees the contestants take part in a 21-day detox diet and they are expected to drink at least three liters of water per day.

Like all great reality shows, it is the contestants journies that keeps the viewers coming back. Those like Yetunde Sarah who told CNN she is trying to learn to love her body after years of emotional turmoil.

"After all that I have been through in my life... emotionally, psychologically, mentally, everything. I just decided one day, and I said this is the time for me to love myself more," she told CNN.

Passion over profit

The show is something of a labor of love for Olusore, who has to sometimes dig into personal funds and rely on family and friends to bail him out to keep it running.

"We're giving them [the contestants] clothes; we're giving them the best of the best trainers... imagine having to rely on my funds that, you know, I'm supposed to take care of myself and my family, but I'm now spending, sacrificing it on the Fastest Shedder," he said.

Despite the challenges, Olusore says more than anything else, he is more passionate about helping people keep fit and eat healthily.

"It's something I just love doing, it's passion over profit. When I see persons, who couldn't fit into some clothes, fit into it... that alone gives me more joy... So it's fulfillment for me," he said.


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