Chris Powell Highlights Shocking Levels of Obesity Among Nurses on 'Extreme Weight Loss'

Extreme Weight Loss

What can you achieve in a year? In the July 23 edition of "Extreme Weight Loss," Chris Powell showed the dramatic changes possible by integrating the mind, body and spirit. At 292 pounds, registered nurse Trina hated her body and felt unable to control her emotional eating. Struggling with a mother who criticized her and a demanding job, Trina felt elated when Chris announced that he had chosen her for a year of transformation. Learn what happened in this article, including what Chris revealed about the shocking levels of obesity among nurses like Trina.

Obesity Among Nurses

When Chris first met Trina, she was with a group of other nurses. Chris asked them all to weigh in, and some of them were moved to tears as they were forced to reveal just how obese they had become. And they are not alone. ABC News reports that 55 percent of all nurses are obese. Like Trina they suffer from extreme levels of stress. Keith-Thomas Ayoob, associate professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, asserted that nurses are just as susceptible to health problems as the rest of society. "Before we were health professionals, we were real people. Just because we became health professionals doesn't mean we stopped being members of regular society with all the problems that go along with it. It illustrates that knowledge alone isn't always enough to produce behavioral changes," said Professor Ayoob.


Trina made it clear that she knew that her food choices were wrong. But her problem: Emotional eating as a result of her mother's criticism and her stress on the job. Although Chris emphasized that she was responsible for her choices, having other members of the family eating her favorite fattening foods made it difficult to her. Chris highlighted on the show just how essential it is to have a support system and asked the other members of the family to help Trina by eating those foods elsewhere.

Richard Simmons Steps In
Exercise plays a key role as well. Chris set up Trina with a program and she asked the other nurses to join her. A surprise guest to lead them: Richard Simmons, the weight loss guru. Having the support of this diet guru plus her colleagues made a difference, and Trina achieved her Phase 1 goal of losing 75 pounds. The other nurses also did well, with a group total of 133 pounds.

In addition to guidance from Chris, his wife Heidi offered her some guidance with working out. The combination of the additional professional support with fitness and the diet guidance made a difference. At her nine month milestone, Trina weighed 149 pounds!

Carb Cycling
The diet approach used by Chris on the show is called Carb Cycling. It involves alternating high carbohydrate days with low-carbohydrate days. Each day involves the following:

  • Eat five meals—no more, no less.
  • Eat a high-carb breakfast that includes both protein and carbs within 30 minutes of waking.
  • Eat your remaining 4 meals—either high-carb or low-carb, depending on the plan you’re following—every 3 hours.
  • Choose approved foods.
  • Drink a gallon of water.

Trina Wins By Losing
At the final weigh-in, both Trina and the other nurses show that the combined emotional support, exercise and dietary changes made a difference. They have all lost weight. Trina beams as the scale shows she weighs 145 pounds. She achieved her goal of safely losing half of her body weight during her year of transformation. And more than the physical change, Trina feels that her formerly unmanageable life has become her own to control and cherish.