Why did Hurley never lose weight on the island, on Lost or Eli on Stargate Universe?
Showing fictional characters lose weight as a series progresses could be inspirational.
Is there a logical explanation for Hurley’s weight not dropping over the course of six years on Lost? To lose a pound of weight, you need to eat 3,500 calories less than your normal dietary intake per week, or else exercise off an extra 3,500 calories. On the island, in the first season, we heard Hurley mention that he was losing weight but that it was going to take time. At the same time, Eli was on Stargate Universe's Destiny for probably a similar time scale to that of Hurley on the island, somewhere around a few years if we take the course of events as a natural progression or passage of time. Yet Eli never lost weight either though the crew was living on basically liquid goop most of the time, their version of some sort of bland oatmeal survival ration.
We could understand these two characters seemingly not losing weight if the time period was much shorter. Let’s say Hurley weighed approximately 275 pounds and Eli approximately 250 pounds at the start of each series. If they were in their respective situations for a few months, and were losing around a pound a week, that would only amount to maybe 10 – 12 pounds, which is less than 1% of their total bulk weight. So that could go away and we’d not really notice it on camera. Plus we never saw them weighing themselves, no scales on the island, or probably on the Destiny either…
Is it just a factor of the actors portraying these roles not wanting to lose weight, or the producers not requiring them to for realism on the show? Actors are pretty adaptable human beings. Examples of those who have lost or gained a lot of weight for roles just off the top of my head are Tom Hanks and Mathew McConaughey. So I wouldn’t put it past Hugo Reyes or David Blue to be capable of losing the weight for a starring role. And we all know how unhealthy having a lot of extra weight is. It leads to heart disease and type II diabetes among other problems. So just for their own personal sake, we’d think they would have wanted to shed some pounds while filming these roles. It would have added to the realism of the shows, and improved their own health.
But then we also have the fact to consider that these actors became famous based on their current “look” on these series (among others) and that to radically change that might inhibit their future career prospects. John Candy is a good example of this. He played many jolly fat man roles in his career, and his “look” perpetuated that. It also did him in in the end with an untimely death at age 43 due to a heart attack, probably related to his excessive weight.
So I have to conclude that the reason Hurley and Eli never lost weight is that they weren’t required to, were making a good living based on their current look, and thinking short term about their future acting careers instead of long term about something much more important, their life spans. If the great actor John Candy could fall into this trap we shouldn’t expect new and upcoming actors to avoid it. And of course, its no easy task losing weight.
But if you’re trapped on an island where your diet is bananas and mangos, or on a spaceship in a far flung galaxy where you live on tan liquid goop, I would think losing weight would come naturally, effortlessly, because you’re forced to…
Maybe the best form of diet would be to create simulated environments like this for us overweight people to go live in for a extended period of time (though its not practical for most of us). Rent space on an island where you have nothing to live on but fruit and some fish and you do a lot of walking every day… Who’s going to come out of that being overweight a year later? One pound a week would be at least 50 pounds a year, and if your diet has dropped even farther calorie wise, it could easily be 100 pounds lost for the chronically obese among us. It’s a shame that our television programs don’t simulate reality at least to a degree where they can inspire such real attempts at improving our health in the world we actually live in day to day.