I recently took part in an experiment here at Bath University for the BBC Two show, Trust Me I’m a Doctor, presented by Michael Mosley, Chris van Tulleken, Saleyha Ahsan and surgeon Gabriel Weston.
Taking part in a television show was a complete first for me, so I had really no idea what to expect.
As it was part of an experiment here at the university, that took some of the pressure off being filmed, as I had a very clear idea of what I (and the group) was supposed to be doing, and when.
The experiment itself was a study of dieting vs. exercise, and which activity can help you lose weight quicker. It was conducted for the Department of Health and lead by the university’s own Dr Javier Gonzalez. It took place over two days, and involved a series of blood tests, fasting periods, and some track running for the group that I was part of!
Day 1 saw the entire group consume a breakfast of around 750 calories (muesli), a blood test before and after, and a simple period of rest afterwards, followed by a further blood test.
On day 2, we were split into two groups: Diet and Exercise. The diet group’s day was exactly the same as day one, only this time their breakfast had 500 calories worth of muesli removed. My group, the exercise group, were instructed to run enough laps of the running track to burn 500 calories (that was the tough part!), followed by eating the same 750 kcal breakfast.
I won’t spoil the results, so you’ll have to tune in to see – Wednesday 1st February, BBC 2 at 8pm.
At first I thought it would be quite nerve-wracking to be on film, knowing that it’s going to be viewed by potentially thousands of people, but actually that aspect of it feels so far removed at the time that I didn’t even think about it! Being filmed as part of a group also helped, not to mention the fact that the film crew was made up of only two people for the majority of the time.
It gave me a new perspective on TV shows in general and has really lead me to question the way some of my other favourite shows are filmed.
Overall, being part of BBC Trust Me I’m A Doctor was a fantastic experience that I would do again in an instant (depending on how tough the experiment is!). I was quite interested in health and well-being before taking part, but it has given me a renewed outlook on exercise and food in relation to living a healthy lifestyle.
And of course, I couldn't resist getting a shot with the man himself: