This post will not involve lining your pockets with bricks or chugging water right before your initial weigh-in. If you are planning on doing a weight-loss challenge at work, school, gym, or just for yourself, why not try and do it right. I will also not be talking about tricks for your final weigh-in to nudge past your competition. That being said, here are a few points to have a successful and healthy weight-loss competition:
- Have fun and be a team – Even though you want to destroy Sally in HR or make Steve in Accounting cry, you will not be successful unless you and your fellow participants are working together to achieve the goal for the greater good. Some appropriate, motivating smack talk and competitive strategy is great, but if there are people lagging behind in the contest, motivating them will be beneficial for them AND for you. Leading a weight-loss charge makes a fun and exciting challenge right through the final weigh-in and beyond.
- Plan ahead – Do you have a big lunch meeting scheduled and feel obligated to eat? Plan ahead by reviewing the menus online to find an appropriate meal that fits within your diet restrictions. Will you not have time to run out for lunch tomorrow? Make sure you have a supply of healthy and readily available foods at home to bring for lunch or if you are traveling.
- Read your food label or menu – Nutritional callouts like ‘low-fat’, ‘low-carb’, or ‘cholesterol-free’ don’t necessarily mean LOW-CALORIE. Make sure you are eating the appropriate type of foods for whatever your dietary goals might be. Do a little research into the ingredients used to make your choices. Understand what a real portion size is as it relates to the ‘per serving’ ingredient and nutritional labeling. Some choices may be better than others in some circumstances, however it might not be appropriate for YOUR diet. For instance, olive oil has more health benefits compared to butter, however both are fats which contain about 9cal/gram, meaning they both have the same amount of calories, and if you are on a calorie restrictive diet, supplementation is not as good as reduction.
- Keep Eating – Metabolism is a tricky thing, however if you don’t eat enough calories, your body will shut down and you will not lose any weight. Take a look at my previous post on metabolism to understand how it works.
- You have time to work out – Anyone who says they have no time to workout is lying. In the morning before work, at lunch, right after work, while traveling, with your family or co-workers are all possible as long as you plan accordingly. When you have limited time, a quick, high intensity workout is going to separate the losers from the real-losers.
- Weight-loss diet is temporary, weight-maintain diet is permanent – There is nothing worse than losing a whole bunch of weight, only to put it back on after the competition. You have to remember that once you reach your weight-loss goals, your diet needs to evolve into a weight-maintain diet. Read my previous post about the weight-maintain diet and make sure you adjust accordingly so you don’t bounce back.
- Write it down – Keeping track of your food and beverage consumption can really put into perspective what your calorie and nutrient intake is like. Writing down meal plans, exercise schedule, or list of appropriate foods for your diet allows you to stay on track without losing focus on your goals.