Are you still trying to REALLY COMMIT to lose weight long-term. You may need a weight loss contest to help you commit to a permanent fit and healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, a kick-start is what it takes to get you going.
Having social support is critical for long-term weight loss success. Research has long supported this fact. Long-term success includes fat loss and body transformation which will insure that your weight loss stays off. Maintaining weight loss is much tougher than just losing 20 pounds in a month or two.
Fitness bootcamps have become popular as a form of group exercise. My question to anyone thinking about participating in a bootcamp is this: What are your fitness goals? Your answer will tell me whether a bootcamp will have long-term benefit for you. What’s your plan to continue exercising and eating right after the bootcamp?
If your bootcamp experience isn’t part of a permanent commitment to a fit and healthy lifestyle, then you are not going to get the permanent fitness results you want (a lean and toned body). Permanent fitness results take longer than any 1 or 2 week bootcamp. The bootcamp will just be a quick fix for you. That sounds harsh but I see the quick fix scenario too much out there.
Online social networks are also an option and enables you to seek help for your particular weight gain situation.
So, here are 3 reasons social weight loss contests succeed:
1. Accountability – A little healthy weight loss contest never hurts a cause. Don’t forget, you must have significant fat loss for weight loss to be healthy and lasting. This requires you to lose weight the right way—no fad dieting or quick weight loss gimmicks!
Its important to keep in mind that you are trying to change your lifestyle to one of health and fitness. The weight loss contest is just one tool to help you get it done. You have to be committed for a lifetime—through the ups, downs, successes and failures.
Other good accountability partners include spouses, friends, workout buddies and co-workers.
2. Expectations – All other things being equal, people will generally live up or down to expectations. Just make sure the expectations are realistic or you will be set up to fail.
For instance, if you need to lose 100 pounds, how will you get that accomplished? Some things you may need to consider:
a. Have you really ever exercised for an extended period of time? If you have no experience to draw from, you will need to take baby steps, like starting with walking.
b. How long have you been inactive? If its been awhile since you exercised, you won’t be able to do an intense circuit training workout right away.
c. How quickly do you want to lose 100 pounds? Although you may lose pounds quickly at the beginning of your exercise program (like 10 pounds the first week), it will be tougher to burn fat and lose weight in the weeks and months ahead. For example, losing 2 pounds and burning .5% body fat will be good progress during many weeks. So, it may take a year or longer to lose 100 pounds the right way.
d. You may have health problems that slow your progress. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you will need your doctor’s clearance before beginning an exercise program. You will have to start out slower than someone who is more healthy. The good news is that these two conditions can be reversed with exercise and healthy, managed nutrition.
3. Support – Its a long, never-ending road to burning fat, losing weight, changing your body and maintaining weight. Support from someone going through the same thing is very important.
The success of online social networks, fitness bootcamps, group exercise classes and marathon training groups are more evidence of the roles that accountability, expectations and support play in people reaching goals.
Also, inform family members and friends early on what your body-changing intentions are….the more support, the better. On the opposite end, avoid people who will have a negative attitude about your weight loss intentions. There are many would-be haters out there to help you fail.
One of the best body transformation contests out there is Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle System…..check out it now!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES