Weight Loss Support - Husband/Wife Weight Loss Contest Ideas

03-24-2008, 12:07 PM
My wife and I both want to lose weight. Has anyone here done like a contest with your spouse to see who could lose the most (%) weight in a given period of time? How did it work? How long did you do it? What kind of prizes/rewards, if any, did you use? Was it competitive enough to help you both lose the weight? (But yet not get on each other nerves? LOL)

Any information/ideas would be appreciated.


03-24-2008, 12:15 PM
Hey Brian! While doing it together is great, because each one supports the other, women are disadvantaged when it comes to weight loss...men lose more quickly. I'm not certain, but if memory serves, women's metabolisms run slower, and we have hormones that work to keep our fat levels higher, to support a (eta) potential pregnancy.

A competition would still be do-able, but you would have to work out some sort of proportional credit for weight loss, pound for pound would not be fair. I have never 'competed' against a man for weight loss, so this is as much help as I can give...I'm sure others will turn up quickly to give you further input.:)


03-24-2008, 12:15 PM
Hi there Brian & :wel3fc:

I think that supporting eachother on the way to being healthier is fantastic. I'd first caution that the "contest" should be kept lighthearted if you plan on going through with it. After all, you don't want either one of you to feel as though you've failed if they happen to lose a little less weight than the other.

Maybe you could both set up mini-goals, and reward eachother for every time you succeed at one. Like every time one of you loses 1% body fat, the other buys them a small gift, or does something for them. (Massages anyone?) But, this way you both are winning as you go down! (Instead of one "winning" and the other "losing".)

You & your wife should definitely stick around 3FC and post where you're comfortable. I'm sure plenty of others will have ideas for you :D

Best of success to you both!!!

03-24-2008, 12:16 PM
my husband and i support each other as we are both wanting to lose weight and we work out together. as far as a contest with each other NO we dont do that. typically men lose weight faster than women and in our case he has more to lose so he will have bigger losses than me , if we were competing that would just frustrate me and it would be no good. we just give each other support and praise! good luck to you and your wife!

03-24-2008, 12:17 PM
I will not diet in a contest with my hubby. NO matter how well I do he always looses weight faster.Men tend to lose faster and its not fair and maybe discouraging to your wife. try to just start healthy eating habit and exercise together.

03-24-2008, 01:16 PM
Since you can't really control the scale, maybe you could structure your contest around things you can control? Most steps on a pedometer in a week?

03-24-2008, 05:17 PM
Sorry I would have to agree with the rest. Over Xmas I took a photo of my hubby and that was when he decided to lose weight, he is on no diet in particular just watching what he eats, and going for a brisk walk on most mornings. And Dam!!!!! he has lost just over 10kg in about 6 weeks. While I on the other hand have been watching what I eat going to the gym and have not moved a lb since before Xmas. Just the way it goes I guess.We don't even work out together he does his thing and I do mine. But we are here to tell each other how well we are doing, and maybe between home, work etc, go out for nice long walks together. A nice reward for both of you at the end of the month sounds good.
(Massages anyone?)
good luck to both of you stick around:hug:

charisma classic
03-24-2008, 05:31 PM
I second (third?) the notion that it's not a great idea to pit you against each other. My boyfriend and I are both dieting right now, both counting calories and eating mostly the same things... and he's lost twice as much weight, even though I exercise twice as much. I laughingly tell myself it's because he has twice as much to lose... but in a contest that wouldn't help much. Really, giving each other a high five at out beginning of the week weigh-ins on Sunday is a great motivation, as is knowing he is in this with me. It's so good to have someone else in the same house going through it with me - it means no junk food wanders in!

03-24-2008, 06:00 PM
I'm going to (shockingly enough) agree with everyone else, and not only because you're male and will have a major advantage over her, even looking at percentage of weight lost, because your hormones support your efforts more than her hormones support hers. Weight Is Sensitive, and it can be really destructive to be competing on something that sensitive...lots of hurt feelings, even unintentionally. Sometimes, you can do EVERYTHING right and not lose anything. You shouldn't "lose" based on that.

What if you did something with days on plan, or some sort of goal...like a sticker chart (don't laugh! I have one...they aren't just for kids). If you're both SUPER competitive and think it would be fun, you could do a race to see who can get to a certain number of stickers first. Middle of the road, you have individual rewards that you get at certain numbers of stickers (10 stickers - new song for iPod, etc).

But I think the best solution for actually SUPPORTING eachother (rather than competing) would be to get group rewards for totals. So, between the two of you, if you get 40 stickers, you get to do something cool together. That way, you'd want to encourage eachother to eat well and work out, because you both will benefit (unlike a competition, where you'd technically be motivated to NOT support the other person, so you'd be more likely to win)

03-24-2008, 10:39 PM
Since you can't really control the scale, maybe you could structure your contest around things you can control? Most steps on a pedometer in a week?

Combine this with mandalinn82's sticker idea and you have yourself a fun, healthy, and motivating competition without worrying about the loss of pounds. You could do sticker categories for the following:

1. Steps on the pedometer, as Glory87 suggested
2. weight training
3. cardio training
4. sticking to calories allowed for the day to help with weight loss
5. got in all your fruits and veggies for the day
6. water drinking
7. stayed within your carbohydrates amount allowed for the day
8. ate enough protein
9. tracked all of your food for the day on FitDay or some other online blog

There's so many ways to motivate each other and compete with one another that doesn't have to make one or the other feel intimidated by the other person's weight loss. Good luck!

03-24-2008, 10:50 PM
I whole-heartedly support the idea of losing weight together. Between DH and I we have lost over 120 lbs. However, I am going to agree with the others. I don't think a contest is the way to go. Competing with your spouse isn't smart for most couples. Others have listed some goals that you can accomplish together. A much healthier approach.

Your spouse as a weight-loss buddy is a very special thing. Cherish it, enjoy it, encourage each other and pick each other up when you fall. It really is a wonderful way to lose weight and change your lifestyle :)

I can't imagine this journey without the help and support of DH.

03-25-2008, 04:07 PM
My husband and I joined TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) together several months ago. Like many TOPS chapters ours runs contests and games, so there is a small component of competitiveness, but it doesn't set my husband and I against each other. For example, in our chapter at weekly weigh-in, if we gain we put a dime (or double after holidays) for every pound gained in a small basket. The biggest loser for the week takes home all the change in the basket. My husband does get to claim that prize more often than most, but he's only once been biggest loser two weeks in a row.

I also do the "sticker chart" thing, and have set small rewards for each "row" of 5 stickers (5 lbs). It seems silly, but I write down a small reward, and once I write it down I don't allow myself to buy or indulge in that reward until I lose those 5 lbs. The rewards are tiny like a paperback book, a magazine, etc and every 4th reward (20 lbs) is something bigger. My husband doesn't do this for himself, though I suggested it, but he is very supportive of my reward system and encourages me in it.

03-26-2008, 02:56 AM
I'm all about sticker charts, and though I've never competed with DH, I have competed with a roommate. One sticker a day for (each) cardio, eatign right, weight, stretching, and then a bonus for anything else. (walkign somewhere instead of driving, etc. ) What you do you can control, what you lose... not always. This is a concrete and even playing field, and it worked out well for us. Loser has to cook dinner for a week. Winner gets a massage or breakfast in bed. Winner picks a fun outside activity. Etc, etc.

03-26-2008, 01:29 PM
I agree with everyone else that it is a bad idea to do weight-based contests. My hubby and I tried a competition fairly recently (the prize being unmentionable ;) ) and it was a disaster. He lost weight a lot more quickly and it actually was counter-productive to my weightloss because it made be feel crappy, like I was doomed to lose because he was losing at a quicker rate. I gave up not too long after that, I don't know if it had to do with the contest or just because of other things. I did learn my lesson about those contests though. I love the non-weight contest ideas. Now, my hubby and I are still weightloss buddies but it feels more like we are working as a team rather than two separate teams.

03-31-2008, 01:00 PM
I'm going to be the lone dissenter in the group.

I saw this thread last week, but I didn't read it. Then this weekend my husband popped up with wanting to lose weight. Knowing how a little competition motivates me, and knowing how a little cash motivates him, we made a small bet.

We haven't quite decided if we're going to go on the largest number of pounds lost, the % of body weight, or some other benchmark.

The way I see it, even if we only each lose a couple of pounds, we're both going to be winners. Wish me luck!

03-31-2008, 01:41 PM
I do wish luck to both of you. I think there are circumstances where competition can work for a couple, but I think those circumstances are rare. If you can find a fair way to compete in which neither of you has an unfair advantage. If you are motivated by competition, and yet not likely to resent losing (even after many consecutive losses). If you're not tempted to do stupid stuff to "win." If neither of you tend to gloat when you win, or sulk when you lose (not even the tiniest bit).

Not to be a partypooper, but I've noticed that most people who think it's a good idea haven't tried it yet. I know my husband and I learned the hard way. Shortly after we married, we tried the competition route for cash and "other prizes." We both had similar starting weights, and similar amounts of weight to lose. I had dieted all of my life, this was his first diet. The first week I won, he was happy for me, and we were off to a great start. Soon though he started winning every week. At first, it was fine with me. We were both losing after all, and so it didn't really matter all that much, but he started to get a little arrogant about it (or so it seemed to me) and started giving me "pointers," most of which were stupid and didn't apply to me (or so it seemed to me). I stopped congratulating him on his wins, and he stopped giving me the pep talks when I lost. It stopped being fun for us, and unfortunately when we gave up the competition, we also gave up the diet and exercise. The competition had so ruined it for us, that we couldn't even get our heart into continuing. We "patched up" our hurts with trips out to eat.

Indirect competition seems to work a little better for us. Technically, we are both competing every week for "biggest loser" title at TOPS, but we feel more like a team than individual competitors, so if either of us win, we are very happy. Something that helped, I think was that I made a little crocheted pig change purse (it's very "masculine" cute, a wild boar with tusks) that hubby keeps on our dashboard. When either of us win biggest loser, we put the change we've won (anywhere from a single dime to a few dollars at a time) into the pig. I've won three times in the last six months. He's won alot more often. But pooling our winnings gives us a shared purpose that minimizes the bad part of competition. We're both proud that our little pig is getting fatter as we get thinner.

I recently "won" my MP3 player that I had set as my reward for my 45 lb loss. There really wasn't money in the budget for it, however, because of our trip to Illinois to visit my family. While in Illinois, my husband took me second hand shopping, and was excited to find an MP3 player for me, for only $35 (I didn't know what he had in mind until he found it, I thought he was looking for video games).

I'm trying to get him to set some rewards for himself too, but so far a tattoo at goal weight is the only thing he's mentioned.

05-02-2008, 11:59 AM
I won! I won! photocopied a $50 and posted it here at work (my toruble spot). Kept me on track and motivated. Not a huge weight loss--three pounds at final weigh in; five pounds at some point during the month. My husband didn't do so well with his weight loss, but he got motivated enough to join the local gym.

I'm going to be the lone dissenter in the group.

I saw this thread last week, but I didn't read it. Then this weekend my husband popped up with wanting to lose weight. Knowing how a little competition motivates me, and knowing how a little cash motivates him, we made a small bet.

We haven't quite decided if we're going to go on the largest number of pounds lost, the % of body weight, or some other benchmark.

The way I see it, even if we only each lose a couple of pounds, we're both going to be winners. Wish me luck!

05-02-2008, 12:38 PM
Yay! :cheer2: :cheer2: Good for you both!