Can Weight Loss Competition Encourage Lost Pounds?

The advent of high profile weight loss competition television shows, such as The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club, has caused great interest in the merits of weight loss competition in real life. Today, weight loss contests are popping up all over among groups of friends and co-workers. But is competing to lose pounds a good idea?

Great for Motivation

The truth is that competing with others can be a fantastic motivational tool. The boost of excitement and energy that comes from friendly competition can be a great atmosphere for building diet will power. But, there can be negative effects of weight loss competition.

Unsafe or Unrealistic Goals

Depending on the factors involved in the competition, participants who want to win very badly may skimp on vital nutritional needs. Taking such extreme measures may lead to unhealthily quick weight loss, which is not good. Sudden malnutrition is dangerous, and extremely fast weight loss is also less likely to be permanent. It will likely lead to rebound weight gain after the competition ends.

During periods of weight loss competition, it’s easy to forget that despite your best efforts to understand the process, weight loss is not an exact science. Body weight can fluctuate on a daily basis, and those fluctuations may be discouraging in a weight loss competition setting.

Weight Loss Should Be A Lifestyle

While weight loss competition can be effective, it’s easy to overlook the reality that lasting weight loss and health changes are more of a journey and less of a sprint. Losing weight very quickly can make it difficult to truly build the exercise habits and eating patterns that lead to a healthier life overall.

The Value of a Support System

A factor that attracts many to a weight loss competition is the support you receive as you undergo the ups and downs of weight loss with a team. For this reason, it may be helpful to simply find a good support team who would be willing to lose weight together, without resorting to a flat out competition.

A good support group will be there to help you celebrate as the scale goes down, troubleshoot and tweak if the scale moves up, and help you stay committed when the scale won’t budge.

If you do decide to embark on a weight loss competition, take an honest look at your own attitude toward competition. Do you have the type of personality that makes you resort to borderline unethical tactics to win at Monopoly? Do you feel disturbed or agitated when you lose a friendly game of cards? If so, you may not be the best candidate for weight loss competition. An extreme competitive nature may lead you to make unwise and unhealthy eating choices simply for the sake of winning, which may end up causing permanent damage to your body.


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