Humans are competitive by nature. We love to compete, and we love to win. In our “want/need to lose weight society,” it’s no surprise that weight loss competitions have become so popular over the past several years. From a local pool with your coworkers all the way to a popular, dramatized TV show, these competitions are filled with people who have their eyes on the prize and are out to win the entire challenge. Unfortunately, many people dismiss the prospect of joining one because they feel they have no chance of winning itself. In a weight loss competition, however, winning the challenge doesn’t have to be your only possible—and positive—outcome. There are many less appreciated reasons why joining a weight loss competition will not only up your weight loss game but can enhance your health journey as a whole. Here are my favorite five from our past 6-Week Challenge participants.
Writing down your goal ups your chance for success.
There is just something about a written commitment that makes you more serious about a goal. In the 6-week challenge, participants get the chance to sit down with one of our health and fitness professionals to talk goals and get a plan together. When you take the time to set a goal that is realistic for you and to get advice from a professional, you’ll be much more likely to identify a realistic plan to get you to your goal and to achieve long-term success. You don’t want to go into the challenge just thinking you want to lose weight. You’ll need to consider what habits you want to change or begin, such as eating a protein rich breakfast or more servings of vegetables each day.
You’ll benefit from a new set of tools.
You should always be refreshing and refilling your tool box when it comes to your health. Any weight loss competition should help provide some of those tools to get you started. Participants also get weekly emails with reminder tips and education around the next upcoming event. If you are entering a local or workplace competition, encourage your coworkers to provide weekly tips to each other or schedule some sort of weekly activity.
You’ll enjoy camaraderie and accountability.
The best way to learn is from each other. Weight loss competitions provide a community of people who are all in the motivation. Everyone is there for similar reasons and wants to achieve certain goals. You are able to weigh in together, share successes and obstacles, and be with people who you know are going through the same experience. I’ve had many past participants of our 6-week Challenge tell me they’ve met their best friends while doing challenge together. Building these types of relationships are helpful for finishing the challenge as well as staying on track after the challenge is over. It’s also important to grab hold of people you trust during your challenge who you can share your goals with as well as your struggles. You can offer each other positivity and support along the way.
Habit becomes habit becomes habit.
It takes time to break old habits and form new ones. Most weight loss challenges are around the 6-week mark for a reason. It not only provides a realistic time frame to see big changes in health and weight but also provides ample time to practice those new, life-changing recommendations over and over until they become habit. When thinking about changing your lifestyle, 6 weeks, 42 days doesn’t always sound or feel like and intimidating “forever.” 6-week Challenge participants often focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. Once they get to the finish line, however, they are so used to those changes that forever may not seem so bad.
You’ll gain the advantage of multiple finish lines.
A weight loss competition not only has one big finish line at the end but weekly ones as well, whether it be your weekly goal for weight loss or a weekly achievement of trying a new fitness class or healthy behavior. The point is, once you complete one goal your motivation naturally increases to keep achieving them and encourages you to stay on your path. And at the end of your weight loss challenge, you should be planning out your next goal. Past 6-Week challengers have described wanting to run a marathon or 5K or even compete in a fitness show after completing their first weight loss challenge. Whatever the goal, make sure you stick to your commitment (whether you achieve your initial goal or not) to enjoy the major sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. What do you have to lose?