One of the best ways to lose weight is by making the experience fun or otherwise engaging. The more your mind is focused on exercise, the more likely you’ll continue. And a great way to do this is by doing weight loss challenges.
I’m a big fan of gamification. That’s because it works in just about any situation. Think about it; how often do you stop doing something that is fun?
And challenges, especially when you have others involved, add a bit of a competitiveness to it that may hold your attention over the long haul.
The trick is to find something that you can really get into. These are some of the things that have piqued my interest.
11 Ways to Jump Into Weight Loss Challenges
Now, there are tons of ways you can challenge yourself and others to lose weight. In fact, the list is so massive, it can seem overwhelming when you’re looking for one specific thing.
But, it can be worth the time invested if you find something that can hold your attention over the long-term.
So, what kind of weight loss challenges do I have an interest in?
I talk a great deal about MyFitnessPal. It’s been one of the most pivotal apps for helping me lose weight over the years.
For the most part, it’s a nutrition tracker at its core. But, it also has a kind of social element. It reminds me of a cross between Facebook and a food tracker.
What makes this great for challenges is being able to set personal goals. While it doesn’t have a direct competitive edge, it does display when anyone in your groups loses weight and how long they’ve been active.
A lot of people I know are jumping on the DietBet train. It’s a platform where you bet on yourself to achieve weight loss goals.
Essentially, you commit a certain dollar amount, meet the goals of the challenge, and then split the pot with other winners. And since you’re putting in your own money, it motivates you to meet those goals.
Although I haven’t tried this yet, I have a couple of friends who have. All I can say is that my interest is piqued to win some money.
If you want a more guaranteed way to make a few bucks, Achievement might be something of interest.
Using connections with other fitness apps, you earn points for activities. Once you reach 10,000 points, you claim your earnings and the system pays you out $10.
I’ve made a bit over the last couple of years directly to my PayPal account.
There are a variety of ways you can make points from recording walks in RunKeeper to tweeting anything health-related. You can also participate in surveys for additional points.
The app tracks a wide range of movement from walks to swimming. It will also give you GPS coordinates and a map of your progress. The free version limits a bit of what you can track, but I offset some of this by using a Fitbit.
Although it’s designed mostly for runners in mind, it tracks quite a bit and is beneficial for anyone who wants to get up and move for a change.
It has a slight competitive feel, as long as you have a few friends who will join you in movement goals.
I’ve been a fan of Fitbit since the Pebble, many years ago. Today, I use a Charge 4 to track calorie burn and various exercises for personal case studies.
But, it also works great to inspire weight loss challenges, especially if you accumulate a long list of friends and family.
The system will pit your steps against everyone else’s over a stretch of time. So, you can work hard to one-up someone ahead of you.
One night, I walked until just before midnight so that I could surpass my brother’s steps for the day.
6. Making Points in Exercise.com
When it comes to tracking my workouts, I like using Exercise.com. It doesn’t have the social and competitive fitness platform it once had, but it’s still a good system to use for tracking personal progress.
Because it lacks the social element, I now use it to drive my own weight loss challenges by focusing on a certain point goal for the day or working to break my personal records.
I’m currently looking for a system similar to this that does have a competitive feature, though.
7. Join Social Groups or Gather Some Friends
Obviously, one of the best ways for engagement and creating weight loss challenges is by joining social groups or getting friends and family together.
Right now, I’m trying to get my children more involved by challenging them to various activities. For example, the boys got Fitbits for Christmas and I want to engage them in calorie burn and steps.
The point is to never underestimate friendly competition, even if it’s honor-system-based on sites like Facebook.
8. Personal Case Studies
One of my favorite ways to challenge myself to lose weight is through personal case studies. In this regard, I am looking to push myself to become better than what I am.
It works great for discovering what you’re capable of as well as your limitations. And then, you can use the data to plan out improvements to your health and fitness.
This is probably better for people who are data geeks like myself. But, case studies I conduct personally have made a significant impact on how much weight I’ve lost.
9. Setting and Beating Personal Records
Another one of my favorite types of weight loss challenges is that of beating personal records. Like I mentioned before, I keep track of that kind of stuff in Exercise.com. At any point, I can see the date when I set a new push-up record or the amount of time during a plank.
When it comes to health and fitness, the only one you’re truly in competition with is yourself. And what better way to compete than to break your own personal bests?
Recently, Exericse.com has done a purge of its database, though. Which is kind of a bummer because I set records back in 2014 that I really wanted to beat.
10. Playing the Xbox Kinect
And what list for weight loss challenges would be complete without me mentioning the Xbox Kinect. Out of everything I use and have played with, the Kinect has been the biggest influence in me losing weight.
Part of that is because I really toss myself into any game I play. Since I add weights to my hands, wrists, and ankles, the workout is that much more intense.
Another aspect of the challenge is competing with my teens. In fact, my daughter and I already have a running competition playing Kinect Sports. And yes, I’m undefeated!
11. Plenty of Fitness Apps
The list for fitness apps is incredible. I’ve covered some of the ones I use most in the list above.
However, there are apps that do a wide variety of things from RPGs tracking your steps to simulating running from a zombie apocalypse.
The hardest part is finding the ones that actually inspire you to commit to a challenge for weight loss.
At any rate, browsing what’s available for your mobile device might help you find something that really connects with you. It’ll just take a bit of time to really find something you really like.
Find Weight Loss Challenges That Work for You!
Weight loss challenges are incredibly plentiful today. This list is just a paltry layout of everything you can do to improve your health while keeping engaged.
In reality, that’s the real trick to losing weight and keeping it off…finding ways to challenge yourself that will hold your attention for longer than three months.
If you have a favorite way of challenging yourself, feel free to let me know. I’d love to add it to this list…if it piques my interest. 😉