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How To Lose Weight While Playing Video Games
Young and old, people love playing video games. In fact, video gaming has become so popular that it is even now considered a sport by many well-respected organizations, like ESPN. Many colleges are even recruiting “gamers” in the same way they have traditionally recruited other athletes, like football and basketball players, offering incentives such as scholarships to come play for their school.
Video gamers, like regular athletes, must train daily in order to improve their skills. It may sound weird, but to be a successful video gamer, certain requirements are needed, like great problem-solving skills and even athletic ones, like fast eye-hand coordination and quick reflexive skills.
But, for the average person like you or me, being able to enjoy playing video games while also tending to our weight loss goals can feel challenging.
Playing video games means you are going to be sitting for long periods of time. And we all know that sitting is not usually conducive to weight loss.
But there are ways you can play video games and lose weight. Let’s explore them more closely.
1. Cut Processed Foods From Your Diet
One of the big keys to weight loss is what we are putting into our bodies as sources of fuel.
Foods that are full of empty calories won’t provide the necessary nutrients and sources of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and even good fats that our body needs to run well.
“Empty calorie” foods tend to be things like chips, cookies, and packaged snacks – anything that comes in a box and can live in your pantry for an unlimited period of time usually falls within this category.
Other foods, like french fries, processed meats, and fast food can also be considered empty calorie foods.
These foods will fill you up, but leave you craving more. They don’t have the nutrients and good stuff your body needs, so you will find yourself reaching for more, which will keep the unhealthy cycle going.
Video gamers are at greater risk of filling up on empty calorie foods. They are easy to grab and take little to no previous planning to have at your quick disposal.
A bag of chips or a delivery of a burger and fries is much easier than cutting up some fruit, making yourself a smoothie, or preparing a meal of a grilled chicken breast and some steamed veggies.
But here’s the kicker…it will be hard to lose weight while playing video games if you are not willing to cut processed foods from your diet and replace them with something healthier.
Sitting for long periods of time means that the foods you ingest will not have a chance to burn as quickly. Anything that is high in empty calories will have a much harder time turning to energy than high protein, high fiber foods will.
So, not only will processed foods not help you lose weight while gaming, they will most likely increase your weight, because they will be harder to burn off than something that is providing your body with the energy and nutrients it needs.
Try to avoid processed foods while you’re playing video games and reach for healthier options like cut-up veggies, fruits, and cheeses. Make yourself a smoothie or drink seltzer water instead of sugary drinks or high-calorie fruit juices.
Changing up your diet while playing video games will make a big difference in your ability to lose weight while enjoying your favorite games.
2. Make Sure Some of the Games You’re Playing Are Active Ones
Another great way to lose weight while also playing video games is to try and incorporate some active games into your gaming time.
Most of us remember when the Wii Fit first became popular in the early 2000s.
Its innovation brought exercise to family fun nights with everything from bowling and tennis games to aerobics and yoga options.
Before the Wii Fit, there weren’t many options for getting physical while also playing video games.
Now, the opportunities for engaging in games that are fun, competitive, and provide a way to move your body are endless. From games like Fitness Boxing 2, which allows you to choose different boxing trainers and workout with your favorite music, to games like Pokemon Go, which gets you outside and moving around your neighborhood, there are tons of different active games for every fitness type.
Another popular development in active gaming has been the creation of the Oculus Quest, which allows players to use virtual reality to not only compete but to also move around while playing.
Lots of gamers who have fallen for virtual reality gaming claim that they don’t even realize what a workout they are getting when they are engaged in the game, which means that suddenly working out seems like more fun than a task that needs to be completed during your day.
It is recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
By introducing some active games into your daily gaming time, you will give your weight loss goals a huge boost and will see that you can play video games and lose weight at the same time.
3. Take Occasional Breaks to Move Your Body
Finally, no matter what type of gaming you’re engaging in, or how hard you try and maintain a healthy diet, you will find your ability to lose weight while gaming will increase significantly if you also find ways to move away from the gaming console for periods of time.
Even active gaming still keeps you consumed with the controllers and what’s happening on your screen. You may be moving more than if you are playing a game that forces you to sit, but it may still not be enough on its own to actually lose weight while playing.
Spending time doing something else – even if it’s just for short, ten to twenty-minute intervals – will give your brain and body a break from the video game screen and allow them to begin to burn some calories in a different way.
More studies have shown that our bodies are most effective at weight loss when we have bursts of energy throughout the day, rather than sitting sedentary for long periods of time, then squeezing thirty minutes of activity in all at once.
You can successfully lose weight while playing video games if you allow yourself to take short breaks that involve some physical activity that gets your heart pumping and your body moving.
Going for a brisk walk for ten minutes, doing a series of 50 stomach crunches or push-ups, or even just taking a few minutes to go up and down a few flights of stairs are all activities that will get your blood pumping in between video game sets and will help you burn the calories you need in order to lose weight.
Getting up and moving also will clear your head for a few minutes, another great benefit to fitting some exercise into your gaming routine. Not only will moving your body a bit help burn some calories, but you may also find your mental clarity is heightened after a period of time away from your video console, which will help your waistline and your gaming techniques!