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How to Win a Weight Loss Contest
Sometimes it can really feel frustrating to realize how much time we end up dedicating to trying to lose weight. We drop a few pounds one month, just to gain them back the next.
But, a new motivation has been sweeping the country that’s not in the form of fad diets or supplements.
After television shows like The Biggest Loser became so popular, many people started turning to create weight loss contests of their own.
A weight-loss contest usually begins with a weigh-in and a mention of any prizes or incentives that may be available to the winning participants. The rules will be specified, and there will usually be a weekly weigh-in to track everyone’s progress.
Joining a weight loss contest may be your perfect solution to permanent weight loss, as it will encourage you to compete with other, like-minded individuals and stay motivated by their energy even when yours is waning. And if your goal is to win, the following tips will prove helpful to get you to that final weigh-in as the biggest loser of the group.
1. Prepare For the Initial Weigh-In
If your goal is to not only lose weight but to actually win the contest, you will want to do what you can to make that initial weigh-in number work in your favor.
Most of us don’t want to pack on excess pounds just to then have to turn around and lose them again. But – you do want to be strategic and optimize the number on the scale the first time you step on it.
A good way to make your beginning number on the scale bigger, without packing on the pounds is to do it through water.
Adding water weight just before your weigh-in will increase the number on the scale without permanently increasing the size of your thighs.
A cup of water will add about a half-pound to the scale, assuming you don’t sweat it out or use the bathroom beforehand.
Another good rule of thumb is to eat a dense meal right before the weigh-in, something that won’t digest easily like high carbohydrate foods that will add bulk to you now, but will digest later.
Foods with a high amount of sodium are also known to retain water and will increase the initial number on the scale.
Another trick for getting your initial weigh-in number high, but not add any real pounds to your body is to eat a big meal 6 to 8 hours before you weigh in and try not to exercise afterward. This will slow the rate your body burns those calories but – after the weigh-in – you will be able to use that stored energy to start your weight loss journey.
2. Eat High-Protein/Low-Carb Foods
Now that you’ve gotten the initial weigh-in out of the way, it’s time to dig in and get to the real work!
Anyone who has competed in a weight loss contest will tell you the first thing you will need to do is assess your diet and come up with a plan for the course of the contest.
A diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates has been proven to be the most effective way to lose weight quickly and effectively, while also not depriving your body of the necessary nutrients it needs to stay healthy while dropping all those pounds.
Studies show that you are much more likely to lose weight and keep it off when you focus on low-carb, high-protein foods than when you try to restrict calories.
Yes, caloric intake is still important for weight loss…but focusing on foods that give you more nutrients, more energy and more of a metabolic boost will be ideal when you are competing in a weight loss contest.
Try to eliminate as many processed, pre-packaged foods as possible and limit the foods that you may normally see as good for you that have high carbs, like pastas, rice, many fruits, and even beans and legumes.
Instead, fill your diet with foods such as eggs, lean meats, cheese, and tons of green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and kale. High fiber veggies like peppers and Brussel sprouts will also help keep everything moving through your system and the unwanted weight passing on through.
It is not necessary to restrict your diet to these foods forever. But, even after you’ve won the weight loss contest, you may find that maintaining a high protein, low carb diet will be best for long-term, sustainable weight loss.
3. Spend Lots of Time in the Gym
It is true that we are what we eat…but if you really want to drop those pounds and win that contest, then your diet alone isn’t going to turn you into the svelt creature you are trying to turn yourself into.
Our bodies are smart and have learned to survive for thousands of years through all types of conditions. When we begin a diet, we are usually restricting our calories, and our bodies react to that by trying to conserve what they can.
Basically, when you reduce the number of calories coming in, your body will go into “fight or flight” mode, and begin holding on to the energy it has stored, unsure of when more is coming its way.
For this reason, changing or limiting what we eat when trying to win a weight loss contest is not enough. We need to move our body in order to force it to burn some of that stored energy and begin to drop those extra pounds.
When you exercise, your body is forced to burn those unwanted calories, and will start with your fat stores. Exercise will also help you build muscle, and keep your muscles strong, which in turn increases your metabolism as well.
To optimize your chances of winning your weight loss contest, it is suggested you get at least 30 to 45 minutes of cardio exercise a day and try to get 30 minutes of strength training every other day.
By combining adequate calorie-burning cardio with muscle-building strength training, you will be setting your body up to be able to burn fat while retaining muscle.
All this, combined with a high protein diet that eliminates high-carb foods, means you are going to see a drastic change in your waistline, and the numbers on the scale at your next weigh-in.
4. Keep A Close Eye On Your Scale…And the Others
If you are decreasing bad calories, increasing good ones, and hitting the gym regularly, chances are you are going to see a noticeable improvement in your body. But, is it enough to win the contest?
When dieting people are usually encouraged not to look at their scale too often. But during a weight loss challenge, you should be keeping an eye on it daily to see if your numbers have fluctuated, based on anything you have recently done. Then, you can make adjustments before the next, official weigh-in.
You will also want to keep an eye on the other participants. No matter how well you are doing on your journey, if someone else is losing more weight than you, you are going to be hard-pressed to win that contest.
You may need to adjust what you’re doing based on the other contestant’s success. Winning a weight loss contest is relative, though. Any weight you’ve dropped will be seen as a success if you can sustain it and keep it off.