The best way to make a Weight Loss Challenge fair is to first learn how to cheat.
If you know how people cheat you can add that to your list of rules.
This second part isn’t against the rules but it is sneaky stuff to give you a leg up on the competition.
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How to Cleat (legally) on your Weight Loss Challenge
1. Join a supportive group. Try to eliminate the negative people if you can. Many people start out with very little support. If you can gather the help of others you will do better than those who don’t.
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2. Exercise everyday doing something you enjoy. A lot of people will throw themselves at the gym not knowing how to exercise. Take the time to plan and hire someone to show you around. Finding a few exercises you like will increase the chances of sticking with it.
3. Calorie consumption is figured out by multiplying 10 – 12 by your desired weight. It is recommended that you cut back on your calorie consumption by a little as 100 cal per week.
Other people will often cut their calories by drastic amounts. They might show a fast weight loss in the beginning but soon they will be in a plateau rut. This is when your careful calculations will pay off. Slow and steady wins the Weight Loss Challenge Race.
4. Change only one bad habit for one good habit every month. Most people try to take on too much new stuff. It’s exhausting and nearly impossible to do. One thing at a time. Like replace your fried chicken for baked. Or replace your 30 min drive to work with a 30 minute bus ride and 15 min walk. While on the bus you can be updating your weight loss journal and listening to motivational tapes.
Carrie Underwood uses the DeskCycle on her bus rides to help keep those legs lean and sexy.
5. Optimum protein intake should be between 0.8g to 1g of lean body weight.
Lean Body Mass = Body Weight – (Body Weight x Body Fat %)
Women especially often don’t get enough protein in their diets. Protein can help you from feeling hungry. Learn about protein and improve your chances of winning.
6. Know your target and know where you are starting from. Too many people approach weight loss willy-nilly. They have no plan because they don’t take the time to really look at where they are starting from.
Before you even jump into a diet or new exercise regime you need to know what you are doing now. Take one week and write everything down. What you eat, how much, what you do for exercise, sleep and everything. Once you have that written down you then have an honest idea of what you are up against.
Awareness is the number one weight loss tool!
7. Fats are good when they are good fats. Essential fatty acids are needed daily. EFA’s 20 – 30% of your daily calories come from healthy fats.
Take the time to learn what a healthy fat is. What are your choices are and how to add them to your diet while you cut out the bad fats.
8. Be assured that if you follow a healthy regime you WILL reach your goals. Sometimes you need to put in a few extra minutes in the mornings to review your day before and to reaffirm your will to health.
9. Carbohydrates are your friend and for proper body and brain function about 40% of daily caloric intake should come from carbs.
Carbs have an unfair bad rap. Explore the world of healthy carbs and enjoy eating again.
10. Failure isn’t failure unless you quit. Failure is just feedback.
No one is born knowing everything and rarely can a person do something new perfectly. Learning how to be fit and healthy takes time and effort. Falling off a diet or new fitness regime isn’t failing. You can always try again tomorrow. Or right now!
11. Eat your vegetables! Have at least a cup of fruit or vegetables with every meal (including your snacks). Corn is NOT considered a vegetable in my books.
Green and orange vegetables are excellent. Go for colours and variety. Learn about your foods. Get a book on foods and what they offer and keep it in the kitchen.
Get this book and you will never look at food the same again!
12. Try to break your meals up over the day. 3 small meals and 2-3 small snacks will help boost metabolism and digestive health.
This little piece of advice is ignored by many. It seems like too much to eat. That is because most people didn’t take the time to learn what a “meal” or a “snack” really are.
13. Progression not perfection. You don’t need to do it all at once.
Just like making only one food swap at a time, the same goes for exercise. Slow and steady. If you have been a non-exerciser for a long time the first step is finding 30 minutes. Add to this over time.
Pick an easy and familiar exercise to do in those 30 minutes. Even just walking is better than nothing.
Your competitors will be trying to slide in an hour of unfamiliar exercise and most will quit within the month because it is too much.
14. Make better food choices first. Jumping directly from a poor food choices into a calorie restricted diet will fail – every time. Just choosing healthier foods will guarantee weight loss and feeling healthier.
15. Once you are eating good foods, then learn about the calories and proper portions.
Do you know what a “portion” really is? Is it the same for you as it is for someone else?
16. Losing 0.5% to 1% a week is healthy but weight loss is not accurately reflected in your scales window. Usually fat is the thing that people want to get rid of and scales will measure mass. This means you can actually gain weight when you have lost fat.
Don’t be too married to the scales. Over time the scales will be more accurate, but week to week scales can lie!
17. Weight gain or plateau can be caused by water retention, muscle gain, inaccurate scales, and many other things. Don’t worry about losing every week focus on healthy activities first.
If you are doing everything right and have hit a plateau, here is simple plateau buster to try.
18. Plan your cheat meals.
Seriously! Plan them. Most people will choose a “cheat day” then spend the day binging. This is extremely hurtful for the dieter. Not only can you consume enough calories in a day to thwart the entire week of dieting, but can also break your will.
Pick up a diet book on healthy comfort foods and measure out the calories in pre-planned meals and treats.
19. Water not pop. No soda of any kind.
If you find water isn’t palatable then add a bit of juice to it. Just to flavour it up a bit. Cranberry, orange, cucumber, etc.
Water is an absolute necessity for burning fat.
20. Awareness is everything. You must know what is in your food.
Read the label, count the calories, get all your vitamines and nutrients daily through whole foods and not supplements.
Strength training and exercise will work the muscles. They need to be kept flexible so they can heal after a workout.
Rest to heal, be motivated, and feel ready to take on the world. Most people will feel tired after a few days of new exercise. Be patient and good to your body.
23. Keep a journal.
Keeping a journal is the number one way to assure your will win!