From the “Biggest Loser” to “Celebrity Fit Club” weight loss challenges are becoming more and more popular in the media and within our own communities. At first glance, this appears to be a good thing; promoting health while offering prizes and notoriety to the biggest weight loser. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that up to 95-percent of “losers” will regain all of their body fat over the first 5-years. In addition, competitions that offer cash and prizes can promote unsafe weight loss practices including eating and exercise disorders.
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The following list provides some of the pros and cons of weight loss competitions with the hopes of considering both sides before participating in the race to reduce…
Pro: The Buddy System
One of the most impactful variables to ensure any behavior change is successful is the integrating the buddy system into our action plan. There is great power in groups and a feeling of accountability to others (and self) can be the key to change.
Weight loss competitions offer the benefit of social support and personal accountability for self and the team. The challenge each competitor will eventually have to face is what to do when the competition is over. It is one thing to lose weight while others congratulate and celebrate us, but another when we are doing it solo.