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How to Win a Weight Loss Competition

Written by Anika DeCoster, RD, CPT, CISSN – LifeTime WeightLoss

February is here, and in the Life Time Fitness world, this means the launch of the next LifeTime WeightLoss 90-Day Challenge!  Soon our clubs will be filled with our top contenders, eager to weigh in and launch their own weight loss program with hopes of being crowned their clubs’ champions, or even the national winner!  Competitions and challenges are great motivators to get started on a weight loss journey, but who doesn’t want a little advantage?  Whether you are competing in the 90-Day, another weight loss contest, or just with yourself, make sure you set yourself up for success from the get go!

Below are 5 things real winners make sure they address at the start of the competition.  Spend some time in each one of these areas and confirm your plan of attack, for you might be the next big weight loss contender! 

1. Find your Motivation.

Easier said than done, but this is so important.  If you dive into something just because your doctor or family told you to lose weight, your chances of success are slim.  Real winners spend some time thinking, and identify their motive for losing weight so throughout the challenge they can remind themselves of why they are in it to begin with.  The more emotion you put into something, the more likely you’ll commit for the long term.  Your motivation might be fitting into skinny jeans again, being able to play with the kids, or just to extend your life.  Whichever the case, spend some time reflecting and understanding why you’ll stop at nothing to achieve your overall goal.

2. Write your goal down, and be vocal about it.

Your chance of achieving your weight loss goal drastically increases if you write it down!  There’s a seriousness that transcends once that goal is no longer a thought but more a written commitment.  But after your write it down, don’t forget to say it out loud.  This could be a recorded testimonial, a video blog or just vocalizing it to your family and friends.  Once that goal comes out of your mouth, it becomes more real. If you’re participating in the 90-Day, be sure you’ve written down your goal on the 90-Day Goal Board at your club.


3. Schedule a Photo Op. 

A photo can say a thousand words for a reason!  It seems humiliating to take pictures of a body you no longer want to be in, but real winners take before photos seriously.  They are the starting points to their journey and eventually become a great representation of what they once were. Throughout the challenge they keep motivation high.  Your photos should show as much skin as you would with a swimsuit on and should be of your front, back and side views.  When you are the one losing weight, it can be hard to see the daily metabolic change that is going inside of your body.  So make sure you take the infamous before photo along with grabbing your initial weight and measurements.

4. Fill your Toolbox.

Different tools work for different people, and there are a ton of tools in this tool shed!  The goal is to find the right ones that work for you.  Tools can be as simple as getting the right assessments done (Lab or Metabolic Testing) or as extensive as one on one support with a personal trainer or weight loss coach.  Life Time offers many free tools to its members, including this newsletter, My Plan (online journal for your nutrition and exercise), group fitness classes, etc., so take advantage of them and acquire other tools depending on your needs.   A few winner favorites include getting the right gear (i.e. good workout shoes, a heart rate monitor), engaging in personal or group training and getting the right education around nutrition to make sure they are successful.   

5. Acquire Accountability and the Right Support.

If you get your friends and family behind your goal, you’ll have support when you need it.   Surround yourself with people you can turn to when you need help who also value being healthy and want to see you succeed.  This might be identifying your go-to workout buddy or a phone-a-friend to call when you are feeling less confident and more likely to give into unhealthy food!   If you have people around you that tend to steer you in the wrong direction (encourage you skip workouts or eat unhealthy), ask them to be more supportive right now, or in some cases, you may need to spend less time with them while you try to make major changes. 

Of course, a great weight loss program provides a combination of the right exercise, nutrition and lifestyle factors, including stress management and good sleep.  But also keep these 5 things on the forefront of your mind, the more likely you’ll be to achieve your goal and winning status! 

Have you been able to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off?  What is your favorite tip to tell someone on how to be a winner?  Please share below and keep the conversation going!

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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Reader Comments (8)

I was at the Chanhassen Life Time yesterday morning and the are like twice as many goals listed as there was on the photo above from last week. It's pretty cool to see what all those people are shooting for. Good luck to all in the 90-Day Challenge!

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Nikkola

I AM committed to ME!!

My first 6 months at LifeTime have been a big eye opener! I found out I can get up at 4:30am and get to the gym 6 days week! I found out I can shop and prepare and eat healthy and like it! I found out the words "...I can't do that..." are NOT in my vocabulary! I found out that I'm not alone!! This journey is not a temporary one, but rather a life long change that will afford me health and longevity, but mostly happiness and satisfaction in knowing I AM RESPONSIBLE for my well-being and I can make me into who I want to be!!

I look forward to this 90 Day Challenge - it's going to be tough, but I CAN DO IT!!!

February 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Murray

I am so excited to be in the 90-Day Challenge! I've been working on getting healthy for the past 4 months and it has involved huge changes. I've been working with a Personal Trainer and a Nutrition Coach/Registered Dietitian. I look forward to getting to the gym, and I want to eat healthy. I don't buy junk anymore. I rarely eat fast food. I don't keep diet soda at home. I am drinking more water. I am eating breakfast. I have also identified who in my life is there to encourage me and I lean on them, a lot. I haven't been able to do this alone, and the staff (my other family) are so encouraging! My Personal Trainer has helped me see that I can do this, and that I am worth it. I can't wait to celebrate my success at the end of the challenge!

Good luck to everyone! Know that you are worth it!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDENISE BURRIS

First time I can remember no bread or sugar in back to back days.

My ego likes victory and victory loves preparation and preparation is all diet and exercise.

I am going to win the 90 day challenge!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEAGAN

Love the inspiration here! DENISE and CAROL---sound like you both have created some fantastic and healthy habits! Keep those up--I bet you both feel amazing! EAGAN -- Love your victory quote! No sugar/bread already?! Nice! Keep us posted on your progress if you can on our Life Time Weight Loss facebook page! Would love to hear how your journey continues!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnika DeCoster, RD

I am very excited about the 90 Day Challenge. I hope I win. I plan to WIN. I am on target for great success. I have lost 19.5 lbs so far since the challenge and I am determine to finish Strong. My journey does not end with the Challenge. I will continue for a LIFETIME!


This is my first weight loss challenge, and I have lofty goals. I am so motivated by all of the past winners and their successes. I have struggled with my weight since I was 12, and in the 20 years since I have had plenty of ups and downs. Now, I am going to make these permanent changes once and for all.

So, my goal is 36%, matching the Spring 2012 Winner. Nutrition, exercise, accountability and taking advantage of the tools provided by Lifetime Fitness I feel I am putting all the keys to success into place at once, for the first time.

Whatever the result I know that if I make this a priority every day I will be satisfied with my progress. Watch out fellow competitors, you will be seeing my name in the mix for the next 3 months!

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames B. (Scottsdale)

Good luck James!

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Nikkola

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