Weight Loss Strategies: Setting Stakes and Using Incentives to Get Results
You’ve been trying to do this whole weight loss thing for months using different weight loss strategies along the way – the latest diet, more exercise, better sleep – but you still haven’t achieved the results you want. You can’t seem to put it all together consistently and you don’t want another 6 months to go by without reaching your goal weight. What should you do?
Try another diet?
Add another hour of exercise each week?
No, no, no. There is another way.
Consistency is critical, especially with weight loss, and if you’re struggling to lose weight you’ll need more than just wishful thinking. You’ll need something way more powerful. Something that gets you to take action, day in and day out. Something that drives you to succeed. The two weight loss strategies I’ll cover today will be just what you need. What are they? Read on my friend.
1. Set Stakes, Get Results
Want results? Put some skin in the game.
The easiest way to do this is to put some money on the line. Of all the weight loss strategies out there I think that setting stakes is one of the most powerful – It gets you to actually take action.
In one of the most unique examples of setting stakes I’ve heard of, a guy wrote a $1,000 check out to the KKK, gave it to his friend, and told him to send it to them if he didn’t achieve the weight loss goal he chose by the specified end date. Now that would get you to take action.
When I wanted to go 100 days without eating sweets I put $100 on the line with best friend if I slipped up at all. What happened? I made it all 100 days without eating any sweets.
How can you set stakes to lose weight?
You could write a $1,000 check to the KKK and give it to your friend or you could use a website like stickk.com to set up your stakes and choose someone as your referee to make sure you stay on track.
Though putting money on the line is one way to set stakes it isn’t the only way.
In one episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment, Tim tried to learn to speak Tagalog (Filipino) in four days. How did he raise the stakes for this challenge? He scheduled a live TV interview where he would have to speak Tagalog with a native speaker. He does surprisingly well. Go figure.
The potential of public humiliation is without a doubt a powerful motivator and you’d be amazed what it can do for your results because, let’s be real, nobody wants to be embarrassed, especially in front of a lot of people.
2. Using Incentives
Similar to setting stakes, incentives are another great way to increase the likelihood of weight loss success. Websites like Gym Pact, Healthy Wage and Diet Bet all let you get paid for losing weight.
Precision Nutrition, the largest online fitness and nutrition coaching company, gives away $250,000 in prize money each year for the best transformations. The results they get? AMAZING (Due in large part to the amazing coaches and system they have as well of course).
While The Biggest Loser certainly has its flaws you can’t deny that the $250,000 grand prize serves as a pretty hefty incentive for the contestants to lose weight.
The best part about incentives is that you can make up your own! Maybe you’ll go on a vacation when you reach your weight loss goal. Maybe you’ll go shopping for some new clothes. Maybe you’ll go out to eat at your favorite restaurant. Figure out an incentive that will get you going and keep you going.
How You Can Utilize Stakes and Incentives to Get Results
By now you should understand that stakes and incentives are awesome. No way around that. However, what you haven’t learned yet is how to implement these weight loss strategies today to get you moving in the right direction. By following the 5 step process outlined below you’ll be well on your way to achieving your weight loss goal.
Step 1 – Decide Your Desired Outcome
What do you want to happen? Lose 20 pounds? 30 pounds? Decide on your weight loss goal and be sure to choose an end date that you’ll need to achieve it by. Depending on your body size, losing 1-2 pounds a week is reasonable, so if you want to lose 20 pounds you may have to give yourself 3 or 4 months to do so. The closer you are to your goal weight, the longer it will take to lose weight, so keep this in mind as well.
Step 2 – Set Your Stakes or Incentives
The stakes you choose to set should be enough that they scare you, at least a little. The incentive you choose should be something worthwhile to you, something you don’t do everyday. You don’t have to use both, but either way, choose wisely!
Step 3 – Choose Your Accountability Partner
Who is going to make sure you actually achieve your goal? Find a friend that can witness your beginning and ending weigh-in and hold your check if you choose to put some money on the line. Be sure to choose someone who you know willactually hold you to the parameters you set.
Step 4 – Plan How You’ll Achieve Your Goal
Setting stakes is great, but it’s a horrible weight loss strategy by itself. You can’t set stakes, sit on the couch and eat cupcakes all day and expect to lose weight – you have to put in some work! You’ll still need to exercise and improve your nutrition as well, but with the stakes or incentives in place you’re much more likely to stay consistent. There are plenty of habits that will increase your odds of weight loss success including:
- Prepping food each week
- Working out with a friend (Trust me, it helps greatly)
- Consuming enough protein and veggies
- Packing your gym clothes every day
- Tracking your food intake and workouts
- Sleeping 7-9 hours each night
- Drinking enough water
- Making the most of your exercise time
Step 5 – DO THE DAMN WORK!
Seriously, get to it. Talk is cheap. If you want results, go make it happen! Get help if you need it, but by all means get to work!
These two weight loss strategies will force you to not only take action, but continue to take action. To ensure you achieve your goal, work with a coach who will know how to tailor your exercise and nutrition in a way that doesn’t make you lose your mind – you’ll increase your odds of success tremendously.