For millions of people losing weight is at the top of their to-do list but actually losing the weight and keeping it off is rarely accomplished. Whether its 10 or 100 pounds most of us struggle to stay motivated and give up early. No matter how many pounds we strive to lose, most fall short by a wide margin and eventually regain their losses back.
But why is it so hard?
Part of the problem is that losing weight feels like a chore. We feel like we’re missing out on something by eating healthy and choosing low-calorie options, and going to the Gym after a long day of work feels absolutely dreadful.
But what if there was a way to change that?
What if you could make the weight loss process fun and engaging?
Instead of treating it like something that you have to do, you can change your mindset and turn it into something that you want to do.
How can this be possible? Through Gamification. By utilizing weight loss games and social dieting, we can make it far more entertaining, more convenient to work out, and thus vastly improve our ability to succeed. Check out the apps below and learn more how gamification and social dieting can get you started on fun weight loss activities.
So, how does this process work exactly? Well, to put it simply, to gamify weight loss is to turn the act of losing weight into a game. So, for example, you may win points or money for each pound you shed, as well as earn more points for doing it in a certain amount of time.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of exercise game apps out there based around the idea of gamifying weight loss and healthy habits. Whether it’s eating less, working out, or reducing your portion sizes, you can find an app that will promote it through a game engine. You can set yourself up on your own, which means that you are trying to outdo your previous achievements until your ultimate goals are finished.
For most people, there are only so many ways that we can motivate ourselves to do better. Typically, if we have a group encouraging us to succeed, we will find better results overall, and they will last longer. According to a recent study, people were put into three groups. The first group was given no incentive to lose weight, the second was offered cash prizes for doing it alone, and the third had to lose weight as a team.
The results? The control group lost an average of one pound, the solo people lost about four pounds each, and the teams lost at least ten pounds. Best of all, when put into teams, the players had a much better rate of keeping the weight off.
In generations past, the act of going on a diet was secretive and personal, meaning that you rarely shared it outside of your innermost circle. However, with popular culture showcasing such weight loss success stories (the Biggest Loser, etc.), it’s now become mainstream to share your goals and struggles with other people.
Employers are getting in on this action too. For the most part, they are driven by a financial need, but many businesses recognize the overall benefits of a healthy staff. Since healthier people are much cheaper to insure, many insurance companies are offering discounts to employers who have such social dieting programs in place.
So why does it work so well to lose weight with others? Well, considering that humans are social animals to begin with, it makes sense that we would do better to work on our goals as a group rather than individually. By turning it into a team effort, everyone is invested in each other’s success, which helps to make them motivate each other and assist whenever possible. In fact, in many cases, recognition has much more of an impact than prizes or incentives.
The other thing that happens with social dieting is that when we see other people inside our social groups losing weight, it inspires us to do the same. If everyone else is eating out and not exercising, then we feel “normal” and thus less inspired to take action. However, if one person starts making a significant change, the effect can ripple out to everyone else in that circle. This is part of the reason why team efforts do so well. Everyone’s success inspires each other, and it builds from there.
Top 30 Gamification & Social Dieting Apps
So, now that we know that gamification works and that doing it in a social setting can help us get our results faster, how can we get started? Well, assuming that you don’t work for a company that already has a program in place, here are some fabulous weight loss apps to help you begin. Best of all, most of them have social functions built in so that you can bring your friends and family on board to keep the good times rolling.
Best Overall Game App: DietBet
This app uses a popular method of incentivizing weight loss by letting you bet on yourself. However, while other systems are more individualized, what makes this app so successful is that you join a team. It can be people you know, people you meet through the app or even celebrities. If you succeed, then you split the pot with the rest of your team. Overall, this game is our top pick because it boasts a 92% success rate!
Seven More Apps Worth Checking Out
If you want to make the most out of your gamification process, feel free to mix and match different apps to see what works best for you. Here are our top picks overall.
This is one of the most famous apps out there and for good reason. This system allows you to challenge yourself by setting goals and getting positive feedback for reaching them. You can either have the app motivate you itself, or you can connect with friends and let them cheer you on. Also, you can set groups so that you can inspire each other, or taunt those who aren’t pulling their weight. While there are no cash incentives, it can still be satisfying to beat your friends by doing more exercise regularly.
Much like the old school device for which it’s named, this app will offer plenty of games to help you make the most of your weight loss. You can also share your successes on social media and invite friends to join in. Also, this app will sync all of your data across multiple platforms so that you can stay on top of things.
If you want to turn yourself into a game avatar, complete with the ability to level up after so many points, this is the app for you. Best of all, you can connect with others who are at the same level so that you can inspire each other to get more points and become the best.
This app is based on cycling, but you can also track your running stats as well. It has some nice social features including monthly challenges to help keep you motivated.
Nike + Running
If you want to get recognition for running every morning, this is the app to get. You can either have digital feedback and applause, or you can invite friends to do it for you. Plus you can connect to social media and share your progress.
While Fitocracy gamifies the exercise experience by letting you level up, this app goes all out by giving you quests and turning you into a veritable gaming legend. Compete or team up with fellow fitness warriors as you complete challenges and try to get more points.
Map My Fitness
This app is pretty standard fare, as it allows you share progress with friends and family. However, it does also offer cash prizes and incentives, so feel free to earn as much as you can along the way.
Even More Fitness Apps
What, you thought we were done? If these last eight apps haven’t inspired you, then these next 22 should.
Earn money for those in need while you get into shape.
This app is for those who want cold, hard stats to motivate them. You will need a heart rate monitor, though.
Get pumped while you work out by listening to curated playlists or create your own mix.
This app customizes workouts for you based on your skill level and then adapts as you improve.
Johnson and Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout
Have only seven minutes to spare? Why not do some exercise? This app is perfect for those on the go.
My Asics Run Training
If you ever want to run a marathon or anything, this app will help you train for it.
Put your money where your stomach is and wager that you will succeed. If you don’t prepare to pay the piper.
This is another app that plays music while you workout, but it switches tempo based on how fast you’re moving. Or you can customize the listening experience yourself.
If you want a personal running coach in your pocket, this is the best thing to download. You can also use it to train for a marathon or other similar project.
Spring Running Music
Discover new tunes as you workout, as this app has over 40K from which to choose. Set your own playlist or let it decide for you.
This is another coaching app, but it helps you improve in a variety of ways, not just running. It also connects to Spotify for the perfect workout playlist.
Vida Health Coach
If you want to work with a real person, not just an app, this system allows you to connect with a live coach for $15 a month.
Learn from an MMA master if you want to bulk up or get lean, fast.
Yes, the streaming music app has a “running” feature that will keep you moving as you’re grooving.
Runtastic Six-Pack Abs
If you want to tone your midsection, this is the app to get. A human voice even motivates you through your workouts.
For those who want a lot of stats to go with their morning run.
Pear Personal Coach
This is another coaching app that can help you succeed in all kinds of workouts, from yoga to strength training.
Track your calories along with your workouts so that you can be sure that you’re burning more than you’re putting in.
This is another calorie-counting app that syncs to most other fitness apps so that you can combine efforts and get a comprehensive view of your weight loss.
Keep track of your sets and reps with this app, rather than trying to keep it all in your head.
Track all of your outdoor activities with one easy to use interface.
For those who want a lot of data to go along with their daily cycling.
As you can see by the 30+ apps listed above there are a wealth of weight loss games out there to help you get started on your path to a thinner, healthier you. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you want to get a friendly group going or you want to crush the competition, gamifying your weight loss goals is the best way to ensure fast and long-lasting results.