Who Will Win the Weight Loss Contest? Facts On the Weight Loss Industry!

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This past week we celebrated our mother’s 60th Birthday. My sister and her husband flew out to Hawaii to join us as well take their delayed honeymoon. During a nice dinner cruise the usual attendant came to take our group photo. Of course they sell it at rip-off prices but we still bought one! As we looked at the family photo we all couldn’t help but notice that we all were an overweight and “portly” group. We had all gained weight over the years. While at West Point and as an active duty army officer, I had maintained my weight and stayed in shape. Although I am now in the national guard, I have let myself go a bit. After joking a little of how our group probably could tip the boat after dinner, I decided enough was enough. The past year I had told my wife repeatedly that I needed to lose weight but would quickly forget about it as I stuffed my face with whatever was in front of me.

My sister mentioned that since she met her husband three years ago, he had gained some weight. My wife briefly chimed in that she had put on a few pounds as well. As Koreans, our lives revolve around food. During the Korean War, food was scarce so love of family and friends were shown through feeding people. In fact our grandmother never told us verbally that she loved us, but she didn’t have to, she fed us constantly until we couldn’t move after every meal. My grandmother, and my mother now, was always happy when all of us enjoyed her cooking, stuffing our faces until our “stomachs would explode” (this a literal translation for a common Korean phrase). It was only a matter of time that our spouses would also fall prey to our love of food!

I proposed that we have a weight loss competition, my wife and I versus Esther and Mike.  It ends December 31st, forcing us to be careful during the Holiday Season. Although my mother knew this meant we couldn’t eat her cooking as we had in the past, she realized that since diabetes was hereditary in our family, she as a nurse realized that it was for the good of our family to lose the pounds. Later that night after weighing myself, I clocked in at my highest ever with my wife mercifully stating “your face is showing it!” Later that night, my boxers ripped after bending down and knew it was time.

The rules are simple, weigh ourselves per couple, then use the percentage lost per our original weight to determine the victor! (i.e. If original weight is 200 and weight loss is 10 pounds, divide the 10 pounds by the original weight of 200 for a 5% loss). Then we add the total % loss of the couple. Since launching our contest, several more couples have joined us. Since of course some people are sensitive about their weight, we will just address them by their team names!

The next several months we will blog our progress, what we did, what works, and what doesn’t work. There are countless of weight loss books, weight loss tips, weight loss programs and weight loss apps, but we know it is hard, real hard. That is why the weight loss industry is over $60 billion dollars a year and it is only expected to rise! Here are some really interesting tips on the weight-loss industry according to PRWeb.

  • 83.3% of dieting consumers favor “do-it-yourself” weight loss programs accessed from home (online or by phone) or the use of diet books or celebrity diet plans. This is the highest historical share in 20+ years.
  • There are 108 million American dieters, and they make 4-5 dieting attempts per year.
  • Herbalife is now the #2 weight loss company in the World, by sales, with estimated North American sales of weight loss products of $537 million in 2012 (meal replacements), second only to Weight Watchers and larger than both Jenny Craig and NutriSystem.
  • 61% of dieters prefer to use regular supermarket food, while 6.3% want pre-packaged or diet company food, 4.9% want meal replacements (shakes, bars), and 26% have no food preference.
  • Dieters are heavier than ever, having put on significant weight during the recession. The combination of increased stress levels and a shift to more comfort food and cheaper fast food resulted in the weight gain. Marketdata’s quarterly reports find that the most common weight class, for those starting a diet, for Q3 2012 and most prior quarters is 150-174 lbs., followed closely by those weighing 175-199 lbs. A total of 43% of dieters weighed 200+ pounds in Q2 2012, up from 40% in the third quarter of 2011.

Starting a diet is really easy, but sticking to it is not. As of 15 September, here are the starting weights for both teams!

1. Team Chang – 342.0 pounds

2. Team Blair – 372.8 pounds

Let the Competition Begin!!!!

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