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Why Cycling With the Temptation Weight Loss Plan Will Work For You

Tim Boyer's picture

Have you tried a number of weight loss plans and schemes to lose weight, but failed or just wound up regaining the weight back? Then you are not alone. However, in a recent article in Bicycling magazine, writer Lisa Marshall reveals to readers how 6 overweight non-cyclists turned to cycling with a temptation-style weight loss plan that resulted in over 100 pounds lost each! The secret—a combination of combining physical exercise with mental motivators that makes losing weight fun and rewarding. And the best part aside from becoming thin is that you get to choose your reward.

In an article titled “Tempt Yourself Thin” in the January/February issue of Bicycling, writer Lisa Marshall tells readers how that they too can lose weight by transforming their non-cyclist bodies into leaner cycling machines to match their future pedal pumping ride.

Basically a temptation weight loss type of plan is one where individuals who want to lose weight are able to overcome stumbling blocks in their path such as the temptation to overeat the wrong kinds of food by setting a goal or goals with a stronger tempting payoff that they desire. In the case of six success stories Ms. Marshall writes about, those payoffs ranged from something as simple as collecting jerseys from races to earning the right to eventually own and ride a high performance racing bike—or several.

The notion of incentive-based weight loss is not new, but it is gaining more credibility as researchers are showing how that human nature plays a significant role in our habits—especially when it comes to weight gain and weight loss.

One aspect of human nature in particular is that for the need of immediate gratification. According to Ms. Marshall’s article, research shows that while delayed gratification such as eventual weight loss and better health after months to years of dieting is a payoff, it is one most people cannot stick to. However, when more immediate gratification is entered into the picture such as a monetary reward if you’ve lost a certain number of pounds in a short time period or achieved an exercise-related goal, then people are much more likely to stick with it and succeed.

Ms. Marshall quotes researcher Steven Driver, MD, an instructor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine who says that, “Trying to motivate people based on long-term consequences [i.e. diabetes, heart disease, etc.] can be more difficult than focusing on short-term gratification.

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Dr. Driver was involved in one study that tracked 100 volunteers who had the goal of losing four pounds per month for one year. However, only half of the volunteers were selected to be rewarded with $20 each time they met that goal, with the stipulation that they would have to pay $20 each month they failed to lose four pounds. By the end of the year-long study what Dr. Driver and his colleagues found was that the twenty dollars per month incentive group lost nearly 4 times the weight in comparison to the non-incentive group. Furthermore, the incentive group had a 62% success rate compared to a 26% success rate with the non-incentive group.

The basis of the difference between the two groups is that human nature requires a reward to be obtainable in a relatively recent amount of time and be something that is more physically tangible than just an inner realization that blood pressure has decreased a few points or the scale weighs in a little less than when a person first began dieting and exercising. In the case histories of the six individuals who turned to biking as an enjoyable way to lose weight and become fit, all six set reasonable short-term goals and rewarded themselves when those goals were met. But it didn’t end there. After a first success, they each continued with new goals and new rewards and as a result over time realized that their bodies were turning into those of lean athletes and that they were essentially recreating themselves.

What is most striking about these six individuals―aside from their weight loss―is that all six are normal everyday people with jobs and families and all the emotional luggage that comes with life. All six were obese when they first started. And all six were surprised at how much weight they had gained over the years when they tried to do some small physical activity and/or happened upon a photo of themselves when they were younger. The underlying message of the article is that if they could do it―then so can you.

For more about their success stories and tips on how you can go about “temping yourself thin,” the entire article is available free online at www.bicycling.com.

For an informative article about health related to bicycling, click-on the titled links, “New Bicycle Seat Design Protects Riders Sex Lives,” “Cycling and Chafing Cream Linked to Increased Estrogen levels in Male Cyclists,” and “Can Bicycle Seats Cause Erectile Dysfunction and Impotence?”

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Reference: Bicycling magazine Jan/Feb. 2014 issue: “Tempt Yourself Thin” by Lisa Marshall