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Perdere peso con Wii Fit? E’ possibile!

Allenamento con Wii Fit Nintendo per 7 settimane ed ecco pronti i risultati. Sono a dir poco sbalorditivi. Questo giornalista ha inserito in questo dettagliato report, tabelle e foto prima e dopo -divertentissime da vedere-. Chi lo ha detto che i videogames fanno male alla salute?

For 7 weeks I made a daily commitment to Wii Fit, and in my opinion it paid off. I was able to both lose weight and gain muscle. Along the way I also gained self-confidence in my body, and self esteem in general.Over the course of this experiment I wrote over 50 pages of journal entries and impressions. I will now try to break that information down into one short post with statistics, a graph and my “before and after” pictures.

Review of the Experiment Results

Total time since beginning the experiment: 35 hours 5 minutes
Starting BMI: 25.73
Current BMI: 24.24
Starting weight (7 weeks ago) 80 kg (about 176.4 lbs)
Current weight: 75.1 kg (about 165.6 lbs)
Weight Loss: 4.9 kg (about 10.8 lbs)

Notes on the Exercise

For the experiment I set out to do between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise each day. I’m happy to say that I was fairly successful at keeping this goal. On two occasions I put in less than 30 minutes, and two more days I put in more than 60 minutes. I chose this amount of time because any less than 30 minutes isn’t really worth it, and more than 60 minutes would only rarely fit into my schedule.

The first few weeks of exercise were very hard. My body would frequently become sore since it was not used to getting very much exercise (other than my legs, since I ride my bike everyday). The endurance exercises were just that, endurance. I would feel like giving up many times, but as the program continued I became much better at the exercises. By the end of the 7th week my main gripe was that the game had become too easy.

Heeding the advice from fellow rebels in the comments of these posts, I decided to start alternating arm and abdominal exercises to allow the muscles time to recuperate after a hard workout. Overall, the advice from the comments proved to be invaluable.

Notes on Diet

When starting this project, I stated that I did not intend to alter my diet. I chose to do this for a number of reasons. First I wanted to see what Wii Fit could do on it’s own, and I had to keep my diet constant to act as a “control” of sorts. Secondly, my experience with diets has not been positive. I have tried dieting many, many times. It has never once worked out for more than a few days. I would usually end up actually gaining weight in the process. The other reason was that with various pre-wedding parties already planned for me, I knew that it was not ideal timing to start a diet.

During this experiment I never skipped a meal and never felt hungry. I knew that if my body felt it wasn’t getting enough food that I would overcompensate for that loss by eating more. So I ate the same quantity of food that I had before starting the experiment. The key to the process was that I didn’t start eating more than I usually do. The formula that I worked out for my weight loss involves me keeping my food intake the same, but adding a dash of exercise.

I never consciously dieted during this experiment. However I can’t ignore that Wii Fit impacted my eating habits in a number of ways. For one, I can’t eat while I am doing Wii Fit. The hour or so I devoted to doing Wii Fit was normally my “watching TV” time. I would often do this with the aid of snacks. While doing Wii Fit it was impossible for me to eat something at the same time. Of course after the workout I still sometimes grabbed a snack, but more often than not I would just grab a shower and go to bed.

I also started to eat my dinner earlier in the day, as to not have a full stomach for Wii Fit. Exercising is not nearly as enjoyable with a full belly. I would also make sure not to over-eat so that the workout would go better. As I said before, if after the workout I was still hungry, I would eat. I never deprived myself of food, but as the weeks went on the desire to eat after a workout decreased.

The daily weighing of myself (and the visible weight loss) also changed something on a psychological level. Now when I eat a hamburger I will think to myself “How much Wii Fit would it take to burn this off?” I will still eat the hamburger, but maybe I won’t get the hot apple pie to go with it. What happened is that I became aware of my eating. It started to mean something when I could see that it had a daily impact on my body.

Notes on Lifestyle

The added exercise caused many changes, and not all of them were physical. For one, I found myself sleeping better. This is possibly just from being tired after the workout. I also had more energy at work and at home.

There is also a growing sense of pride in my accomplishments. For the first time I have started to not be ashamed of my body. I also feel that I am gaining strength, and though I am not a strong man right now, I feel that in time I could be. The exercise has really helped my general self-esteem. So much in fact that I feel that I can show the following photos.

Photos

The photo below, of me in the gray t-shirt, was taken for my very first Wii Fit post. I had originally intended to post a picture of myself without a shirt, but after seeing what that looked like I decided that it was too embarrassing to post. I took a second set of pictures with myself more covered up. The second half of the photo was taken a few days ago while wearing the same t-shirt and jeans.

I notice right away when putting on that shirt that it wasn’t as tight as I had remembered it. I feel I could probably fit a Japanese “large” size now rather than “extra large”. Here is the side view.

Sadly this picture doesn’t really show very much and it is hard to tell how much progress I made. I knew this from the beginning, so I decided around week 3 that if the experiment worked well enough that I could show some “topless” pictures.

I am still very embarrassed to be posting the images on the Internet. Not so much because I feel fat, but because I know I am a very hairy man. Still, in the interest of “science” I present the following photos.

As you can see I still have a gut but my sides have tightened and my “love handles” are starting to go away.

The next picture is slightly deceiving. In the “before” picture my posture is not wonderful and in the “after” picture I am standing up very straight. Also I had eaten a big meal before the first picture was taken. So the actual results are not quite as dramatic as this photo makes them look. Because of this I wasn’t sure if I should post this picture, I don’t want to mislead anyone or become like one of those late-night infomercials. Keep these things in mind as you look at the next picture.

This last “after” picture doesn’t have a “before”. One of the results I wasn’t expecting when I started this project was muscle gain in the arms. Wii Fit didn’t seem like it was very well suited to upper body exercises, so I never took a “before” photo of my arms or measured them. Below is an “after” picture. It probably doesn’t look very impressive, as my arms and shoulders are still FAR from muscular, but you will have to take my word on this one. They used to be a lot worse.

Final Wrap-up

In conclusion, Wii Fit works. But like any exercise it only works if the person using it is willing to put in the effort. I could have achieved the same results simply by doing sit-ups and push-ups everyday, and going for a run. In fact, that may have let me obtain even better results. However I don’t realistically believe that I would have had enough motivation to do that.

Wii Fit works because it shows me everyday how much I weigh, how much time I’ve invested, and how well I am doing on my exercises. It also keeps fantastic records that I can look back on and it makes charts showing my progress (or lack thereof).

The balance board is nothing magical. Just by standing on it you don’t get a better body. You have to put in the time. What Wii Fit tries to do is to make that time enjoyable, and for me it accomplished that goal. To say that Wii Fit made me thinner is giving it too much credit. I made me thinner, but Wii Fit helped.

One Last Anecdote

My wedding was on the 29th of March. During this time I had family and friends come from other parts of Japan, as well as the United States. Many of these people I hadn’t seen for a long time. So many times during the wedding party people would come up to me and compliment me on how thin I looked. At first I though it was just politeness but as more and more people told me that I, “look like a different person” I started to believe that maybe it was true.

My wedding planner thought the same. The tuxedo I was fitted for originally no longer fit and I had to change it at the last minute. Even as I walked down the aisle I felt that my pants were a bit too loose.

What Now?

I have no plans to stop doing Wii Fit. I will keep it up and probably keep doing daily logs. I don’t know if they are interesting enough to keep posting here, but they have been of great help to me. I recommend keeping a daily journal to anyone considering Wii Fit, or exercise in general.

As soon as I get back from my honeymoon, both I and my wife plan to use Wii Fit. In one months time I will post an update of how I am doing, and we’ll see if the weight loss has really “stuck”.

Thank you all for reading these posts over the last few weeks and commenting on them. All of your encouragement really helped keep me going. The advice you shared also made my training more effective and enjoyable. Thanks everyone!

4colorrebellion

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