A coworker of mine recently turned me on to a web site that has an interesting approach to food tracking, support networks, competition, and goal setting for weight loss. It is called Fatbet.net. The idea is that you and a friends or family make a bet with each other to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date. You goal weight can be up to you. The difference is your group sets a wager for the end of the challenge. You can also challenge each other to mini bets along the way such as exercising three times during the week, eating 3-5 vegetables a day, drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, etc ( BTW, Dr. Oz says that the theory of drinking water to lose weight is a myth, unless it is simply to make you fuller.)
Everyone in the group must weigh in on a regular basis. The rules state every day, but, my coworker’s group does it only once a week on a specific day on the honor system. (You need to trust the people in your group). The web site provides tools for tracking your progress including graph charts and a message board. Your group can choose to make your activities public or private.
According to the creators and Spark People, a health and fitness motivational site, research shows that people who are willing to make their weight loss efforts public, pay attention, and enjoy themselves in the process are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off. You can read the specifics on the Fatbet.net research page. I thought this sounded like a fresh idea for losing weight. Now, I just have to find the right friends to join me in my ongoing quest. Best of luck to those who are brave or free spirited enough to give it a try.