The Game On! Diet

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

Background




The Game On! Diet: Kick Your Friend’s Butt While Shrinking Your Own is written by Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson. Ferguson is the winner of the Body for Life challenge and he developed this plan to help Vernoff to lose weight after pregnancy.

This program utilizes the idea of competition and fun to help you to lose weight and get healthy. You will compete against your friends to earn points for completing goals related to daily exercise, healthy eating and positive lifestyle changes.

The Game On! Diet Basics

the-game-on-dietThe program is centered on a game that you play in teams and involves earning points and winning prizes. Instead of focusing solely on weight loss you get to earn points by fulfilling goals related to changing eating patterns, getting enough sleep, drinking water and dropping bad habits.

This allows you to have fun while you are getting in shape without the stress that is commonly associated with dieting. The game lasts for four weeks and then the scores are added up and the team with the highest score wins.

By the end of the four weeks you should have some positive habits in place that will allow you to continue with a healthy lifestyle after the game has finished.

How to Earn Points

  • Eat five small meals a day
  • Exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes, 6 days a week
  • Sleep for at least seven hours every night
  • Drink three liters of water a day
  • Maintain a healthy new habit
  • Let go of a bad habit
  • Communicate with your team and the other players

How to Lose Points

  • Weighing yourself too often
  • Eating snacks
  • Convincing another player to cheat with you
  • Drinking alcohol on any day other than your free day
  • Not sticking with your good habit or continuing your bad habit

The basic structure of The Game On! Diet involves five meals a day that include lean protein, healthy fats, fruit and vegetables. Snacks are not permitted with the exception of cucumber and celery.

Dieters are allowed one free day every week as well as one 100-calorie treat each day. In addition you also have one free meal a week where you can eat whatever you like and have one unit of alcohol. Foods to avoid include sugar, white flour, candy, chocolate, deli meat, fried foods, soda, and full-fat dairy products.

Recommended Foods

Fruits, vegetables, eggs, seafood, chicken, turkey, lean meat, cottage cheese, avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil.

Sample Diet Plan

Breakfast

Omelet with spinach, mushrooms and low fat cheese

Morning Snack

Low fat yogurt with blueberries

Lunch

Salad with grilled chicken breast and avocado

Afternoon Snack

Apple with peanut butter

Dinner

Salmon with asparagus sautéed in olive oil
Baked sweet potato

Exercise Recommendations

Dieters earn points by exercising for at least twenty minutes a day, six days a week. This can include any activity that gets your heart rate up.

The Game On! includes an example of a high intensity interval training routine.

Costs and Expenses

The Game On! Diet: Kick Your Friend’s Butt While Shrinking Your Own retails at $14.99.

Pros

  • Fun approach to weight loss.
  • Social support can help to increase the chance of weight loss success.
  • Small frequent meals help to alleviate hunger and cravings.
  • Free day alleviates the psychological stress associated with continual dieting.
  • Will appeal to dieters who like having lots of rules to follow.
  • Addresses the importance of sleep and exercise.
  • Includes recipes.
  • Many readers will relate to the authors’ writing style.

Cons

  • May be difficult for people who don’t have any friends who also need to get in shape.
  • Will not appeal to dieters who don’t enjoy competition.
  • Does not take individual calorie requirements into consideration.
  • Some dieters may not enjoy eating five times a day.
  • Difficult to stick with as a long-term weight management plan.

Conclusions

The Game On! Diet includes a sensible eating plan with exercise recommendations that are suitable for almost all fitness levels. This program is a fun way to change your lifestyle and the support from your friends as well as the competition factor may help to increase motivation for many dieters.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Rachel

    I am going to be starting this diet in a few days, but I am a little worried about the “in between” meals of second breakfast and afternoon meal. I have four kids and sitting down to a meal five times a day isn’t an option. Can anyone give me suggestions for things that will fit the diet that are portable or I can make ahead of time and eat on the go? I saw that someone had suggested a protein shake – obviously it has protein in it, but how do you measure the amounts with how the diet measures things and does a typical protein shake have the other required foods in it (carb, fat)?

    Thanks so much, any help would be very appreciated!

    • Nancy

      I like to have an apple with string cheese and a few almonds.

  • Linda

    Any meal suggestions? I can not have anything with corn so it makes it a little harder for me. I want to do this with some friends primarily for fitness but will be following food guidelines as well.

    • Rita Humphrey

      I’ve read the book and am just completing my first 4-week forray into Game On!

      Corn is on the carb list so is very restricted. I added corn to my taco meat and to veggies a couple times to get my required carbs. Otherwise ate no corn. Each meal consists of a protien, carb and fat. Breakfast for me was most often a protein shake, 2nd breakfast was Greek yogurt, fruit and almonds, lunch was a salad with protein and fruit dressed with vinegar and oil, 2nd lunch was a hard-boiled egg, cheese and fruit, and dinner was protein, veggies and brown rice.

  • Ann

    My friends and I are on our second round of this game. I’m not usually a team-events fan, but this is fun. I are ally think this is the only “diet” that is doable forever. It really is just pretty much a diabetic diet and how we should be eating anyway ( maybe not with all the super strict rules, but in gerneral).

  • Peggy

    I just started this diet, and i am ready for some great changes as well as the weight loss!

  • lisa kingsley

    One of my friends on the game is not seeing results. and she is adhering to the rules? And she feels she is eating way toouch food???any suggestions would be greatly appreciated., thanks. Lisa

    • jamie

      How big are her meals? When you eat 5 x’s a day, your portions should be small. Eating more often helps to speed up your metabolism because your body is constantly trying to burn the calories. Eating several x’s is great. She just needs to make sure the portions are not the size as they were with only eating breakfast, lunch and dinenr

  • lee

    I just finished a 4 week stint with the game on plan – I lost 12 pounds easily. It is a great plan for busy women who work long hours as long as you prepare food on the weekends. IThe day and meal off help with not feeling deprived. ‘m taking a break and will start another round in a couple of weeks.

  • megz

    My friends and I gave been playing for a little over 6 months now. We have made a few changes so that it fits our lifestyle, but overall stick to the basic plan given. 4 of us have lost 50 lbs or more and are still going strong. This is definitely much more about a lifestyle change than it is about a temporary diet plan.

  • Claire

    My SuperWomen BootCamp classes just started this plan on Tuesday. It sounds really interesting and along the same lines of what I have been practicing for a year now. My class is really into this and my coach gives it two thumbs up!