How I Lost 20 Pounds in 30 Days with VR

I’ve always been on the big side, but I’ve been putting on extra weight recently, and so I decided to shed some of this weight.

You won’t always get the opportunity to take long walks, do some running down the block and go to the gym when you have a baby and a desk job, so I had to device another means by which I could lose weight. 

VR has been very helpful. If you’re really determined, you can actually lose a whole load of weight by playing VR games.

WARNING: If you don’t change your lifestyle, it won’t work. Sure I lost weight, but you need to look into your diet if you want to maintain the weight you lost and remain healthy.

USING VR TO LOSE WEIGHT

Right from the beginning, I realized that I had to set some ground rules for myself. In order to know how VR alone works, I decided to use it for two weeks without changing my lifestyle.

I decided to work it like a gym plan, do aerobic VR games for an hour 3 days a week, take a break, then do it for two days again and take another break. I decided to do it for one hour thirty minutes when I found out that one hour in VR is too short. It feels amazing.

It is actually working. I lost 20 pounds, gained some muscles that where not there before in my shoulders and neck after using the VR for 30 days.

I might have lost more than 20 pounds in theory, seeing as you gain muscles when you lose weight, it’s more than okay to lose 20 pounds for 2 weeks. It has been recommended by doctors that losing too much weight in a week is not good, and can lead to other health problems.

THE BEST GAMES FOR AEROBIC VR

VR has lots of games, but it’s not all of them that has that intensity needed to pump your heart rate.

The game needs to get your heart rate above 200 beats in a minute for 20 minutes at least for any impact to be felt. When you change levels, you need to keep pushing. In order for the BPM to keep going strong, I kept running on the spot most of the time.

Beat Saber

This game is a mixture of neon lights, tunes that bang and swinging swords. You’ll actually feel the burn, if with the right modifiers you go with the right level (I use the “minimum swing distance” modifier for my work out to come out well).

I was able to swing my arms for more than five times and not just that, I felt it the next day, all this in one workout on Beat Saber. When you play Beat Saber you’ll sweet a lot, for you to ensure that your workout increases, make sure your feet moves in time with the music.

Creed: Rise to Glory

In VR, Creed: Rise to Glory is one of the best boxing games there is. As you dodge and move away from your opponent, it feels like you’re doing real work out with every match.

You can’t just swing anyhow, your movement has to be in sync with what you’re seeing. In Creed it is important that you focus your aggression, so that with this you’ll physically exert yourself.

Sparc

Sparc is one game I love. I played it almost every day when it was first released, once in a while I still open up the game to play it. Sparc is small mixture of Tron disc game and dodgeball. You need to play the game with all your energy by dodging balls coming at you while at the same time trying to score points by throwing your ball in different directions.

If you want to keep the pace going for your aerobics, you need to be very fast in order to jump on a new game, seeing as the average time last for around 15 minutes. Regrettably, people don’t play Sparcs like that again, you might find it difficult to find a gaming partner and they don’t have bots. However, there a lot of challenges that are fun that you can do to get a good workout.

Knockout League

Knockout League is currently out on PSVR and it’s a prime contender for the ultimate boxing game. The release of creed (check below for more information on that) might challenge this status, if you want your jabs to get better, Knockout League is the way to go.

There are collections of badass in the theme with their own tactics and combos that you can fight in the Knockout League.  You have to be on your feet constantly, if you want to perform well.

You need to keep your hands raised, dodge, duck, throw punches and know when to jab or hook.

One disadvantage of the game is the predictability in their fights after you’ve played it once. with minigames, mitt training and speed bag with feedback, you can build your overall fitness after every fight.

There’s also a funky art direction style to it adopted from Punch-Out.

SUPERHOT VR

The idea behind SUPERHOT VR is based on a smart first-person shooter that feels more less like a game of Ultimate Ninja on drugs than the original game it is based on.

How does it feel to hold SUPERHOT VR? Imagine Neo in the Matrix movie:

For short while, their singleplayer campaigns that are currently in VR is the best.

Nothing extraordinary here, just numbers of vignettes that makes you use each environment that was handcraffed successfully. For example, by ducking streams of shot gun rounds, you are able to escape from your own execution with one vignette.

Untill you’ve died, reset to start all over again and finally figured it out after that, there’s no way for you to know this as a first time player. However, you’ll feel like a real life action hero by the time the game comes to an end.

With the way I was engaged as a player via the VR medium, it shows that SUPERHOT VR was masterfully done, although I am a little bit upset with their lack of paid DLC. I have never removed the Endless mode in a game, in order to play it easily. SUPERHOT keeps reeling me back in.

After playing for an hour straight (even without a weighted vest!), with the help of SUPERHOT VR I lose an average of 250-400 calories.

You should not skip SUPERHOT VR especially if you’re one of those people that fantasize about having a movie star body.

ON A LAST NOTE

Using VR to lose weight has been fun for me. It’s a continuous process, I’ll also need to make changes to my lifestyle so that as I’m losing the weight, I can stay healthy.

If you stick to it as a daily schedule and you’re really serious about losing weight, with this you can actually drop a significant number of weight from the comfort of your living room.

Turns out though having a sedentary job and a little baby means you can’t always get to the gym, go for long walks, or run around the block, so I needed to find a different way.

VR proved to be part of the solution. Turns out you can lose a fair amount of weight using certain VR games if you put your mind to it.

Warning: This isn’t going to work if you don’t change your lifestyle as well. I lost weight sure, but if you want to keep it off and be healthy, not just thin, you will need to change your diet as well.

Losing Weight with VR

I realized right from the start that I needed to set myself some rules. I decided to try it for two weeks with no other lifestyle changes, to see what difference VR could do on its own.

I decided to work it like a gym schedule, 3 days of aerobic VR games for one hour a day, have a rest day, then two days, and a rest day. It turns out, an hour in VR is a little too short so I upped it to an hour and a half. It feels like a sweet spot.

It seems to be working too. Over the course of the 30 days, I lost at least 20 pounds and gained some definition in my neck and shoulders that wasn’t there before.

In theory, I could have lost more than 20 pounds, after all when you lose weight you also gain muscle but honestly, 20 pounds is more than enough weight loss for two weeks. Doctors recommend not losing too much weight a week as it can cause other issues.

What kind of games are best for aerobic VR?

There a lot of games out there in the world of VR but not all of them have the relentlessness that is required to get your heart rate pumping.

To have any real impact a game needs you to get your heart rate up above 200 beats per minute for at least 20 minutes at a time. You will need to keep the momentum going when you are changing levels, I spent most of that time running on the spot to keep the BPM going strong.

Beat Saber

Beat Saber is the amazing mix of banging tunes, swinging swords, and neon lights. If you pick the right levels with the right modifiers — I like to use the “minimum swing distance” modifier to really get a good work out — you can really feel the burn.

In one workout on Beat Saber, I managed to swing my arms over five miles, and I felt it the next day! The sweat pours off you when you play Beat Saber in this frantic way, and I always try to keep my feet moving in time with the music to increase my workout.

Creed: Rise to Glory

Creed: Rise to Glory is one of the best boxing games for VR that we have ever seen. Every match feels like a real workout as you dodge and move away from your opponent.

You have to think about your movement too, you can’t just go in swinging or your movements become out of sync with what you are seeing. Focused aggression is the key to Creed and with that comes a lot of physical exertion.

Sparc

I love Sparc. When it first released I played it almost every day and I still like to open the game up every now and then to see if I can a match or two in. Sparc is a little mix of dodgeball and the Tron disc game. It’s very energetic, you have to dodge the balls coming at you while throwing your ball in various different ways to score points.

The average game lasts about 15 minutes so you need to jump on new games very quickly if you want to keep your aerobic pace going. Unfortunately, Sparc isn’t played as much as it was so you may struggle to find matches and they aren’t any bots. There are, however, a lot of fun challenges you can do that works really well.

Knockout League

Knockout League is a prime contender for the ultimate boxing game currently out on PSVR. This status might be challenged with the release of Creed (more on that below!), but for something a bit more colorful, you should go with Knockout League when you want to brush up on your jabs.

Knockout League has a collection of themed baddies to fight, each with their own combos and tactics. To perform well in Knockout League, you need to stay on your feet.

You’ll have to duck, dodge, throw punches, know when to hook or jab, and keep your hands raised.

One of the game’s main drawbacks is how predictable each fight becomes after you’ve completed it once. But it has mitt training, a speed bag with feedback, and minigames that can help you build your general fitness after you’ve completed every fight.

It also has a funky art direction style, adopted from the classic fighting game Punch-Out.

SUPERHOT VR

That’s the entire premise behind SUPERHOT VR, a clever first-person shooter that feels more like a game of Ultimate Ninja on steroids than the original game that it’s based on.

So how does SUPERHOT VR feel in your hands? Well, imagine being Neo from the Matrix:

And while short, it’s got one of the best singleplayer campaigns currently in VR.

There is no grand narrative to speak of, but rather a series of vignettes that compel you to use each handcrafted environment resourcefully. For instance, one vignette has you escaping from your own execution by ducking a stream of shotgun rounds.

As a first-time player, you won’t actually know that, so you’ll die and reset to the beginning of the level until you figure it out. By the end of the game, however, you will feel like a real action hero.

In fact, SUPERHOT VR was so masterfully done in how it engaged me as a player through the VR medium, that I’m tangibly upset about its lack of paid DLC (so far). I never, ever scrape a game’s Endless mode for replayability. But somehow, SUPERHOT keeps pulling me back for another round.

And after a solid hour of play (even without a weighted vest!), SUPERHOT VR helps me shed between 250-400 calories on average.

Basically: If you’ve ever fantasized about being Keanu Reeves, then you obviously shouldn’t skip SUPERHOT VR.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve really enjoyed using VR to help me lose weight. It’s an ongoing process, and I have had to make other lifestyle choices too to make sure I’m staying healthy as I lose weight.

If you are serious, and you stick to it as a daily schedule, you should be able to drop a significant amount of weight from your living room.

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